Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why Ottawa sucks - and also why it doesn't

With the fall season fully upon us and the London-like fog occassionally descending on the river and greyness all around, the social temperature of the Beige City is actually increasing, a bit.

As a sometime optimistic counter-voice to Jon's dark musings, I feel it is incumbent on me to occassionally sing praises to the small steps the capital takes, once in a while, towards being less obviously beige...

There was the rather debaucherous Food&Wine show, emphasis on wine, squarely on the wine. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, as did thousands of other people who'd passed through those gates. Of course, the Congress centre is not really the ideal environment for an epicurean event like this, but it is the venue we have. It is central, within the necessary stumbling distance of other places the visitors may want to go...as if there was anywhere else to go, given that one is always, and I mean always, mildly toasted after the Food&Wine show and it is difficult to find a way out of the drunken labyrinth. 4 stars out of 5.

Now, the EU Film Festival is playing. It would be, and I am emphasizing 'would', a world-class event considering its many films, some of them cutting-edge and already very successful in their own countries or all over Europe. It would be a great event if all the embassies and high commissions involved in organizing it actually threw receptions afterwards - and if, and that's asking a lot, some of the actors or directors from the featured films actually dropped by the festival, for a night or two. Although I go every year, fourth year in a row, the EU Festival leaves me hungry for more; not necessarily more film, but more beer and pretzels and cookies. There seems to be a downward trend with the snacks, a very unfortunate situation. 3 stars out of 5, on a good night.

I have also realized we lack in regular, high-voltage sports events other than the beloved Sens games. The Junior World Cup of soccer was fantastic, a real treat for me personally as a player and a fan of the game, not to mention it was simply one of the highlights of Ottawa life this year. We were extremely fortunate to have high-level matches held here, with the likes of Argentina, Mexico and Czech Republic teams strutting their moves and scoring spectacular goals. The audiences were lively and "into it". Of course, there was almost nowhere to retire after leaving the stadium; all the pubs and bars along the Bank street in the Glebe are small and woefully unprepared for the influx of additional hundreds of soccer fans who want to drink and hang out. If this were England, people would have been enjoying their pints in the streets, if it was good ol' Deutschland, they would have constructed temporary beer gardens. But not us, not in Ottawa. Weak, very weak...

What I would like to see in this city, as a tennis fan, is the occassional high-end tournament or at least an exhibition match between top ranked pros. People play tennis in this city. There are plenty of tennis clubs and small-time competitions. But no "Capital Open". We have to go to Montreal or Toronto to enjoy ATP calibre tennis.

Years ago, I recall watching an exhibition match in Calgary. Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors slugged it out in the Saddledome. Amazing. I say, bring on the Federer-Sampras series or something similar. I'd be lining up in a second.

http://www.atptennis.com/1/en/2007news/federer_sampras1.asp

Yeah, we could do better, in this supposedly capital city.



133 comments:

Anonymous said...

As an outsider to this town and now living here, working and attending school, Ottawa SUCKS. Badly. The people are grumpy, uptight, self-centered, and cheap. The drivers are idiots and can't shoulder check let alone multi-task, i.e. check mirrors AND drive at the same time. 40 km an hour everywhere they drive?! Or 140 on the highway about to plow into you should you decide to signal and try to change lanes, then finger you. The food sucks here, public establishments are sub-par for the most part, and the flat characterless nature of the town speaks volumes. Wonder why there are no photos of Ottawa other than that of parliament and the Canal in brochures and on websites? Because to show suburbia on a flat plain with huge power lines running through them with concrete government drab buildings and big box store plazas would be a tourism mistake. This town needs a serious kickstart and a massive injection of culture. This town bites.

Anonymous said...

I have lived here all my life and it's the same shithole. OC Transpo are a bunch of fucking goofs. Shitty Nightlife. Dirty Cops. Bad Food. The drivers are bad too the second a flake of snow hits the ground its like these idiots forget how to drive. The Hockey Team is absolute shit and I hate their fans. Overall Ottawa is not a city to be proud of.

Emily said...

OMG I can't believe it, it's so nice to see that my boyfriend and I are not alone in in thinking that this is a bloody nightmare of a city where everybody goes around acting like it's just perfectly normal to behave like dicks.

There are two acceptable activities in this area, Working is one, driving to work is the other. Nobody here knows how to live let alone have fun. Their apartment buildings look like hell holes so we have to pay a fortune in tax just to live in Hull because we can't afford to pay to live like executives and in Ottawa the only alternative is to live in a building that looks like an episode of CSI.

Every single day I watch people in black SUV's and BMW's run red lights and break the speed limit and never ever get a ticket, I've never seen an expensive care pulled over here, only crappy cars.

People here are also weird beyond belief, whenever I meet somebody normal it turns out they're from out of town. I wake up every morning and by the end of every day I wonder a couple of things like "am I dreaming?" "Why am I still living here?" and "When is Will Smith gonna show up and tell me all these people are androids?"

I am still here because I am learning French. As soon as I am bilingual You will be able to see the peeled rubber from my car from here till Montreal on the 417 from space.

Anonymous said...

You are all right, cultureless, boring, boring lazy civil servants who make up the bulk of the population, with no drive other than to plod along in a simpleton way who hate their lives and their worthless jobs...people cannot drive to save their lives, there is no where decent to shop, unless you like plain drab atire. What has this city got going for it? Nothing, its just a big hillbillie country town. I will be returning home as soon as my training is complete.

Anonymous said...

Ya, I'm with all of you. I'm from Toronto and got suckered into moving here from my Montreal husband (naturally opposed to Toronto) when we met because there were no IT jobs in London (Ont.). Now? All the IT jobs are relocated to T.O. and guess what... he is applying to them and I cannot wait to go home. Finally. Out of the city of the fucking huge assholes into the normalcy of real life. I hate this goddamned city more than any one of you here. If a hurricane swept through here after we leave, hell no I would not come here to volunteer to rebuild - I would just buy a plane ticket to New Orleans and help there instead.

Emily said...

Funny thing, my husband is from Montreal area too and we moved here as a compromise because I'm from Toronto and he doesn't want to go that far and honestly we can't afford it but I'm actually studying French to try to get out of here. I am up nights crying over my lack of French knowing it is the last step to getting out of Ottawa. If there wasn't a risk that we may be quite destructive in numbers I would say lets all get together and have dinner because it seems like we're the only people in this whole god damn wretched place that have something in common and know what the hell is really going on here.

Anonymous said...

Why is the shitfaced city the nation's capital. I simply don't get it. All my life spending 10 years outside of Canada, I always thought that TORONTO WUZ THE NATION'S CAPITAL!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Someone start a facebook group!

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Ottawa on and off for years, having traveled for quite some time away from here. It is safe to say most people really do suck here. Very lazy civil servants, corrupt government officials who wire business to their friends and anyone willing to grease their palms (even though this is directly against government procurement policy), and very boring people. They should carpet bomb the place!

Anonymous said...

Well it actually kind of depresses me and encourages me all at once to read the comments that have been posted here. It is a confirmation that other people actually think this place sucks as much as I do..so it is a relief maybe I am not going crazy after all. I find it so unfriendly here...The depressing part is I just can't seem to figure out how to leave unless I just cash my pension, sell the house and get the hell out of here. Quite a risk. I don't think I can stand another cold frozen hell of a winter and all I fantasize about is Arizona...sigh...

Anonymous said...

Wow! It's amazing what some people think of this City. I am sure the person referring to learning French is doing so in a Gov't job and be paid for it!!! (kidding)
If people don't like it, you simply can move on a find something better, that is the basic premise behind everything in life. Of course, if you have 15 years invested into a GoC pension and a family that is a different story.
I have lived in Ottawa my whole life, and have a lot of family and friends here, so my perspective is a little biased. I have ridden public transportation (OC) all my life, so I don't have another reference point. I have a nice house in the suburbs that backs on to country roads/farms, and I love it. I also grew up in the suburbs (Kanata), so I don’t know the inner parts of the city. I have always had what I needed in Kanata, and that’s where a lot of my family friends live as well.
I can get into downtown without much hassle, I have tons of open/green space to run and exercise. These are a few of the things that I enjoy. If you are a big shopper, Ottawa is not an ideal destination; but MTL is two hours down the road making weekend getaways fairly easy to schedule. It's the best of both worlds. Everyone raves about MTL and how Europeans and friendly it is. I have not experienced that hospitality on many visits (business & pleasure).
Toronto, now that is a whole different ball of wax. There are no friendly people to be found downtown, just a bunch of suits + fauxhawks trying to look very important. And trying driving around, my lord, everything is 45 minutes away! I talk to lots of people who live in far away places (i.e north of the city) because it's all they can afford. They take the GO + TTC (not integrated) and wake up at 4:30AM just to get to work, yikes!! I am sure there are some nice communities in/around the GTA, but overall they have too much of a snobbish NYC thing going on.
If you grew up in a different city, chances are you are accustomed to that city and what you love about it. No other city would really measure up.
For me, it's about being close to family, and I have that, so I enjoy Ottawa.

Thanks for taking the time to read :-)

Emily said...

No no and no. I am not learning french in some horrible gov job where I'm treated like crap. I'm learning it at home and with books and speaking it. Everybody I know who works in the government works with a bunch of soulless suites and hates their job. If you live in Kanata and Work downtown, thanks for that, that's what we all needed, ANOTHER CAR going westbound on 417 at rush hour. I live in Hull...because I don't like traffic...why? It's unpleasant and I'm not immune to unpleasantness because I'm not from here. I am ONLY not moving because I have to pay off a student loan first and my husband likes his job. The ONLY ...ONLY ONLY ONLY reason he likes his job is because he works on an alternative shift and doesn't have to work with ass holes from here. If I had family here I'd evacuate them when I leave. Ah well, if I win lotto max tonight and you see un-called for fireworks and some questionable sky writing over King Edward street, you'll know it's me.

Anonymous said...

I don't think most of these comments are really fair. Yeah, Ottawa sucks, but, who really cares? The answer is, practically nobody. I am your typical Ottawan. I am not from here, I came here to work, end of story. I don't vacation here, I have no sense of cummunity, I don't give a damn about the Glebe or the Sens or the Canal, etc.. I came here to work, movie up the ladder, put in my time, and that's it. When I want to have fun I go to Gatineau. When I take time off work (about two months a year) I'm not even in the damn country. So, who cares Ottawa sucks? It serves it's purpose.

Emily said...

That is a good point, it is just a place to work and try not to get in a car accident. I don't know. It just is an infuriating place a lot of the time, it gets to some of us and so we have to complain.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with all the people who hate this city. It is pure garbage. The city has no culture, just the typical government BS. It seems like everyone in Ottawa has a sense of entitlement from their cushy low-work and high-pay government job. No one in this town has manners, no one says thank you, you get poor to no service everywhere. Aggressive homeless people are everywhere in the city center. It's a closed minded city with a serious case of Toronto-envy.

Anonymous said...

All these Ottawans call people from Toronto snobs. People from Toronto aren't snobs, they're realists. Toronto is very much a city where hard work pays off. Ottawa is a city where entitlement reigns.

Anonymous said...

What is there to do in Toronto, that a person could not do in Ottawa (and you would do if you had the opportunity)?

I really can't think of anything.

Emily said...

What would you do in Toronto that you cannot do in Ottawa? Easy, I'll take that one:

For one, there's more than three movie theaters but besides that: The Metro Zoo, the Planetarium, the Ballet, Broadway musicals (I've seen Phantom, Cats and Joseph there) Edwards Gardens, Omnimax and the Science Center, the CN Tower, a pro baseball game...or football for that matter, a day trip to Wasaga Beach, Canada's Wonderland, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Center Island...Sorry I have to go to bed now, there isn't enough time in the evening to say how much more there is to do in Toronto.

