Articles by: OLM StaffOLM Staff
Providing provocative, informative and entertaining information about life in Canada’s Capital. Join us in discovering Ottawa!

OLM Holiday Gift Guide 2016

November 18, 2016 4:14 pm
OLM Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Finding the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones can be a difficult task! OLM is here to help with our round-up of top gift ideas your friends and family are bound to love! Be sure to check back regularly as we update the list with more cool things!

Unique Gifts:

OTTAWA EXCLUSIVE: Give a sweet treat with a custom Nutella jar!
nutella-product-grouping-8Treat someone special to a delicious jar of creamy chocolatey, hazelnutty goodness that everybody loves! Starting November 24th 2016, Ottawa residents can purchase a unique 725g jar of Nutella customized with their first names for just $5.99 (while supplies last)! Perfect as a stocking stuffer or even as a one-of-a-kind treat to yourself, this gift is bound to please the sweet-tooths in your life!

These awesome custom jars can only be purchased at Sobeys Urban Fresh on 193 Metcalfe Street.

Find the Perfect Hand-Made Monkey– Or Customize Your Own!senators-hi-res

Start monkeying around with Missy’s Monkeys. Perfect for fans of any sport or comic book fandom, Missy’s Monkeys takes a cute traditional toy and adds a fun twist to make them even cuter. Each monkey is handmade by Missy Wanamaker and can be customized to a variety of image008fun designs!

Keep Cozy with Sunbeam Heated Throws
Stay toasty this winter with a Sunbeam luxe fur & Sherpa heated throw from Sunbeam. Powered with ThermoFine® technology, this throw features next level softness that’ll make you never want to leave your couch. Best of all, it’s machine-washable and comes with a 5-year limited warranty to ensure you warmth and comfort in the years to



Journey to another world with Shen Yun

Experience Shen Yun, the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company here in Ottawa. This masterpiece of a show will bring you through 5,000 years of China’s history through the rigorous, yet beautiful dance style of classical Chinese dance accompanied by a powerful orchestra. Shen Yun is an experience like no other and will be held at the NAC this upcoming January 7-8th 2017.

Give the Gift that Gives Back

crop-seeds-for-farmersThis holiday season, give your loved ones a gift that gives back to the world with World Vision. Choose from giving a physical gift handmade by artisans and sold at a fair trade value like a sparkling bracelet made in Indonesia, or choose a gift that’ll help those in need like an emergency care kit, or even crop seeds to help hungry families grow their own food all year round. With plenty of gifts to choose from in their gift catalogue, you’re bound to find the gift that’s just perfect for that certain someone!


For the Techie:

image-p5-2Bring Music with You with the LG Music Flow P5 Bluetooth Speaker

The LG Music Flow P5 Bluetooth Speaker offers a lot of power in it’s simplicity. Boasting 15 hours of battery life, the speaker also includes a fine balance of sound at any volume level. If looking for more, the speaker includes a dual play function to provide more sound with another speaker. It will also sync nicely with an LG TV or projector. More features are include with the Bluetooth LG app.  

Maximize Your Phone’s Camera with Limelenslimelens

Want to take awesome photos without having to carry a bulky camera and lens around? Limelens offers a compact way to transform your smart phone’s photo-taking capabilities at a fraction of the cost of professional lens. Each Limelens set comes with two lenses: The Thinker, a dual macro/wide angle lens, and The Captain, a supreme fisheye lens, that let you take awesome photos whenever and wherever you are!

Be Smart About Your Household Temperature with Wiser Air

Designed in Montreal with Canadian homeowners in mind, the Wiser Air Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat gives you total wiserair_appandthermostatcontrol over your home’s energy consumption and overall household temperatures—all straight from your mobile phone or tablet. Wiser Air uses Eco IQ learning algorithm with Schneider Electric’s top-ranked weather service to adjust the temperature to create a comfortable environment based entirely on your feedback.

Cook just about anything with Hamilton Beach

Love to cook, or shopping for someone who does? Hamilton Beach has you covered with a wide array of kitchen appliances that are sure to please anyone- no matter what their food preferences are. Cook everything from hamburgers to Panini with the 3-in-1 indoor grill. Like coffee but live with someone who prefers tea? Their coffee maker and hot water dispenser is not only programmable to make wake-up coffee , but can also dispense hot water for tea and instant cereals.

food-dehydrator 3-in-1-grill sandwhich-maker

For the Adventurer:

Keep Warm this Winter with Helly Hansen

hh-dry-permance-crewMade with HH®Dry construction with Lifa® technology, the Dry Performance Crew is designed as a lightweight base layer that keeps you warm and dry no matter what you’re doing! Not only is it functional, but it’s fashionable as well! The Dry Performance Crew can be worn as a comfortable layer whether you’re out skiing, or simply lounging around the fire. Pair this look with the Helly Hansen Voy Glove. Great for work and fun, the Vor glove is made with durable water-repellent goat skin and lined with an anti-pilling polyester micro fleece to keep your hands extra warm. Ladies can stay warm and fashionable with the Helley Hansen Warm freeze 1/2 Zip! This base layer features a double layer of 100% pure merino wool on the outside and keeps Lifa® fabric close to your skin to wick away any sweat. The ½ zip collar allows you to adjust your warmth and comfort levels and comes in a variety of colours to compliment your look! You can shop these items and more at

Compact Campingpocket-stove-kit

Perfect for those who prefer to be out in the wilderness, the MSR PocketRocket Stove Kit features their best-selling and highly compact PocketRocket stove, along with a lightweight cookset and utensils for two. The whole set weighs only 24.9oz, making it the perfect gift for the backpacking duo.

