I firmly believe that Ottawa has a high percentage of disordered people. Due to medical privacy laws and a lack of clinical diagnoses there is no objective way to measure the population, which is a shame because this is surely indicative of the quality of life in any city.
Acquaint yourself by starting with the following books:
The Sociopath Next Door
The Mask of Sanity
In Sheep’s Clothing
The key to dealing with these personality types is understanding them, spotting the warning signs and avoidance.
You need to learn about narcissists, sociopaths and “gaslighting“. Then you can learn how to minimize risk and damage to yourself and your family.
Don’t tell new “friends” or acquaintances any personal history or issues. Keep conversations generic and surface level. If someone probes for information – continually bring the conversation back to him/her.
Don’t show any weakness. Think of it like prison or the streets: signs of weakness (lack of confidence or conviction, caving in to pressure) attract predators and bullies. Hold firm.
Carefully vet people. Be polite and casual with others while taking your time getting to know them. Watch their behavior, observe, and don’t assume decency is in them because it’s in you.
2. Winter Gear
This may seem obvious but my message is for lower income/working class people. If you’re on a budget there’s a tendency to purchase inferior clothing and boots to save money in the moment. But this temptation will cause you misery in the long-run.
Do what is necessary: save, use your credit card, purchase used items off Kijiji or Craigslist, cut down on non-essentials, etc.
Winter is miserable at -20 C to -30 C. Enduring years of this for months on end, means quality winter wear is a priority! (As much as you may promise yourself your relocation or stay is “temporary” … one year can easily turn into five despite best efforts. )
When I finally got a Canada Goose jacket I was amazed at how easy it was to go for 30 minute walks outside with little discomfort. It is WORTH IT! I was cheap and stubborn for many winters and caused myself extra suffering. Be smarter!
3. Toxic Work
A decade ago the ‘public sector’ accounted for 20% of employed Canadians, including almost 1 in 3 federal employees working in Ottawa-Gatineau. As of 2017, the number of federal government employees working in the NCR (National Capital Region) was 145,000.
In 2016, the NCR population was 1,323,783 – meaning that federal employees comprised nearly 11% of the workforce. That’s 1 out of every 10 people walking around who works for the Feds. Now you begin to understand …
It is extremely difficult to fire a government worker. In almost all cases, employees are shifted to different departments and problematic people are transferred to new locations. With such protection comes a lack of accountability, an inability to remove bad apples and an overall lowering of standards.
In many situations individuals with personality disorders won’t fare well: they end up reprimanded, fired, or ostracized. Mixing disordered persons into cushy jobs they can’t lose is a recipe for disaster; throw in the other issues for a nice stew of toxicity. Because of the good salary, benefits and pension – people stay, even if they’re miserable … hence the miserable populace and working conditions.
As you find yourself in this Kafkaesque nightmare you may ask:
Can people really be this incompetent?
Can people really be this vicious and petty?
How does this place continue to run?
How does the country function with the NCR as its core?
What kind of nightmare am I living in?
Let me give you some advice: look inward and learn to cope. This situation has been brewing for decades and you cannot reinvent the wheel. No amount of hard work, positive attitude or ingenuity can change the culture of a city or your workplace. One blade of grass can’t stand against the tsunami of dysfunction…
Continue to work hard. Continue to treat others politely and professionally. Continue to disengage from workplace dramas and gossip. Keep your head down and plot your escape with care. And if you are planning on working there until retirement … invest in a good therapist and try not to develop a cocaine addiction.
Yes, this all mostly applies to the private sector and general work environment too.
My advice would be to avoid it if you’re only staying a short time. If you’re brave enough to try then I urge caution.
Ashley Madison was hacked and when user data was revealed it showed that as many as 1 in 5 Ottawans were users. Media then went into overdrive complaining, explaining, and making excuses as for why this wasn’t so.
Regardless of the exact numbers or what you believe – Ottawa is filled with cheaters, liars, affairs, and women selling themselves on the side (with or without their partners’ knowledge).
The prostitution rates are higher per capita than in Toronto, Montreal or elsewhere. They’re also higher than the provincial and federal averages. (The city tried to say that there’s “more vigilant police-work ” in Ottawa to account for the difference!) Ottawa is also one of the three main hubs for the sex trafficking of Aboriginal women.
Anecdotally, I witnessed plenty of: cheating, affairs, prostitution; people laughing about giving others STDs; people shrugging off getting STDs without a care; middle class women turning to sex work and on and on. Just a gross place.
Be very careful who you date: get to know them and hope for the best while preparing for the worst.
5. Happy Place
Misery and Ottawa go hand-in-hand for any sane or well-traveled person. It can all get a little overwhelming. You need to find a couple spots you can go to when it’s all too much. My favorite places to find peace:
– The Aviation Museum, National Art Gallery, Conroy Pit (dog walking).
The long and tedious winters will require innovation. Try making a list of top classic books to read or movies to watch. Try learning a new language with a course or online program. Try your hand at a new hobby like painting or woodworking.
I discovered a love of foreign cinema and Hitchcock. I also drank a lot. I won’t lie … Jack Daniels helped tremendously.
6. Media-based income.
Leaving Ottawa requires a good deal of money without a work-transfer. One Gatineau resident used to complain about the region and vent online. He suggested it cost roughly $10,000 to make a proper move. He was mocked online (and later doxxed by someone with too much time on his hands) – but he was correct. I found that it cost roughly that for airfare, new furniture, deposits and so on. (It may be easier for single people.)
While you’re wasting away in Ottawa you may as well be productive.
I suggest a media based method to make a passive income: blogging, podcasts, Youtube videos, selling digital art or intellectual property, having a drop-based shipping company (USA) and similar ideas which can be done on the web.
Try to avoid physical manufacturing or shipping – which is expensive from Ottawa/Canada and will be redundant in the event of a global pandemic, conflict, or other crisis.
Stick to something which can be done online (with little cost) and can make money 24 hours a day by virtue of views, clicks, or sales by internet. Gradually you can build up your content (which is a lengthy process) … and it’s something to do in winter.
Having an extra revenue stream will help with the move or resettling, especially if you go somewhere more expensive like Toronto or Vancouver. This advice is especially pertinent for the working poor.
Finally … you will make it out eventually. Persistence is key. If I can do it with the hurdles I faced – anyone can. Don’t give up!
During my time in Ottawa I had two stalkers; was sexually harassed; had a pervert neighbor drill peep holes in the exterior wall; was threatened numerous times; was scammed and ripped off by bosses and individuals; had terrible landlords; was gaslighted; met disturbed individuals; met an assortment of weirdos; had my work credentials discounted; worked mundane, belittling jobs; was beaten up by a group of losers; was randomly offered a machine gun; survived severe depression; developed an anxiety condition on account of all the freaks … I could go on but you get the picture.
My last advice: if you’re working class don’t bother going to Toronto or Vancouver, your standard of living will go down. Ottawa has some benefits: work for the Feds (through networking, not talent), social nets for the poor, close to Montreal, close to New York and Vermont, etc.
Try to enjoy the small good things that are there and focus on your future. Things can seem bleak, don’t be discouraged.
It’s been awhile hasn’t it? I thought I would share a free version of my small ebook to help the long-suffering caker-hostages in such shit holes as Edmonton, Ottawa, Regina, Winnipeg and so on. At the very least, I hope it gives you a small smile, a couple chuckles and a few minutes of reprieve. Enjoy!
“If this year is anything like 2016, a flock of tourists the size of the population of Nova Scotia will be coming to Canada this summer. While most go home satisfied, a chosen few will gaze upon Canada’s wonders and decide that the whole enterprise was a waste of time.
Three months ago, the National Post explored the phenomenon of tourists giving dismal reviews to Canada’s world-renowned national parks. Now we present a gallery of reviews bashing everything else, from museums to memorials to historic sites. All reviews are quoted verbatim.
Royal Tyrrell Museum (Drumheller, Alta.)
“Rather than calling this a Museum, I would call it a shrine to the ideology of evolution.No real dinasaur bones are on display, just fiberglass replicas. The written presentation accompanying each display presents only the theory of evolution. Almost no factual info such as who found the bones and where and when they were found is available.”
Being that dinosaurs are integral to Drumheller and what it’s known for, you’d think they could do better, i.e.: have REAL bones. But that’s asking too much of Canada and its dino capital! I remember visiting as a kid and seeing a few museums, no doubt they are dismal viewing as an adult.
Rideau Canal (Ottawa, Ont.)
“This open sewer/historic canal does not have any decent places to eat nearby (nothing remotely at Vancouver’s culinary level) or interesting attractions, because the Stalin it’s type bureaucracy that controls it (called the NCC) doesn’t like vibrant urban activity.”
Having lived in Ottawa, I can comment on this. The canal is a murky green-brown. It’s shallow and the bottom is filled with rocks, concrete and garbage. There’s no wildlife to be seen other than the odd duck. In the summer it STINKS in many areas from the sewage seeping in or broken pipes releasing fecal fumes. Walking along it presents no special viewing, with little to do, a lot of roads and traffic and abandoned homeless camping spots.
CN Tower (Toronto, Ont.)
“Hours in a line to get up, and the same to get down. Why did I think viewing Toronto would be worth any wait?”
You spend an hour or two waiting in line. You finally get to the top. You look out the window and get to see Toronto. All you witness are brown and grey buildings as far as the eye can see … incredibly ugly and depressing. Then you get to spend half an hour getting down. Just skip it, trust me.
National War Memorial (Ottawa, Ont.)
“This gives a poor image of Canada’s War Memorial. It is most likely the entrance to a hotel. Come on get with it.”
Yeah this is the war memorial. Just a little statue down town among other statues and monuments. They sometimes do a changing of the guard near it, which looks like a cheap knock-off version of the British kind, done for a few tourists’ pennies. You can go see the Canadian War Museum nearby … nothing special either. It would do for a small city, but this is the nation’s capital!
World’s Largest Fiddle (Sydney, N.S.)
“We were walking by the waterfront when we saw the fiddle. People call this an attraction? It’s just a fiddle, nothing to write home about.”
This is a great example of how interesting Nova Scotia is. Oh I know, I know … you have waterfront views of the ocean and can go on boats. Just don’t remind the cakers that you can do that anywhere on coastal lands … this is “special” in Canada.
Emily Carr Birthplace (Victoria, B.C.)
“Only three of the rooms in the house are available for viewing, The video about Emily Carr is far too long. Two cats have the run of the entire site, which we had to leave due to our alergic reaction to the felines. Save your money.”
There’s nothing special to see on Vancouver Island. The only things worth going for are hiking in the ancient redwood forests and whale watching. As for this, you basically get to walk into a house, see a couple rooms of nothing and walk out: sums up Vancouver Island nicely.
Montreal’s Gay Village (Montreal, Que.)
“I starting visiting Montreal about 5 years ago. In those days the Gay Village was vibrant with sexual energy and had an edge that was exciting. Open and friendly with a true element of masculinity. Montreal’s Gay Village has been reduced to a play ground for straights, twinks and girls. Even venues like the once famous Leather/Denim bar at the edge of the Village, Le Stud, has made double sure that that only women and boys are welcome. They claim that this is a club for “men who like men”, but upon entering the place there is not a masculine man in site.”
