Ottawa: Technically Beautiful




Long time readers of the site might have been able to glean by now that I am Canadian. To anyone that this comes as a shock to, please take a minute, sit down, take some deep breaths, and know that I am sorry. I didn't mean to bring this down on you. We'll work through it together, and hopefully it won't come between us. Considering that you are, presumably, a hobo currently using this site as digital camouflage for the Korean pornography you are viewing in a public library, perhaps you shouldn't get too huffy about my ethnicity. Also, I can think of no satisfactory punchline to the set up "a Canadian and a homeless degenerate spend time on the internet together."

Eagle eyed readers might have also been able to put together that I spend a not insignificant amount of time in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. A capital that John Oliver took to task this week when he discovered the frankly unbelievable statistic that professional adultery site Ashley Madison has 190,000 registered users in Ottawa alone. This is a frankly ridiculous number for two reasons. 1) there are only 308 seats in Parliament. Even adding in the additional 105 Senate seats, that still does not account for the sheer amount of lechery suggested by those enrollment numbers (and no, I'm not suggesting that all Canadian politicians are lecherous, amoral scumbags. I'm suggesting that it is as a good a place to start looking as any).

And b) the population of Ottawa is only slightly less than 900,000. Fun fact: out of 243 national capitals, Ottawa's population of less than a million people ranks 92nd, between Malawi and Bolivia. Oliver is right in his maths claiming that would mean one out of five Ottawatans is looking to commit adultery. And yes, life in Ottawa can be a bit tedious. But I can guarantee that 1/5th of the population is not spending their Saturday nights looking for random, anonymous, extra marital sex on the internet. It is far more likely that 1/5th of the population is spending their Saturday nights standing at a bus stop in Little Italy, because the 85 only runs once every half hour after 5pm (seriously, OCTranspo, get that shit together. That is an artery route).

What I take issue with is the notion that Ottawa is a town that time forgot. Want to find a town that time forgot, travel a couple hundred kilometers south to the town of Kingston, a city so forgotten by time that Guillermo del Toro filmed some of Crimson Peak there because it hasn't changed in two hundred years. Yes, Ottawa can be an old fashion kind of town, but to act as Devil's Advocate for a moment, allow me to offer some counter points to the substandard winter clearing, the dirty river ice and fact that the city's climate is essentially limited to the Papa and Mama bear extremes.
  • What other nation's capital has a 4 square kilometer farm just in the middle of it? 
  • From 2006 to 2010, the mayor of Ottawa was Lex Luthor. Don't believe me, then check out his Wikipedia page
  • Ottawa is home to the BeaverTail, which is basically deep fried pizza dough covered in cinnamon sugar and slathered with maple syrup. They are delicious, and can also be purchased in South Korea and Japan. 
  • The Rideau Canal used to be the World's Longest Skating Rink, until the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg took the title. So the Rideau Canal was rebranded the World's Largest Skating Rink because fuck you Winnipeg
  • Once, when I was in college, I started walking down the frozen canal and kept going for no reason in particular. At some point, I started suffering from snow blindness, blacked out, and came too on the O-train at the Carleton campus. 
  • The year that Nathan Fillion came to comic-con, which is held in a convention centre near the airport with only a single entrance and only a single lane road leading to it, the resulting traffic snarl grindlocked the entire southern side of the city. Because the cause was something positive to the city's profile, no one really had a problem with it. 
  • Another time, when I was in college, a group of my friends decided to go to Chinatown for lunch. I opted out, preferring instead to go back to my room and watch reruns of MacGyver. When they came back, they all had downtrodden looks on their faces. I asked them how lunch was, at which point one of them reached into their pocket and produced a whole chicken's foot. Nothing else was explained. I kept the foot, and think it was later stolen by an ex-girlfriend. 
  • The Governor General (the Queen's representative) does not maintain a regular security detail, or at least didn't ten years ago when I, uh... well, there was a thing, and some stuff happened and I apologized and Adrienne Clarkson was a super nice lady. 
What else have I missed? Any Ottawa hobos out there, with some positive spin to put on Bytowne?
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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