It would be fair to assume that a good way to judge a nation is to look at its capital city. If not a complete representation, it should at least be an indication of the country at large.
Some personal words I would use to describe Ottawa, based on my time there: cesspool, dump, septic tank, sewer, gutter, prostituting, repugnant, loathsome, rotten, corrupt, racist, sexist, cold, arctic, incompetent, depressing, bleak, detestable, appalling, boring, cursed, contemptible, obnoxious, offensive, vile; unholy.
Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, located in Ontario with a population just under a million people.
It started out as a dumpy little pioneer place called ‘Bytown’ in 1826, and was incorporated into the ‘City of Ottawa’ in 1855. Its major claims to fame are the Parliament building and the Rideau Canal – hand built by virtual slave laborers (poor Irish immigrants dying from malaria); a history the city does its best to downplay as much as possible.
Picturesque photos of Ottawa’s parliament hill nestled downtown nearby the river – sprinkled with statues and benches – makes for a nice first impression. Which is why it’s the only view of Ottawa that’s ever publicized. Outside a limited perimeter of downtown, the entire city is dismal. (The running joke is that it looks like it was ripped right out of the old Soviet Union.) It’s a bleak mixture of grey and brown buildings, ugly architecture and horrible urban planning. The ugliness is remarked upon by visitors, immigrants, and residents (who even write letters about it).
The only way to change the state of affairs would be to demolish most of the city and rebuild. Since that won’t happen, the unattractive soviet-like appearance will remain.
For decades raw sewage has been seeping into the Ottawa River while politicians and inhabitants looked the other way. (Only now have they begun to look into the issue seriously.) In 2016, forty-five million liters of raw sewage flowed into it. In 2017, 600 million liters of diluted sewage poured in.
What’s rather disturbing is that this seems to be “normal” to Ottawa residents. They happily swim, kayak or paddle board in the river. Even on days when the water isn’t too murky to see into, all you can glimpse are rocks, concrete blocks and garbage. Trash, discarded bottles and numerous homeless camp-outs are sprinkled alongside the canal downtown.
The most popular beaches are squalid patches of sand next to the polluted river. They’re often closed for swimming due to the sewage, fecal matter, and E Coli hitting dangerous levels. One of the most popular – Petrie Island – is built on an old garbage dump site. Toxic geese droppings also litter the beaches and make their way into the water.
During winter the old frozen pipes often burst, leading to building evacuations, or businesses and residents going 3-6 days without water usage. In one bad year the city received over 300 calls about it.
Ottawa’s roads are notoriously bad: cracks, massive potholes, disrepair, cheap or nonexistent maintenance and even sinkholes plague the city and surrounding areas. The Canadian Infrastructure Report Card showed only 20 percent were deemed “good”. After being decimated by winter, cheap hurried “repairs” are made in spring and summer, backlogging traffic and infuriating residents.
‘OC Transpo’ provides bus services for the Ottawa region and is unapologetic about its terrible service. What would be a 20 minute trip by car can take up to two hours and 3 bus transfers via public transit. When buses aren’t being hit by trains, catching fire, hitting pedestrians, hitting bus stations, or not showing up in winter, they are increasing fares (the average monthly bus pass now costs over $100).
When the cheating website ‘Ashley Madison’ was hacked, it showed that about 1 in 5 Ottawa residents were subscribers. When you factor in age, limited adult population, and other unexposed cheating websites – one can only guess at the actual levels of infidelity. And yes, plenty of the email addresses were traced back to the City and Parliament Hill. (The city tried to counter the bad publicity with a laughable defense.) Ottawa’s true colors are shown to the world!
Ottawa has terrible weather: either humid and stifling summer heat, or cold, depressive, arctic winters. It’s not unusual for winter weather to be -20 to -30 C. It’s usually colder than Moscow, and don’t forget the wind chill and freezing rain!
The crime trend is on the upswing in Ottawa: gangs, guns, shootings, problem immigrants and more contributing to the issue. (So far in 2018 there have been 76 shootings. Last year there were 75 shootings. In 2016 there were 68 shootings and 24 homicides.)
There was even a terrorist incident in 2014. With the influx of immigration, and judging by all the niqab and burka covered women in certain districts, it’s no surprise that terrorism-related convictions are now popping up regularly, due to ISIL supporters (locals or foreign born).
The city’s illicit drug problem has only continued to increase in the last few years, with local gangs battling over territory. A top doctor even claims Ottawa is “on the brink of a drug-injection crisis”. A ‘safe injection site’ akin to Vancouver’s was proposed by locals in Sandy Hill and opened in 2018.
In good news for the city, its ridiculous PR is paying off: a polling of cakers showed they believe Ottawa to be the safest city in Canada.
According to a statistical analysis that was done a few years ago, Ottawa was the ‘murder capital’ of the country only second to Winnipeg.
Some time has passed, but with all the new shootings and homicides there’s no reason to doubt this list has changed much, if at all.
Ottawans are about as safe as they are smart, they’re about as smart as they are attractive, they’re about as attractive as they are loyal … you get the point.
There is so much more I could write, but this is it in a nutshell. I used to write humorously about my hatred for Ottawa, but after time the humor was lost to total contempt. People would write in their thoughts and feelings to me, I’ve never witnessed such visceral hatred for a city – and I can assure you I share it.
I stopped sharing my musings after harassment from unhinged locals. It could be argued no one should submit to bullies – lest it embolden their behavior – but who has time to suffer their nuisances?
Ottawa is a cold, ugly little town filled with petty, miserable bureaucrats and hated by all. Take satisfaction in knowing its people will never go anywhere, see anything, or accomplish much in their shallow, rage-filled lives. Ottawa running the nation helps explain why Canada is what it is. It will only get worse from here …
Just leave, leave and never return to that unholy place!
See: Rants about Ottawa