I can’t comment much on this, other than “upon entering the place there is not a masculine man in site” could probably apply to many places in Canada. Montreal is a dirty, brown, grey ugly city with a few nice spots thrown in. The people are marginally better than the rest of cakers and there’s more to do than the average caker city … although Montreal’s “vibrancy” would be considered normal in any American or European city, i.e.: human activity.
Terry Fox Monument (Thunder Bay, Ont.)
“There is not much to do in thunder bay, its a very boring city, that i probably why this monument is on the list of what there is to do in thunder bay!”
Ah Thunder Bay, I’ll touch on this place soon. In most normal countries, a “monument” is something like the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty. In sad Canada, a little piece of concrete in any of its small dump cities becomes a “monument” and an “attraction.”
Canadian Museum for Human Rights (Winnipeg, Man.)
“I feel like my human rights were violated by having them trap me in this monstrosity for two hours. It’s not just bad. It’s surprisingly bad. It’s embarrassingly bad … there’s very little here. Granted, they keep reminding you that ‘some of the galleries are not open yet’… but even if these unopened spaces are full of spectacular things like animatronic Gandhis and holographic race riots, it still won’t be enough.”
It’s Winnipeg – enough said! If you leave Winnipeg without being robbed, stabbed or losing your will to live … consider yourself blessed.
Notre Dame Basilica (Montreal, Que.)
“Line was so long, we couldn’t get near the place. The plaza was ok. A guy was selling his guitar CDs and playing guitar. However, he had the amp plugged into the CD and he wasn’t actually playing the guitar. Interesting.”
In my experience, whenever you want to do anything remotely interesting in Montreal or see an “attraction” be prepared to wait 60-120 minutes to get in, and then it’s never worth the hype. In this case, there’s a nice church. Too many to count in Europe, plenty in the US – but here any nice or older architecture is a big deal.
Habitat 67 (Montreal, Que.)
“Looking at these appartment buildings, it looks like a very unco-ordinated pile of boxes. Not my style of architecture.”
Yes, sad but true … this ugly lump of buildings is an “attraction” that cakers proudly list as something to see in Montreal. Here if you can build things and have them last a few decades without falling apart or succumbing to the bone-shattering winters, it’s applauded.
Butchart Gardens (Victoria, B.C.)
“What a disappointment. Of course it was late May so not a lot of flowers but was very busy and not much to see. Too many tourist but the most disappointing this to me was seeing a Japanese flag flying next to the Canadian flag. Are you kidding?”
A nice garden … they have one in every city. Next!
World’s largest dinosaur (Drumheller, Alta.)
“Just did not look real, at entrance to museum,maybe kids like it but it looks like a poor imitation.it is valuable as a landmark on the way to see something else.”
They said it was the world’s largest dinosaur – not that it was a quality one! Once you’re finished looking at this paper-mache school project, why not head on down to the dinosaur museums with no bones?
Wreck of the S.S. Ethie (Gros Morne National Park, N.L.)
“Not worth going down the steps to the beach! It’s just a bunch of rusty metal parts scattered along the beach! An environmental clean-up is needed by the Federal Government! Even the interpretation sign was in poor shape, too!”
In most places, looking at rusty garbage dumps would be considered a forced chore. Here in Canada it’s an “attraction”! So have a long hard look at this photograph and skip the visit.
Miss Piggy Plane Crash Site (Churchill, Man.)
“While there is some sort of story that goes with Miss Piggy, it is simply a bucket of rust that crashed near Churchill. If you are interested, just look at the pictures. The only thing interesting about it was looking for polar bears while my group stared at it.”
Do I even need to comment? It’s an old junk plane. I hope they got their money back, but I doubt it – scamming unaware tourists and immigrants is how we keep the local dollars flowing!
Plains of Abraham (Quebec City, Que.)
“The french come here every year on their national holiday to celebrate their independence but they forget it was the ENGLISH who won the war and granted them the right to stay here and practice their language and religion.”
A nice looking park to walk around with a cheesy little museum. Unlike in the US, nothing of major historical importance to most people and no summer re-enactments or in-depth viewing/historical tours.
West Edmonton Mall (Edmonton, Alta.)
“While this place is a Mall crawlers fantasy I hate Malls. There is nothing you could ever need that this place doesn’t have except for peace and quiet. If I liked Malls I could spend weeks in here and not see everything they have to offer.”
Nothing special … a giant mall. It has a bunch of stores in it, a movie theater, pools, etc. If you’re like me and hate malls and pathetic unnecessary consumerism – this is your worst nightmare. Of course, to the hillbillies in northern Alberta – a big mall is “fancy” and exciting!
Comment: There you have it folks. This is literally the kind of garbage you find as things to ‘see and do’ in Canada. I took the Parliament building off the list to be fair. While Ottawa is a complete dump, the Parliament building does hold historical significance for Canada and it is the only one in the country. I toured it once during a visit, never felt the need to go back a second time – which probably says something. There was no commentary on Niagara Falls, so let me fill you in: stick to the American side. Niagara and St. Catherines are creepy. The Canadian side is filled with cheesy attractions: arcades, bad restaurants and such. It’s like a trailer trash wannabe version of Vegas, but I’m pretty sure a sight-seeing attraction put together by a mobile home park would actually be nicer and more interesting. You can buy severely overpriced trinkets all plastered with a maple leaf to remind you of your awful vacation. Niagara Falls is filled with immigrants from developing nations (who didn’t know better), drug addicts, criminals and general hillbillies. There you have it folks – a cross country tour of Canada! If you come, do it for the wilderness and outdoor activities – the only things actually worth seeing. But if you can do them in Europe or the USA – stay there! They too have mountain ranges, beaches, prairies, coastal waters and even arctic climates.
The following quotes and information are taken from the 2014 report: Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Aboriginal Women and Girls: Literature Review and Key Informant Interviews
This is an attempt to narrow down the report to the most pertinent information.
Background “According to the 2006 Canadian Census, Aboriginal peoples (North American Indian -First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) made up 3.8% of the total population, with just over half (51.2%) of the Aboriginal population being female. This is nearly 4% of the total female population in Canada.
Although they are only a small percentage of the population, Aboriginal women and girls are severely over represented in sexual exploitation and trafficking in comparison to the general Canadian population (Seshia, 2005; Sethi, 2007; Saewyc et al, 2008; Sikka, 2009; Farley, Lynne, & Cotton, 2005; Ursel et al, 2007; Barrett, 2010)” (pg 8) “As part of her literature review on Aboriginal adolescent girls in the United States of America (USA), Pierce’s 2012 research paper explored recent Canadian research. Also grouping prostitution and human trafficking for sexual exploitation together, her review of Canadian literature identifies “Vancouver, British Columbia; Ottawa, Ontario; and Winnipeg, Manitoba as major centers for the sexual trafficking of Aboriginal women and children (p. 39)”
“Winnipeg: Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (2010) released a document citing a Government of Canada website (www.stopsexwithkids.ca) identifying that of the approximately 400 children and youth exploited in Winnipeg every year, a high of 70-80 percent were of Aboriginal descent (and 72% of the 400 had been processed through Child and Family Services).” “A 2010 extensive literature review by Barrett identified and explored promising practices for the prevention of human trafficking in Canada for the Status of Women Canada. Barrett stated that “studies on human trafficking in Canada conclude[d] that the majority of people trafficked within Canada are Aboriginal women and children victims of sex trafficking” (p. iii)” (pg 9)
History of Abuse
“Below are some of the highlights of the experiences of the experiential Aboriginal women in the report:
79% had been abused as children (on average by 4 perpetrators). Over two thirds of the women had family who had attended boarding schools. 92% had been raped. 84% had been physically assaulted. 72% experienced traumatic brain injuries in prostitution. 98% were either currently or previously homeless. 52% at the time of the interview had PTSD; 71% had symptoms of dissociation. 80% had used outpatient substance abuse services; 77% had used homeless shelters; 65% had used domestic violence services; and 33% had used sexual assault services. 92% wanted to escape prostitution. (Farley et al, 2011, p. 3) Additionally, from the pool of participants, thirty-nine percent identified as prostituting as minors (below the age of eighteen) – which means they were trafficked.” Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
“In a 2005 paper examining prostituted and trafficked women, out of the one hundred participants, including both First Nations and non-First Nations, 72% qualified for PTSD, which is “among the highest reported in populations where PTSD has been studied, including battered women, combat veterans, childhood trauma survivors, rape survivors, and torture survivors” (Farley, Lynne, & Cotton, 2005, p. 255) . Those who are prostituted and sexually trafficked often experience extreme and intentional violence, abuse and torture. It is no surprise that these women and girls fulfill the criteria for PTSD. Such evidence suggests the difficulty of trying to move on from sexual exploitation, trafficking, and prostitution.”
“The over-representation of Aboriginal women and girls in sexual exploitation and trafficking in Canada has been explored on repeated occasion through a span of years. However, the identified root causes never seem to change. These are the impact of colonialism on Aboriginal societies, the legacies of the residential schools and their inter-generational effects, family violence, childhood abuse, poverty, homelessness, lack of basic survival necessities, race and gender-based discrimination, lack of education, migration, and substance addictions.
In some Aboriginal communities, these root causes coupled with rural/remote living conditions creates a complex environment that contributes to an increased risk among Aboriginal women and girls in being sexually exploited and trafficked. Also, some of the cultural aspects of rural environments make it difficult for Aboriginal communities and individuals to address this issue, prevent it and/or heal from it. Factors such as isolation, poverty, lack of support networks, lack of education and cultural activities further enhance the vulnerabilities of Aboriginal women and girls when they migrate to cities (Kingsley & Mark, 2001; Barrett, 2010; Urban Native Youth Association, 2001; Seshia, 2005; Farley & Lynne, 2005).” (pg 11)
As noted in the report, most of the issues are also common to non-Aboriginal women in prostitution and trafficking: sexual abuse, traumatic childhoods, poverty, low education levels, substance abuse, addictions, lack of resources.
Introduction into both has common themes, including: pimps (originally acting as caretakers, ‘job providers’ or other concerned benevolent characters), boyfriends (feigning love and comfort at the beginning stages); drug suppliers (creating addictions in order to control the women physically and financially); and criminals holding them against their will through coercion and threats of harm.
Generally cakers will argue that Aboriginal women were abused by “their own” and so it’s not their [cakers] “fault” or responsibility; as such, they shift the burden back onto the women. While inter-familial violence is a big issue inside Aboriginal communities, these women are abused just as much (if not more) by white Canadians. This happens through the johns [customers] who are predominately white, and sexual abuse in foster-care; a very slim minority of foster-carers are Aboriginal.
Correlation to Foster Care
“While the research does not say that Aboriginal children who go into child welfare services and foster care will be sexually exploited, there is significant co-relational data to link heightened vulnerability to being sexually exploited and trafficked with being involved in child welfare services. TERF performs an intake evaluation on their participants and their findings are that: 74% of TERF youth are involved with Child and Family Services. With an average of 5 placements in their short lives.