Anonymous said...

Ottawa has a zoo, movie theaters, ballets, musicals. No CN tower, but, only tourists go there anyway.
There is a Science Center, museums.
No football or baseball.

You are missing the point. Does the average person give a damn about the ballet or the Zoo? No they don't. For the average person, there is no difference in these cities. One of them has 100 McDonald's, and the other has 500. At a certain point there is just a duplication of services.

Emily said...

It seems to me that the only people who don't miss the spirit of Toronto are the people from Ottawa. Most people I know who lived in Toronto or Montreal and moved here for a job have only the job and nothing else and are dying to leave. The truth is, everything that is similar here to Toronto is half assed. The canal and the bridge beside the willow tree's is the only thing here that I like that I didn't have anywhere else but it's ruined constantly because I can't get anywhere here without being nearly killed or harassed by crazy drivers and bums.

Anonymous said...

I am from Vancouver and I had an internship placed in Ottawa for 4 months during the winter months. All aspects of the city and the general feeling of the place really really sucked to the point where it is bad for your mental health. People and the place there are totally weird and out of touch. Food in the food courts taste worse than dog food. Downtown areas totally empty when the weather gets really cold, and if you are lucky you'll see very sparse number of people within a distance near malls. Nearly all the buildings look archaic, greyish, senseless and totally boring for your eyes. The entire city looks like a military compound, ok im exaggerating a bit but you get the idea. Above all of these, I met a very nice lady who offered me a ride when the snow was falling heavily, so one good soul outweighs all the negatives living in Ottawa. Btw, most of the girls in Ottawa are totally hot.

Anonymous said...

It is ironic that those of you who complain that Ottawans are rude are being extremely rude yourselves. In defence of my fair city, I would like to address several points from these comments:

One recurring complaint about Ottawa is that is it boring. What you call boring, I call peaceful. Ottawa has a calm, quiet pace, and some of us like it that way. The green space in Ottawa is unmatched for a city of its size, and outlying areas are a haven for wildlife. If your idea of exciting is a noisy concrete jungle, where you're likely to be shot in the head by a gang member, then count me out.

I cannot even fathom that someone from Toronto or Montréal would complain about Ottawa drivers. Everyone in Toronto drives as if they want to kill everyone else on the road. Montréal drivers drive as if they want to kill everyone, including themselves.

Another complaint that has surfaced in these comments is that Ottawa is "uncultured". In my experience, culture is a word that yuppies from Toronto use to describe the nostalgia they feel for the stench of garbage and diesel fumes, and the sounds of honking horns that envelop their home town. There is nothing more cultured about Toronto than Ottawa. The buildings in Toronto are largely grey concrete monstrosities built in the 1970s. The people in Toronto are mostly soulless corporate minions that would sell their own mother for a buck. The only culture that Montréal has over Ottawa is sluttier strippers, and fascist language laws.

Several of you have mentioned that people from Ottawa are "weird". I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean exactly, but I take that to be a compliment. If you're a cookie-cutter person that dresses like everyone else, and speaks like everyone else, and you follow all the latest trends, then Ottawa is not for you. If you are a real person and enjoy expressing who you really are, then welcome to Ottawa!

To the poster that called Ottawa a "hillbillie country town", again, I am going to take this as a compliment. Many outsiders who move to Ottawa never leave the downtown core, and remain completely ignorant of the beautiful region that surrounds the city. This is a crime. Ottawa's culture is regional, not urban. You can't come to this region, hang around the Parliament buildings or the suburbs for 10 years, and then claim that you don't like it here. I've known immigrants who literally haven't ventured outside a 10 km² patch of land outside of their apartment buildings. If you really love urban lifestyle so much, then why would you move to a small city in the first place? And even though I did (proudly) grow up in a beautiful rural area, at least I can spell...

Lastly, I would like to address the many comments that assert that all Ottawans are Civil servants. This is simply untrue, and leads me to believe that said people haven't actually lived here. The high tech sector is the largest employer in Ottawa by far, followed by the service industry. Yes, there are a lot of civil servants in Ottawa, but statistically speaking, most Ottawa residents are not civil servants.

I would like to conclude by pointing out that most of the posts demeaning our fair city are written by those who are clearly very unpleasant people. If such nasty people don't like Ottawa, then we must be doing something right! To those of you who don't like it here, please do the fine residents of the city a favour by leaving.

Emily said...

Hmmm, Goodness, we certainly are defensive. I say "thank you" when somebody opens the door for me. I reply when somebody speaks to me in public. That is what I like to call polite. Now the fact that others here don't do that means that They are unpleasant. I have started to think positive and outright ignore the city and do my own thing, persist to enjoy life despite the negative aura and it's working like a charm. Ignoring Ottawa - The key to Happiness.

Locke_gb7 said...

A While ago we moved from Montreal, you know where it's fun, to Ottawa...
>.>

Few words needed to describe the place...

All Work, No Fun, Go at Red Lights Stop at Green Lights...

Thats about it. lol

overall it really sucks.. No Subway, Zoo or amusement park >.>

Anonymous said...

Is Ottawa boring? It all depends.

Here are my own personal observations:

I've met some people here that absolutely love it.

In some cases, the salary can make the difference between borderline suicidal boredom or fantastic fun.

Socially, Ottawa feels like a big village and at 1 million metro population that's quite odd.

Many outsiders have a hard time integrating and making friends here.

If you're standing at a bus stop, or anywhere else for that matter, and start a conversation, they look at you like you're an alien from outerspace. They're so aloof, cautious and xenophobic in this city. Funny thing is every time someone speaks to me...well...they're not from here.

Everyone I knew that wasn't from Ottawa left and never came back.

My biggest pet peeve about Ottawa? No one moves. Is it so difficult to move over to the right and/or say "excuse me"?!

People here are also afraid of any type of change to their precious Ottawa. Not-in-my-backyard mentality prevails here. Just try to build a bridge or get a subway going! They're 20 years behind as far as a subway goes! When Montreal and Toronto hit the 1 million population mark, their subway was built, lit and ready to haul ass. Ottawa hasn't dug a hole. 2010 around the corner and nothing.

But, they have the Transitway! Big #$!@$# deal! It only takes 2 centimeters of snow to paralyze their stupid bus system. Some routes take forever to get to the one place you need to go. Sometimes you're better off walking. In many cases, you'll get there by car in 1/5th the time. So what's the point to public transportation?! To add insult to injury, then there are those moon base alpha bus stations in the middle of nowhere out in a field with access to nowhere. Whose the genius that thought of that?!

Ottawa also has horrible urban planning.

Ottawa also has that flatest skyline I've ever seen for a city its size. God forbid they build a real skyscraper downtown and pass that tower up on Parliament Hill. Oh-my-god, I remember when they wanted to build the pedestrian overpass over the canal. Damn! You'd thought they were going to nuke the city or something. People here panic if a squirrels farts. They're so conversative!! Drives me nuts. No vision. Any change and they go into a seizure.

Their downtown is not really a downtown. It's just a bunch of government offices. Where's private sector?! Hardly any diversity at all. Downtown is dead after 5. Heck, downtown is dead, period.

Ottawa is such a repressive city. I've never seen anything like it.

Ottawa also lacks ethnic diversity. It's very much "white". By the way, I'm caucasian but the way I'm treated here it's like I'm from planet Zoltar. Ottawa has 14% (or less) ethnic diversity. Ottawa needs ethnic diversity to spice it up, give it a soul and a vibe.

So, is Ottawa boring? I find Ottawa is more repressive than boring. Other cities won't make you feel alienated or feel like an outsider like Ottawa does.

You can have fun in Ottawa but the people here lack spontaneity. And, I'm not talking about going out to bars and getting hammered. No, I'm talking about the ease of making friends, the vibe of the city, it's openess, the people, the economy and diversity.
Again, I think it's more repressive than boring. Ottawa has a closed economy and it's a government town.

If someone is not happy here, the bad news is it won't change overnight.

If someone has the opportunity (and $$$$) to leave, they should leave because Ottawa will still be Ottawa tomorrow, the next day and the next day and the next...etc.

Emily said...

Boy ummm, I sometimes wonder. The last time I was on King Edward street and my car broke down I had a dozen people honking and waving their fists, even though I had my four flashers on.

Today The person in front of me stops at a green light to let out somebody from the passenger side. Nobody honks, not once. Then the woman gets out of the car and starts flipping a bird to everybody including myself and for what? Not honking? Not being ass holes? I don't get it, what's with the crazies. Nobody knew what the hell was going on. We're all stopped at a green light being flipped off by somebody that looks perfectly well dressed and normal. I'm so confused LOL, not surprised...but very confused.

Anonymous said...

ottawa suks balls, most people smoke weed from parking lot to parking lot

Anonymous said...

--------------
quote

'OC Transpo are a bunch of fucking goofs. Shitty Nightlife. Dirty Cops. Bad Food. The drivers are bad too the second a flake of snow hits the ground its like these idiots forget how to drive. The Hockey Team is absolute shit and I hate their fans. Overall Ottawa is not a city to be proud of.'

03 February, 2009 01:05
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PERFECT DESCRIPTION!!!!

Anonymous said...

A little perspective...

I was born and raised in Ottawa. At 18, I chose to move to Toronto for university as well as a different sort of life. I prefer the hustle and bustle of a large city such as Toronto over that of Ottawa, or even Montréal. That is, I made a personal choice to pursue a lifestyle that I preferred. It was my preference, and my opinion.

I can't understand why anyone thinks they have the right to bash these places. Whether you live here or there or somewhere else, bashing Ottawa (or Toronto or anywhere) is simply ignorant; people live there. Many people love Ottawa and have built happy, meaningful lives there. Where do you come off spewing about how terrible it is? If you don't like it, if you are so jaded that you can't embrace the charms and positive aspects of a place then don't live there. Hell, don't even visit! Nobody likes a shitty attitude, especially when it concerns their home. But don't presume for a second that you have the superiority to walk all over a place that someone lives, works, plays, walks the dog, raises children, falls in love, and spends every day.

Ottawa has it's problems; so does Toronto, and New York City, and anywhere else that humans live - no city, no society is perfect. Whether it's a city of 10 million or 10 000, there will be crime and issues and cars and noise. It is an aspect of our nature as social creatures.

Maybe the problem isn't Ottawa, it's people who can't learn to set aside their sad, deeply embedded negativity and see that for all its flaws, Ottawa, like every other Canadian city, is a wonderful and vibrant place. We should be so lucky to have a national capital that is relatively clean and calm and efficient - many millions of people around the world are not so fortunate as to live, or even have the option to live, in a safe town or city.

I may have left Ottawa at a young age in pursuit of a different sort of life, but that doesn't mean I was so immature that I was unable appreciate the many good things that existed, and still exist, there.

Maybe before you rage about all of Ottawa's problems, you should assess your own attitude and try and see things from a different point of view. It sounds cliché, but life is so short: why are you focusing on the negative?

Emily said...

Since I respond a lot on this blog I'll respond now. Personally I'm trying not to be so negative now in general. I read "the secret" and I'm focusing on a lot of things that I like and enjoy. Thankfully out of a huge bunch of those there is one I can do here witch is horseback riding...though I wish it wasn't so terribly far to drive, there could be a market for it in Chelsea for example but I drive way way out to Pinto Valley because they don't have a stick up their butts there. They really let you feel like you have a horse and don't treat you like a baby if you have experience. But anyways, ya the truth is though that you can't turn a workhouse into an amusement park. Ottawa is a place to work, and know that if you get fired (and you're bilingual) that another job is waiting no less than walking distance from the last one. The city will never become another great name however until they aquire some spirit. You need a monument for example...like CN tower or Empire State Building... something cool. Even if it looks as weird as the olympic torch. Just something that's big and cool. That would raise spirits yup.

