Winterlude 2020

Celebrate Canadian winter! The annual Winterlude festival in Ottawa begins January 31st to February 17th this year.

The event is FREE! You can view the ice sculptures, skate on the famous Rideau Canal Skateway, and visit some of Ottawa's favourite neighbourhoods featuring food & drink. This is the perfect event for students and young professionals to enjoy and explore the city!

Check out the activities at the following destinations:

Sparks Street

Sparks Street was the first permanent open pedestrian mall in North America. Just a few steps from Parliament Hill, this promenade is a great destination all year round. In 2020, it will be the main hub of the Winterlude festivities in Ottawa, with lighting effects and interactive light structures.

Don’t miss Winterlude’s Kick-Off Party on January 31, featuring Sarahmée, DJ NDN and Virginia to Vegas. The evening will also include a special number to highlight the important role that the Métis Nation played in Manitoba's entry into Confederation 150 years ago.

For the first time, Sparks Street will host ice-carving challenges: the Winterlude International Ice Carving Challenge, the Winterlude Battle of the Americas Ice Carving Challenge and the Canadian Ice Carvers Society’s Ice-Carving Speed Challenge.

 

Bank Street

Bank Street has had a commercial vocation since the late 19th century. People still shop here today, but they also visit the lively street for its good food and entertainment. Shops, restaurants, nightclubs and theatres... You’re sure to have a good time on Bank Street!

Melt away the winter blues as Bank Street hosts its Fire & Ice Festival. Come celebrate the warmth and the chill of the winter season with great food, drinks, dancing and live music.

 

ByWard Market

Established in 1826, the ByWard Market is one of Canada's oldest and largest public markets. All year round, day and night, the area buzzes with activity! Discover pretty shops and various restaurants, and visit the National Gallery of Canada.

During Winterlude, take in the fun with activities such as gourmet tours, the famous Stew Cook-off and the 40th Accora Village Kiwanis Bed Race.

 

The Glebe

The Glebe has a rich and fascinating history. The Aberdeen Pavilion, built in 1898, stands at the centre of Lansdowne Park. Today, shopping, dining and entertainment make it one of Canada's Capital Region's preferred gathering places.

Discover Snowmania and find out why the neighbourhood has become the “snowman capital of the planet”, and warm up with a retro roller disco in the Aberdeen Pavilion!

 


5 Tips for Holiday Hosting on a Budget

Hosting a holiday party is a great way to show your appreciation for those you love, but it can also break the bank. Have you seen how much cheese costs these days?! Budget-conscious doesn’t have to mean boring though. See our 5 tips below on hosting a festive but frugal fête!

  1. Use pantry staples for your main to cut costs
    Who doesn’t love a hot stew or chili on a cold night? A homemade spaghetti sauce with some dried pasta would also work really well here! You can feed a lot of people without breaking the bank and pantry meals come together relatively quickly with just a few pantry staples. Bonus points if you can just throw in the slow cooker, freeing you up to concentrate on the rest of the party.
  2. Make it a potluck
    The classic money-saving party tip! Have your guests each bring something to lessen the load. You can make it a themed night, ex. everyone brings a component for tacos, assign dishes to different guests, or let them surprise you and bring whatever they want! Just make sure you end up with some variety and not five desserts and no appetizers...
  3. Curate your guest list
    Your instinct might be to invite everyone on your friend list, but try to keep it to the people who really bring you joy. Consider the number of people who can fit comfortably in your space, the cost of food for that number of people and if everyone you plan to invite will get along well together. Celebrate the season with those you (actually) love!
  4. DIY the decorations
    Everyone wants to have an Insta-worthy party, but those elaborate centrepieces and name cards can add up. Try to decorate with pieces you already have or with simple crafts you’ve created yourself. Simple is key here, you can spend just as much on craft supplies (or more!) than buying something if you're not careful.
  5. Serve only one signature cocktail
    Fact: alcohol is expensive. Cut costs by offering your guests one seasonal cocktail option rather than a whole bar cart of variety. We recommend something slow-cooker mulled wine or hard cider for that festive feel. Or don’t serve any alcohol at all and just have it BYOB!

Your Guide To Ottawa’s New LRT

Ottawa’s long-awaited Light Rail Transit (LRT) has finally opened! Here’s everything you need to know about riding the train:

Where does it go?

The new Confederation Line (Line 1) runs from Tunney’s Pasture in the west to Hurdman in the east. The route is designed to make it easier for commuters to hop on the train and come downtown rather than waiting around for buses that never seem to show up on time. Starting October 6th, the Transitway will no longer run many bus routes through downtown to reduce traffic in the core. Here are all the stations along Confederation Line, from west to east:

Tunney’s Pasture

Bayview (connection to Trillium Line/Line 2)

Pimisi (Lebreton Flats)

Lyon (underground tunnel)

Parliament (underground tunnel)

Rideau (underground tunnel)

uOttawa

Lees

Hurdman

Tremblay (VIA Rail station)

St. Laurent

Cyrville

Blair

A Phase 2 is also in the works that will bring the LRT further out into Ottawa’s suburbs. Stay tuned for the next development!