68% of TERF adults were clients of Child and Family Services as youth. With an average of 6.5 placements during their youth.
(Ursel et al, 2007, p. iii) Saewyc et al’s 2008 study, compiling data from five different youth health surveys, and including 1,845 youth across British Columbia, (and of which Aboriginal youth were found to make up one third to one-half of the sexually exploited participants across the surveys) found that many participants had had experience with child welfare services.
For some, foster care or a group home was their first site of sexual exploitation: 14% in 2000, 10% in 2001, and 12% in 2006 (p. 23). The researchers further explored the relation of youth in care and found that “sexually exploited youth were significantly more likely to have been in care than their non-exploited peers” (p. 40). The researchers specified further:
Among younger street-involved youth in 2006, 44% of sexually exploited youth had been in care, compared to 33% of non-exploited youth. Similarly, among older street-involved youth in 2001, 66% of exploited youth had been in care, compared to 41% of non-exploited youth. Youth in custody in 2000 had even higher rates: 75% of sexually exploited youth had been in care, while 59% of non-exploited youth had been in care. (Saewyc et al. 2008, p. 40) (p33)” The reality for many Aboriginal women and girls in Canada are that they are victims and survivors of domestic sex trafficking. Aboriginal women and girls are being targeted for sexual exploitation and relocated from their communities, homes, foster homes, to and within urban centres in Canada. In general, the high rates of migration from a reserve (rural area) to an urban centre also poses an increased risk and entry point through which vulnerable Aboriginal women and girls may be exploited. The promises by sex traffickers to provide shelter and employment in off – reserve communities can lead young Aboriginal girls to feel that they can escape poverty or a potential problem situation at home. They willingly leave their home and community only to discover that the promise was too good to be true and they are forced into sex slavery. They are manipulated and lured by sex traffickers. Many Aboriginal girls go missing from communities or in urban centres and they are viewed as runaways, or simply fall off the radar. The misinterpretations of misconceptions on the definition regarding cross-border movement and coercion leaves many trafficked Aboriginal women and girls unprotected and neglected. (p 35)”
I looked up information regarding Aboriginal children in foster care. They overwhelmingly represent the bulk of foster children:
“… aboriginal children made up seven per cent of the country’s child population, but accounted for 48 per cent of foster children.”
Of course, cakers didn’t begin to take census information on foster children until 2011! Subsequently it’s difficult to ascertain certain things because they – you guessed it – don’t have the data!
From the data in this report alone, sexual abuse of foster children can be assumed to fluctuate between 10-15%. Keep in mind this is only self-reported data from women who went on to become prostitutes or trafficking victims (the small group surveyed here); not counting the unreported incidents and women who survived childhood relatively unscathed. The number could reasonably be assumed at approximately 1 in 5 aboriginal children being abused in care. Curious, I looked up statistics and lo and behold:
A recent report found shocking levels of sexual abuse in British Columbia. And:“More than 60 per cent of the victims were Indigenous girls, the report found, even though Indigenous youth only make up a quarter of the youth in foster care in B.C.”
Indigenous girls are up to 4x more likely to be sexually abused. I would like to give more information but you know the old favorite caker standby: we don’t have the data!
National Resources RCMP’s Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre:
“In fulfilling these priorities they have launched a campaign, “I am not for Sale” with educational tools aimed at Canada’s youth. They have also released a report, Human Trafficking in Canada. Regrettably, both of these initiatives are lacking a specific mention of Aboriginal peoples. The report goes so far as to include specific chapters linking Eastern European, Asian, and African women to human trafficking in Canada, and yet there is no specific mention of Aboriginal women and girls. Instead of putting forth the needed awareness and identification of the importance of Aboriginal women and girls’ sexual exploitation and trafficking in Canada, we are instead left with a stereotyped view of human trafficking that largely passes over the domestic nature of this crime in Canada.” (p 37)
It would make sense to aim your awareness-campaign towards the most trafficked group, would it not? But this is the RCMP!
“Further challenging the RCMP’s task to address human trafficking is a lack of funding when it comes to Aboriginal women and girls. In a Committee report of the Parliament of Canada, it is reported that Sergeant Lori Lowe had advised the Committee, “that the RCMP’s National Aboriginal Policing Service had an interest in examining the trafficking of Aboriginal women for the purpose of sexual exploitation, but that the RCMP lacked funding and human resources to be able to carry out such research” (Standing Committee on the Status of Women, 2007, p. 10). Considering the prevalence of Aboriginal women and girls as victims of sexual exploitation, this is a funding and resource deficiency that should be sufficiently addressed so that the RCMP is properly informed on the issue.”
Of course cakers don’t have the funding! And without the funding they can’t carry out research, which of course means solid information and provable statistics – they can fall back on their favorite excuse: lack of data! Why even have a unit if you can’t fund resources for the number one victim group?
BC’s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons
“In line with some of the suggestions put forth earlier in this paper, the OCTIP engages in significant public education endeavours on human trafficking. Networking and collaborating with Aboriginal communities is to be applauded, and their approach of education about human trafficking directly answers to calls in the literature for such practices. However, while they recognize the priority of human trafficking for Aboriginal women and youth, currently the organization is without a strategic plan on how to address the issue. It is also unclear how, from their report, they plan to leverage the relationship-building with Aboriginal communities to combat Aboriginal sexual exploitation in a systematic way.”
National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking
“The Canadian government released their National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (NAPCH) by Public Safety in 2012 …
In a testament to how prevalent domestic trafficking is, the report identified that, of the cases waiting to be processed, ninety percent were regarded as domestic human trafficking (National Action Plan, p. 8). The report identifies the disparities in the current protection system, confessing a knowledge gap in how human trafficking in Aboriginal communities manifests and takes shape (National Action Plan, p. 12). In their 2012 strategy, the only suggestion to address gaps in this area is that there needs to be enhanced engagement with Aboriginal organizations. More recently, Public Safety Canada tendered a call for proposals titled, Research: Trafficking of Aboriginal Women and Girls: Trends and Issues. At the time of this writing, this research is currently being carried out.” (p 39)
Child Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking Act, 2012
“In addition to this, the Act also provides the victim with recourse to sue their perpetrator in Tort Law over the harm caused by their actions. While a valid effort, an analysis of Aboriginal contexts quickly raises some problem areas …
… suing requires a lawyer, and a lawyer requires fees. Requiring Aboriginal women and girls to fund their pursuit of justice as trafficking victims is problematic. Considering that Aboriginal women and girls are among the poorest of the poor, this may be a very unaffordable option to pursue their rights.
Considering the widespread sexual exploitation of Aboriginal women and girls in Canada as a domestic trafficking practice, it would seem logical that any anti-human trafficking endeavours in Canada would have this consideration as one of its key understandings and act upon it. Yet we see from the above examples that it is quite often simply not the case. The Manitoba Act is the only one in existence in Canada.” (p 39)
Victims by “choice”
“Throughout the three articles, the collective argument of the researchers are that the prevalence of sexual abuse suffered by these women as children, their on-going exploitation until they hit the age of 18 (at which point Canadian law, law enforcement, and civil society seem to deem it a ‘choice’), their poverty, and their lack of alternatives can only logically and ethically mean that it is not a choice, they are being exploited, by pimp, madam, or john. In the 2003 article, which was a research endeavour exploring the roots of ‘prostitution’ in nine different countries, these authors make the contention that genuine consent cannot exist in prostitution. Real consent requires: “physical safety, equal power with customers, and real alternatives.” (Farley et al., 2003, p. 65)” (p 40)
“Historical views of Aboriginal females as sexually available and as criminals carries over into some modern views. Added to this image are the impacts of colonization, residential school trauma and intergenerational effect, and the breakdown of traditional communities as a result of these pressures and impacts (Sikka, 2009), resulting in inter-related factors increasing the over-representation of these women and girls in Canada’s domestic sex trade. However, these factors do not move these women into the category of what is popularly and legally considered trafficking, “thus, things that happen to [these women and girls] are not viewed as exploitation or trafficking in persons, but rather as a natural consequence of the life that she has chosen to occupy. The image of the trafficked ‘victim,’ therefore, does not include her story” (Sikka, 2009,p. 2). ” (p 41)
“If, in attempting to address women who have been sexually trafficked, we ignore women working in prostitution who have not been relocated for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and we ignore women who have no pimp but are daily exploited by johns, then it is NWAC’s stance that such a perspective would be unethical to addressing sexually exploited women, and such endeavours would be built to greatly limit the addressing of the real society issues and factors that make up human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation in Canada.”
Legalized prostitution: a failed project
“Illegal prostitution, in the form of human trafficking, continues to take place in countries, such as Germany, where it was legalized in 2002. Two-thirds of the estimated 400,000 sex workers in Germany travel from overseas to the country (Osborne, 2013) where the system of legalized prostitution provides a cover for traffickers to mask indications of international human trafficking, allowing women in large numbers to be brought to Germany and sexually exploited (Unprotected: How legalizing prostitution has failed, 2013). When confronted by police, many workers from outside of Germany were told what to say by their pimps to avoid suspicion. Since the legalization of prostitution in Germany, the number of trafficked victims has increased from an estimate of 9,870 – 19,740 in 2001 to 12,350 – 24,700 in 2003 (German Federal Police Office Report, 2009, p.75). The legalized prostitution system has provided for a great increase in trafficking victims in an unhealthy dynamic that seems to be increasing the number of women who are forced and trapped within a legalized system.
Quit talking, start doing
“Perhaps it is time to reframe the discussion on sex trafficking in Canada and greatly increase the emphasis on exploring Aboriginal over-representation, exiting, and prevention as opposed to repeatedly ‘discovering’ high Aboriginal representation in research on Canada’s domestic sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. Some of this would be addressed through pursuing a national research agenda that would present a comprehensive picture of Aboriginal representation in Canada’s domestic sex trafficking. Partly it would depend on recognition in the ranks of policy development and implementation that Aboriginal contexts should be a priority. It is not our contention to displace others who are suffering in sexual exploitation and trafficking in Canada.
However, from our research, and that of others, findings show that Aboriginal women and girls are drastically over-represented in sex trafficking to the point where they seem to be the dominant representatives in some regions of Canada, and not far behind that in other places. With Aboriginal women and girls making up such a small segment of Canada’s population, this over-representation is unacceptable and requires immediate attention.”
Caker question: What’s the difference between ‘red-skins’?
“The prevailing practice in research focusing on Aboriginal women and girls in sex trafficking and sexual exploitation in Canada uses a “pan-Aboriginal” approach which amalgamates First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples into one group. This is both troubling and problematic. It does not fully recognize the cultural diversity, distinctness, and identities of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples.”
Buying sex: interconnection
“As I’ve studied and learned from women who’ve been exploited and prostituted – most from the time they were children – it has become clear to me that trafficking, prostitution, strip clubs and pornography are all interconnected. Unless we are willing to talk about and address each of these, and in particular, the demand that drives them, we won’t solve the problem of sexual exploitation.”