Emily said...

So here's an idea. The Karma is bad and the people are generally miserable and maybe there's a way to change that by changing the way we think and then therefore the reaction.

If I were to start a Joy Rally where we did not demand bad things to stop but instead asked that good things to be done.... If instead of asking that we raise funds to try to end woes but rather raise positive thoughts so that people would then generally be more happy, would joyous people not attract better results in whatever their role is in this city or country?

If it were possible to do this, I am in the planning stages now, who would be with me?

Ashley said...

Emily (and all others who have so many complaints)-

The problem with judging any city is that the bad things stand out more than the good things do. If someone is a good driver, why WOULD you notice them? You probably wouldn't. However if someone cuts you off or drives erratically, of course they are more noticeable. Same with people who don't move to make room on the sidewalk vs people who do. I try, in my small way, to make this city better by doing exactly the things you say people here don't do. I go out of my way to hold doors, be polite, smile at strangers, etc. I do that because I know how it can brighten my day when someone does those things for me. I know Ottawa isn't perfect but I've spent time in TO, MTL, as well as cities in Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, etc) and I find that the pros/cons of every city are pretty much equal.

That being said, there are differences, and if another city suits you better, by all means go there instead. Please don't make blanket statements about how horrible all the people are in a city. It's not nice, and not accurate. In any city there are good people, bad people, good things, and bad things.

Anonymous said...

How about a motto for Ottawa ... :)

Ottawa-The Waiting Room of Life.

Mishi said...
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Mishi said...
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Emily said...

It's funny you know, I listen and watch "The Secret" a lot because I'm trying to be a happier person even while I'm spending some time in this area. The line from that song that goes "if you can make it here you can make it anywhere" comes to mind. If a person can find some form of happiness in Ottawa than they know they've reached a new plane of enlightenment.

Finding things that are at least humorous can help the sanity levels. I was at a sens game the other day having won some free tickets and was sitting in the opposing teams home ice. Before leaving I asked the two gentlemen that sat next to us weather they were from the other teams city. To my surprise the reply was "no, we come to the games and just cheer for whoever is playing against Ottawa" That gave me a good laugh. I think the only way to get through this is to laugh at the insanity of the place and be truly grateful for how we will be leaving lol...That's not to say I won't have the occasional tantrum...within the given context...once and a while because I'm not perfect...and I may just a put a sticker on my bumper that reads "honk, if you're an ass hole"

Emily said...

To reply to Ashley;

I did use blanket statements out of sheer anger but I'm trying not to focus on negative things as much and attract positive things instead.

The unfortunate reality was that my comments on bad drivers pertain to frequency of how often I witness bad driving. It happens more here than any other place I've lived by far. The really sad thing is that a lot of the time it's very expensive vehicles and honestly I don't understand why somebody who is blessed enough in life to afford a car like a BMW feels they need to prove something more by driving dangerously and potentially hurting others. There are good drivers on the road, I don't want to see them end up dead in a side swiping accident.

Peoples answer to Ottawa being a problem is always to Move Away. Well this is where the jobs are and the affordable rent in Quebec. That's the cold hard truth. But should the good people all move away with their tails between their legs? I think it's time that we clean up this city, make some demands and tell the Jerks that if they don't like it why don't THEY move away.

I've moved away from apartments before because of other people making excessive noise, nobody ever moved away because of how I couldn't tolerate their noise. I've been taken out of a school because of being bullied when the bullies should be taken out of the school. This Canadian, apologetic, scared of the bad guys approach is total BS. We need to protest this. It's not OK to just just turn around and say "if you don't like corrupt police, dangerous roads, bad food, lack of entertainment, rich man/poor man and nothing in between city than just move" don't tell me you LIKE what's wrong here, that you dont' want improved what needs to be improved? Even I can appreciate the daffodils this year, I know somebody out there wants to see something other than a cubicle wall and the car in front of them! Let's Demand some Positivity People!

Anonymous said...

Ottawa - the place where hope goes to die.

Corey Lahey said...

In response to: "...Maybe the problem isn't Ottawa, it's people who can't learn to set aside their sad, deeply embedded negativity and see that for all its flaws, Ottawa, like every other Canadian city, is a wonderful and vibrant place...."

No, see, its people like you who are the sad negative types who spout veiled hostility any time someone has a different opinion than you.
Ottawa has its good qualities, fair enough. On the other hand, this city obviously has legitimate problems as well, which many users' comments have repeatedly expressed. Dismissing those commenting about these issues as being jaded and having "deeply embedded negativity" is in itself negative in nature and self-defeating. Why shouldn't people post their opinions, whether they're in favor of the way things currently are or not? God forbid anyone actually read any of the aforementioned concerns of the public and work towards improving the situation…
You may say nobody likes a shitty attitude, but nobody likes a pretentious one either.

Emily said...

I agree with Corey, that's kinda what I said earlier about the public being heard. Moving every time something is wrong is the easy way out too, that's the weak "canadian stereotype" approach, lets run away whenever the going gets tough.

It may actually be the middle size city thing that's the issue here. You see Ottawa has jobs, high paying ones, which puts it ahead of other middle size cities such as Kingston and Barrie. All these places lack in entertainment and amenities because they're not as big as Toronto or Montreal and comparing them is like comparing an orange to a melon, the bigger one has more seeds but it also has more food right...Oranges can also at times be ....annoying ^_-

OK so my point is that lets not compare Ottawa to the big boys, lets say, as the "sad and no regard for the rules, all work and no play" city, it's the lesser of three evils compared to Kingston the "stark raving mad and swimming with x-con's" city or Barrie the "very hostile and trailer trash capital of Canada" city.

This place would all of a sudden be a million happier and better if there were simply a few easy changes made that would improve the place greatly and they are as follows: Lower rent prices, enforce traffic laws and for God Sake Stop construction on King Edward it's bordering on obsessive compulsive!

Brandon said...

I was born at Grace Hospital here in Ottawa in 85, we left for Carleton Place in 94 and I moved back to Ottawa in 08.

This city has no more problems than any other city, the grass is always greener on the other side.

I find the people who complain constantly about Ottawa will complain in their new Toronto home as well, they live to complain, and are never happy.

There is plenty of fun things to do in Ottawa, and the "night life" sucks no mater were you go. It's an over glorified jock breeding circle that is ripe full of STDs, shitty pop music, and girls who should be declared hookers.

If you have a problem with the drivers I suggest you call the police. But the only reason Toronto drivers appear better is that there is so many cars jammed in there nobody can move to drive badly.

Meh, my two cents. I'm sure there will be a rage filled Emily post in a few minutes, she appears to be camping this comment section pretty well.

Emily said...

Hi Brandon, since you asked me by name I'll reply. You didn't read my comments, I already said Ottawa was not comparable to Toronto, only to Barrie or Kingston, it's a middle size city not a large one and therefore not the same at all.

Personally I would rather live in Florida but that's just me, to each is own, I don't want to live in TO or Mtl or Kingston or Barrie either.

Ottawa is a good place to get started in life money wise, I agree with you on the night life, I've never been to a club because I don't like hip hop music because it's crass. Actually I couldn't care less about most pop culture but it would be nice to have a botanical gardens or something but those are pretty expensive.

Is this the angry remark you were expecting from me? I hope I didn't disappoint lol.

Anonymous said...

Ive lived in Ottawa 8 years now and totally hate this city.
I dream of returning to my country Peru. If I never see Ottawa again I will truly be happy. Ive lived in: Peru, Miami, Shithole England, Texas & I now live in Boring Shithole Ottawa.
Ottawa and England are the places I truly HATE. Thankgod I dont live in England , But moving to Ottawa what a big mistake.
However I love Vancouver, Victoria BC, Niagra Falls, Toronto & Montreal.

Emily said...

What an amazingly diverse variety of locations! I have friends in England that say they wouldn't be able to handle Canada, it's so hot and so cold depending; but geez I agree with you, I could move there if I wanted, got duel citizenship but I couldn't stand a place where the weather is always like this week.

LaStryker said...

I love how mostly every one anonymous is talking trash about Ottawa and the people there like they know. Ottawa isn't the funnest or best place, but I like it because that's where my family is, and it's wholesome, away from all the hollywood crap, and if I don't have fun so be it. I think Vancouver has alot of attractions to see, but know one is there for me so I'd not live there. :P

Emily said...

Ya he's right, Ottawa's really far away from Hollywood lol. I'm starting to realize now that it's not that bad either cause Hull is just so much worse or because in general the world has just become worse since I moved here and so it's not really to do with Ottawa it's to do with Society. I mean, I don't give a rats ass about smart phones so life can be pretty damned annoying for me.

Anonymous said...

While society may be going up or down depending on whether you live in North America or China & India, relative to other cities in Canada Ottawa truly does suck on a galactic black hole scale.

I've been here for only a few weeks and have a few weeks left in my short term contract (thank god!) and can't wait to get back to the lovely Vancouver rain!

There are real problems in this city that are frustratingly unnecessary, but because this city is predominately filled with polisci types that don't actually know how to do anything, but whose primarly skill is superficially getting along and passive-aggressivly attacking anyone raising issues or offering solutions, nothing will get done.

In case you don't know, here are the obvious problems that are relatively easy to solve or unneccesary.

* Horrible transit (Never have a seen so many resources squandered so badly to provide such bad service for so few people)

* Why the hell do you all smoke? And why glare at me or complain if I quietly re-seat myself on a patio to escape your weak-willed filthy habit.

* Lack of short-term accommodation/crappy hotels.
I'm not staying and don't want to stay at the damn pretentious Chateau Laurier... and a $150 for a Travelodge with a lumpy bed?!

* Horrible/dangerous drivers

* Weird people. Aloof wait staff and cashiers that like to mumble in a monotone and are quick to get agitated by even friendly requests for information.

Anonymous said...

OMG so true, and it sounds like you haven't even come in contact with the colorful folk of King Edward at St Patrick. LOL, if you're only here for a few more weeks I would strongly suggest staying away from Hull, the facade of exquisite landscaping hiding behind it virtually unimaginable levels of ignorance; a large population witch seem to believe that it is perfectly normal to have 12+ hour ER wait times and no family doctors, and they pay thousands more a year in tax to receive these lousy public services. It is a language obsessed failure, leeching off of English Canada's capital and somehow manages to also be an insult to the rest of Quebec by not even celebrating June 24'th or being able to make a decent poutine! The single, solitary benefit of Gatineau is affordable rent for apartments that don't look like they should be condemned, but then again, Ottawa can be blamed for not being able to provide affordable rentals. It should not cost the same to rent a clean apartment that doesn't smell like a puppy mill or have gun shot holes in the foyer as it does to mortgage a half million dollar estate.

A$$hole said...

There is a Facebook group called Ottawa Sucks I created with a buddy a couple of years ago when were both at Carleton University.

Anonymous said...

WINNIPEG is the worst city in Canada. It is Canada's Detroit. I am telling you. The natives are not even human as you see them stumbling down the street drunk and high.

At least Ottawa is civilized.

it doesn't matter anyway because we're in an economic depression thats just gonna get worse. the coming depression dot net

Anonymous said...

Ahaha, thank god for Gatineau, cheap beer, cheap rent, dont pay taxes just pay cash for everything.