Eco-Conscious Warmth!

16ridge_wcrewrnbx1024-2Face Canadian winters with style and warmth this season with the Ridge Merino Midweight Inversion Base Layer! These base layers are made with 100% Merino wool, which changes naturally to keep you warm in cold weather, or cool you down when it’s hot out. Best of all, each base layer is 100% renewable and biodegradable and made without the use of harmful chemicals!


Keep the Fitness Junkie in Your Life Looking Fit & Fit with Under Armour

Trying to find the perfect gift for the fitness junkie in your life? Be sure to check out Under Armour’s Charge Bandit: a sneaker designed for ultimate comfort with its seamless internal heel cup, unique tongue construction and Molded Micro G® footbed. Keep them warm with the UA Waffle Raglan. This raglan was created with a relaxed fit in mind, and provides extra heat without the weight!


Products and Accessories For the Beauty Connoisseur:

Amopé Pedicure and Manicure gift setsamope_holiday_nail

Pamper your friends, or yourself, with a mani/pedi this winter! For the holiday season, Amopé has launched two gift sets featuring up to $140 worth of products in each set! Whether you choose the manicure or the pedicure gift set, each set is guaranteed to help you—or whomever you’re shopping for, achieve soft feet and perfect nails!

Save the Environment and Look Fabulous with Circuit Breaker Labs 

copper-necklaceSaved from landfills and now recreated into something beautiful, Circuit Breaker Labs reuses unwanted circuit boards and transforms them into gorgeous, wearable accessories. Created in 2007, Circuit Breaker Labs helps open up the conversation of the responsible handling of electronic waste, and has the perfect gift for anyone in your friends and family.

Get Your Holiday Look On!perfect-me-perfect-hue-eye-cheek-palette-fair-light-hi

Find the Perfect Hue with stila’s Perfect Me Perfect Hue eye and cheek palettes. The collection features four different distinct pallets designed with neutral colours that best suit your skintone and can transition your look from daytime to night-time all in one palette. Best of all: each palette is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates!

dafni-hair-straightener-1Smooth Away Kinks and Curls with the Dafni Straightening Brush

Meet the original patented device that started the straightening brush craze! The Dafni Straightening Brush combines a hairbrush and a straightener in one easy-to-use hair tool. This speedy tool can smooth away curls, waves and tangles in approximately 3 minutes!

Personalize Special Momentsimg_5402

Personalize your big day with Over the Moon Bridal. Men can order their own customized cufflinks for themselves and their crew, or choose from a variety of premade ones featuring fun or romantic quotes from popular TV shows such as Game of Thrones or How I Met Your Mother.

alpsh-0024Keep Warm and Chic with Alpacaoi

Based in Toronto, Alpacaoi offers high-quality scarves and wearable products made using Alpaca yarn handmade in Peru. Alpaca yarn is hypoallergenic and soft like cashmere and is guaranteed to keep you warm! Be sure to check out their gorgeous alpaca scarves and shawl for an extra layer of warmth and glam with winter!

Find Unique and Meaningful Jewelry from Erin Pelicanoimg_9466

The bond between family is an important and sacred thing. Erin Pelicano captures this bond beautifully in her hand crafted fine jewelry. From delicate necklaces to sentimental bracelets, her collections perfectly capture the deep connection we have with our friends and family and remind us just how valuable they are.

Dr. Ho’s 4 Pad Massage-

Small enough to fit in your pocket, but powerful enough to provide instant relief to tense muscles, Dr. Ho’s 4 Pad Massage—an exclusive to Showcase—can treat four different areas of the body at once. Perfect for those looking to treat tense, painful muscles, this fantastic device uses 12 different painless and relaxing massage techniques to help ease those sore muscles.


For the Pet Lover:

Give Your Pet a Treat No Matter Where You Are

Ever wonder what your fur-baby is up to while you’re away? Always wanted to furbo_-appmake sure they have a steady supply of treats? Look no further with Furbo, the world’s #1 Pet Camera! Stay connected via the Furbo app, which lets you see what your pets are up to via an HD camera (that also has night vision), notifies you when your dog is barking, and even lets you remotely toss treats for them via a quick swipe of the finger. With Furbo you can even chat with your pup via the two way mic and watch and listen to their happy responses! Want to see it in action? Check out their adorable ad here.

as3451_hero-angleBanish Pet Hair Forever

Constantly cleaning animal hair can be a real drag, especially when you have carpeted floors. Eureka’s Ultimate Clean Pet vacuum is the perfect gift for someone who loves animals- and clean floors. Perfect for this time of year when our four-legged friends start to shed a lot more, the Ultimate Clean Pet comes with extra tools to not only keep the house clean, but reduce allergens in the air at the same time. This vacuum can switch with ease from carpeted floor to bare floors, but carpets is where it really shines.

Be Prepared for Anything with the Doohickey Pet Toolunnamed

Perfect for those who enjoy the great outdoors with their pets, the Doohickey Pet Tool combines 5 important tools in 1 to keep your and your pet prepared for many situations on the go.  Tools include a tick remover, nail file, burr comb, a paw scraper, and last but not least, a bottle opener for the humans! Made with durable stainless-steel, the Doohickey clips anywhere for easy access and storage and only weights 1 gram.