Ms. Beazley further expressed that, “Pornography teaches entitlement – the idea that sex is a need, and that men have a right to it on their terms at any time, which legitimizes the buying of sex and leads us to accept that there should be a class of women made available for purchase. Porn feeds the demand for paid sex – which funnels women into prostitution. Men consume porn and seek out the sex they believe other men are having and feel they too are entitled to have. As violence and degradation in porn have become commonplace, this is mirrored in the lived experiences of women in prostitution. And all of this fuels sex trafficking. Increased demand for paid sex always leads to an increase in trafficking. Trafficking victims are exploited in pornography, and filmed sex acts are sometimes used as a means of coercion and control. Porn is also used to groom and train trafficking victims.” John entitlement: violence
“We know from the research that a very high number of Johns are violent (this includes both physical and verbal acts of aggression). High-volume participant studies return high reports of violence: 90% of 100 women (52 of which were First Nations) had been physically assaulted in prostitution (Farley, Lynne, & Cotton, 2005); 92% reported being raped in prostitution – over half were raped 5-10 times, 15% of them raped over 20 times; 84% reported being physically assaulted while prostituting, and of the assaults, Johns were the perpetrators for 44% of the attacks (Farley et al, 2011, p. 28). While we recognize that there is a distinction between prostitution and trafficking, as prostitution is deemed non-forced and trafficking as forced, we think it is fair to work on the inference that, if different, trafficking victims would face more, not less violence. For this reason, studies on violence against prostitutes would still have bearing on people who are sexually trafficked.” (pg 46)
“From their perspective, it would seem that the fundamental approach in Canada was misdirected, and that blame for trafficking fell squarely on the shoulders of trafficked women and girls. This was reflected in the fact that prosecuting of prostitution where currently women faced incarceration for acts of prostitution while the johns were sent to john school (a place where johns are educated on prostitution such that they are discouraged from engaging in it again). Incarceration only further marginalizes and discriminates against these vulnerable women and girls and makes difficult their exiting of prostitution for safer, more reliable employment options. The law does not seem to be effective in pursuing pimps and johns. In their experience, the interviewees indicated that judgment, on the part of police and media, seemed to be a very relevant factor in terms of whether police perform fairly when it comes to missing and trafficked Aboriginal girls. The police are more likely to arrest the women over the men. Some may have thought it was a form of helping these women.”
Torture vs Assault
“Additionally, we would like to specifically address the aspect of torture in sexual exploitation and trafficking. Torture that occurs in the context of intimate relationships and trafficking is dismissed as an assault or domestic violence. Two of the key informants that were interviewed spoke of how disappointed they are in Canada because of the present government’s refusal to change section 269.1 of the criminal code so that a private individual (a non-State actor) who commits classic torture can be criminally charged for the crime of torture they perpetrate; making such a change to the criminal code was a recommendation given to Canada by the UN Committee against Torture in 2012. They explained further that the criminal code only criminalizes torture perpetrated by State actors such as military and police personnel. Currently, the definition of human trafficking is about perpetrators who work to enslave a victim in the ways described in Canadian law and the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress & Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. The interviewees strongly emphasized that “once enslaved the reality is that many are tortured and Canadian law does not provide for holding such torturers criminally accountable for the torture they inflict; they must be, to eliminate discrimination under the law and support the human and legal rights of women and girls so victimized to speak their truth, be heard, and seek justice.” (pg 73)
Finally I will include what seem to be the most relevant and common sense solutions recommended for implementation:
Social Support Programs
“As much as is possible and practical, involve experiential survivors in the running of support programs and services. According to previous research, this is one of the best ways to make positive connections with women and girls currently being exploited, which reinforces their own commitment for and belief in changing their lives for the better.
Involve experiential women (former and, if possible, current) in the development of new programs and support services; showing them how important their voices and input are helps build confidence while ensuring the program will connect with them and meet their needs.
Aboriginal women and girls need safe housing and safe spaces; homelessness and a lack of safe places greatly increase the vulnerability of these women and girls. Immediate funding and long-term support are needed to provide for this housing shortage
Provide childcare for participants in programs. Many of these women and young girls are attempting to raise children; without adequately providing for their childcare needs, they may be unable to attend or effectively engage with any support programs and services.”
Because the overwhelming majority of cakers are too lazy, racist and stupid to read a simple report, I will summarize and interpret:
– As poverty statistics show: Aboriginal people all over the country overwhelmingly live in poverty and often third world conditions (see: north, rural)
– Most Aboriginal women grow up in dysfunctional homes with cycles of family violence and addictions; these are in part a result of a century of child sexual abuse, rape, and torture at residential schools
While cakers will tell the communities to “get over it”, the last school closed in the 90’s. For those who went to school during the 60’s era and had children in the 80’s, their offspring are somewhere in the late 20’s to early 30’s age-group; it is still fairly “new” inter-generational trauma
-When Aboriginal girls are removed from their dysfunctional homes and placed in foster care (with “white parents”) they are at very large risk of being sexually abused: 4x the average of non-indigenous girls, as many as 1 in 5 girls (likely more).
-After being abused at home, growing up in dysfunction, and/or being sexually abused in foster care, a significant portion go on to become addicted, homeless, or are “pimped” into prostitution or sexually trafficked -Aboriginal women make up the majority of trafficked persons in Canada
-Society then complains about the victims of “choice” when they go missing or are murdered, saying they “chose” to be victims, thereby dismissing their hardships and the systemic racism in Canada
-The women are punished more often – and harsher – than the men who are “buying” them. Without demand there is no need for supply (as anyone fighting the “drug war” will tell you); it is a simple, well known principle.
It seems absurd to re-victimize the very people who have been downtrodden their whole lives, but this is what the Canadian system does.
So after non-aboriginal Canadians raped and abused the children at residential schools, they then are the majority of johns “buying” the children and women in Winnipeg, Vancouver, etc. They are also the majority sexually-abusing indigenous girls in foster care. Is it any wonder that the “johns” or customers are never held to account, properly prosecuted or investigated? It’s no coincidence. It is easy to re-victimize and blame the victim for existing, for not “trying hard enough” to escape victimhood, while the perpetrators remain protected and unprosecuted.
Cakers … such nice people! In fact, they love to tell you how nice they are! They’re “not racist”. And of course they’re “less racist” than Americans (which the facts do not suggest), something they’ll point out should any criticisms arise.
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, gulag, 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.
O- town 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 (i.e: poor Irish immigrants dying from malaria); a history the city does its best to downplay as much as possible.
Soviet aspect Picturesque photos of Ottawa’s parliament nestled downtown nearby the river – sprinkled with statues and benches – makes for a nice first impression. That’s 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 all visitors, new 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.
Sewage River 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. Petrie Island – one of the most popular – is built on an old garbage dump site. Toxic geese droppings also litter the beaches and make their way into the water.
Crumbling infrastructure 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. Horrible Transit ‘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, hittingpedestrians, hitting bus stations, or not showing up in winter … they are increasing fares (the average monthly bus pass now costs over $100). Rampant infidelity 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!
Arctic weather 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!
Crime 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 (either 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 … well, 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, never have I witnessed such visceral hatred for a city – and I can assure you that 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
Want to hear what people think of the nation’s capital – Ottawa? Unlike the false tourism advertising, here’s a taste of the TRUTH – from people who have lived it!
“As an outsider to this town and now living here, working and attending school, Ottawa SUCKS. Badly. The people are grumpy, uptight, self-centered, and cheap. The drivers are idiots and can’t shoulder check let alone multi-task, i.e. check mirrors AND drive at the same time. 40 km an hour everywhere they drive?! Or 140 on the highway about to plow into you should you decide to signal and try to change lanes, then finger you. The food sucks here, public establishments are sub-par for the most part, and the flat characterless nature of the town speaks volumes. Wonder why there are no photos of Ottawa other than that of parliament and the Canal in brochures and on websites? Because to show suburbia on a flat plain with huge power lines running through them with concrete government drab buildings and big box store plazas would be a tourism mistake. This town needs a serious kickstart and a massive injection of culture. This town bites.”
“I have lived here all my life and it’s the same shithole. OC Transpo are a bunch of fucking goofs. Shitty Nightlife. Dirty Cops. Bad Food. The drivers are bad too the second a flake of snow hits the ground its like these idiots forget how to drive. The Hockey Team is absolute shit and I hate their fans. Overall Ottawa is not a city to be proud of.”
“OMG I can’t believe it, it’s so nice to see that my boyfriend and I are not alone in in thinking that this is a bloody nightmare of a city where everybody goes around acting like it’s just perfectly normal to behave like dicks. There are two acceptable activities in this area, Working is one, driving to work is the other. Nobody here knows how to live let alone have fun. Their apartment buildings look like hell holes so we have to pay a fortune in tax just to live in Hull because we can’t afford to pay to live like executives and in Ottawa the only alternative is to live in a building that looks like an episode of CSI. Every single day I watch people in black SUV’s and BMW’s run red lights and break the speed limit and never ever get a ticket, I’ve never seen an expensive care pulled over here, only crappy cars. People here are also weird beyond belief, whenever I meet somebody normal it turns out they’re from out of town. I wake up every morning and by the end of every day I wonder a couple of things like “am I dreaming?” “Why am I still living here?” and “When is Will Smith gonna show up and tell me all these people are androids?” I am still here because I am learning French. As soon as I am bilingual You will be able to see the peeled rubber from my car from here till Montreal on the 417 from space.”
“You are all right, cultureless, boring, boring lazy civil servants who make up the bulk of the population, with no drive other than to plod along in a simpleton way who hate their lives and their worthless jobs…people cannot drive to save their lives, there is no where decent to shop, unless you like plain drab atire. What has this city got going for it? Nothing, its just a big hillbillie country town. I will be returning home as soon as my training is complete.”
“Ya, I’m with all of you. I’m from Toronto and got suckered into moving here from my Montreal husband (naturally opposed to Toronto) when we met because there were no IT jobs in London (Ont.). Now? All the IT jobs are relocated to T.O. and guess what… he is applying to them and I cannot wait to go home. Finally. Out of the city of the fucking huge assholes into the normalcy of real life. I hate this goddamned city more than any one of you here. If a hurricane swept through here after we leave, hell no I would not come here to volunteer to rebuild – I would just buy a plane ticket to New Orleans and help there instead.”
“I have lived in Ottawa on and off for years, having traveled for quite some time away from here. It is safe to say most people really do suck here. Very lazy civil servants, corrupt government officials who wire business to their friends and anyone willing to grease their palms (even though this is directly against government procurement policy), and very boring people. They should carpet bomb the place!”
“Well it actually kind of depresses me and encourages me all at once to read the comments that have been posted here. It is a confirmation that other people actually think this place sucks as much as I do..so it is a relief maybe I am not going crazy after all. I find it so unfriendly here…The depressing part is I just can’t seem to figure out how to leave unless I just cash my pension, sell the house and get the hell out of here. Quite a risk. I don’t think I can stand another cold frozen hell of a winter and all I fantasize about is Arizona…sigh…”
“I totally agree with all the people who hate this city. It is pure garbage. The city has no culture, just the typical government BS. It seems like everyone in Ottawa has a sense of entitlement from their cushy low-work and high-pay government job. No one in this town has manners, no one says thank you, you get poor to no service everywhere. Aggressive homeless people are everywhere in the city center. It’s a closed minded city with a serious case of Toronto-envy.”