Ride the bus, binge drink. Live here for a couple years as a student till your broke and the highlight of your day is some take out onion rings from harveys and some fountain pepsi which you fill to the brim with Seagrams VO whisky at home as you dwell on your upcoming call centre shift, shitty academic performance, and the horrid state of affairs in this world of pain and misery.

Yes I just descibed my life but im pretty pumped to go get my onion rings... slam whisky and take a shower and put on some fresh clothes. One love , See you in Jamaica.. PS.. If you have a soul get out of ottawa before its too late..

To top it off I got a joke... what do you call the black people in ottawa that like to act like gangsters and float around in outer space? - Some Aliens - (somalians) ahaha hehe

Madison said...

I moved to Ottawa from the crappiest city in Canada (aside from Winnipeg)- windsor, ON. Reason: jobs in my field. And let me tell you, I had to move after two years and its miracle I even lasted that long. I get the whole big city mentality that comes when people mistakenly believe they are the best citizens ever because they live in the capital, but its gotten downright scary. I worked in a shelter where addicts were dumped there by the mental hospital who spend your taxdollars on locking up people who have mental illness and addiction issues and then dump them into a massive shelter where no one has to look at them, rather than, you know, using the billions of dollars wasted on low-life CEO's actually working to get these people better and off the welfare system that we all pay for with our hard-earned working money. I have seen cops beat up homeless people for sport- NOT an exaggeration. And when you go to a store? Try asking a question. Seriously, ANY question. Guranteed you will either get a rude response OR someone speaking that ugly FAKE dying duck French that they think is "real". I was schooled my entire lie in France-based French (I'm European) and I couldn't get work in Ottawa because I have been told to my face literally- "We don't like the French you speak." My suggestion? go to ANY OTHER French speaking nation on Earth (including the carribean) and then tell me whose French is proper. Oh yeah, another thing- Canada is BILINGUAL. Meaning, speaking only Quebecois crap and two words of English DOES. NOT. COUNT.

Anonymous said...

Ten years ago I escaped the smallest town I ever lived in. (ottawa)
I moved to a town of 20,000 where there are happy honest people who actually work for a living and care for each other.

take a hillbilly, stick him in some useless BS university course on the taxpayers bill, teach him to be incompetent in TWO languages, then overpay him in a pointless government job to be unaccountable and you have someone who spends a lifetime in ottawa
other than the double wide trailer deep down a lot of them have wasted their lives.
GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN at any cost, your children will thank you

Anonymous said...

Wow, thumbs up to Madison, I can't get anything done right here let alone ask a question at a store. For three years now I've not had a single hair cut done right, or an oil change...pretty much anything that's not completely in my control is done wrong. Stuck here for the work, if CEO's would get off their high horses and implement work-from-home software I'd be out of here in a flash. To be honest I think people driving in traffic for hours every day to go and sit on a computer and answer a telephone is ridiculously primitive. Everything my husband does at work he is able to do from remote logon at home but they want him to go in and use their computer, their hydro, their heating and for no reason, he works alone anyway. It's so bloody stupid. Remote work would get half of us out of this wretched city we don't even need to be living in.

Anonymous said...

The above posts are a lot more thorough than I could be. Suffice it to say, Ottawa has all the problems of big cities with almost none of the advantages. It also has all the problems of small towns with none of the advantages. It is neither. The great Jimi Hendrix breezed into town for a couple of days during the late great '68 and summed up Ottawa in his diary "... strange people". Nuff said.

Emily said...

I think what annoys me most is that in the recent months I have tried my darnedest to improve my attitude and see the best in things. I've tried to stop complaining and make light of things but the reality is this:

I'm sick of the bullying, sick of the rudeness, sick of the attitude and I think it's high time people be held accountable for their behavior. Maybe it's not just Ottawa, perhaps it's something that has happened to the whole damn world but only during the few years I've lived here, well either way it's ENOUGH!

When somebody is rude to you, TELL THEM OFF; and yes they will argue with you till they're blue in the face over how They were right to treat you that way, and you are wrong for the way you feel about it but at the end of the day do you really think these people deserve to just go about their business treating people like dirt and not have to answer for that?

Stealing is wrong, and if you steal and get caught, you are expected to provide some sort of an explanation. Well, Being a JERK is also wrong, and if you're a Jerk to me, I'm darn well going to demand an explanation.

Just because a person is an adult and doesn't have Mommy saying to them "you shouldn't speak to somebody like that" doesn't mean it does not need to be said. From now on I am treating people who behave like children as if they ARE children and if they have a problem with that they can start behaving like adults.

Anonymous said...

I moved to Ottawa from Europe last August.

Even though I was born here, I can say that I think Ottawa sucks. Or perhaps it is more Ontario. Taxes are way to high and despite what people say, electricity is cheaper in Europe than here.

We've decided to sell our house and leave this shit hole country, can't wait to get back to the real world.

Anonymous said...

I amn the person who posted on 17 April 2009 at 14:28. After that post, my doctor was concerned about me when he said, "Evertime I see you, you're crying!" and prescribed Celexa - an anti-depressant. Ottawa is a mental health nightmare! The Celexa helped, but the depression was evolving into anger and that's because of the fact that I was living in a city of people who were extremely self-entitled, stuck up and considered Ostracizing to be an olympic sport at which they excelled at. I lived in an older neighbourhood off of Hazeldean Rd of Stittsville - the most messed-up and ass-backwards place in all of Ottawa. It's uber-exclusive and status obsessed. If you don't live in Crossingbridge Estates, you're NOT welcome. God forbid if you show up at the Independant in sweats - God No! Just about every woman in Crossingbridge is proud of her blonde highlights, her winter-vest/hoodie combination as well as her size 0 yoga-mommy bootie! Says some really bad things about the men who marry women whose bodies resemble a 4th grader's body!

Well, next month, I'm off the anti-depressants because the minute I hit Toronto on the 401 with my family and possessions in tow for a better life in a better community BACK in South-western Ontario (YES, Mr. Future Shop at Kanata's Centrum, S/W Ontario IS the center of the universe!), I STOPPED being depressed and the Celexa is causing heightened euphoric feelings - a sign that I am no longer depressed.

Does Ottawas suck? Ask my son who was born in Ottawa and is happy to be out of there.

Emily said...

Its funny that you mention the anti-depressants. I have noticed a lot of issues with people seeming to not be there totally. I was stuck the other day with a fire truck behind me hooting and honking because I was unable to get out of their way; none of the on-coming traffic would let me turn so that they fire truck could get through, I would have been side swiped...I pulled out slowly as close as I could and this woman with a blank expression in an SUV just very slowly blocked my way, the guy in the fire truck behind me nearly having a fit, how could she not notice the situation? A lot of people who are prescribed anti-depressants who don't need them get a reaction that causes them to be almost like Zombies and have no emotion at all and lose a lot of awareness(my husband had this reaction when a doctor here insisted he try them, certain that his health problem was caused by anxiety; it turned out not to be and he had to be taken off them promptly when tests that took months to process came back showing what the problem REALLY was) The doctors are too quick to shove people out the door with happy pills to shut them up and it's dangerous when probably half the population who's taking them would have been better off fixing the real problem.

Anonymous said...

Well, Emily, I was clinically depressed and it was frightening crying myself to sleep every night and begging God to get me out of Ottawa (I knew what was causing the depression). It got so bad that I just hit a slump of non-responsiveness. What was really frightening to me was that my 8 year old son was beginning to exhibit signs of depression - constant crying, not waking up in the morning, begging me not to send him to school (no bullies - he was really popular). The people in Stittsville are huge fans of scheduling their kids every waking moment including when they play with friends. I'm a spontaneous person as is my son and we would show up at the park only to find it empty. Where I am now? SUCH A DEPARTURE! There are kids everywhere - all of them asking me when I pick him up if he can come play at their house. The Goulbourn Rec center would rather leave their rink to rot in-between hockey team use than have some kind of after-school skate for an hour so kids have somewhere to go. Some Rec center! In my new community back in reality, our rec center makes full use of the rink time and has an after school skate every week for an hour which I take full advantage of. My son meets up with his new friends there and they skate for an hour and have fun. When he's done, he's tired and happy and ready to go home and relax and have dinner.

In Ottawa, unless you suck up, your children are playing with NO ONE after school. What kind of life is that for a child? Why do you think there are such drug problems at the high schools ESPECIALLY the one in Stittsville?!

Ottawa is a great place to raise a comatose family, not a live and active one. Check out the Facebook groups, Stittsville Moms and Moms in Kanata - you'll see nothing but people asking if they know places to take their kids and everyone else trying to sell you someting.

Anonymous said...

Ottawa is the worst city in all of Canada, maybe even north america! I stopped there early last year to see the canada day festivities. From the moment I got out of the car and started waliking around, people were the rudest, walking into you from across the sidewalk to like purposely hit you walking by. Everyone is cheap and not very social. Just stay in ottawa if you live there, don't move there if you're a nice person.

Anonymous said...

Nearly 1/3 to 1/2 the population has a chip on their shoulder here. Ottawa is a car city. The ethos here is passive aggressive to hidden aggressive snotty.

Even in Montreal they are capable to say "excuse-me."

The proper use and not abuse of the english language is to say "excuse me" not "sorry."

Sorry for what?

Anonymous said...

I totally Hate living in Ottawa. Ive been here for 8 years.
Ive lived in Southamerica, Europe, USA but I now live in Shithole Ottawa this place fucking SUCKS.
Ive travelled to Vancouver, Victoria BC, Toronto, Niagra Falls & Montreal well least there are some fun places in Canada . Just dont move to Ottawa you will regret it.

Anonymous said...

I've been out of Ottawa for 6 months now. I AM IMMENSELY HAPPY! My son is eating again, has alllll kinds of friends and is CONSTANTLY outside playing.

To all those sluts and whores on the Stittsville Moms Facebook page who look as phony as a 3 dollar bill... keep your precious city and check your daughter's drawers. She's doing drugs and boys to numb her pain.

Anonymous said...

Darnn ... i used to live in BC and Calgary and i have never felt so depressed as right now. I wish i could turn back time and stay in either Calgary or BC instead of here ...

Miss BC and Calgary badly

DarkChocolate said...

Hey Everybody,

I came across this blog when I googled "why is ottawa so boring" after having a discussion with a friend about Ottawa. (on how really boring it is)

I am 33 years old. I was born and raised in Ottawa and now looking back I havent seen anything change in this city.

Don't get me wrong there are a lot of positives about Ottawa but the negatives far outweight them.

Ottawa has a lot of potential to be a great "big city" one day. But unfortunately the people in charge are behind the times and their out dated education and methods of thinking will get this city nowhere.

They can't even get the O-Train running. A simply east to west north to south route. If I were in charge I would hold an open competition to the 3 major schools in Ottawa (Ottawa U, Carleton and Algonquin) and have them design a system for the city. Who better to design it? They probably use it the most. The designs can be voted on by the people of Ottawa and problem solved. Seems to easy and good to be true.

The nightlife in the city is dreadful. The only time it gets busy is when the students get back. Pretty embarrassing on the rest of us that live here. The Byward Market is boring and lackluster. The Bylaw officers are way to happy to hand out tickets to people just trying to make a living or just have a good time. The upscale restaurants that claim to have the best chefs and best food are terrible. But everybody is too afraid to say anything because they just want to be seen at "the hotspot of the month". And yes every month there seems to be a new hot spot. But with the suburbs getting better restaurants and bars, the Market is loosing its appeal for people who live on the outskirts.