51wshtauwalRead About the Joys of Rescue

Until Each One Has a Home: Heartfelt Stories From Dunroamin’ Stray and Rescue, A Canadian Pet Rescue is the second book by  Mildred Drost, who is a veterinary technician in New Brunswick and has devoted her life to saving as many animals as she can. Compiled here are articles from Drost’s local newspaper column advocating the need for responsible pet ownership as well as tales about her collection of strays. This book will take you on a roller-coaster of emotions with hilarious and heartwarming stories, to stories that will break your heart. Until Each One Has a Home is available for purchase on Amazon and Chapters.

Experience a Little Bit of Spain with Espuña

2:08 pm
Experience a Little Bit of Spain with Espuña

This holiday season, bring a little bit of Spain to your dinner table with Espuña: Tapas Essentials! Experience authentically produced cured meats, inspired by the many different regions of Spain.

Espuña began back almost 70 years ago, when Esteve Espuña began to produce delicious sausages using traditional Spanish recipes in his farmhouse near Olor, Spain in 1947. Fast forward to 2016 and Espuña now serves hungry customers globally! Now over 15 varieties of sausages and cured meats are available across Ontario and Quebec, such as authentic Serrano Ham and cañitas, and are bound to please even the pickiest of palates.

Whisk yourself and your loved ones on a culinary trip to Barcelona with Espuña: Tapas Essentials.  This speciality line of cured meats are perfect for any occasion and are best shared together with your friends and family! You can find this little taste of Spain at your local grocery store!

Be sure to check out their Facebook page for delicious photos, meal inspirations, and delish recipe ideas!


It’s a Hat Trick! Introducing OLM’s New Sports Team!

October 20, 2016 1:07 pm
It’s a Hat Trick! Introducing OLM’s New Sports Team!

We here at Ottawa Life Magazine are happy to announce our new sports writing team.

Dave Gross brings with him over 20 years of successful journalism credentials including work in press, television, and radio. He has written for the Ottawa Sun and Ottawa Citizen as well as national publications such as The Hockey News and National Post. He has been seen on A Channel and heard on TSN 1200.

Carlos Verde is a Carleton University journalism student and staff writer for the CFL. He hosts a weekly sports-talk radio show on CKCU FM and is the Communications Director for hockey at the University of Ottawa.

Brennan MacDonald is a Carleton University journalism graduate who grew up in the Capital Region. He has written features, profiles, and recaps for many city pro-sports teams. Along with a voracious appetite for covering sports, he also brings a political writing edge to Ottawa Life having covered politics on the Hill as well as elections and debates.

Exciting times to come for Ottawa sports fan here at Ottawa Life.


Let Them Eat Dirt! How Oversanitization is Causing Us Harm

September 29, 2016 11:34 am
Let Them Eat Dirt! How Oversanitization is Causing Us Harm

Is living in an over-sanitized world necessarily a healthy thing? Science has proven over and over again that keeping children squeaky clean can actually be detrimental to their health as they grow up. In their book, Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Our Children from an Oversanitized World, Dr. Marie-Claire Arrietta and Dr. Brett Finlay explore the dangers of growing up in an oversanitized environment, and discuss the health benefits of letting children “get a little dirty”.

Ottawa Life Magazine got an interview with the authors to learn what effects oversanitization is having on us over time, and how letting kids get a little dirt on them isn’t a bad thing.

Why did you decide to write Let Them Eat Dirt?

We are both microbiologists; Brett has been studying microbes for over 30 years and Claire trained as a postdoctoral fellow in his lab the past few years. Through our research we found that babies that are missing certain microbes go on to develop asthma later in life. This was really startling for us not just as scientists but as parents. We both have children and we thought other parents would be as interested in this information as we are. It wasn’t just our research telling us that microbes are crucial in our lives, but also the work of many cutting-edge scientists around the world. In Let Them Eat Dirt, we covered topics that are truly important to raise healthy children, based on recent breakthrough discoveries, and what parents could do about it given the current science. We knew once we talked about it that this message was too relevant to keep it only in scientific papers.


As your book points out, parents today are obsessed sanitization and over-cleanliness. Where does this obsession come from in our culture?

Historically we have focused on the microbes that cause diseases and we (microbiologists and doctors) gave them a bad rep. We also realized that sanitation and cleanliness decreased infections.  No one really knew much about the health-promoting role of microbes until very recently, and the consequences of cleaning up our world. Because of this, to most people, the word microbe is equal to infections and our innate nature is to get rid of them. We are all taught that the only way to prevent infectious diseases is to kill as many microbes as we can. These efforts paid off as it is thanks to these measures that antibiotics and vaccines were invented and no one can deny the huge benefits of antibiotics, vaccines, and sanitation. Battling microbes was good for us but we now realize there are consequences.  There is collateral damage to cleansing our environment that has led to an increase in many “Western-lifestyle” associated diseases, including asthma, allergies, obesity, diabetes, even autism. It is time to become less rigid with how we see and deal with microbes, and realize there are both good and bad ones, and we need the good ones.


In your book, you show how certain hygiene practices such as frequent hand washing and constant sanitizing actually harm more than help our children’s healthy development. Why is this?

Hand washing remains truly important; it is a known measure to prevent disease and we are not suggesting that people should stop doing it. However, it is so common to see parents washing their children’s hands all day long with antimicrobial hand soap, when this is not necessary. Washing their hands before eating with soap and water and after using the washroom has proven to be beneficial for preventing disease, but washing more than that hasn’t. Constant sanitizing of surfaces and preventing our kids to touch anything that isn’t squeaky clean is preventing them to get a healthy exposure to microbes. Microbes are essential to healthy development, especially early in life. They train our immune system and other aspects of our metabolism, without them we simply do not develop properly.