“All these Ottawans call people from Toronto snobs. People from Toronto aren’t snobs, they’re realists. Toronto is very much a city where hard work pays off. Ottawa is a city where entitlement reigns.”
“I am from Vancouver and I had an internship placed in Ottawa for 4 months during the winter months. All aspects of the city and the general feeling of the place really really sucked to the point where it is bad for your mental health. People and the place there are totally weird and out of touch. Food in the food courts taste worse than dog food. Downtown areas totally empty when the weather gets really cold, and if you are lucky you’ll see very sparse number of people within a distance near malls. Nearly all the buildings look archaic, greyish, senseless and totally boring for your eyes. The entire city looks like a military compound, ok im exaggerating a bit but you get the idea…”
“A While ago we moved from Montreal, you know where it’s fun, to Ottawa… >.> Few words needed to describe the place.. All Work, No Fun, Go at Red Lights Stop at Green Lights… Thats about it. lol overall it really sucks.. No Subway, Zoo or amusement park >.>”
“Is Ottawa boring? It all depends. Here are my own personal observations: I’ve met some people here that absolutely love it. In some cases, the salary can make the difference between borderline suicidal boredom or fantastic fun. Socially, Ottawa feels like a big village and at 1 million metro population that’s quite odd. Many outsiders have a hard time integrating and making friends here.
If you’re standing at a bus stop, or anywhere else for that matter, and start a conversation, they look at you like you’re an alien from outerspace. They’re so aloof, cautious and xenophobic in this city. Funny thing is every time someone speaks to me…well…they’re not from here. Everyone I knew that wasn’t from Ottawa left and never came back. My biggest pet peeve about Ottawa? No one moves. Is it so difficult to move over to the right and/or say “excuse me”?! People here are also afraid of any type of change to their precious Ottawa. Not-in-my-backyard mentality prevails here. Just try to build a bridge or get a subway going! They’re 20 years behind as far as a subway goes! When Montreal and Toronto hit the 1 million population mark, their subway was built, lit and ready to haul ass. Ottawa hasn’t dug a hole. 2010 around the corner and nothing. But, they have the Transitway! Big #$!@$# deal! It only takes 2 centimeters of snow to paralyze their stupid bus system. Some routes take forever to get to the one place you need to go. Sometimes you’re better off walking. In many cases, you’ll get there by car in 1/5th the time. So what’s the point to public transportation?! To add insult to injury, then there are those moon base alpha bus stations in the middle of nowhere out in a field with access to nowhere. Whose the genius that thought of that?! Ottawa also has horrible urban planning. Ottawa also has that flatest skyline I’ve ever seen for a city its size. God forbid they build a real skyscraper downtown and pass that tower up on Parliament Hill. Oh-my-god, I remember when they wanted to build the pedestrian overpass over the canal. Damn! You’d thought they were going to nuke the city or something. People here panic if a squirrels farts. They’re so conversative!! Drives me nuts. No vision. Any change and they go into a seizure.
Their downtown is not really a downtown. It’s just a bunch of government offices. Where’s private sector?! Hardly any diversity at all. Downtown is dead after 5. Heck, downtown is dead, period. Ottawa is such a repressive city. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Ottawa also lacks ethnic diversity. It’s very much “white”. By the way, I’m caucasian but the way I’m treated here it’s like I’m from planet Zoltar. Ottawa has 14% (or less) ethnic diversity. Ottawa needs ethnic diversity to spice it up, give it a soul and a vibe.
So, is Ottawa boring? I find Ottawa is more repressive than boring. Other cities won’t make you feel alienated or feel like an outsider like Ottawa does. You can have fun in Ottawa but the people here lack spontaneity. And, I’m not talking about going out to bars and getting hammered. No, I’m talking about the ease of making friends, the vibe of the city, it’s openess, the people, the economy and diversity.
Again, I think it’s more repressive than boring. Ottawa has a closed economy and it’s a government town. If someone is not happy here, the bad news is it won’t change overnight. If someone has the opportunity (and $$$$) to leave, they should leave because Ottawa will still be Ottawa tomorrow, the next day and the next day and the next…etc.”
“ottawa suks balls, most people smoke weed from parking lot to parking lot”
“————– quote ‘OC Transpo are a bunch of fucking goofs. Shitty Nightlife. Dirty Cops. Bad Food. The drivers are bad too the second a flake of snow hits the ground its like these idiots forget how to drive. The Hockey Team is absolute shit and I hate their fans. Overall Ottawa is not a city to be proud of.’ ————- PERFECT DESCRIPTION!!!!”
“How about a motto for Ottawa … 🙂 Ottawa-The Waiting Room of Life.”
*** “Ottawa – the place where hope goes to die.”
“In response to: “…Maybe the problem isn’t Ottawa, it’s people who can’t learn to set aside their sad, deeply embedded negativity and see that for all its flaws, Ottawa, like every other Canadian city, is a wonderful and vibrant place….”
No, see, its people like you who are the sad negative types who spout veiled hostility any time someone has a different opinion than you. Ottawa has its good qualities, fair enough. On the other hand, this city obviously has legitimate problems as well, which many users’ comments have repeatedly expressed. Dismissing those commenting about these issues as being jaded and having “deeply embedded negativity” is in itself negative in nature and self-defeating. Why shouldn’t people post their opinions, whether they’re in favor of the way things currently are or not? God forbid anyone actually read any of the aforementioned concerns of the public and work towards improving the situation… You may say nobody likes a shitty attitude, but nobody likes a pretentious one either.”
“While society may be going up or down depending on whether you live in North America or China & India, relative to other cities in Canada Ottawa truly does suck on a galactic black hole scale. I’ve been here for only a few weeks and have a few weeks left in my short term contract (thank god!) and can’t wait to get back to the lovely Vancouver rain!
There are real problems in this city that are frustratingly unnecessary, but because this city is predominately filled with polisci types that don’t actually know how to do anything, but whose primarly skill is superficially getting along and passive-aggressivly attacking anyone raising issues or offering solutions, nothing will get done. In case you don’t know, here are the obvious problems that are relatively easy to solve or unneccesary.
* Horrible transit (Never have a seen so many resources squandered so badly to provide such bad service for so few people)
* Why the hell do you all smoke? And why glare at me or complain if I quietly re-seat myself on a patio to escape your weak-willed filthy habit.
* Lack of short-term accommodation/crappy hotels. I’m not staying and don’t want to stay at the damn pretentious Chateau Laurier… and a $150 for a Travelodge with a lumpy bed?!
* Horrible/dangerous drivers
* Weird people. Aloof wait staff and cashiers that like to mumble in a monotone and are quick to get agitated by even friendly requests for information.”
“OMG so true, and it sounds like you haven’t even come in contact with the colorful folk of King Edward at St Patrick. LOL, if you’re only here for a few more weeks I would strongly suggest staying away from Hull, the facade of exquisite landscaping hiding behind it virtually unimaginable levels of ignorance; a large population witch seem to believe that it is perfectly normal to have 12+ hour ER wait times and no family doctors, and they pay thousands more a year in tax to receive these lousy public services. It is a language obsessed failure, leeching off of English Canada’s capital and somehow manages to also be an insult to the rest of Quebec by not even celebrating June 24’th or being able to make a decent poutine! The single, solitary benefit of Gatineau is affordable rent for apartments that don’t look like they should be condemned, but then again, Ottawa can be blamed for not being able to provide affordable rentals. It should not cost the same to rent a clean apartment that doesn’t smell like a puppy mill or have gun shot holes in the foyer as it does to mortgage a half million dollar estate.”
“I moved to Ottawa from the crappiest city in Canada (aside from Winnipeg)- windsor, ON. Reason: jobs in my field. And let me tell you, I had to move after two years and its miracle I even lasted that long. I get the whole big city mentality that comes when people mistakenly believe they are the best citizens ever because they live in the capital, but its gotten downright scary. I worked in a shelter where addicts were dumped there by the mental hospital who spend your taxdollars on locking up people who have mental illness and addiction issues and then dump them into a massive shelter where no one has to look at them, rather than, you know, using the billions of dollars wasted on low-life CEO’s actually working to get these people better and off the welfare system that we all pay for with our hard-earned working money. I have seen cops beat up homeless people for sport- NOT an exaggeration. And when you go to a store? Try asking a question. Seriously, ANY question. Guranteed you will either get a rude response OR someone speaking that ugly FAKE dying duck French that they think is “real”. I was schooled my entire lie in France-based French (I’m European) and I couldn’t get work in Ottawa because I have been told to my face literally- “We don’t like the French you speak.” My suggestion? go to ANY OTHER French speaking nation on Earth (including the carribean) and then tell me whose French is proper. Oh yeah, another thing- Canada is BILINGUAL. Meaning, speaking only Quebecois crap and two words of English DOES. NOT. COUNT.”
“Ten years ago I escaped the smallest town I ever lived in. (ottawa) I moved to a town of 20,000 where there are happy honest people who actually work for a living and care for each other.
take a hillbilly, stick him in some useless BS university course on the taxpayers bill, teach him to be incompetent in TWO languages, then overpay him in a pointless government job to be unaccountable and you have someone who spends a lifetime in ottawa
other than the double wide trailer deep down a lot of them have wasted their lives. GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN at any cost, your children will thank you”
“Wow, thumbs up to Madison, I can’t get anything done right here let alone ask a question at a store. For three years now I’ve not had a single hair cut done right, or an oil change…pretty much anything that’s not completely in my control is done wrong. Stuck here for the work, if CEO’s would get off their high horses and implement work-from-home software I’d be out of here in a flash. To be honest I think people driving in traffic for hours every day to go and sit on a computer and answer a telephone is ridiculously primitive. Everything my husband does at work he is able to do from remote logon at home but they want him to go in and use their computer, their hydro, their heating and for no reason, he works alone anyway. It’s so bloody stupid. Remote work would get half of us out of this wretched city we don’t even need to be living in.”
“The above posts are a lot more thorough than I could be. Suffice it to say, Ottawa has all the problems of big cities with almost none of the advantages. It also has all the problems of small towns with none of the advantages. It is neither. The great Jimi Hendrix breezed into town for a couple of days during the late great ’68 and summed up Ottawa in his diary “… strange people”. Nuff said.”
“I moved to Ottawa from Europe last August. Even though I was born here, I can say that I think Ottawa sucks. Or perhaps it is more Ontario. Taxes are way to high and despite what people say, electricity is cheaper in Europe than here. We’ve decided to sell our house and leave this shit hole country, can’t wait to get back to the real world.”
“… Does Ottawas suck? Ask my son who was born in Ottawa and is happy to be out of there.”
“Ottawa is the worst city in all of Canada, maybe even north america! I stopped there early last year to see the canada day festivities. From the moment I got out of the car and started waliking around, people were the rudest, walking into you from across the sidewalk to like purposely hit you walking by. Everyone is cheap and not very social. Just stay in ottawa if you live there, don’t move there if you’re a nice person.”