 

When does it run?

According to the OC Transpo website, the hours of operations will be:

Monday - Thursday 5am - 1am
Friday 5am - 2am
Saturday 6am - 2am
Sunday & Holidays 8am - 11pm

The train should arrive every 5 minutes or less during peak times (usually 6am - 9am and 3pm - 6pm on weekdays), with frequent service throughout the day and every 15 minutes after midnight. You should be able to make it from one end of the line to the other within 25 minutes total.

 

How do I pay for my ride?

Presto users rejoice, the fare gates at each station are fully equipped to accept e-purses and monthly passes. You can also buy tickets from audio- and video-enabled ticket machines or use your printed transfer. You simply tap or scan through the fare gates and you’re in! Head to your platform and enjoy the ride.


5 First Apartment Essentials You Don't Want To Forget

You’ve packed the entire contents of your room and you’re all ready to move into your first ever apartment! Not so fast, you need more than just your bed, some clothes and a dish set for a successful move-in day. Check out our 5 essential items you might not have thought to pack (or buy!) below:

 

1. Toolkit

You might think that the Allen key that came with your IKEA bookshelf is enough to get you through, but you’ll definitely need some basic supplies to put together the rest of your furniture, including your decorations. Make sure you include a hammer, screwdriver, nails and wall hooks.

2. Shower curtain

Nobody wants to finish a long, sweaty day of moving only to realize they don’t have a shower curtain (or rings to hang it with!). This may seem like an obvious purchase, but definitely not one you want to forget. You should probably pick up a bath mat and some towels too!

3. Toilet paper

Possibly the first thing you’ll ever need in your new apartment and yet somehow still easily forgotten when you’re used to grabbing a new roll from the closet at home. Don’t be that person who has to use pizza napkins on their first night in their new place…

4. First aid kit

Moving can be tough and sometimes accidents happen. Scraped your knee on the stairs? Be prepared with some first aid basics including bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment and anti-inflammatory pills! 

5. Cleaning supplies

Your apartment should already be clean when you move in… but we highly recommend giving everything a fresh scrub just to be sure! You should include a broom, mop and bucket, multi-surface cleaner, toilet brush and cleaner, dish soap and sponge, garbage bags and cans, laundry detergent and hand soap. Feel free to add a vacuum if you have carpets!

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what you’ll need to make your apartment feel like home, but with these 5 apartment essentials you’ll be well on your way to a clean and comfortable start in your brand new place. Good luck with your move!


Making the Most of Your Balcony Space

Summer is in full swing in Ottawa and we couldn’t be more excited to soak up all the rays and Vitamin D. Finding time to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine can be difficult with a busy schedule but luckily you have an escape just outside your living room; your balcony. Here are some tips to turn your balcony into a sweet slice of heaven!

 

Affordable Flooring

Concrete flooring can often make a space cold and uninviting. Try laying out some interlocking deck tiles that are easy to install and easy to remove. You can even find fast drying deck rugs that’ll be soft on your feet and easy on your bank account.

Add some leafy friends!

Greenery will make any space feel more welcoming and will add scenery to your morning coffee or after work unwinding session. Ottawa has plenty of knowledgeable local shops that can get you set up with plants that’ll thrive in your lighting conditions. Flowers Talk Tivoli, Plant & Curio and Blumen Studio can help you with all your planting needs and questions.

Compact Furniture

Tight on square footage? Don’t take up more space than you need to! Try incorporating stackable or foldable furniture that you can break out when needed, but won’t clutter your space when you’re not hosting. 

Durability


Invest in some fabrics and protective materials that will keep you from having to repurchase new furniture every year. Furniture made of teak, cedar or redwood is naturally rot-resistant. Synthetic wicker is typically made to be weatherproof. Make sure you have somewhere to store your cushions to keep mould from developing if it rains.


The Best Spots For Father's Day Pints

Take Dad out for his favourite refreshment this weekend: Beer. Stop by for a pour at our top 4 picks of pint providers!

 

 

 

The Third - 1017 Wellington St W

The Third has quite the impressive selection of craft beers at their bar and flowing from their tap. If your Dad considers himself to be somewhat of a beer connoisseur, he’ll find himself with an overload of options to choose from. Hop on down to Wellington Street for great beer, food and atmosphere at The Third!