What are some steps parents can take right away to combat this?

In Let Them Eat Dirt we made the effort to mention as many specific things that parents should do or should not do, including a specific list of To Do’s after each chapter. We wouldn’t be able to mention them all here but a few important things to consider are: to be smart about antibiotics — take them only when absolutely necessary following your doctor’s instructions; to feed children a fibre-rich diet, which promotes the growth of health-promoting microbes in kids’ guts; to consider getting a dog, especially one that goes outside and shares playing time (and kisses) with the kids; and to become less strict about keeping our kids squeaky clean, to name a few.


Does your approach only apply to toddlers and school-age children, or can babies also benefit from a little dirt?

Our message is to follow normal developmental cues with babies and toddlers. Babies normally don’t come in contact with dirt yet toddlers and older children do, and we should keep it this way and allow toddlers and older kids to be kids, by getting dirty outdoors, within reason. Younger babies do want to put all sorts of things in the mouth, including hands, feet, toys and mom and dad’s fingers and that is normal. We don’t need to sterilize everything that goes into their mouths.


What about parents who are afraid of spreading sicknesses in schools? Is there such a thing as too much bacteria?

Preventing disease is extremely important. While exposing our kids to health-promoting microbes through diet and outdoor time, exposing them to disease has never been shown to be beneficial to their health. In fact, it is the opposite. However, the issue is not necessarily the amount of bacteria but the types of bacteria. Undoubtedly we can’t tell what types of bacteria are out there because we can’t see them, but we know that how common child diseases spread: through direct contact, sneezes, coughs and touching surfaces that were in recent contact with someone sick. Those are the types of contacts that make sense to avoid, and that is different from not letting your child get dirty, as dirt does not equal disease.


You are both parents yourselves. How do you incorporate your approach you’re your own home lives?

This new knowledge has changed our view too. Claire has relaxed more about keeping her kids clean and really reinforced the importance of being outdoors and feeding her children a healthy fibre-rich diet. She also feeds kefir and/or probiotic-rich yogurt to her kids daily.  Brett is anxiously awaiting grandkids to put all these ideas into practice, although his kids were also raised in a more “relaxed dirt” environment.


Interested in reading more? Let Them Eat Dirt can be purchased online on Amazon, or online and in-store at Chapters.

Goodbye Doggie Breath

September 15, 2016 11:39 pm
Goodbye Doggie Breath

Fight bad dog breath with Orapup Lickies. Simply apply some of the bacon or beef flavoured Lickies onto the Orapup brush and let your pup lick the brush clean. Your dog thinks he’s getting a treat, while you don’t have to deal with bad dog breath anymore. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Symbols That Empower

11:14 pm
Symbols That Empower

Jewelry adds a sense character, personality and culture to each individual. Handmade in Alberta, Andrea Kelly Designs feature jewelry with a story behind each piece. Made with ethically-sourced materials, check out her gorgeous Tree of Life necklaces or enjoy good luck with her gold pyrite stretch bracelet. Spot her gorgeous designs on popular TV shows such as The Vampire Diaries and Bones.

Babies On The Go

10:58 pm
Babies On The Go

EquiptBaby has got your baby covered when out and about. This baby bag features multiple pockets with ample storage space, as well as an insulated cooler pocket to keep your baby’s bottle and snacks fresh all day. The bag is designed to expand (like an accordion) and keeps its shape no matter how much you put in it.

Images by Mark Schacter

10:44 pm
Images by Mark Schacter

Experience some of Canada’s most breathtaking sights at Skyline Gallery, Ottawa’s newest art hot spot. Inspired by the many galleries of Santa Fe, photographer Mark Schacter has created this artistic space inside his own home to share his gorgeous photography, celebrating Canada’s spectacular landscapes.

Skyline Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, find it at 3 Trillium Avenue.



Why Ottawa has the Best Nightlife in Canada

August 30, 2016 10:23 am
Why Ottawa has the Best Nightlife in Canada

Byward Market

The great South Eastern state of Ontario sits between the border with the United States of America and the French speaking province of Quebec, and it is within this territory that you will find the nation’s capital city, Ottawa. Sitting astride the Ottawa River, just across the water from Gatineau, as the capital, this city is a hive of energy. Ottawa has something for everyone. Hang out with friends in bars, dance the night away at live gigs, cheer on one of the city’s iconic sports teams or even play some cards at the local casinos, you’ll be literally spoilt for choice.

Start out downtown at the ByWard Market, a district which has become the city’s cultural hub. Here, take a walk down Elgin Street where you will easily find bars, restaurants, theatres and the like, or, failing that, simply explore the area around La Promenade du Portage for some live music, meaning that there is something fun and interesting for everyone to do.

Here, local farmers, artisans and boutiques come together during the day, helping this part of town develop into the epicentre of Ottawa’s nightlife. It doesn’t matter what musical choice you are into, at the ByWard all options are catered for. The majority of the popular bars and clubs can be found in the Market’s North End, particularly along York, Clarence and Dalhousie Street. York Street is a great place to start your night. Here, revellers are able to dance the night through to a DJ’s tunes or catch live entertainment in local hotspots such as The Mercury Lounge and Zaphod Beeblebrox, which, coincidentally, is the club used to shoot the video for the Rolling Stones’ song Streets of Love.