“Nearly 1/3 to 1/2 the population has a chip on their shoulder here. Ottawa is a car city. The ethos here is passive aggressive to hidden aggressive snotty.
Even in Montreal they are capable to say “excuse-me.” The proper use and not abuse of the english language is to say “excuse me” not “sorry.”
“I’ve been out of Ottawa for 6 months now. I AM IMMENSELY HAPPY! My son is eating again, has alllll kinds of friends and is CONSTANTLY outside playing.
To all those sluts and whores on the Stittsville Moms Facebook page who look as phony as a 3 dollar bill… keep your precious city and check your daughter’s drawers. She’s doing drugs and boys to numb her pain.”
“Darnn … i used to live in BC and Calgary and i have never felt so depressed as right now. I wish i could turn back time and stay in either Calgary or BC instead of here … Miss BC and Calgary badly”
“Hey Everybody, I came across this blog when I googled “why is ottawa so boring” after having a discussion with a friend about Ottawa. (on how really boring it is) I am 33 years old. I was born and raised in Ottawa and now looking back I havent seen anything change in this city… They can’t even get the O-Train running. A simply east to west north to south route. If I were in charge I would hold an open competition to the 3 major schools in Ottawa (Ottawa U, Carleton and Algonquin) and have them design a system for the city. Who better to design it? They probably use it the most. The designs can be voted on by the people of Ottawa and problem solved. Seems to easy and good to be true. The nightlife in the city is dreadful. The only time it gets busy is when the students get back. Pretty embarrassing on the rest of us that live here. The Byward Market is boring and lackluster. The Bylaw officers are way to happy to hand out tickets to people just trying to make a living or just have a good time. The upscale restaurants that claim to have the best chefs and best food are terrible. But everybody is too afraid to say anything because they just want to be seen at “the hotspot of the month”. And yes every month there seems to be a new hot spot. But with the suburbs getting better restaurants and bars, the Market is loosing its appeal for people who live on the outskirts. The amount of rudeness in this city for such a small population is bonkers. Nobody says please or thank you. Its gotten to the point where I dont hold doors open for anybody anymore because nobody says thanks. People dont know how to drive in this city. However is teaching people to go 80km\hour in the left lane of the highway and not move when somebody is coming up at 100km\hour needs to stop doing that. People are not approachable and open here. I was born and rasied here and find that. Think of somebody that moves here from somewhere else. People judge and critise people here a lot. People are looked at strictly on the outer appearance. Thats why everybody looks the same here. Pure cookie cutter.. I know its a governement town, and everybody disappears after 7. But like an earlier comment i read, your salary can make or break your activities. I work for the governement and the majority of people dont make crazy amounts of money. If you are a single man or woman living in this city with a mortgage, bills and maybe a car payment, i’m guessing you are paycheck to paycheck. There is not a lot of room to play with after all of those things. God forbit you have an emergency like a car repair or a over inflated cell phone bill you just got after coming back from the states. The amount we pay for goods and services in Ottawa (and Ontario) is astronomical. But that discussion is for a whole new blog. The yearly “festivals and events” that everybody looks forward to are pretty much boring and the exact same every year. For example wine and food, hope volleyball, cheo bbq, bluesfest, greekfest and so on and so on. Its time we got something new, people set thier calenders to these events. LOL I’m pretty much ranting, but it feels good to know i’m not alone. But its unfortunate because these past few years, i have seen things getting worse.
But the bottom line is you make the best of it. If people want to disappear at 7pm, doesnt mean you have to. If people drive like morons, drive the way you need to, to avoid them and get to your destination safe. If people are being rude, call them out on it. And give them a little taste of it back. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel.”
“Ottawa should be the butt of alot of stand-up comedy, but the people here are so self-unaware or insecure that they either wouldn’t get it, or allow themselves to get it. Great site though.”
“Fuck this ugly piece of shit city. Moved here my stoney creek (near hamilton) and when my fucking apartment contract is up in september i’m gone and never looking back. Ottawa is filled with a bunch of arrogant and ignorant dickheads. What a dirty and smelly city, an embarrassment to be part of canada yet alone the nations capital. Hamilton is a steel town and still so much superior then this ghetto land, mind you the suburb I lived in IS nice. Fuck anyone who defends this lifeless cunt of a city. Day 1 of my move, ps3 stolen, shows the true character of everyday ottawans. I guess people here are too poor to buy their own, so steal someone elses on move in day, Nice!!! And for the record, I’m not from Toronto but have been there enough to know, toronto has always been better, will always be better and just is better then this mistake of a place.”
“I moved here 10 years ago and for the first 4 years thought it was me. People looking away when you look up to say hello, not being able to merge onto a highway because cars don’t move over, being surprised in the food store when the lady stands there with her shopping cart expecting you to get out of her way instead of going around you, miserable customer service, frantic waves from drivers to proceed instead of a friendly nod, crappy restaurants, urban sprawl, non-existant architecture, U-turns at 4 way intersections. Tailgating, cigarette smoking contractor idiots hauling ass down the 174 making their way home to Rockland, ready to road rage any asshole that gets in their way, no quality, no class, just a backwater of comfortable civil service families of four dining out at Montana’s and getting a large double double on the way to their well paying, pension indexed government job that they hate.
So anyways, after 4 years I realized that it wasn’t just me and for the past six have just been putting up with it. But not in 2012 friends. I’m going back to Toronto, where it’s a hell of a lot friendlier, classier and better for business not to mention my psyche! Ottawa, keep your dweeb mayors, Lowell Green, million traffic lights, horrible French slang, dumpy market , over rated glebe first to the trough pension sucking tightass baby boomers who still work as consultants and go to the same goddam home show 3 times a year at the eyesore known as Frank Clair Stadium. As they say on Dragons Den….I’m out!”
“It is true, Ottawa sucks. People are so uptight and awkward here. The majority of civil servants are lazy and have never worked in the real world. They are just waiting for their pension to kick in.”
“It’s funny, I work on the phone with customers from all over north america and somebody called the other day and said, as many do, “where am I calling” and I said “Ottawa” and they replied “well, I’ll forgive you for that” and I laughed out loud…”
“I mean smile for God’s sake, smile once and a while…look at the dang tulips or something, whatever is happening can’t be so bad that people are so misserable or out of it constantly.”
I’m afraid the problem runs a little deeper than smiling will fix (although it wouldn’t hurt). In the unauthorized history of Ottawa that I’m writing, I point out that the city was founded as an 19th century experiment on passive/aggressiveness that went awry. As generations of bureaucrats inbred, the sense of humour was eventually eliminated. And the simulacrum finally able to oust the authentic.”
“Oh this is a great blog page. I was up this morning thinking about some of the truly weird and sometimes horrid people I met when I lived in Ottawa when I attended University there.
Some of the way people treat each other was just bizarre, mean spirited and awful. My advice for those who read this is to leave for another city (any city) as fast as you can. If you must stay in Ottawa then I have some good advice. Make genuinely nice friends (they exist in every town and city). Surround yourself with positive vibes and people as much as possible. When you run into one of the many twits or assholes in Ottawa – keep running (as far away as you can). Do not attempt to fight fire with fire by engaging in some goffy one upmanship with a mean person who does something mean to you. Just walk away. If you can bring attention of their behavior to a supervisor (if someone is rude to you in a store for example) then by all means please do so. However do not be suprised if the supervisor is also an asshole and sides with the asshole working for him/her who was rude to you.
Basically just find good people in your life and just ignore the other morons if you can… and you should survive Ottawa.”
“Hi Im canadian and I have lived in BC, Alberta, Toronto and also NB. I made the mistake of moving here 5 years ago. I am a single woman here and if your a single woman you are targeted all the time and people take advantage of you from government offices to workplaces to housing accommodations etc. I lost my ft job in 2008 and have not found much since. If your white and english no one wants to hire you. There are also alot of newcomers with attitudes, it seems half are sweethearts and the other half have a stinky attitude and dont like the canadian born pe ople. ONe of my friend’s who is half native has alot of issues here too because she is single. She also cant get into a government job. I always try to be a good person but it seems in this city people stick up for the bad guys and criminal types. Im hoping to be able to escape this hell hold of a city next month and I will never return here again even for a visit!! I also only like to hear english spoken on the buses but alot of people dont seem to care nowwadays.”
“OC Transpo are a bunch of fucking goofs. Shitty Nightlife. Dirty Cops. Bad Food. The drivers are bad too the second a flake of snow hits the ground its like these idiots forget how to drive. The Hockey Team is absolute shit and I hate their fans. Overall Ottawa is not a city to be proud of.’ That best describes Ottawa. I have lived there for most of my life (I now reside in the United States) and living there was a nightmare. It’s boring beyond comprehension, life-less, expensive, soul-less and utterly depressing place. I actually feel sorry for people living in that hellhole. It’s especially horrid if you’re a young black man. I thought all of Canada was like Ottawa so I made a persistent effort to leave Canada altogether. I’m a young man with many talents and positive outlook on life and Ottawa was sucking the life out of me. They’re uncultured old people – the city is disproportionately populated by older generation whites who suffer mental problems and are incredibly miserable – who look forward to pension and retirement. Depression, alcoholism, drug use and social problems remain rampant in the nightmare called Ottawa. I now reside in the United States of America where I live with normal people. People that are actually receptive and capable of engaging in normal, fun activities and conversations. It actually took some time getting used to people that weren’t so cold, condescending and contemptuous for no apparent reason other than that they’re unhappy and possess an attitude of vengeful supremacy (to make themselves feel better and escape their unbearable “lives”). Canada is a decaying country and it’s eating itself away from the inside. It’s becoming increasing unlivable, socially and economically, for an ever growing number of people-particularly the young.“
“Today The person in front of me stops at a green light to let out somebody from the passenger side. Nobody honks, not once. Then the woman gets out of the car and starts flipping a bird to everybody including myself and for what? Not honking? Not being ass holes? I don’t get it, what’s with the crazies. Nobody knew what the hell was going on. We’re all stopped at a green light being flipped off by somebody that looks perfectly well dressed and normal. I’m so confused LOL, not surprised…but very confused.” I’ve had a similar experience (on multiple occasions); a woman was getting out of a car’s passenger side in the middle of the road. I politely waited and didn’t even look at her, let alone honk. Meanwhile the driver, also a lady, kept looking at me as though I eat babies! For being polite!? I don’t get it. So I’m left with amazement and bewilderment. In Ottawa you have to get used to abnormal behavior. It’s a very bizarre place. It’s like a horrible social experiment, a mental ward even. It stems from the general population’s social ineptitude associated with its deplorable cultural backwardness. Since it’s a socially dead city they don’t know how to behave much less socialize. The glaring lack of social evolution consequently rendered the city a harbinger of abnormal behavior.
What’s considered normal is rarely seen in Ottawa…”
“I hate living here. I want to move to Las Vegas, Nevada. Sure, Ottawa has strip clubs and casinos like Las Vegas but it doesn’t have enough entertainment, good weather, good food (though that’s improving) or excitement. When the time comes, I’ll pack my bags and at least winter in Vegas. Ottawa in the summer isn’t bad, though. In winter, it’s a nightmare.”
