Winter in the Nation’s Capital - It’s Not All Bad!

One of the great things about living in the Nation’s Capital is the amount of events that take place all year round. While summer in Ottawa is so good it convinces us all to stick around through the harsh winters, we tend to hibernate through them instead of enjoying them. But, the amount of great activities going on in the city don’t stop just because we’d prefer to stay wrapped up indoors.

Here are some of the reasons we’re getting out of the house and braving the cold this month:

Winterlude: February 1 - February 18

The event Ottawa Tourism calls The Capital’s Winter Celebration! No list of activities is complete without mentioning this 3-week winter festival. The event features everything from ice sculpture competitions, sporting events, and more. On February 2nd, beginning at Dow’s Lake Pavillion, athletes participate in the Winterlude Triathlon: 8km skate, 8km ski, and a 5km run. Honestly, where else but in Ottawa can you participate in a winter-themed triathlon along the world’s longest skating rink?

Skate the Rideau Canal

Speaking of, skating on the world’s longest skating rink is an activity not to miss all on it’s own! With Beavertails and hot chocolate stands lining the canal which you can skate right up to, and the city lights guiding you along on nighttime rides, what’s not to like? If you don’t have skates, you can rent them from Capital Skates at Rideau and Fifth Ave locations. Check out ice conditions here.

Snowshoe Under the Stars

Take a guided hike with a Friends of Gatineau Park nature interpreter through the park, to learn about how plants and animals survive the winter weather and the challenges it imposes. The 3km hike ends with hot chocolate by the woodstove, in the Sugarbush Shelter. Check dates and ticket information here.

Accora Village Bed Race

A can’t miss event! Watch as 50 teams made up of four runners and one rider race decorated, modified beds along York Street in the Byward Market. Teams compete for prizes for the fastest bed, the best decorated bed, and the best fundraisers - with all proceeds going to the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa.

TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Fest

A three-day line-up of world-renowned Jazz players, featuring sounds from Modern, Latin, Swing, Funk, Contemporary, Afro Cuban, Avante-Garde, and more! Get the full line-up and ticket information here.

Have another event you’re excited about? What gets you excited about winter in Ottawa? Let us know, and we hope to see you out there soon!

New Year, New You - And A New Reno, Too?

We all like starting projects on a day that marks the beginning of something new - Mondays, the first of the month, January. The new year in particular sparks a desire for change in most of us. “New Year, New You” flies across social media and most of us will use those gym memberships again, eat more greens, or find another resolution to keep us busy for three weeks.

If you want to make your New Years Resolution have more impact this year, consider adding value to your home with some trendy upgrades. Some New Year Reno-lutions, if you will. We did some research, and here are four of our favourite 2019 Home Trends (just in case you get that itch for something new).

2019 Home Trends #1: Bigger Windows

Open-concept floor-plans have been popular for years, and many are opting to take it to the next level. Large, bright windows with minimalist coverings allow more natural light into rooms, giving the open-concept floor-plan even more oomph than it achieves on it’s own. As a bonus, larger windows will help bring the outside and inside closer together, maximizing living space and bringing you closer to the outdoors. Bring on the Vitamin D!

2019 Home Trends #2: Pops of fun

Fun, bright colours aren’t just for nurseries and playrooms anymore. Patterns and colours are making bold statements all around the home. People are beginning to view their homes less rigidly and more as places to relax and unwind. Try painting a bold accent wall, adding patterned wallpaper, or experimenting with coloured furniture and textiles throughout the home.

2019 Home Trends #3: Tech. Everywhere.

Technology in the home is going mainstream. While early adopters might feel like tech in the home isn’t new, basic smart home features are starting to become more popular. Basic home functions such as heating and cooling, lighting, and security can be controlled right from your smartphone or by Alexa or Google. Gadgets like these are common examples, but if you’re looking to take your home to the next level, there are tech appliances such as refrigerators that can update your grocery list for you.

2019 Home Trends #4: Seeing Double

A modern twist on kitchens: double islands! If you’re renovating your kitchen and dining room, why not combine the two? When space is available, adding a second island in the kitchen with bar stools can replace the standard dining table, while adding additional storage and counter space.

If you still haven’t figured out your New Year's Resolution, think about adding one (or more!) of these 2019 home trends throughout your house. Do you have a favourite that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.