The amount of rudeness in this city for such a small population is bonkers. Nobody says please or thank you. Its gotten to the point where I dont hold doors open for anybody anymore because nobody says thanks. People dont know how to drive in this city. However is teaching people to go 80km\hour in the left lane of the highway and not move when somebody is coming up at 100km\hour needs to stop doing that.

People are not approachable and open here. I was born and rasied here and find that. Think of somebody that moves here from somewhere else. People judge and critise people here a lot. People are looked at strictly on the outer appearance. Thats why everybody looks the same here. Pure cookie cutter..

I know its a governement town, and everybody disappears after 7. But like an earlier comment i read, your salary can make or break your activities. I work for the governement and the majority of people dont make crazy amounts of money. If you are a single man or woman living in this city with a mortgage, bills and maybe a car payment, i'm guessing you are paycheck to paycheck. There is not a lot of room to play with after all of those things. God forbit you have an emergency like a car repair or a over inflated cell phone bill you just got after coming back from the states. The amount we pay for goods and services in Ottawa (and Ontario) is astronomical. But that discussion is for a whole new blog.

The yearly "festivals and events" that everybody looks forward to are pretty much boring and the exact same every year. For example wine and food, hope volleyball, cheo bbq, bluesfest, greekfest and so on and so on. Its time we got something new, people set thier calenders to these events. LOL

I'm pretty much ranting, but it feels good to know i'm not alone. But its unfortunate because these past few years, i have seen things getting worse.

But the bottom line is you make the best of it. If people want to disappear at 7pm, doesnt mean you have to. If people drive like morons, drive the way you need to, to avoid them and get to your destination safe. If people are being rude, call them out on it. And give them a little taste of it back. You'll be surprised how much better you feel.

Anonymous said...

(-_-)

Anonymous said...

Ottawa should be the butt of alot of stand-up comedy, but the people here are so self-unaware or insecure that they either wouldn't get it, or allow themselves to get it.

Great site though.

Anonymous said...

Fuck this ugly piece of shit city. Moved here my stoney creek (near hamilton) and when my fucking apartment contract is up in september i'm gone and never looking back. Ottawa is filled with a bunch of arrogant and ignorant dickheads. What a dirty and smelly city, an embarrassment to be part of canada yet alone the nations capital. Hamilton is a steel town and still so much superior then this ghetto land, mind you the suburb I lived in IS nice. Fuck anyone who defends this lifeless cunt of a city. Day 1 of my move, ps3 stolen, shows the true character of everyday ottawans. I guess people here are too poor to buy their own, so steal someone elses on move in day, Nice!!! And for the record, I'm not from Toronto but have been there enough to know, toronto has always been better, will always be better and just is better then this mistake of a place.

Emily said...

If somebody from Stoney Creek is insulting Ottawa that just proves Ottawa is complete joke. Last time I went to Stoney Creek for a hockey tournment in high school, my father and I waited one hour at the Golden Grittle and were never served at all, it was like we were ghosts. The people were so weird and we had to drive out of the entire area to find a place to eat...I thought that was bad lol, then I went to college in Kingston and by god (granted we were always taking busses with more weirdo's in them than other students) But even in Kingston we used to say "at least we're not in Ottawa" and then we gave Ottawa one last chance and I swear there is nowhere I can go in this city where there isn't some strange person talking to themselves or in a complete trans

Anonymous said...

I moved here 10 years ago and for the first 4 years thought it was me. People looking away when you look up to say hello, not being able to merge onto a highway because cars don't move over, being surprised in the food store when the lady stands there with her shopping cart expecting you to get out of her way instead of going around you, miserable customer service, frantic waves from drivers to proceed instead of a friendly nod, crappy restaurants, urban sprawl, non-existant architecture, U-turns at 4 way intersections. Tailgating, cigarette smoking contractor idiots hauling ass down the 174 making their way home to Rockland, ready to road rage any asshole that gets in their way, no quality, no class, just a backwater of comfortable civil service families of four dining out at Montana's and getting a large double double on the way to their well paying, pension indexed government job that they hate.

So anyways, after 4 years I realized that it wasn't just me and for the past six have just been putting up with it. But not in 2012 friends. I'm going back to Toronto, where it's a hell of a lot friendlier, classier and better for business not to mention my psyche! Ottawa, keep your dweeb mayors, Lowell Green, million traffic lights, horrible French slang, dumpy market , over rated glebe first to the trough pension sucking tightass baby boomers who still work as
consultants and go to the same goddam home show 3 times a year at the eyesore known as Frank Clair Stadium. As they say on Dragons Den....I'm out!

Anonymous said...

It is true, Ottawa sucks. People are so uptight and awkward here. The majority of civil servants are lazy and have never worked in the real world. They are just waiting for their pension to kick in.

Anonymous said...

I used to be down on Ottawa. But no longer. I try not to think about it. Hope this helps.

S.R.J said...

It's funny, I work on the phone with customers from all over north america and somebody called the other day and said, as many do, "where am I calling" and I said "Ottawa" and they replied "well, I'll forgive you for that" and I laughed out loud. You know how people from the USA put canada flags on their backpacks when traveling because American tourists have such a bad reputation in Europe? Well I'm about this close to putting an American flag on mine so that at least people don't think I'm from Ottawa when I'm out here. Honestly though, I know there isn't much to do here but there are some pretty things, there are some good things like the experimental farm which is just gorgeous! There's tons of different species of birds, miles of beutiful bike trails, the canal, gatineau park...It's never going to live up to Toronto and yet it's not bad enough physically to explain why the population is so crabby! I mean smile for God's sake, smile once and a while...look at the dang tulips or something, whatever is happening can't be so bad that people are so misserable or out of it constantly. It's the people that ruin Ottawa, it really is, the attitude kills the little things that are here to enjoy. Again, from May to July almost the entire city smells like Lilac and yet everybody is pissed off and rude...seriously? I can't be the only one smelling the sweet air or noticing the beutiful trees or the river.

Anonymous said...

"I mean smile for God's sake, smile once and a while...look at the dang tulips or something, whatever is happening can't be so bad that people are so misserable or out of it constantly."

I'm afraid the problem runs a little deeper than smiling will fix (although it wouldn't hurt). In the unauthorized history of Ottawa that I'm writing, I point out that the city was founded as an 19th century experiment on passive/aggressiveness that went awry. As generations of bureaucrats inbred, the sense of humour was eventually eliminated. And the simulacrum finally able to oust the authentic.

Hip Hip Hooray!

Anonymous said...

Oh this is a great blog page. I was up this morning thinking about some of the truly weird and sometimes horrid people I met when I lived in Ottawa when I attended University there.

Some of the way people treat each other was just bizarre, mean spirited and awful.

My advice for those who read this is to leave for another city (any city) as fast as you can. If you must stay in Ottawa then I have some good advice.

Make genuinely nice friends (they exist in every town and city). Surround yourself with positive vibes and people as much as possible. When you run into one of the many twits or assholes in Ottawa - keep running (as far away as you can).

Do not attempt to fight fire with fire by engaging in some goffy one upmanship with a mean person who does something mean to you. Just walk away. If you can bring attention of their behavior to a supervisor (if someone is rude to you in a store for example) then by all means please do so. However do not be suprised if the supervisor is also an asshole and sides with the asshole working for him/her who was rude to you.

Basically just find good people in your life and just ignore the other morons if you can... and you should survive Ottawa.

Anonymous said...

Hi Im canadian and I have lived in BC, Alberta, Toronto and also NB. I made the mistake of moving here 5 years ago. I am a single woman here and if your a single woman you are targeted all the time and people take advantage of you from government offices to workplaces to housing accommodations etc. I lost my ft job in 2008 and have not found much since. If your white and english no one wants to hire you. There are also alot of newcomers with attitudes, it seems half are sweethearts and the other half have a stinky attitude and dont like the canadian born pe ople. ONe of my friend's who is half native has alot of issues here too because she is single. She also cant get into a government job. I always try to be a good person but it seems in this city people stick up for the bad guys and criminal types. Im hoping to be able to escape this hell hold of a city next month and I will never return here again even for a visit!! I also only like to hear english spoken on the buses but alot of people dont seem to care nowwadays.

Anonymous said...

OC Transpo are a bunch of fucking goofs. Shitty Nightlife. Dirty Cops. Bad Food. The drivers are bad too the second a flake of snow hits the ground its like these idiots forget how to drive. The Hockey Team is absolute shit and I hate their fans. Overall Ottawa is not a city to be proud of.'

03 February, 2009 01:05

That best describes Ottawa. I have lived there for most of my life (I now reside in the United States) and living there was a nightmare. It's boring beyond comprehension, life-less, expensive, soul-less and utterly depressing place. I actually feel sorry for people living in that hellhole. It's especially horrid if you're a young black man.

I thought all of Canada was like Ottawa so I made a persistent effort to leave Canada altogether. I'm a young man with many talents and positive outlook on life and Ottawa was sucking the life out of me. They're uncultured old people - the city is disproportionately populated by older generation whites who suffer mental problems and are incredibly miserable - who look forward to pension and retirement. Depression, alcoholism, drug use and social problems remain rampant in the nightmare called Ottawa.

I now reside in the United States of America where I live with normal people. People that are actually receptive and capable of engaging in normal, fun activities and conversations. It actually took some time getting used to people that weren't so cold, condescending and contemptuous for no apparent reason other than that they're unhappy and possess an attitude of vengeful supremacy (to make themselves feel better and escape their unbearable "lives").

Canada is a decaying country and it's eating itself away from the inside. It's becoming increasing unlivable, socially and economically, for an ever growing number of people-particularly the young.

Anonymous said...

lol whats with all the hate? i've read most of these comments and as a person who was born and raised in Ottawa I feel totally confused. The thing about people being impolite? Yeah there are rude people but there are rude people everywhere and in Ottawa I've met so many friendly people. And yeah i know its boring here. Its the freaken capital of course its gonna be more government orientated. Ottawa is more of a family city and I'm actually kinda shocked at how hateful some of these comments are towards Ottawa. I've lived here my whole life and I honestly can't imagine myself living anywhere else. Downtown is pretty shitty not gonna lie but I barely ever go to downtown. Maybe its just downtown ottawa that people hate on so much? I find no problems driving but I've never driven to downtown so I dunno maybe thats it.

Anonymous said...

(from anonymous 12 Sept 2012)
"... It's boring beyond comprehension, life-less, expensive, soul-less and utterly depressing place. I actually feel sorry for people living in that hellhole. It's especially horrid if you're a young black man...."

Why can't it be horrid for all people, regardless of race, creed, colour or sexual orientation?

Anonymous said...

American-Me

"Today The person in front of me stops at a green light to let out somebody from the passenger side. Nobody honks, not once. Then the woman gets out of the car and starts flipping a bird to everybody including myself and for what? Not honking? Not being ass holes? I don't get it, what's with the crazies. Nobody knew what the hell was going on. We're all stopped at a green light being flipped off by somebody that looks perfectly well dressed and normal. I'm so confused LOL, not surprised...but very confused."

I've had a similar experience (on multiple occasions); a woman was getting out of a car's passenger side in the middle of the road. I politely waited and didn't even look at her, let alone honk. Meanwhile the driver, also a lady, kept looking at me as though I eat babies! For being polite!? I don't get it. So I'm left with amazement and bewilderment.

In Ottawa you have to get used to abnormal behavior. It's a very bizarre place. It's like a horrible social experiment, a mental ward even. It stems from the general population's social ineptitude associated with its deplorable cultural backwardness. Since it's a socially dead city they don't know how to behave much less socialize. The glaring lack of social evolution consequently rendered the city a harbinger of abnormal behavior. What's considered normal is rarely seen in Ottawa.