 

 

The Waverley - 339 Elgin St

The Waverley is the perfect sweet spot of chilled drinks and easy socializing. Barman George is an avid craft brewer with extensive knowledge of mixology and custom cocktail crafting. Catering to a wide variety of crowds, The Waverley’s menu has something for everyone and every Dad. Their flatbreads are especially excellent for sharing.

Carleton Tavern - 223 Armstrong St

One of the oldest bars in the capital (operating for 80+ years), the Carleton Tavern has good-ole fashion fun and pricing that can’t be beaten. You can find all walks of life and all-ages in attendance. The staff are always friendly and welcoming and their food specials remain unmatched in bang-for-the-buck. Bring Dad here if you’re planning to make yourself comfortable for the afternoon or night.

Clocktower Glebe Brew House - 575 Bank St

The Brew House is the flagship Clocktower location, established in 1996. Visited their newly renovated Tap Room fully equipped with 16 Draft Taps along with 75″ Smart TV’s. Our personal pint and food recommendations? Their Bytown Brown is perfect to accompany any steak or burger dinner while their Raspberry Wheat is an extremely drinkable, crisp, refreshing anytime beer.

 


Local Plant Boutiques In Ottawa 🌿

Spring is the perfect time to get your indoor & outdoor spaces ready for the Summer!

Here's our top picks of local plant boutiques you need to visit this spring to add colour to your space:

 

Blumen Studio:

Located at 465 Parkdale Avenue, this florist + cafe creates some of the most beautiful floral arrangements and plants to make your apartment totally Instagram worthy this Spring. Blumen Studio is your go-to for events, weddings and even deliveries! With supreme selectivity, style & elegance, Blumen Studio offers unprecedented floral artistry in each arrangement and a contemporary selection of home & lifestyle items. Alive with heart, modern flair, integrity and a lush juxtaposition of ever-evolving products, owner Kat Kosk's choices reflect an uncompromising sense of refinement evocative fresh, friendly and fulfilling.

For more: www.blumentstudio.ca

 

Plant & Curio:

Located at 173 Preston St, Plant & Curio is Preston's cutest shop of house plants and handmade accessories for the plant obsessed! Owners Leslie and Gen met 8 years ago, but only surfaced their passion and love for house plants in the last year. Occasionally dreaming about how they'd love to have a plant shop of their own, Leslie discovered a spot for rent on Preston that made this dream a now-reality! Plant & Curio also offers a selection of handmade pottery by local artists and is pet-conscious with labeling their plants for what is safe for your fur-babies!

For more, visit www.plantandcurio.com

 

Scrim's Florist:

For over 100 years, Scrim's Florist in Ottawa has been creating elegant flower designs for all occasions. The quality of their hand-selected fresh flowers and plants are sure to please those with the most discriminating tastes. That history doesn't just make them old, it makes them experienced and with that experience comes beautiful arrangements made just for you. Find Scrim's Florist located at 262 Elgin St.

For more: https://www.scrimsflorist.com

 

 


Renter’s Insurance 101

If you're a renter, you may be at risk for loss or liability issues. The easiest preventative measure for these risks is to get renter's insurance. Keep reading to ensure that you're prepared to provide your Ottawa Apartment a strong defense for any potential hazards.

Coverage Inclusions

One of the main questions that you may have when considering getting renter’s insurance is, what does it cover? Every renter should have some type of insurance. Learn what the average plan covers to help you determine if you need any additional coverage. One of the main points of renter’s insurance is to protect your belongings. Basic insurance covers the theft of your belongings and events such as hail, fire, rain, or wind storm - flood and earthquakes can require extra coverage. Additionally, opt for a coverage plan that will pay for lodgings in the event that you are required to leave your apartment. These basic plans also provide coverage for injuries that another person might sustain in your apartment.

Pet Coverage

Renter’s insurance can be very important, particularly if you have a pet. If you’re insured, you’re likely covered for medical payments, legal fees, and any settlement, up to coverage limits. When you search for the best renters insurance, be open about your needs and don’t expect any animal will be covered, as there are some that are generally uninsurable. Some of the blacklisted breeds include Pitbulls, Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Presa Canarios, Chows chows, Doberman Pinschers, etc.

Cost of Renter’s Insurance

Renter's insurance is generally relatively affordable. The average renter can expect to pay between $100 and $250 per year ($15 to $30 per month), depending on where you live and the coverage amount of your selected insurance policy. You can choose different levels of insurance coverage. If you want insurance for all risks versus specific incidents, your insurance could cost more. Cost depends on many things including how much insurance you need, the location of your apartment, how your unit or apartment was constructed, your insurance company, your claims history, etc. Before settling on an insurance provider, shop around or talk to a professional who can compare prices for you.