Alternatively, if it’s something a little different you’re after then head over to the Velvet Room where you’ll find a 1920’s speakeasy lounge to slow things down a little. Vineyards bistro also provides a relaxing place to enjoy a drink, while, lastly, we can’t leave out the stylish and energetic Kavali Club. Referred to by locals as the “Irish Village” this bar is a night time hotspot you don’t want to miss, but remember that alcohol is only served in Ottawa until 2 a.m.

Another thing that Ottawa has become famous for its thriving theatre scene, so it is definitely worth booking and seeing a show at the National Arts Centre or Ottawa Little Theatre, where you’ll find something a little more local or fringe.

If you are planning to go for in a drink in the above locations, you should be aware that the legal drinking age in the province of Ontario is 19. That being said, some privately owned bars in the ByWard Market have been known to refuse entry to those under 21 or 25 years of age.


Gambling in Ontario also begins at 19 and, with 33 casinos in the province, punters are not short of options, the best of which isn’t actually in Ottawa. Just a short drive over the Portage Bridge you can find the Casino du Lac-Leamy and adjoining Hilton hotel, overlooking Lac Leamy, which is accessible by boat from the Ottawa River with docking facilities available.

The casino promises a lively evening out with your friends where you can enjoy the usual roll call of great casino games; poker, roulette, craps, sic bo and keno can all be played here, alongside more than 1,800 slot machines (But don’t go there with no knowledge, read online guides about how casinos work and gamble responsibly.) Of course no decent casino would be complete without entertainment and Lac Leamy is no different. Featuring a number of concerts and entertainment shows at Le Théâtre du Casino, plus three bars and top notch dining options in the Le Baccara gourmet restaurant and even a cigar room in Bacchus, this is a very popular choice for tourists and locals alike looking for a top night out.


For sport lovers, the city also boasts a thriving pro-sports culture. Sports are a huge part of the Ottawan life with three professional sports teams and a minor Can-Am League baseball team. The Ottawa Champions are the city’s newest sports franchise and are a Can-Am League baseball team that play at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park (RCGT Park). Representing the city at pro soccer are the Ottawa Fury who play at the TD Place Stadium at Lansdowne Park and compete in the North American Soccer League (NASL), while visitors to the city can also enjoy cheering on the Ottawa Redblacks. You will find the team playing football, once again, over at the TD Place Stadium in the Glebe neighbourhood.

However, the biggest sports team in the city is the hockey team, the Ottawa Senators. Known locally as “the Sens,” the side has been representing the city since 1992 and can be found hitting the ice at the Canadian Tire Centre.

So, with great bars, a thriving arts scene, five star restaurants, sophisticated casinos and a strong sporting nature, Ottawa really is a city that has something for all of us.

Job Posting: Web Editor and Features Writer

August 18, 2016 12:24 pm
Job Posting: Web Editor and Features Writer

Ottawa Life Magazine
Ottawa, ON
Closing Date: August 26, 2016

Who We Are:

Ottawa Life Magazine is the capital’s longest running bi-monthly magazine. We are a general interest publication that shines a spotlight on the amazing things happening in this city. Right now we’re in the midst of a full website redevelopment, changing everything from our look to content strategy. We work in the heart of the city, between Parliament and the Nature Museum, to follow the city’s biggest power players and trendsetters.


The Web editor will be a leader in reshaping our online presence. You regular duties would also include editing all editorial content before it goes online, and organizing when web pieces will be published. The web editor works closely with a small team of staff and writers to meet deadlines and increase our social media following.

As a features writer, you would craft engaging and informative articles for both print and the web, sharing your work with our tens of thousands of readers on both platforms.


Experience editing others work both for accuracy, clarity and CP style
Experience researching, interviewing and writing under tight deadlines
A proven ability to manage a variety of tasks under pressure
Must be a self-starter and able to work independently, often with minimal or no supervision
Managerial experience and a knack for social media is an asset

To Apply:

E-mail your resume, cover letter and up to three examples of published work PDF or direct link format to

Keep Your Drains Hair-Free with TubShroom

August 4, 2016 10:55 am
Keep Your Drains Hair-Free with TubShroom

At first glance, it can be difficult to discern exactly what the TubShroom, or its upcoming counterparts, the SinkShroom and the ShowerShroom, might be. If you’ve ever had the extremely unpleasant experience of digging a long string of mouldy hair out of your drain and never want to do that again, the TubShroom is the product for you. Successfuly funded on Kickstarter, this simple device was designed to save you a tonne of time by fitting right into your drain and catching any hair or debris that flows in. The centre is open which allows water to flow freely through while hair is caught and wrapped neatly along the sides.

The TubShroom works with any type of hair, be it thick or fine, long or short, human or animal. It is designed to fit any standard 1.5” drain for baths and will soon have similar counterparts that will fit showers and sinks! It takes very little effort to install and is super easy to clean hair off as well. We love how it’s eco-friendly and how it looks super adorable! You won’t need to use any more dangerous chemicals, or have to hire someone to clean your drains ever again! Made with long-lasting industrial strength silicone that’s 100% BPA free, the TubShroom comes in four colours for you to customize how it looks in your bath. Check out the video below and see for yourself how well the TubShroom works!

For more information, you can check out their website at

Ottawa’s Most Innovative Hospital

July 12, 2016 1:30 pm
Ottawa’s Most Innovative Hospital

Tom Schonberg has been the President and CEO of Queensway Carleton Hospital (QCH) in Ottawa since 1998. He has played a big part in helping QCH become one of the top medical institutions in Ontario. Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, QCH serves a population of over 400,000 each year. It is the secondary referral centre for the Ottawa region, but its mission is to constantly strive to be first in community care. Schonberg has overseen the transformative change and immense growth of the hospital’s facilities in the past decade that has been a boon to Ottawa’s community, influencing a significant improvement in health and medical treatment in the region.

