Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ottawa for visitors for Blooming Writer

Blooming Writer proposed a geographical meme for garden bloggers. To read the true spirit of it, please visit.

Written as a bad poem (yes, that's the title)

I am supposed to entice you
With tales in a nice hue
But the snow's left me in a bind
Making me colourblind

Oh yes Ottawa is for growers
Who need a break from flowers
A six month looong break
from the slavery of the rake

However when finally there is a thaw
It is with rapid building awe
That life struggles to grow fast
Before winter's next white blast

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The end

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On a more serious note, Ottawa is Canada's capital though the merit of that is debated hotly between the larger and more metropolitan cities of Vancouver (west coast), Toronto (centre of the world, I mean Canada) and la belle ville Montreal (french Canada).

As it is not as large as most cities that are also capitals, it is a bureaucrat town where, unlike in most of Canada, a huge amount of the population is somewhat bilingual. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say, almost all the francophones* are bilingual**, and the anglophones* who speak french like linguistic geniuses compared to much of Canada feel a lot of language guilt***.

There are lots of expensive restaurants and boutiques, as well as a fair number of museums here making it a fairly intersting tourist destination. It also has its share of festivals including Winterlude, the Tulip Festival and Fall Rhapsody (or is that actually Hull's festival... sorry I mean Gatineau****).

It is very sporty place what with all the skating, cross country skiing, cycling and running. There is also a lot of green space to walk your dog or self. However, I am not really the person to ask as I have only lived here for four years, all of that either pregnant or with small children so I don't get out much.

But please, come for a visit. People in Canada are mostly friendly!

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* Canadian word for french speakers who are also culturally french. Anglophone means english speaker who is probably of anglo-saxon descent or 'pathetically uniligual' P.S. I am an anglophone. Occasionally the -phone ending is used to refer to other languages such as spanophone but normally those people are stuffed awkwardly in the anglophone box.
** bilingual in Canada often refers to french / english speakers which are the two official languages in Canada.
*** The use of anglophone and francophone of course unfairly lumps all of Canada into two categories, ignoring all the others that speak many, many, many other languages, and could also be referred to as trilingual etc... and speak neither official language, one official language and others or both official languages and others!
****Hull (oo-l) is the original name of the francophone* town across the Ottawa River before it was amalgamated***** with various other nearby communities and called Gatineau (Gat-ee-no)
***** Amalgamated is a term referring to the often ludicrous grouping of towns for money saving political reasons that I don't entirely understand. It is usually protested but those protests are soundly ignored. When travelling to Ottawa by car, you reach the city limits side and look around saying 'hmmm, I didn't realize that the capital of Canada would be so rural'. In other words, you are still in the middle of the country without a smoke stack on the horizon.

11 comments:

jodi said...

Oh, GOOD SHOW! Like you, I'm feeling a little winter-beleaguered and whited-out...and I also agree with you that Ottawa is a fabulous city. Plus Gatineau Park is a jewel...I like Ottawa far, far better than Vancouver and Toronto, no question, and probably about tied with Montreal (I know more people in Montreal, though my former 'usband and his wife are being posted to Ottawa soon).
Awesome job!

Malva said...

To add to your *****: in French, we use the term allophone for the people who don't speak English or French. I'm sure I could find the root of the word but I'd rather think (as I have since I was a kid) that it's because the only French word they know is "allo".

Crafty Gardener said...

Ottawa is our favourite city to visit ... in the summer not the winter. I like you take on amalgamation of communities, rather like mine .. I'm in the country but it is really called a city!!!

guild-rez said...

One more city to visit during the summer..
Love your story and pictures.
Where do I live??
Please take a look,
Gisela
http://guildwood.blogspot.com

Curtis said...

Love the poem and story. If I ever make it to Canada, I have to visit your city.

Owin & Irena said...

i am glad someone understands that Toronto IS the centre of the world :)

Would love to make it to Ottawa some day. When my in-laws lived in Bancroft, Ottawa was only about a two hour drive away. But we never made it. Would love to see it in spring. Lots of tulips on the hill, no?

Cheers
irena

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Well I for one liked your poem! Definitely gave a sense of the place in which you garden. :)

jpiglet said...

Hello. I just stumbled onto your blog for the first time and it is great! Wonderful post on the Ottawa gardening experience as well. I am a beginner gardener in the Ottawa area and am looking for a garden plot for this spring. I can tell that I will be back to your blog often for gardening information and inspiration!

Jenn said...

*HOOTING with laughter*

Color me an awkward anglophone who LOVES your footnotes!

Cheers!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

LOL! Although Toronto is known as a "Second City," it sounds like Ottawa is the place with the "Second City complex." I'm also sick of seeing only white.

byrningbunny said...

I arrived her via GTS blogroll and very much enjoyed your description of bilingual in Canada. lol I'm sadly unilingual.

I'm on my way to read how you've kept your peppers warm enough to overwinter.