"Why can't it be horrid for all people, regardless of race, creed, colour or sexual orientation?"

I do apologize for that as I was speaking from personal experiences relating additional daily taxations on account of being black. And, yes, it applies to everyone.


Brighat said...

I hate living here. I want to move to Las Vegas, Nevada. Sure, Ottawa has strip clubs and casinos like Las Vegas but it doesn't have enough entertainment, good weather, good food (though that's improving) or excitement. When the time comes, I'll pack my bags and at least winter in Vegas. Ottawa in the summer isn't bad, though. In winter, it's a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

"In Ottawa you have to get used to abnormal behavior. It's a very bizarre place. It's like a horrible social experiment, a mental ward even. It stems from the general population's social ineptitude associated with its deplorable cultural backwardness. Since it's a socially dead city they don't know how to behave much less socialize."

because it's not an entrepreneurial city, people don't develop certain skills. You'll meet the same percentage of weirdos in other similar cities. (well, maybe not quite as high.)

Anonymous said...

An immigrant’s experience in Canada:

The Canadian government solicits potential immigrants and dupes them into bringing their skills and money to Canada. It advertises the country to people from other countries, mainly for their money; each prospective economic immigrant has to bring with them minimum $10,000. It’s a scam but then again so is everything else in Canada. When the Canadian govt is engaged in such a scam you can only imagine the extent to which the average Canadian individual is also involved in a scam of their own to survive, everything from phoney govt jobs to independent immigration consultants. Every Canadian is involved in some kind of a scam. Fraud is a way of life in Canada and you have to do your part just to pay the bills to extortionist utility, rent, insurance companies, etc. If you come with the mentality – as immigrants erroneously do – that this is a developed country and expect an efficient and competent system you will be greatly mistaken: Malfeasance is the call of the day in Canada.

Since the country’s economy largely depends on service, and Canada no longer a manufacturing country, the best show in town in terms of gainful employment is a govt job. That requires “networking” – code word for FAVORITISM in Canada – forget about best qualified person getting the job. In many respects Canada is a developing country. There’s a disconnect between the political class and the average person (which explains the immigration disaster, among other common fundamentally flawed and corrupt practices).

Canadians are cold and standoffish. Nothing happens and everybody keeps it to themselves. It’s the most socially inept country in the world. Since it’s socially dead country one becomes accustomed to abnormal behavior. Canada lacks national identity and national culture. Subsequently everyone identifies with the country of their parents or great parents’ origin. Forget about assimilation and adapting to Canada, you cannot assimilate and adapt to an unreceptive environment. Consequently racial attitudes are behind 30-40 years, say the United States. Which is really unfortunate because the country’s population is aging at an incredible rate, and the average immigrant stays for a few years and eventually leaves. (40% of all immigrants to Canada at any given year leave so within a few years – Statscan.) To augment this the govt typically brings in even more people. There’s a continuous flow of “new” arrivals filling the position of those who have come and gone.

Major cities, namely Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, are decaying socially and economically. Heavy drinking, drug use and other social problems are rampant along with crumbling infrastructure. But people in Canada don’t discuss issues of national importance, they lack coherent objective national discourse. People complain and say what they think they’re supposed to say, or, more accurately, say what they think will make them sound smart. Whether inferiority complex or other social deformity, people in Canada dislike constructive criticism and altruism. They remain risk averse to a fault, so problems fester. Everyone simply prefers to pretend everything is nice and dandy.

Anonymous said...

To "Dec 02..."

Thanks for your post. it was interesting. In case you don't already know... check out "Meech Lake" and "NAFTA". Those may address some of your issues. For the racial stuff, Canada has a history of unresolved and maybe unresolvable issues concerning inter-group relations from its inception - non-aboriginals and first nations. Sorry that the reality for you and your preconceptions coming here aren't working out. Canada is a country of compromises. It is our strength and weakness. I still think it's a pretty special place. Ottawa sucks though. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

What an incredible collection of posts! I swear that people here are stuck in some kind of bizarre 1970's time-warp...when people had a legitimate reason to say that Ottawa sucked.

I've lived here all my life but have travelled fairly extensively to many other cities...in particular I've been to Toronto and Montreal countless times and know both cities quite well.

Toronto has economic diversity, ethnic diversity, and does a lot of things on a grander scale vs. Ottawa (e.g. think Caribana vs. Carivibe). What it doesn't do well is that I find it to be an utterly unwalkable city...you pretty much have to drive from neighbourhood-to-neighbourhood since so much is spread out and not really focused. And apart from Yonge street and parts of Bloor/Yorkville...their downtown is pretty dead after-hours as well. Like Ottawa, I find their suburbs totally suck...except for the fact that some of the better ethnic eateries are located out there.

Montreal is a great city to party and has a wonderful ambience. But lets face it, it is a difficult place to live...way too much drama everywhere...and the salaries are insanely low. Invariably, I've seen jobs that pay 110K in Ottawa pay 80-100K in Toronto and 50-70K in Montreal! It's a complete farce. And honestly, I find I can get better cuisine from certain ethnicities (Lebanese, Chinese, etc) in Ottawa than Montreal...but as a whole, Montreal has a wonderful diversity of restaurants compared to most cities in the world.

So that leaves me with dear old Ottawa. Compared to Toronto, I prefer the beauty of the older buildings in Ottawa and the Byward Market. Yes, Old Montreal (and Quebec City for that matter) do this much better...but I like Ottawa's take on this and I think the city is aging well. I also think the last decade or so has been good to Ottawa...many restaurants and neighbourhoods are starting to really flourish. I also believe that Ottawa has a really nice urban setting and many of the neighbourhoods close to downtown are absolutely picturesque and extremely livable (albeit pricey)...these do exist in Toronto/Montreal but not in the same proportions as you get in Ottawa.

And the last thing I'd like to say is we should really compare apples to apples here. Cities similar to Ottawa in size are San Antonio, San Jose, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Edmonton, and Calgary. I would venture to say that Ottawa compares rather favourably to all of those metros...San Jose has a much better job market but absolutely sucks otherwise. San Antonio is probably a formidable comparison to Ottawa...similar situations...Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Charlotte, and, IMO, Edmonton are not in the same league as Ottawa. Calgary has some great points and some terrible ones as well...just not my tastes.

So that's it from someone who has lived here all their lives. It sounds like all the haters work for the PS so that would HEAVILY skew one's opinion of the inhabitants of this fine city...

Anonymous said...

"... So that's it from someone who has lived here all their lives. "

The argument from authority in a blog like this is miserably out of place. I refer you to the concept of "Stockholm Syndrome", named after a city almost as 'vibrant' as Ottawa.

Architecture? Do you really think people are coming from all over the world to Ottawa to study how we do architecture and urban planning?

The city has had and will probably always will have a lack of imagination. It's architecturally vapid - the downtown can best be thought of as supplying the reply "Who .. me?" to those in search of it. Then consider Carling Ave. between Lincoln Fields and Bayshore. How about putting that in a travel brochure? Or Merivale Road, anywhere? ... The list of mind numbing stretches of eyesore are endless.

As far as complaining about the hating on Ottawa, if anything, the complaining makes it slightly more tolerable. At least some humour can be generated to cover over the hot air and shredded paper which seem to be the major products of this small-minded over-grown hick town (albeit one with a high percentage of 110k earners).

Anonymous said...

Ottawa's people are very conservative. Any talk of building a highrise tower anywhere causes them to panic and go into a coronary. Being a government city, the downtown core is drab and boring. Developers quickly put up a building at low costs to make them competitive for government leasing contracts. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a very boring and flat downtown building architecture with no vibrancy and character. People in Ottawa accept mediocrity in most accepts. A skating rink is more important and will recieve more press as opposed to building something unique to give the city character. Sparks street, once a vibrant part of downtown is in ruins, yet is embarassingly advertised in travel brochures. Large trucks go through King Edward Ave. as a gateway to Gatineau, Quebec. Which downtown allows this? Those who think this is a beautiful city need to get out more often in my humble opinion to really understand what a beautiful city looks like.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's been 2 years since I left Ottawa. Never again will I move back there to live. I still have friends there, but this last trip at Christmas? They're all falling apart. A friend picked a fight with her teen daughter in the restaurant we were having lunch in. My friend, who once was vibrant and full of life is no longer and another friend admitted to me she was bi-polar. Other friends are having trouble with their marriages and others are wanting to leave. Ottawa is poison - it really is.

Anonymous said...

Antediluvian radio personality Lowell Green hosts the
area's number one rated show. Presumably from his
shack down by the river. This speaks volumes of
Ottawa.

Anonymous said...

I must say to make a city fun one must make it fun.

For the people complaining that this city has nothing to do, you clearly did not look at all the right places.

For the rest complaining that this city is poison, perhaps you we're poison to this city?

As human beings we will always complain, Mr. X might like Toronto for its vibrant NYC style city - meanwhile Mrs. Y Loves Montreal for its culture and old buildings.

To each his own

xo

Anonymous said...

Now I am not going to pretend to make an unbiased assessment of Ottawa as I know that my life experience is colouring my perception of this city just like everyone else who has posted here. I really don't think an unbiased assessment can be made when it comes to the overall experience of living in Ottawa. We could talk about hours of sunlight per year, ethnic diversity, green space, average levels of education, city planning, crime rates, cultural sites and entertainment venues per capita, or any other factor that would appear on paper to affect quality of life. I don't want to discuss those things. We could take an opinion poll, but I don't really care how many people are enjoying life in Ottawa. It doesn't change the fact that I am not. I found this blog post by googling "ottawa sucks," and honestly I was very relieved to find that I am not the only one who feels this way.
All I can say is that when I moved to Ottawa I became very depressed. I have been here for three years and I have had a harder time making genuine connections with people than anywhere else I have visited or lived. I once moved to a small town in B.C. by myself and I found people who were eager to accept and include me within months, not years.
I do find that many people here seem unhappy and closed off. A previous post mentioned things like lack of eye contact with strangers, and not getting so much as a "thank you," when you hold a door for someone. This has been my experience as well and I believe it is contributing to the sense of isolation that has been growing in me since I moved here.
Something that made this phenomenon seem much more pronounced was a recent trip I took to the southern U.S. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to argue the superiority of American culture in its entirety over Canadian, or more specifically Ottawa culture. (I would never do that.) I will, however, point out that when I was down south I was really shocked by one major difference. When in a store, on a tour, or asking for directions, the people I spoke with made eye contact with me, smiled sincerely, asked questions, and went much further to assist me than I'm now used to. People expressed their opinions unapologetically and without hesitation, laughed out loud, joked with me, expressed concern, and acknowledged my humanity in a way that I didn't even know I'd been missing.
Upon returning to Ottawa, the constricted way people interact became so blatantly obvious I could no longer ignore it. It seems as though people are so concerned about avoiding conflict or controversy that they stifle themselves. I'm not sure what the reason behind it is but it appears to me that people are uncomfortable in their own skin, uncomfortable with each other, and so inhibited that the possibility of connecting with others is almost completely off the table.
I feel like an alien here. Not since I was a teenager have I been so self-conscious - never have I been so self-contained. I feel trapped, disconnected, desiccated. I want to leave.
Like many others I am here for work. Not my work - but my fiance's work. My education goals have been put on hold by the prohibitively high tuition in this province. The only friends I have made are people who are struggling with mental or physical illness. I have been unable to find full time work, even in entry level positions. It seems every subway sandwich artist and his dog has a masters degree, making it impossible for me to compete on paper.
It is just downright depressing.
Yes I do think Ottawa is "pure garbage" as another poster chose to put it. I think this characterization makes sense given my experience here - and all the winterludes, museums, and maple syrup festivals you can throw at me won't make up for it.
Hang in there, fellow Ottawa-haters. Know that you are not alone and that somewhere out there a place that feels like home is waiting for you.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Ottawa-bashing getting old? Sure, we might not be a "great" city, but at least we're OK on a lot of things. Why don't we focus on those. Isn't it true that people from all over the world try to come to Ottawa? (Maybe not the most beautiful or talented people, but still people nonetheless.) Also, we might not have the best architecture, but we still don't have to worry about buildings falling down like they do in other places.