“In Ottawa you have to get used to abnormal behavior. It’s a very bizarre place. It’s like a horrible social experiment, a mental ward even. It stems from the general population’s social ineptitude associated with its deplorable cultural backwardness. Since it’s a socially dead city they don’t know how to behave much less socialize.” because it’s not an entrepreneurial city, people don’t develop certain skills. You’ll meet the same percentage of weirdos in other similar cities. (well, maybe not quite as high.)”
“An immigrant’s experience in Canada: The Canadian government solicits potential immigrants and dupes them into bringing their skills and money to Canada. It advertises the country to people from other countries, mainly for their money; each prospective economic immigrant has to bring with them minimum $10,000. It’s a scam but then again so is everything else in Canada. When the Canadian govt is engaged in such a scam you can only imagine the extent to which the average Canadian individual is also involved in a scam of their own to survive, everything from phoney govt jobs to independent immigration consultants. Every Canadian is involved in some kind of a scam. Fraud is a way of life in Canada and you have to do your part just to pay the bills to extortionist utility, rent, insurance companies, etc. If you come with the mentality – as immigrants erroneously do – that this is a developed country and expect an efficient and competent system you will be greatly mistaken: Malfeasance is the call of the day in Canada. Since the country’s economy largely depends on service, and Canada no longer a manufacturing country, the best show in town in terms of gainful employment is a govt job. That requires “networking” – code word for FAVORITISM in Canada – forget about best qualified person getting the job. In many respects Canada is a developing country. There’s a disconnect between the political class and the average person (which explains the immigration disaster, among other common fundamentally flawed and corrupt practices).
Canadians are cold and standoffish. Nothing happens and everybody keeps it to themselves. It’s the most socially inept country in the world. Since it’s socially dead country one becomes accustomed to abnormal behavior. Canada lacks national identity and national culture. Subsequently everyone identifies with the country of their parents or great parents’ origin. Forget about assimilation and adapting to Canada, you cannot assimilate and adapt to an unreceptive environment. Consequently racial attitudes are behind 30-40 years, say the United States. Which is really unfortunate because the country’s population is aging at an incredible rate, and the average immigrant stays for a few years and eventually leaves. (40% of all immigrants to Canada at any given year leave so within a few years – Statscan.) To augment this the govt typically brings in even more people. There’s a continuous flow of “new” arrivals filling the position of those who have come and gone. Major cities, namely Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, are decaying socially and economically. Heavy drinking, drug use and other social problems are rampant along with crumbling infrastructure. But people in Canada don’t discuss issues of national importance, they lack coherent objective national discourse. People complain and say what they think they’re supposed to say, or, more accurately, say what they think will make them sound smart. Whether inferiority complex or other social deformity, people in Canada dislike constructive criticism and altruism. They remain risk averse to a fault, so problems fester. Everyone simply prefers to pretend everything is nice and dandy.”
“… So that’s it from someone who has lived here all their lives. “
The argument from authority in a blog like this is miserably out of place. I refer you to the concept of “Stockholm Syndrome”, named after a city almost as ‘vibrant’ as Ottawa.
Architecture? Do you really think people are coming from all over the world to Ottawa to study how we do architecture and urban planning? The city has had and will probably always will have a lack of imagination. It’s architecturally vapid – the downtown can best be thought of as supplying the reply “Who .. me?” to those in search of it. Then consider Carling Ave. between Lincoln Fields and Bayshore. How about putting that in a travel brochure? Or Merivale Road, anywhere? … The list of mind numbing stretches of eyesore are endless. As far as complaining about the hating on Ottawa, if anything, the complaining makes it slightly more tolerable. At least some humour can be generated to cover over the hot air and shredded paper which seem to be the major products of this small-minded over-grown hick town (albeit one with a high percentage of 110k earners).”
“Ottawa’s people are very conservative. Any talk of building a highrise tower anywhere causes them to panic and go into a coronary. Being a government city, the downtown core is drab and boring. Developers quickly put up a building at low costs to make them competitive for government leasing contracts. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a very boring and flat downtown building architecture with no vibrancy and character. People in Ottawa accept mediocrity in most accepts. A skating rink is more important and will recieve more press as opposed to building something unique to give the city character. Sparks street, once a vibrant part of downtown is in ruins, yet is embarassingly advertised in travel brochures. Large trucks go through King Edward Ave. as a gateway to Gatineau, Quebec. Which downtown allows this? Those who think this is a beautiful city need to get out more often in my humble opinion to really understand what a beautiful city looks like.”
“Well, it’s been 2 years since I left Ottawa. Never again will I move back there to live. I still have friends there, but this last trip at Christmas? They’re all falling apart. A friend picked a fight with her teen daughter in the restaurant we were having lunch in. My friend, who once was vibrant and full of life is no longer and another friend admitted to me she was bi-polar. Other friends are having trouble with their marriages and others are wanting to leave. Ottawa is poison – it really is.”
“Now I am not going to pretend to make an unbiased assessment of Ottawa as I know that my life experience is colouring my perception of this city just like everyone else who has posted here. I really don’t think an unbiased assessment can be made when it comes to the overall experience of living in Ottawa. We could talk about hours of sunlight per year, ethnic diversity, green space, average levels of education, city planning, crime rates, cultural sites and entertainment venues per capita, or any other factor that would appear on paper to affect quality of life. I don’t want to discuss those things. We could take an opinion poll, but I don’t really care how many people are enjoying life in Ottawa. It doesn’t change the fact that I am not. I found this blog post by googling “ottawa sucks,” and honestly I was very relieved to find that I am not the only one who feels this way. All I can say is that when I moved to Ottawa I became very depressed. I have been here for three years and I have had a harder time making genuine connections with people than anywhere else I have visited or lived. I once moved to a small town in B.C. by myself and I found people who were eager to accept and include me within months, not years. I do find that many people here seem unhappy and closed off. A previous post mentioned things like lack of eye contact with strangers, and not getting so much as a “thank you,” when you hold a door for someone. This has been my experience as well and I believe it is contributing to the sense of isolation that has been growing in me since I moved here.
Something that made this phenomenon seem much more pronounced was a recent trip I took to the southern U.S. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to argue the superiority of American culture in its entirety over Canadian, or more specifically Ottawa culture. (I would never do that.) I will, however, point out that when I was down south I was really shocked by one major difference. When in a store, on a tour, or asking for directions, the people I spoke with made eye contact with me, smiled sincerely, asked questions, and went much further to assist me than I’m now used to. People expressed their opinions unapologetically and without hesitation, laughed out loud, joked with me, expressed concern, and acknowledged my humanity in a way that I didn’t even know I’d been missing. Upon returning to Ottawa, the constricted way people interact became so blatantly obvious I could no longer ignore it. It seems as though people are so concerned about avoiding conflict or controversy that they stifle themselves. I’m not sure what the reason behind it is but it appears to me that people are uncomfortable in their own skin, uncomfortable with each other, and so inhibited that the possibility of connecting with others is almost completely off the table. I feel like an alien here. Not since I was a teenager have I been so self-conscious – never have I been so self-contained. I feel trapped, disconnected, desiccated. I want to leave.
Like many others I am here for work. Not my work – but my fiance’s work. My education goals have been put on hold by the prohibitively high tuition in this province. The only friends I have made are people who are struggling with mental or physical illness. I have been unable to find full time work, even in entry level positions. It seems every subway sandwich artist and his dog has a masters degree, making it impossible for me to compete on paper. It is just downright depressing. Yes I do think Ottawa is “pure garbage” as another poster chose to put it. I think this characterization makes sense given my experience here – and all the winterludes, museums, and maple syrup festivals you can throw at me won’t make up for it. Hang in there, fellow Ottawa-haters. Know that you are not alone and that somewhere out there a place that feels like home is waiting for you.”
“Having been born and lived my 26 years thus far in Ottawa, I can say I’ve seen a lot of the good and a lot of the bad that Ottawa has on offer. I’ve travelled pretty extensively around North America, both Canada and the US and had a brief stint living in Kitchener-Waterloo. I’m going to be moving to San Francisco, and having just spent a week there becoming acclimatized, I noticed several distinct differences.
Firstly, the people in Ottawa. Several people have mentioned that Ottawans are quite impersonal, cold, standoffish and socially awkward. I’m often guilty of this myself, and I’ve noticed it extensively with most people you’ll see everyday. I’ve tried a little social experiment a few times; try it next time you’re out for a walk in your neighbourhood: greet everyone you pass with eye contact and a “Good morning!” or “Hello!” and see the confused looks you receive in return. Sometimes you won’t even receive any acknowledgement whatsoever from passersby. I can’t think of one time that I’ve ever been greeted by anyone while out for a walk, or bike ride, very dehumanizing. One area where Ottawa is absolutely great compared to other similarly-sized cities is with outdoor recreation! If you like biking, hiking, paddling, swimming, skiing or really any other outdoor activity, Ottawa has lots of places to go and have fun outside. Gatineau Park is amazing, the Rideau Canal and River are great. Our recreational pathways and greenspace are easily accessible. Just be ready to do any of these activities by yourself, because trying to interact with people to find someone with common interests is difficult if not impossible. See above. I think the thing that wears on folks the most though, is the can’t-do attitude that’s so prevalent in the city. Ever want to do anything cool, fun, inventive or interesting? While people were sure not to connect with you or recognize you as a fellow human before, if you mention wanting to do something outside of the normal day-to-day, you’ll find people lining up to tell you why you can’t, shouldn’t, and probably will fail. I think that’s the worst thing about this city, and it scales from the smallest of small scale things, all the way to the largest of large-scale things in the city. Why are there few Ottawa-based startup companies? Because we’re likely to fail. Why aren’t people more open and friendly? Because people aren’t likely to reciprocate. It makes people with hopes and dreams either leave or have them be crushed under the burden of self-doubt and helplessness that plague this place.”
“Way too many cagey bureaucrat and secret police types. Not enough creatives. Plus a lot of people don’t know how to live in an urban environment.”
“Ottawa, where between noon and 3pm on a sweltering 37c afternoon, you’ll see assholes out jogging…”
“Well, it’s a small comfort to know I’m not alone. I find myself booking blog sites like this just to remind myself of that. And there are plenty, which says something. I’m not from Toronto, nor Montreal or Vancouver though I love each of those towns for their own reasons and also dislike a few things about each as well. I’m from Halifax and have my own love-hate relationship with that place too. And perhaps I’m a bit spoiled because I’ve had the opportunity to live in Paris, Edinburgh and Boston. But see, all those cities evoke at least some emotion in me -good and bad- whereas all Ottawa does is lower the heart rate to flatlining. It’s simply an incredibly dull and nava-lgazing town, surrounded by forgettable suburbs full of forgettable people and a downright depressing landscape. It looks like a giant Northern Reflections store about to go out of business. I tried to come in on an upbeat note but when I told people that I had finally accepted a job here, they were all sorry for me. ALL of them. I’ve been ‘doing time’ here for 3 years and desperate to find a way out. Like many, I moved here for work (what else is there to do here?). I only hope I can take the experience and cash and make a run for it. It’s not like I didn’t know in advance about the place: I had family here for a long time (who also hated it) and I’ve had to come for work reasons many times over the years. I just managed to avoid the move before now, and I am still mad at myself for not aiming higher. This ain’t the end all and be all for me, though the local population seem to be curiously satisfied with it. I guess if your biggest aims in life are to get your kids on bilingual hockey teams, spend every Saturday x-country skiing in Gatineau Park, and discuss government job reclassifications over hot chocolate at family-oriented parties post-skiing…well, this is your town. And don’t even get me started on the idiotic drivers, retarded cyclists and rude, sullen pedestrians. Don’t even start on that one…let’s just say I’ll trust a Parisian driver over an Ottawa-twit behind the wheel anytime.”
