Co-Op Students Explore Ottawa Part Three – Valerie Visits the Glebe

All photos courtesy of Samantha Lapierre.

What would you do if you were a tourist in Ottawa?

Ottawa Life Magazine asked our co-op students this question and put them to the test.

Each student was asked to pick an area of the city that they wanted to explore for an afternoon. Grade 11 co-op student and fashion maven Valerie Crew chose to explore the Glebe.

When asked about her choice, Crew’s answer was simple: “It’s the hipster mecca of Ottawa! And, truthfully, hipsters are hilarious.”

Our duo, consisting of Crew and myself (acting as photographer of the day) met up at our downtown office on a chilly early-December morning. As per usual, we were both cold, but ready to take on another adventure of playing tourist for the day.

DSC_0357As large supporters of local businesses, Crew and I decided to visit some hidden gems in the Glebe. Our first stop was the beloved Herb & Spice Shop location on Bank Street.

A Bank Street staple stop for any health food enthusiast, Herb and Spice provides a lot (and we mean a lot) of organic food. Crew and I browsed the store’s bulk food selection, impressed by the large assortment of fresh fruits. Satisfied with our brief stop, we carried on.

Bank Street is buzzing. It is full of character, people and, of course, dogs. As we pointed out dogs and red Starbucks cups to each other, Crew asked if we could stop into Sun Café and Flowers. A sucker for suns, cafés and flowers, I obliged.

We marveled at the delicious drinks available, as well as at the wide variety of plants for purchase. Crew spotted an Old Man Cactus, and we couldn’t help but take a photo of it.

After our quick café stop, Crew and I decided to swing around the corner to Ragtime Vintage Clothing just as it was opening.

Ragtime is truly an Ottawa treasure for vintage clothing. For more than 35 years, the store has been giving Ottawans the vintage goods, from designer apparel, to name brand goodies, to incredible costumes and DSC_0372accessories. The prices are incredibly reasonable, and the pieces are in amazing condition.

Crew and I spent about an hour in the store, taking our time to browse and try on items. Eventually we both settled upon some treats: a vintage trench coat for Crew and a pair of ‘70s inspired sunglasses for myself.

Proud of our purchases, we journeyed on.

As soon as we walked by Troubadour Books & Records, we both knew that we had to visit. Troubadour is a sweet second hand store that is chock-full of used records and books of all kinds. If you need a book, Troubadour most likely has it. Crew browsed Astrology books and various bookshelves while I took a glance upon some records. I eventually found a hand-made bowl made out of an old Afrikaan beat record that I knew a great friend of mine would love.

While there was no snow outside, Crew and I still felt in the holiday spirit. As we walked deeper into the Glebe, we unexpectedly fell upon a locally farmed Christmas tree lot and we had to explore. Crew and I chatted with the owner of the lot, who told us that he has been in the Christmas tree business for years. The trees and accompanying hand-crafted decorations were beautiful. We were both tempted to buy a tree right then and there.

DSC_0398We said our goodbyes to the friendly Christmas tree merchant and continued northwest on Bank Street. It may be surprising, but Bank Street has a lot of history behind its creation. But then again, Ottawa has some pretty immense and important history to begin with.

Bank Street was built in 1865 as a means to access the Glebe. In fact, the word “glebe” is derived from the Latin word “gleba” meaning clod or soil. A little ironic, considering how many currently view the Glebe as a hip and trendy place to be. One of my favourite interesting tidbits about the Glebe’s history involves the legendary Buffalo Bill Cody. In 1893, Cody held his ‘Wild West Show’ just east of Bank. In 1900, Buffalo Bill returned again for another show.

While we did not run into any ranch hands, wagon train drivers or showmen, Crew and I did enjoy a stroll through the Glebe’s bustling heart. On this adventure, I only had one request: we must visit The Papery. The Papery is a card and stationary store with character. It carries a wide variety of art supplies, cute cards, party supplies and stationary. We browsed the shop, even spotting a cute pup.

DSC_0420We ended our day at Kettleman’s Bagel Co. It is very safe to say that Kettleman’s is a local favourite. For over 18 years, Kettleman’s has been offering awesome Montreal-style bagels, spreads and sandwiches, 24 hours a day. Since its Glebe location has expanded over the summer, there is ample room to sit and enjoy a warm bagel.

As our series comes to an end, I must say that it was very exciting to tour Ottawa with some of the sharpest minds I’ve ever met: our co-op students! Thank you to Ashley, Justine, Valerie and Alissa for making #OLMexploresOTT such a fun experience!

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