Mike G said...

Having been born and lived my 26 years thus far in Ottawa, I can say I've seen a lot of the good and a lot of the bad that Ottawa has on offer.
I've travelled pretty extensively around North America, both Canada and the US and had a brief stint living in Kitchener-Waterloo. I'm going to be moving to San Francisco, and having just spent a week there becoming acclimatized, I noticed several distinct differences.
Firstly, the people in Ottawa. Several people have mentioned that Ottawans are quite impersonal, cold, standoffish and socially awkward. I'm often guilty of this myself, and I've noticed it extensively with most people you'll see everyday. I've tried a little social experiment a few times; try it next time you're out for a walk in your neighbourhood: greet everyone you pass with eye contact and a "Good morning!" or "Hello!" and see the confused looks you receive in return. Sometimes you won't even receive any acknowledgement whatsoever from passersby. I can't think of one time that I've ever been greeted by anyone while out for a walk, or bike ride, very dehumanizing.
One area where Ottawa is absolutely great compared to other similarly-sized cities is with outdoor recreation! If you like biking, hiking, paddling, swimming, skiing or really any other outdoor activity, Ottawa has lots of places to go and have fun outside. Gatineau Park is amazing, the Rideau Canal and River are great. Our recreational pathways and greenspace are easily accessible. Just be ready to do any of these activities by yourself, because trying to interact with people to find someone with common interests is difficult if not impossible. See above.
I think the thing that wears on folks the most though, is the can't-do attitude that's so prevalent in the city. Ever want to do anything cool, fun, inventive or interesting? While people were sure not to connect with you or recognize you as a fellow human before, if you mention wanting to do something outside of the normal day-to-day, you'll find people lining up to tell you why you can't, shouldn't, and probably will fail. I think that's the worst thing about this city, and it scales from the smallest of small scale things, all the way to the largest of large-scale things in the city. Why are there few Ottawa-based startup companies? Because we're likely to fail. Why aren't people more open and friendly? Because people aren't likely to reciprocate. It makes people with hopes and dreams either leave or have them be crushed under the burden of self-doubt and helplessness that plague this place.

Anonymous said...

Way too many cagey bureaucrat and secret police types. Not enough creatives. Plus a lot of people don't know how to live in an urban environment.

Anonymous said...

Ottawa, where between noon and 3pm on a sweltering 37c afternoon, you'll see assholes out jogging...

Anonymous said...

I don't like Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal. They are all filled with social misfits and wannabes. I can see why a certain type of person likes the anonymity of the big city. They wouldn't be able to cope in a small town where everyone knows them.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I have read most of your comments and, except for that retard from Toronto who is just from another very depressing "Centre of the earth" boring shitty-ass city, I totally agree.

Toronto retards, you are just as close minded if not more than the people in Ottawa, it saddens me... </3

Anonymous said...

Well, it's a small comfort to know I'm not alone. I find myself booking blog sites like this just to remind myself of that. And there are plenty, which says something. I'm not from Toronto, nor Montreal or Vancouver though I love each of those towns for their own reasons and also dislike a few things about each as well. I'm from Halifax and have my own love-hate relationship with that place too. And perhaps I'm a bit spoiled because I've had the opportunity to live in Paris, Edinburgh and Boston. But see, all those cities evoke at least some emotion in me -good and bad- whereas all Ottawa does is lower the heart rate to flatlining. It's simply an incredibly dull and nava-lgazing town, surrounded by forgettable suburbs full of forgettable people and a downright depressing landscape. It looks like a giant Northern Reflections store about to go out of business.

I tried to come in on an upbeat note but when I told people that I had finally accepted a job here, they were all sorry for me. ALL of them.

I've been 'doing time' here for 3 years and desperate to find a way out. Like many, I moved here for work (what else is there to do here?). I only hope I can take the experience and cash and make a run for it. It's not like I didn't know in advance about the place: I had family here for a long time (who also hated it) and I've had to come for work reasons many times over the years. I just managed to avoid the move before now, and I am still mad at myself for not aiming higher. This ain't the end all and be all for me, though the local population seem to be curiously satisfied with it. I guess if your biggest aims in life are to get your kids on bilingual hockey teams, spend every Saturday x-country skiing in Gatineau Park, and discuss government job reclassifications over hot chocolate at family-oriented parties post-skiing...well, this is your town.

And don't even get me started on the idiotic drivers, retarded cyclists and rude, sullen pedestrians. Don't even start on that one...let's just say I'll trust a Parisian driver over an Ottawa-twit behind the wheel anytime.

Anonymous said...

I have lived here since 1995. I grew up in Montreal and lived in Vancouver for 3 years.

A Montrealer: I am cool because I know mobsters and drive a base-model Audi.

A Vancouverite: I am cool because I wear hiking boots all year long and hate people who work for a living.

An Ottawan: I am cool because I know people should not be allowed to have any fun without government approval.

Anonymous said...

Ottawa is not a middle sized city people. Ottawa is considered the 4th biggest in the country and the most boring city in Canada

Anonymous said...

Two words,

"Yo guy"

Anonymous said...

it's just sooooo boring here.

Anonymous said...

I'm Ottawa born and raised. Please help me escape this place.
Share and donate please
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Anonymous said...

ihateottawa.blogspot.com

You aren't alone in hell.

Anonymous said...

I just moved here recently from Vancouver. We moved here because my husband got a job and Vancouver was insanely expensive. After 1 1/2 month I had enough of Ottawa. While I have a good and transferable profession, have a provincial registration, after almost a year of looking for and applying for a position,I was totally ignored. No job.What I experienced here pretty similar to the previous posters. People are unfriendly, anal retentive, can not even handle a small joke, the service is low grade, the residential towers are frightening, the streets are dirty, buses are substandard.
I wonder if this town is full of Man In Black characters, outside humans, but inside only aliens. It is a very strange little town which is a disgrace to the whole nation. I was hoping I could start a new chapter of my life here, but I do not want to stay here any longer. Back on the West Coast ppl told me that moving here will be a big change for me, I just could not believe it. Now I know it not just believe it! It is worse that some of the cities behind the Iron Curtain! Where the hell did I end up? In Hell? In Hell!!!

Anonymous said...

The bad driver aspect can't be stressed enough. In Toronto, you put your turn signal on, and you damn well merge, because people recognize your situation, and allow you to do so. In Ottawa, "What? How dare they try to merge IN FRONT of me! What say we hold up traffic in protest? Yes, let's. How dare that individual try to merge into MY lane, I will do my utmost to prevent them from performing such a belligerent act, and thus, accelerate directly into their blind spot."

Goofs

Anonymous said...

Hi!
I moved from Montreal to Cornwall in 2008 and I have only good to say about Cornwall, super friendly, I was shocked to have people smile at me and say hello when walking in the park or on the street. Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed the two years that was there.I had plenty of friends and staff in stores were friendly plus I had everything I needed around me except for clothes shopping. Montreal was there for that, just as hour away. Sad to say, I moved to Ottawa for work. I made sure I had a job before I got here and was fortunate to get a work from home job.
It's been 3 years now. I still have no friends, though I can't say I'm depressed, I feel dead inside, not sad, just no fire. It took 2 years for someone to reply when I say hello in my apartment building. Asking for directions on the street seems to be a sin.As a Welcome Wagon representative I have a lot to do with business people and their receptionists, and boy oh boy talk about condescending. Many of them treat you like the help at the best and are most always very expedient. The welcoming smiles don't last long in Ottawa before they want to see the back of you. At the beginning it made me really sad and I felt so isolated. I've gradually learned to go with the flow and do my own thing. There is nothing I'd like better than to go back to Cornwall, but now I had to quit my job because it was costing me more than I was making. Most jobs in Ottawa are sales, service or government, none of which fit my qualifications. So glad to see that I'm not alone, that helps.

Anonymous said...

Truly unbelievably boring for a city this size. A remarkable achievement.

Anonymous said...

Hi I think someone used my email to post a comment on here. Can someone tell me how to contact the bloggers of this (couldn't find how to do it for either of them) so I can tell you which user name it was. Thanks.

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Anonymous said...

I have lived in Ottawa my whole life, 26 years total. I am glad I there are more people out there who also hate this city. I am already looking to move away. This place is boring, expensive and less exciting by the day. Also be careful how you approach people or what kinda jokes you like to crack because everyone has to prove how tough they are in this town. I will be moving to the southern states, I don't know if the rest of Canada is this bad but I am not risking it when everything is so much cheaper and taxes are way lower down there. I can do without the healthcare for now.

Anonymous said...

While walking home from my job I had some loser heading-to-prison guy come up to me and belch in my face. Time to write a comment.

I have been living in Ottawa my whole life and happened to come across an amazing job by default. With only a couple of years until retirement I can't wait to move away. Having travelled extensively throughout the world I can say that the rudeness here is incredible. Although people seem to be pointing to civil servant coldness as the brunt of this rudeness I believe that it is the drug addict/trailer park aspect of this city that contributes to its vulgarity. Mass transit is horrible. Taking the buss is hell. After a horrible incident with a bus driver in 2009 I still follow up on responses from the city/transit commission for a response knowing that I am never going to get one. My city alderman never responds to anything. Renegade cyclists feel free to drive down sidewalks threatening pedestrians. Walking down a street subjects you to verbal assaults by cars passing by on the street. I have walked down the street in my overrated neighbourhood of the Glebe and been unnecessarily accused of stalking by female pedestrians. And don't get me started about the boogers on the washroom stalls...

The market has become a cesspool of misery and drug addiction.

Anonymous said...

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post here and I think for once I won’t make this too long winded. People will argue anyways, regardless of how well I make my point.

I’ve lived in Ottawa proper since 2007 and I gotta say, I’ve given it a good try. I’ve experienced the city in varying situations. Pre-college living downtown, post college living in Gatineau, and then in Aylmer, now in the upper class west end. I’ve experienced the city from varying points of view, in varying life situations, I have tried again and again to give this place a fair shake and I get mud in the face every time. Enough is enough.

There is enough issues here to make it a very unpleasant place to live and I’ve boiled it down. A large % of the population seems to be passive aggressive, argumentative, void of personality, intimidated by the success of others, unsupportive, disengaged and generally unpleasant. The goal of many individuals seems to be outwardly focused on taking those around them down a notch rather than to exert the effort needed to advance themselves.

I’m currently in the process of making solid plans to leave the city and move to a place with generally good karma and a population a little less butt hurt and a bit more introspective.

Expecting the response that not all cities are perfect, I can acknowledge that. It is true that no matter where you go there will be people that will cause problems and various other aggravations. However, you have to be able to judge the extent of this. Just as not all relationships are perfect, some are better than others, some are downright abusive.

The “relationship” that I have had with the city of Ottawa is one that, if it were a romance, nobody would hesitate to recommend ending it. As a hometown, it is an unfit one with a heavy dose of psychological and verbal abuse, unrelenting and unprovoked. This place will drag you down on every level.

Anonymous said...

