For as long as I can remember, Ottawa has always been considered a boring, government city. This was meant to imply that there isn't any room to grow here and that opportunities are limited. Ottawans have constantly been told that they're 10 years behind Toronto and not as fun as Montreal.
However, times are changing and they're changing fast. Ottawa is on the fast track to becoming one of Canada's best cities and an amazing place to grow with endless opportunities. Here's how:
1. There has been a major increase in local artists on the rise.
From rappers to acoustic singers, to producers to content creators, the talent in the city is only increasing. Ottawa artists are starting to gain the confidence to drop their music, collaborate together, and put the city on the map as a team. Some examples of up and coming artists include Omari Mydz, Jeff Sanon, and King Kimbit.
2. Newer, more modern clubs have opened.
If you take a look around Ottawa, you'll notice that many clubs have undergone a number of renovations and rebranded themselves, creating a better, funner atmosphere. Once upon a time, clubbing in Ottawa included extremely limited and narrow options but that's no longer the case. From Tomo to Nvy to PPL Nightclub, there are so many hot spots to discover!
3. Our malls are being renovated and expanding.
Who would've thunk that Ottawa would ever get a Nordstrom or a Simons? The fact that we even managed to get a 2 story Forever 21 is shocking in itself! Fortunately, when Cadillac Fairview took over some of the major malls in our city such as Rideau and Bayshore, they turned these shopping centres into places you'd actually want to shop at.
4. There's a lot more pride in the city.
The pride in Ottawa became a lot more prevalent during the 150th anniversary celebrations. When the Ottawa signs were installed, there was also a massive increase in Instagram photos tagging Ottawa. The same thing happened when Ottawa's official merch line was launched and when all the exciting events such as Sky Lounge, MosaïCanada, Kontinuum, and La Machine took place.
5. Better transit is being instilled to make Ottawa a faster city.
Every uOttawa student and government worker has felt the irritating effects of Ottawa's construction. In preparation for the Confederation Line being launched in 2018, these past couple years have felt as though the city was being torn up and Ottawans were left to deal with the aftermath. Fortunately, however, it'll all be over soon and the new transit way will make getting from point A to B that much faster.
6. There's better access to limited quality items.
When the Yeezy Boost 350's were launched earlier this year, local clothing boutique NRML teamed up with the shopping app Frenzy to make the shoes accessible to Ottawans. Anyone who knows anything about streetwear or sneaker culture knows just how difficult it is to attain a pair of these highly desired sneakers. Although access was still limited, Ottawans who copped a pair were definitely fortunate.
7. So many new food spots.
Clearly every true Ottawan knows of the gem that is El Furniture Warehouse, the place that serves great food for a set price of $4.99. It opened not too long ago and has been packed every since it opened but it's not the only amazing new food spot in Ottawa. From Zak's Cantina to Pure Kitchen, even if these spots have been around for a little while now, you're not living Ottawa to its' full potential if you haven't been!
8. There's so much diversity in the city.
We have ChinaTown, Little Lebanon, Little Italy and many more culture centered neighbourhoods in the city creating a diverse and open atmosphere. In fact, most of the youth's slang actually comes from Somali and Arabic terms just because of how big these populations are in the city! There are different festivals dedicated to celebrating your heritage every month, as well as amazing places to eat.
9. Ottawa is becoming way trendier than it was in the past.
I used to be one of the people who doubted Ottawa would ever become a trendy city until I realized that we're actually extremely trendy! Ottawa was the first city to have a Mad Radish, it's home to places like Nordik and Omega Park, and we have restaurants with rooftop patios like Andaz and Atari. There are honestly so many cute, little, trendy spots to get some fire IG pics!
10. In 2018, weed will be legal!
For our stoner Ottawans, you definitely read that right. In July 2018, marijuana will become legal all across Canada and it'll be for an affordable price, too! Now, 4/20's on the Hill will be a way bigger party and you won't have to fear running into troubles with the law.