The hospital now employs 1,900 employees and over 300 physicians on staff. It relies heavily on the help of the community, with 575 volunteers who donated over 45,000 hours of their time last year. Schonberg is quick to credit his team and the staff at the hospital and notes that one of the reasons for the hospital’s growth and continuing success is the commitment of its volunteers. “There are some exceptional people who volunteer their time to help us every day,” says Schonberg. “They really are the soul of this place and we genuinely appreciate their help.”

As for the mechanics of the hospital, QCH has state-of-the-art facilities including: two MRI units, two CT scanners, cutting-edge surgical suites with 10 operating rooms, a 12-bed ICU, a 15-bed dialysis unit, an acute rehabilitation unit and an Emergency Department and Ambulatory Care complex. Schonberg also established the Irving Greenberg Family Cancer Centre as well as the James Beach Health Care Centre.

Schonberg’s latest QCH venture is participation in the Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) initiative. The ACE program aims to serve the growing elderly population in Canada. It is a collaborative enterprise that includes 18 hospitals across the nation, one of which is the QCH, making it one of the leading institutions for geriatric care in Canada.

About 15 per cent of the city’s population is over the age of 65 and that number is expected to double over the next 20 years.

Schonberg told Ottawa Life that in light of those statistics, “an innovative approach was required in Ottawa when it came to geriatric care. What you don’t want is a risk of overcrowding hospitals especially with an ageing population, so it’s important to be respectful and to provide the appropriate care that is patient focused first.”

Schonberg noted that the cost of health care is a constant concern for any hospital, but it is essential at QCH that these concerns don’t trump proper patient outcomes.

The ACE unit at QCH is scheduled for completion by the fall of 2016.It has 34 beds, an interdisciplinary team to care for the various needs of aging patients, and a homey and comfortable environment.

“ACE is meant to address its patient’s particular needs efficiently so seniors and their families can avoid drawn out hospital stays. We have a plan for discharge that begins upon admission and allows for elderly patients to continue their care in the comfort of their own homes,” says Schonberg.

Another big challenge facing hospitals in Canada has been addressing the increase in mental health admissions. QCH has seen a 30 per cent increase in mental health admissions, a 55 per cent increase in substance abuse visits and a 25 per cent increase in patients diagnosed with mental health issues in the past decade.

Schonberg assures that Queensway Carleton is not shrinking from this challenge and will be there for patients in the community who require help.

“We have a campaign we just launched called Hopes Rising. I am hopeful that our community will support the campaign to raise $5 million to help the hospital continue to serve the growing mental health needs of the city.”

Based on his track record and relationship with the community, it’s probably a sure thing.

** Prior to coming to Ottawa, Schonberg was CEO of Bowmanville Memorial Hospital and Senior Vice-President of Toronto’s Riverdale. In recognition of his contributions to Queensway Carleton Hospital and broader community, he was awarded with the Order of Ottawa in 2014. In 2012, Queensway Carleton was awarded an “Accreditation with Exemplary Standing”, the highest honour given by Accreditation Canada.

John’s Reno Tips: Home Reno Dos and Don’ts

10:00 am
John’s Reno Tips: Home Reno Dos and Don’ts

Are you looking to renovate your home this year? Often, when you don’t have much in the way of experience, renovations can be more of a nuisance than anything. Some of the biggest problems typically arise from the smallest of details.

The demolition and remodelling of an area in your home is a hassle if it is not done correctly. From determining a suitable time of the year, having the correct measurements of a room, deciding the length of time you’ll need to complete the work, to even simply making sure that you have found the best paint colour; these are tasks which can quickly become overwhelming.

To make life a little more simple this spring, John from Your Reno Guys has narrowed down the biggest DOS and DON’TS for your next renovation.

Make concise decisions, but not hasty ones.

This is quite simple and can certainly help lift some of the burden of renovating. Of course, no matter the size of the job, we, as homeowners, are inevitably investing a decent amount of money into a home renovation. You want to ensure that your home will look absolutely perfect.

One of the main issues that we hear is that often homeowners are undecided on the final picture, after the renovation is said and done. This can actually result in a slew of problems. Not only will this delay the renovation, no one wants to be living with renovations for months and months on end. Determining whether you should take down that wall in the living room for a more open concept, or what kind of tile you want for the kitchen floor are all extremely common issues. Our biggest tip for this is to have a rough plan in mind before starting any of the steps in purchases, ordering and so forth. Often, indecisiveness can result in having to reschedule many steps along the way, I.E; the plumber, electrician, mudder, tiler (the list goes on). If you know what you want before getting your feet wet, it will save heaps of stress and wasted time.

You get what you pay for.

We have all heard the old saying “you get what you pay for”. When it comes to renovations, you should never leave the quality of your work up to chance by using dodgy products. This is not about opting for a less expensive tile here, tile is not poor quality simply because it is inexpensive. It is about skimping out on steps that protect and guarantee your work. Use Schluter Kerdi waterproof membrane for your shower surround, to ensure you are shielding your drywall and foundation thereafter from water and mold. Do not bypass the use of Ditra Mat subfloor, which is hands down, the number one uncoupling membrane to protect your tiles and grout from shifting and cracking (and carries a ten year warranty).