I respect that some people may like Ottawa as they may have been born or raised here and this is their home or their personality is more appropriate for this city.

I can only speak of my experience and that of people based upon what I know of them and/or what they have told me: I have never come across such strange people in my life. I have used the term 'weird' myself to describe them. I have lived in several cities, different countries and no place is perfect but for me, Ottawa's weaknesses or what I perceive to be weaknesses are too much for me. The people here in my opinion are socially stunted (I mean the people born and raised). They only have friends from their childhood and will not expand beyond those friends. Anyone else are strangers mostly.

I cannot tell you how easy it was for me to make friends in other cities and when I came here, after a year, I started to think the problem was me. Somehow I had lost the ability to make friends but then I spoke to honestly 200 people over several years and everyone said the same thing: people here don't make friends with you if you are not already within their circle of childhood friends. Every 'normal' person I have met have been from outside of Ottawa. I am not trying to be mean but by normal I mean, friendly, willing to open up and invite you in their lives.

I know countless people who left because they could not stand how unfriendly the city is. By unfriendly, I don't mean rude. People are very polite but they will not go beyond a certain depth in their interactions with you. It seems to me that non-Ottawa people can live here for years and have zero friends born and raised here. I do believe that people are socially stunted.

I am not trying to be vicious. It actually makes me sad to have to seen all this. There are good sides to the city but if you are social, friendly person, this is a very lonely place.

Anonymous said...

This place is so lifeless they should send astronauts here to train for Mars landings.

Anonymous said...

I came to Ottawa for university a couple of months ago and I have never been so sad in my life. Like most people here, I found this blog by googling "why ottawa sucks" . I find alot of citizens here defend the city to death but will not take the time to show people from other cities why Ottawa is suposedly so cool and quirky but unappreciated like they're trying to keep the fun stuff to themselves or something. Anyways, I'm really releived that I found this blog because I'm feeling more and more like an alien in this very odd city

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to clearly define exactly why Ottawa sucks, but sucks it definitely does. All you have to do is leave Ottawa for a few days, get far enough away, then come back, and you'll see it. The people have sort of a repressed, miserable quality.

Anonymous said...

As a second generation Haitian Canadian, a large reason why I dislike this place is the lack of diversity. For a sizeable city with a significant amout of immigrants you would think that there would be an established community. But everytime I speak to a native Ottawa citizen about the lack of diversity they always respond with something like " yeah but there's a bunch of Africans and Lebanese people here". And that's about it. Unlike Toronto where immigrants communities have estabilished a strong and for the most part, positive identiy in the city, here people just regard them a nuisance and every ethnic person gets lummped in one group and labelled immigrant. Although I was technically a minroity in Toronto, I never felt like one because each ethnic community had a presence. In Ottawa, I feel like a colour and it makes me feel small. I am by no means trying to antagonize white people but its pretty pathetic how little of a presence other ethnic groups have in this city

Brighat said...

Ottawa still sucks. Not only do we have bad winter weather, uneven summer weather and nothing to do outside of gambling at casinos but now Ottawa has a gun problem. It's not even safe now. I'm stuck in this awful city while other people live in great towns like Calgary, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sydney and even St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. I blame it on the dorky mayor Jim Watson, French-Canadians and Queen Victoria.

Anonymous said...

Well aren't you an idiot...Toronto the capital..really lol

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Toronto and I've lived in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Yellowknife. I've now been in Ottawa for about three years and the amount of random nastiness I see day to day frankly blows my mind. I'm not saying that everyone in Ottawa are assholes but there certainly appears to be a disproportionately large number of them!

Barber shoppe said...

"As an outsider to this town and now living here, working and attending school, Ottawa SUCKS. Badly. The people are grumpy, uptight, self-centered, and cheap. The drivers are idiots and can't shoulder check let alone multi-task, i.e. check mirrors AND drive at the same time. 40 km an hour everywhere they drive?! Or 140 on the highway about to plow into you should you decide to signal and try to change lanes, then finger you. The food sucks here, public establishments are sub-par for the most part, and the flat characterless nature of the town speaks volumes. Wonder why there are no photos of Ottawa other than that of parliament and the Canal in brochures and on websites? Because to show suburbia on a flat plain with huge power lines running through them with concrete government drab buildings and big box store plazas would be a tourism mistake. This town needs a serious kickstart and a massive injection of culture. This town bites."

Well I hope after all that time you got some common sense and went back to the welfare line in the village you came from son. Have fun in life!

Anonymous said...

LOL. You what is more pathetic then living in Ottawa, is all you pathetic losers whining and bitching about living in Ottawa!! Fuck people - if you need a reality check then pack up your shit and leave dammit! Nobody wants your lazy, arrogant and self-entitled bony ass there anyway. Boring is in the eye of the beholder. Go back to your country farms in Alberta or your over-populated cesspool in Vancouver. Oh wait, you're probably from Montreal right? An economically deprived, seemingly over-rated wasteland void of any promising infrastructure. Plus while we are at it. how about a pile socially retarded degenerates to boot. Fuck wakeup, you live in Quebec, the world hates you!! And then there is TO and the toxic wasteland that engulfs the Golden Horseshoe because the idiots there 50-years ago didn't have the stones or the brains to envision urban growth and development?? Fucking retards. Lemme see; traffic chaos, broken TTC lines,outrageous housing prices, flat boring and ugly topography, construction every-fucking-where, rude, arrogant and UGLY people! The list goes on... What a hole!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous "02 December, 2012 14:47"

I'd gladly pay your plane ticket if you promise me you'll go back to your hut in Africa! Get the fuck out of my country and stop with your insufferable hate you little asshole!!

Anonymous said...

I've travelled all over South America, Europe, USA & Canada.
I have lived in Peru., Miami, Texas, England & Sadly now live in SHITHOLE BORING Ottawa Ontario Capital city of SHIT.
I have had a very interesting happy enjoyable life everywhere but in shitty Ottawa should be renamed BORINGVILLE.
Ottawa SHITHOLE city is truly the place that fun forgot. Everything is truly BORING in Ottawa. If you want to die of boredom look at Ottawa. Look at the old People totally lonely and miserable at your shopping malls. Summers in Ottawa way to short , freezing miserable disgusting cold winters way too long. Ottawa truly sucks . People in Ottawa are IGNORANT losers all they talk about is beer drugs smoking or boring hockey lol . Ever heard of reading oh no not these Ottawa folk they are truly proud to be BORING & IGNORANT.
So if you are brainless go live in Boringville Ottawa you might actually enjoy it HAHAHA. Shopping Malls Restaurant & Sewage infested Rideau River which these fools call beaches & swim in it in summer DISGUSTING. I HATE Ottawa I cannot wait to get the hell out of this MISERABLE place. Don't move to Ottawa you will HATE IT. Ottawa is the place you go to die of misery.

Anonymous said...

Probably the best comment:

An immigrant’s experience in Canada:

The Canadian government solicits potential immigrants and dupes them into bringing their skills and money to Canada. It advertises the country to people from other countries, mainly for their money; each prospective economic immigrant has to bring with them minimum $10,000. It’s a scam but then again so is everything else in Canada. When the Canadian govt is engaged in such a scam you can only imagine the extent to which the average Canadian individual is also involved in a scam of their own to survive, everything from phoney govt jobs to independent immigration consultants. Every Canadian is involved in some kind of a scam. Fraud is a way of life in Canada and you have to do your part just to pay the bills to extortionist utility, rent, insurance companies, etc. If you come with the mentality – as immigrants erroneously do – that this is a developed country and expect an efficient and competent system you will be greatly mistaken: Malfeasance is the call of the day in Canada.

Since the country’s economy largely depends on service, and Canada no longer a manufacturing country, the best show in town in terms of gainful employment is a govt job. That requires “networking” – code word for FAVORITISM in Canada – forget about best qualified person getting the job. In many respects Canada is a developing country. There’s a disconnect between the political class and the average person (which explains the immigration disaster, among other common fundamentally flawed and corrupt practices).

Canadians are cold and standoffish. Nothing happens and everybody keeps it to themselves. It’s the most socially inept country in the world. Since it’s socially dead country one becomes accustomed to abnormal behavior. Canada lacks national identity and national culture. Subsequently everyone identifies with the country of their parents or great parents’ origin. Forget about assimilation and adapting to Canada, you cannot assimilate and adapt to an unreceptive environment. Consequently racial attitudes are behind 30-40 years, say the United States. Which is really unfortunate because the country’s population is aging at an incredible rate, and the average immigrant stays for a few years and eventually leaves. (40% of all immigrants to Canada at any given year leave so within a few years – Statscan.) To augment this the govt typically brings in even more people. There’s a continuous flow of “new” arrivals filling the position of those who have come and gone.

Major cities, namely Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, are decaying socially and economically. Heavy drinking, drug use and other social problems are rampant along with crumbling infrastructure. But people in Canada don’t discuss issues of national importance, they lack coherent objective national discourse. People complain and say what they think they’re supposed to say, or, more accurately, say what they think will make them sound smart. Whether inferiority complex or other social deformity, people in Canada dislike constructive criticism and altruism. They remain risk averse to a fault, so problems fester. Everyone simply prefers to pretend everything is nice and dandy.

Anonymous said...

Been here 16 months and will be leaving as soon as I can. Unfriendly people who are anti-social and rude. Most walk around with earbuds, texting and ignoring everything and everyone around and they must believe this is normal. Guess they found their own way of coping. I'm leaving before I turn into an Ottawa robot that only lives for a government job!

CuzYNot said...

The reason why Ottawa sucks so much is because everyone is sad to live there.

Anonymous said...

OMG, what a relief to see SO many people hating Ottawa! I just returned to Montreal from Ottawa. WORST city everrrrr!! The bars sucks, people seems to have a stick up their asses. Everyone seems to be LOVING "the market", which completely sucked balls too. I went to the Rockcliffe Boathouse Marina - a BUNCH a snobby peeps, wannabes, food was disgusting too!! No cultural diversities much as well! I thought Ottawa would be better than Toronto, now, I know that TO is def better than Ottawa!! Will probably never go back to this city!

Anonymous said...

Yep, this city is trash and so are the people who live here. I'm a gay dude, average looking at best. I can't walk anywhere without being psychotically stared at/called a faggot/threatened with violence all over minding my business. Fucking warped and morbid values people have here. Extremely superficial and lacking in human decency. I'm always confused when on the rare occasion I'm met with kindness from a stranger.

Anonymous said...

Yes anon is sooooo right...a boring politically correct, unimaginative rat hole! Transit station elevators always out of service, smelling of shit and urine. Buses always late. A mayor who never rides the buses but who constantly spouts politically correct jibberish about how things will be so much better when (and if) the lrt is built....no spaces for public music or entertainment...everything revolves around the federal government...no industry...a giant golf course with nanny state twerps shouting orders on transit public address systems..almost orwellian in its cold, calculating monotony...the poor are simply ignored...bmws mercedes benz and other high priced vehicles racing around the streets at top speed without regard for pedestrian safety..any self-respecting person would be well advised to leave this shit hole..for good!

Anonymous said...

Have lived here for 35 years of my life. Have visited Calgary, Banff, Montreal, Toronto, Baltimore, New York/Brooklyn, and Florida. Ottawa is by far the coldest, rudest, most stuck up place of them all. I can always tell a newcomer or tourist just by how friendly or outgoing they are in public. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, it was a boring, bland government town, but seemed cleaner, safer and had decent city services. Now its a boring, bland government town that is dirty, unsafe, full of gang activity, swarmings, shootings...Herongate, South Keys, and Bayshore are basically ghettos. And the Byward Market is overrated.