How Much Your Stuff is Worth

When registering for renter’s insurance, you’ll need to determine how much the possessions in your apartment are worth. To make it easier, there are inventory apps and sites that will help you log, price and track all of your items. You can also create a spreadsheet with this information. Not having a proper inventory report can hurt you in the long run. This is an important step to do early on as it will dictate how much insurance you need to buy. Having this data on hand is also helpful if you need to file a claim. Don’t forget to keep receipts for big-ticket items, and take photos of all of the possessions you may need to claim.

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


Tips for Owning Plants in Your Ottawa Apartment

The last few months of winter can cast a dreary shadow and damp chill over an average day. Brighten up your life from the inside out by filling your Ottawa Apartment with a little bit of life. If you’ve had trouble keeping plants alive in the past, don’t be discouraged! Follow these tips to keep plants growing big and strong:

Time is of the Essence

The most important thing to consider when considering purchasing plants for your apartment is the time that you are willing and able to invest in caring for them. A plant is not a piece of furniture but rather a living, growing organism that needs adequate and consistent attention. In order to attend to their basic needs, you will need to set aside time regularly. Certain plants require more care than others and based off of how much time you have, it may be necessary to select one that requires minimal care. In order to boost your confidence as a new plant owner, choose plants such as Cacti and Succulents that are less demanding.

Choose Wisely

In places where natural light and space is limited, it is important to select a plant that is well equipped to handle these conditions. Sturdy plants are easier to come by then you might think, but it's important to do adequate research to ensure that you select the best one you’re your apartment. Depending on the amount of space that you are working with and access to sunlight, it may also be important to select plants that take up minimal floor space and thrive off of limited sun exposure. Some examples of plants that fit these characteristics and may be ideal for your Ottawa Apartment include Snake Plants, Succulents, Aloe Vera, Air Plants, Cacti, Spider Plants, and Ficus Trees.

Location, Location, Location

As much as we want a plant to look great in our space, if we want them to thrive in an indoor environment, prioritizing their needs is necessary. It is important to look at your space as a whole, considering how the temperature, light, and humidity within the space changes throughout the day (and from season to season). Different plants prefer different environments, so place them strategically throughout your apartment – according to what suits them best. Many houseplants such as Air Plants and Ferns respond well to humidity. As such, a surprisingly ideal location for them and various others in the bathroom. Consider investing in a humidifier for rooms that you intend to fill with plants. Alternatively, keep plants away from A/C and heating units. Don’t forget to do ample research regarding the sunlight required by each plant – some may thrive in a window sill or near direct sunlight, while others prefer to be kept primarily in the shade.

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.


Maximize Space in the Bathroom of Your Ottawa Apartment

Renting an apartment doesn't being you can't have the bathroom of your dreams! Keep reading for the top tips to making the most of the bathroom space in your Ottawa Apartment:

Open Up Floor Space

With limited space to move around inside your apartment’s bathroom, the last thing you want is additional clutter occupying your floor. When organizing and furnishing your bathroom, think vertical. Install shelves and hooks to open wall space to keep necessary items within reach and out of the way. Be careful, as some landlords have restrictions concerning holes in the walls. In order to avoid making unwanted damage, opt for floating shelves or command hooks.

Move Towel Racks to an Unused Area

Towel racks are an important part of any bathroom, used to hang hand towels and bulky bath towels. Hanging these in a central area of the bathroom can occupy a large amount of space and make the room look smaller than it actually is. Hang towel racks on the back of the bathroom door, or on the wall to the side of the sink. It may also be wise to hang larger towels in a separate area, such as in your bedroom or closet.

Take Advantage of Shower Space

In order to eliminate clutter in drawers and on shelves throughout the bathroom, try installing hooks and shelves on the walls in your shower to hang items such as loofas and washcloths. This will not only save space on other surfaces but will keep items accessible during your showers. Additionally, in order to store more items, try installing suction cup shelves or a decorative shower caddy.

Bonus Tip: One of the quickest ways to spruce up a rental bathroom is to change out the old shower head for a new one.

Brighten-Up Space

Swapping out incandescent light bulbs for LED lights will not only brighten up your space but will save you money on your monthly energy bill. You can also brighten up space by choosing neutral décor. Choosing light-colored shower curtains, bath mats, and hand towels, in good quality materials (to ensure that they stay looking fresh and well-maintained) will help your bathroom look renewed and refurbished.

What Else Can You Do?

The Ottawa Apartments team has compiled a list of additional steps that you can take to make any apartment bathroom look brand new:

  • Deep clean areas that are normally lacking in attention such as the space behind the toilet, cupboard doors, grout, etc.
  • Swap out the toilet seat.
  • Paint the walls (if your rental agreement allows it).
  • Replace the hardware (if you are planning on staying long term).

Ottawa Apartment has connections with over 7,000 apartment locations across the city. With our search tool, all you’ve got to do is tell us what you’re looking for—we’ll take care of the rest. And, it’s 100% free! Click here to find your dream apartment today.