If you are a hands-on type of person, this can be a great attribute when it comes to renovation work. If not, never be shy to have a renovation company help you out along the way. If you are comfortable completing parts of the reno on your own (and save yourself some money) this is always a treat. If you are the imaginative one in the family, and are capable of envisioning the final product, you could even spare yourself a designer.

Patience and understanding are the biggest keys to a successful renovation, and knowing that these things take time. You cannot expect them to be done overnight, yet if you are willing to be a bit flexible and expect to have a few delays along the way, this makes the process a whole lot more enjoyable, for everyone involved. Spring is here and it is time to make a positive change around the house. Whether it is just a fresh coat of paint or the addition of a cozy reading space, the options are endless and always at an arm’s reach. No dream is too big and no project is too small.

A Woman Judge’s Season of Disillusion

July 11, 2016 1:00 pm
A Woman Judge’s Season of Disillusion

Below is an excerpt from January: A Woman Judge’s Season of Disillusion by Marie Corbett. January is the story of Corbett’s personal and professional lives becoming painfully entangled. Facing a number of important trials while trying to comfort an ailing friend, Corbett must find an answer to questions she’d never asked before.

By nine o’clock, I was in my chambers and dressing for court. I threaded the watchband through Anne’s ring and tucked both of them in my vest pocket, so I would have them close and couldn’t misplace them. As I fastened the tabs around my neck, I couldn’t get my head around it. Why am I not at Anne’s side? She was my friend, I loved her, and nobody else was there. It was obvious that I should take time off to be with a dying friend. Why didn’t I call the Regional Senior Justice and say, “I have other priorities. I’m taking a leave of absence for a while”?

When I’d told Anne earlier that I would be willing to accompany her to California to seek treatment, my commitment had been genuine. It wasn’t merely a dramatic response engendered by a dramatic situation. What was so important now about my work? Nothing in my life as a judge couldn’t be postponed. The muddle of the trial with the tattooed bikers could start again after two days of evidence. A few other cases would have to be rescheduled, but trials are routinely rescheduled for many reasons. In my judicial career, I’d missed only five days of work, and those were in the first three months, when I’d foolishly tried out my sons’ skateboard and fractured my elbow. The truth is that accused persons aren’t anxious to get to trial, and delays work in their favour. Witnesses move away, memories become dimmer. And then there is the legal dance of seeking adjournments with an unexpressed hope of getting the charge dismissed because of delay in bringing the case to trial.

 Devoted to my work, I took pride in being a thorough, fair, and competent judge. Even as opportunities had arisen to visit Anne, I’d felt guilty leaving my chambers without offering to do other work, as if my professional life was more worthwhile than my personal one. Although I was trapped in the daily exigencies of my workplace and my work, I felt it more important to be with Anne as she struggled to stay alive.

 I saw that imbalance, yet I couldn’t act on it. My lifelong commitment to work and to doing that work well was ingrained, along with some mantras: Get an education; get a job; be successful. In law school, I had added the goals of contributing to social and legal change. I was dutiful to family, career, community. Never could I remember anyone saying that happiness was a worthwhile goal. If they did, it passed me by. Now, having achieved secular success and respectability, I was no longer sure of their value. I was no longer living as I wanted to live.

 Still, I entered the courtroom exactly at ten o’clock. I was an on-time judge.

The Hon. Marie Corbett, Q.C., is a retired superior court trial judge who presided in Toronto for 14 years. A dedicated crusader for social justice in Canada, Corbett was a founding member of and first woman President of the Canadian Environmental Law Association. As a member of the first Ontario Status of Women Council, she organized the first family law conference pressing for women’s rights in marriage. Her honours include Queen’s Counsel and Women of Distinction Special Award from the YWCA.

A Refreshing Response – The National Capital Commission Does the Right Thing for Lemonade Kids

July 5, 2016 9:51 am
A Refreshing Response – The National Capital Commission Does the Right Thing for Lemonade Kids

Over the years Ottawa Life Magazine writers have been critical of the NCC on many occasions. So we were a little indignant (like everyone else) when we heard the news this past weekend that that seven-year-old Eliza Andrews and her five-year-old sister Adela’s lemonade stand was shut down by what appeared to be an overzealous NCC officer because they didn’t have a permit.

“We understood that it was NCC property,” said father Kurtis Andrews, who built the lemonade stand to teach his daughters some real world business skills. “But we figured a kids’ lemonade stand wouldn’t raise a bunch of fuss, and no one would probably make a big deal about it.”

It appears that the NCC management team was also not impressed and probably had a ‘yikes’ moment upon hearing about this in the press.

On Monday morning the girls and their dad were invited to NCC headquarters to talk about bringing the lemonade stand back – with the proper documentation.

“They gave us the royal treatment,” said Mr. Andrews. “We put in an application for a permit, and it sounds like they’ll be expediting whatever process is required so we can set up next Sunday for the next bike day.”

The NCC released a statement Monday morning, apologizing to the family and saying that it reviewed the situation with the junior conservation officer on duty.

The statement said that the officer “acted in good faith” but notes that the NCC wants to move forward animating the shoreline and supporting “young entrepreneurs going forward.”

“We believe the situation could have been handled differently,” read the statement. Bravo to the NCC for dealing with what had quickly become a sour national news story. Every organization makes mistakes and we’ve all seen overzealous employees who can sometimes lose perspective.  Everyone should give the NCC a thumbs up for their reaction to this story and for the way they’ve handled it. The junior NCC officer probably learned a lesson about judgement that should serve them well in their future duties, and the NCC has turned a negative thing into a very positive outcome for all concerned. Whoever quarterbacked that process at the NCC should get a big pat on the back…..or at least a nice glass of lemonade!