“Ottawa is not a middle sized city people. Ottawa is considered the 4th biggest in the country and the most boring city in Canada”
*** “Two words, “Yo guy”
*** “it’s just sooooo boring here.”
“I just moved here recently from Vancouver. We moved here because my husband got a job and Vancouver was insanely expensive. After 1 1/2 month I had enough of Ottawa. While I have a good and transferable profession, have a provincial registration, after almost a year of looking for and applying for a position,I was totally ignored. No job.What I experienced here pretty similar to the previous posters. People are unfriendly, anal retentive, can not even handle a small joke, the service is low grade, the residential towers are frightening, the streets are dirty, buses are substandard. I wonder if this town is full of Man In Black characters, outside humans, but inside only aliens. It is a very strange little town which is a disgrace to the whole nation. I was hoping I could start a new chapter of my life here, but I do not want to stay here any longer. Back on the West Coast ppl told me that moving here will be a big change for me, I just could not believe it. Now I know it not just believe it! It is worse that some of the cities behind the Iron Curtain! Where the hell did I end up? In Hell? In Hell!!!”
“The bad driver aspect can’t be stressed enough. In Toronto, you put your turn signal on, and you damn well merge, because people recognize your situation, and allow you to do so. In Ottawa, “What? How dare they try to merge IN FRONT of me! What say we hold up traffic in protest? Yes, let’s. How dare that individual try to merge into MY lane, I will do my utmost to prevent them from performing such a belligerent act, and thus, accelerate directly into their blind spot.” Goofs”
“I moved from Montreal to Cornwall in 2008 and I have only good to say about Cornwall, super friendly, I was shocked to have people smile at me and say hello when walking in the park or on the street. Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed the two years that was there.I had plenty of friends and staff in stores were friendly plus I had everything I needed around me except for clothes shopping. Montreal was there for that, just as hour away. Sad to say, I moved to Ottawa for work. I made sure I had a job before I got here and was fortunate to get a work from home job. It’s been 3 years now. I still have no friends, though I can’t say I’m depressed, I feel dead inside, not sad, just no fire. It took 2 years for someone to reply when I say hello in my apartment building. Asking for directions on the street seems to be a sin.As a Welcome Wagon representative I have a lot to do with business people and their receptionists, and boy oh boy talk about condescending. Many of them treat you like the help at the best and are most always very expedient. The welcoming smiles don’t last long in Ottawa before they want to see the back of you. At the beginning it made me really sad and I felt so isolated. I’ve gradually learned to go with the flow and do my own thing. There is nothing I’d like better than to go back to Cornwall, but now I had to quit my job because it was costing me more than I was making. Most jobs in Ottawa are sales, service or government, none of which fit my qualifications. So glad to see that I’m not alone, that helps.”
“Truly unbelievably boring for a city this size. A remarkable achievement.”
“I have lived in Ottawa my whole life, 26 years total. I am glad I there are more people out there who also hate this city. I am already looking to move away. This place is boring, expensive and less exciting by the day. Also be careful how you approach people or what kinda jokes you like to crack because everyone has to prove how tough they are in this town. I will be moving to the southern states, I don’t know if the rest of Canada is this bad but I am not risking it when everything is so much cheaper and taxes are way lower down there. I can do without the healthcare for now.”
“While walking home from my job I had some loser heading-to-prison guy come up to me and belch in my face. Time to write a comment. I have been living in Ottawa my whole life and happened to come across an amazing job by default. With only a couple of years until retirement I can’t wait to move away.
Having travelled extensively throughout the world I can say that the rudeness here is incredible. Although people seem to be pointing to civil servant coldness as the brunt of this rudeness I believe that it is the drug addict/trailer park aspect of this city that contributes to its vulgarity. Mass transit is horrible. Taking the buss is hell. After a horrible incident with a bus driver in 2009 I still follow up on responses from the city/transit commission for a response knowing that I am never going to get one. My city alderman never responds to anything. Renegade cyclists feel free to drive down sidewalks threatening pedestrians. Walking down a street subjects you to verbal assaults by cars passing by on the street. I have walked down the street in my overrated neighbourhood of the Glebe and been unnecessarily accused of stalking by female pedestrians. And don’t get me started about the boogers on the washroom stalls… The market has become a cesspool of misery and drug addiction.”
“It’s been a while since I’ve made a post here and I think for once I won’t make this too long winded. People will argue anyways, regardless of how well I make my point.
I’ve lived in Ottawa proper since 2007 and I gotta say, I’ve given it a good try. I’ve experienced the city in varying situations. Pre-college living downtown, post college living in Gatineau, and then in Aylmer, now in the upper class west end. I’ve experienced the city from varying points of view, in varying life situations, I have tried again and again to give this place a fair shake and I get mud in the face every time. Enough is enough. There is enough issues here to make it a very unpleasant place to live and I’ve boiled it down. A large % of the population seems to be passive aggressive, argumentative, void of personality, intimidated by the success of others, unsupportive, disengaged and generally unpleasant. The goal of many individuals seems to be outwardly focused on taking those around them down a notch rather than to exert the effort needed to advance themselves.
I’m currently in the process of making solid plans to leave the city and move to a place with generally good karma and a population a little less butt hurt and a bit more introspective.
Expecting the response that not all cities are perfect, I can acknowledge that. It is true that no matter where you go there will be people that will cause problems and various other aggravations. However, you have to be able to judge the extent of this. Just as not all relationships are perfect, some are better than others, some are downright abusive. The “relationship” that I have had with the city of Ottawa is one that, if it were a romance, nobody would hesitate to recommend ending it. As a hometown, it is an unfit one with a heavy dose of psychological and verbal abuse, unrelenting and unprovoked. This place will drag you down on every level.”
“I respect that some people may like Ottawa as they may have been born or raised here and this is their home or their personality is more appropriate for this city. I can only speak of my experience and that of people based upon what I know of them and/or what they have told me: I have never come across such strange people in my life. I have used the term ‘weird’ myself to describe them. I have lived in several cities, different countries and no place is perfect but for me, Ottawa’s weaknesses or what I perceive to be weaknesses are too much for me. The people here in my opinion are socially stunted (I mean the people born and raised). They only have friends from their childhood and will not expand beyond those friends. Anyone else are strangers mostly. I cannot tell you how easy it was for me to make friends in other cities and when I came here, after a year, I started to think the problem was me. Somehow I had lost the ability to make friends but then I spoke to honestly 200 people over several years and everyone said the same thing: people here don’t make friends with you if you are not already within their circle of childhood friends. Every ‘normal’ person I have met have been from outside of Ottawa. I am not trying to be mean but by normal I mean, friendly, willing to open up and invite you in their lives. I know countless people who left because they could not stand how unfriendly the city is. By unfriendly, I don’t mean rude. People are very polite but they will not go beyond a certain depth in their interactions with you. It seems to me that non-Ottawa people can live here for years and have zero friends born and raised here. I do believe that people are socially stunted. I am not trying to be vicious. It actually makes me sad to have to seen all this. There are good sides to the city but if you are social, friendly person, this is a very lonely place.”
“This place is so lifeless they should send astronauts here to train for Mars landings.”
“I came to Ottawa for university a couple of months ago and I have never been so sad in my life. Like most people here, I found this blog by googling “why ottawa sucks” . I find alot of citizens here defend the city to death but will not take the time to show people from other cities why Ottawa is suposedly so cool and quirky but unappreciated like they’re trying to keep the fun stuff to themselves or something. Anyways, I’m really releived that I found this blog because I’m feeling more and more like an alien in this very odd city”
“It’s difficult to clearly define exactly why Ottawa sucks, but sucks it definitely does. All you have to do is leave Ottawa for a few days, get far enough away, then come back, and you’ll see it. The people have sort of a repressed, miserable quality.”
“As a second generation Haitian Canadian, a large reason why I dislike this place is the lack of diversity. For a sizeable city with a significant amout of immigrants you would think that there would be an established community. But everytime I speak to a native Ottawa citizen about the lack of diversity they always respond with something like ” yeah but there’s a bunch of Africans and Lebanese people here”.
And that’s about it. Unlike Toronto where immigrants communities have estabilished a strong and for the most part, positive identiy in the city, here people just regard them a nuisance and every ethnic person gets lummped in one group and labelled immigrant. Although I was technically a minroity in Toronto, I never felt like one because each ethnic community had a presence. In Ottawa, I feel like a colour and it makes me feel small. I am by no means trying to antagonize white people but its pretty pathetic how little of a presence other ethnic groups have in this city”
“Ottawa still sucks. Not only do we have bad winter weather, uneven summer weather and nothing to do outside of gambling at casinos but now Ottawa has a gun problem. It’s not even safe now. I’m stuck in this awful city while other people live in great towns like Calgary, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sydney and even St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. I blame it on the dorky mayor Jim Watson, French-Canadians and Queen Victoria.”
“I grew up in Toronto and I’ve lived in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Yellowknife. I’ve now been in Ottawa for about three years and the amount of random nastiness I see day to day frankly blows my mind. I’m not saying that everyone in Ottawa are assholes but there certainly appears to be a disproportionately large number of them!”
“I’ve travelled all over South America, Europe, USA & Canada. I have lived in Peru., Miami, Texas, England & Sadly now live in SHITHOLE BORING Ottawa Ontario Capital city of SHIT. I have had a very interesting happy enjoyable life everywhere but in shitty Ottawa should be renamed BORINGVILLE. Ottawa SHITHOLE city is truly the place that fun forgot. Everything is truly BORING in Ottawa. If you want to die of boredom look at Ottawa. Look at the old People totally lonely and miserable at your shopping malls. Summers in Ottawa way to short , freezing miserable disgusting cold winters way too long. Ottawa truly sucks . People in Ottawa are IGNORANT losers all they talk about is beer drugs smoking or boring hockey lol . Ever heard of reading oh no not these Ottawa folk they are truly proud to be BORING & IGNORANT. So if you are brainless go live in Boringville Ottawa you might actually enjoy it HAHAHA. Shopping Malls Restaurant & Sewage infested Rideau River which these fools call beaches & swim in it in summer DISGUSTING. I HATE Ottawa I cannot wait to get the hell out of this MISERABLE place. Don’t move to Ottawa you will HATE IT. Ottawa is the place you go to die of misery.”
“Been here 16 months and will be leaving as soon as I can. Unfriendly people who are anti-social and rude. