• By: Allen Brown

Has Covid changed the entertainment habits of Ottawans?

There is no understating the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered how we entertain ourselves. After months of prolonged lockdowns, social distancing and staying at home, thousands of Canadians are finding themselves not only having embraced new entertainment habits picked up during the pandemic, but also trying out new forms of entertainment now that stay-at-home orders are no longer in effect.

When it comes to the entertainment habits of the residents of Bytown, are no different! Despite the fact that Ottawa is often labelled the “City that Fun Forgot” by deeply jealous provincial neighbors, the post-lockdown entertainment habits of Ottawa residents are evidence that they clearly know how to have fun.

With that said, however, what are the post-lockdown entertainment habits of Ottawa residents and how, if at all, are they changing?

Walks, trails and paths

One habit that many of us picked up during the pandemic that looks set to stay — particularly as we now find ourselves in the summer months — is getting outside!

For many of us during the depths of the stay at home orders, getting out for a daily walk, stroll or run was an important part of our day. In fact, given that we were essentially confined to working and entertaining ourselves at home, getting outside for some exercise was one of the few forms of respite we had!

This necessity led many Canadians, and Ottawa residents in particular, to rediscover the many excellent paths and trails that lay just outside their doorsteps.

This has meant that over the last number of months as Ottawans have emerged from a long, harsh winter, the many parks, paths and trails that grace the city and the surrounding area have been packed to the brim! This includes trails filled with historic highlights such as those located in Stittsville, Mechanicsville, Centretown and Vanier. Rediscovering these routes has revealed a whole new side of the city to many residents. With autumn just around the corner, the dying weeks of summer are the perfect time to take in some of these trails.

The rise of digital casinos

In contrast to getting out on woodland trails, one predominantly inside entertainment trend that looks set to continue is that of online casinos.

With physical casinos across Canada shut down for much of the last 18 months, gaming fanatics have found new ways to get their daily dose.

This trend has led to a veritable boom in the online casino industry both in Canada and around the world, with the likes of Superlenny Canada seeing a significant increase in both new and existing online casino players.

Although this was a consumer trend that was accelerated during the pandemic, if industry reports are anything to go by, it looks set to continue long into the future. There has been a slow but steady shift from physical to digital and online casinos over the last decade or so, which was hastened by the pandemic.

Ottawa residents have not missed out on this trend either, with the demand for digital services up across the board. In an increasingly digital world where more and more of our spare time is spent online, it looks like online casinos are here to stay. This certainly looks to be true of Ottawans!

Embracing the boat-life

Another — perhaps surprising — new form of entertainment that seems to be keeping many Ottawa residents occupied as they enjoy post-lockdown life, is boating.

According to local reporting, sales of boats in Ottawa has soared this year. This rising demand has been driven by a combination of pent-up demand from previous years, increased personal savings over the course of the pandemic, and a turn towards ‘stay-cations’ with international travel off the table for the foreseeable future.

According to one would-be boat owner, demand has reached such heights that the waiting lists for the delivery of boats is looking like it could stretch into the end of this year! As further evidence that boating looks set to be a new entertainment trend locally, the majority of those attempting to procure a boat are first-time owners.

Exactly how long this trend will continue for remains to be seen. However, what we do know is that for at least the next year, there are many Ottawa residents who will be doing their utmost to secure a sea-worthy craft. With the availability of the Ottawa River and numerous nearby lakes, many Ottawans are keen to become boatmen in the near future!