From Hockey Player to Chiropractor

June 1, 2016 1:51 pm
From Hockey Player to Chiropractor

For a short time in chiropractor Karlo Pavich’s life, playing hockey was all he ever wanted to do.

During his youth, Pavich lived that dream. From the age of 16 until the age of 23, Pavich skated his way into the professional hockey circuit. In his early years, Pavich played in minor hockey and eventually broke into the Central Canada Hockey League as a #1 pick and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Pavich turned his junior career into a professional career in Europe. After living there for a few years, Pavich received an invitation to try out for the Montreal Canadiens.
Hockey Player to Chiropractor – image 3As a child, the Ottawa South team Pavich was playing for went on an exchange to play a Montreal team under the chaperone Jean Beliveau. That evening, Pavich watched his first and only NHL game and met player Mario Tremblay. He promised himself at that tender age that the next time he was in the Forum, he would be wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey. Ten years later, he kept that promise and wore that jersey, albeit only for a few weeks.

Not long after, Pavich began studying at the National University of Health Sciences in Chicago and graduated at the top of his class. After his studies, Pavich returned to Ottawa and immediately opened his practice, Atlas Chiropractic and Massage Therapy.

Pavich’s practice is welcoming and open. The waiting room walls are adorned with backstage passes for bands he has worked on, along with autographed sports memorabilia. Pavich’s patients typically hear about his clinic by word of mouth. While he has worked on big names, Pavich takes pride in being a family-friendly clinic.

“Chiropractors adjust and rid the spine and extremities of subluxations or distortions,” Pavich explains. “These distortions in the supporting structures of the body that support spinal vertebrae cause a stress response in the brain. Every time we adjust a patient, there’s a direct effect on brain chemistry, which allows the brain-body connection to adapt and heal. The body is a self-healing and self-regulating entity.”

Pavich adds that his practice uses gentle hands-on techniques, as well as additional modalities to add to the patient’s experience and treatment value, including the use of Intersegmental Traction and Hydromassage tables.


Pavich is passionate about providing quality care for his patients. He tells the story of a young patient who was having difficulties learning and concentrating at school. With the help of a chiropractic treatment plan,  Pavich worked on the child to develop better focusing skills. Today, the now-teenaged patient is an aspiring golf player.

“My patient’s story is one of many little miracles, as I like to call them, that happen daily across this city and this country in chiropractic offices,” Dr. Pavich says. “Having a healthier community is what really motivates me to assist my patients, their families, friends, and coworkers. We all have a purpose in life, and hockey was my stepping stone to hone my eye-hand coordination and concentration to do and practice what I do today, and that’s being a Chiropractic doctor.”

Hockey Player to Chiropractor  – image 6

You can find out more about Karlo Pavich at

John’s Reno Tips Spring Into Reno Season

May 30, 2016 11:48 am
John’s Reno Tips Spring Into Reno Season

Photos courtesy of John Gordon. 

As we enter the key renovating season, there are certain trends that are turning up everywhere. Fresh from the Ottawa Home Show, here are a few of John’s hip tips.

Kitchens and Living Areas

Mixed materials in kitchen such as rustic wood beams, stone columns, subway tiles and bright shiny counter tops are part of the 2016 kitchen trends.


Photo: Kevin Miller

Brick and stone: Exposed brick and stone walls are a great way to add a rustic charm and texture to your home.The kitchen is the perfect room to add a stone or brick accent wall that ties in your living area. Another option for these materials in your kitchen would be behind floating wooden shelves displaying decorations, photos or dishes. You can also use it for a backsplash. Need to cover up ceiling or looking to spruce it up? Try rustic wooden beams.They add warmth and depth to a space.

Cool cabinets: Solid colour cupboards with touches of natural wood are an innovative new trend that is likely to pick up this year.Cabinets can be painted in a very earth-toned grey colour with a wooden island or decorative legs. Go the extra mile and add a custom wood hood fan to the design?

Hardwood floors: If you want to make your kitchen look timeless, go for hardwood floors.They bring warmth to the kitchen design and go with any style or colour of cabinetry.It goes way beyond the shelf life of a 10-year trend cycle.

Freestanding bathtubs allow for more placement options.

Photo: Courtesy John Gordon
The rough brick adds texture to the space and constrasts nicely with the highly polished stone on the floors and waterfall countertop.

Photo: Joshua Rablin


Hit the Loo

Grab bars and shower seats: More and more, we seem to be getting requests for shower seats. They are functional and good to have if you have seniors in your home. Grab bars are another trending addition to bathrooms. You can install them just about anywhere you might need them, but showers and tub surrounds are the most popular place to install them.

Freestanding tubs: Built-in tubs are becoming less popular these days. Freestanding tubs on the other hand, if your space will allow it, offer a lot of flexibility in placement and some might even chose to place their freestanding tub in their shower area.

Heated floors and towel racks: We can all agree that bathroom floors are generally cold, but they don’t have to be. Electric-heated floors are the solution.They are popular in bathrooms because of their ability to help dry out moisture and humidity. Heated towel racks, or towel warmers, are another great gadget to have in the bathroom. Who doesn’t enjoy being wrapped in a warm and fuzzy towel after a shower or a bath? They also act as a supplemental heater and damp outerwear dryer.

Colour trends: Beige used to be the number one colour choice but now white, greys and blacks are in this year with hints of brightness such as mauve, turquoise or light green accessories.

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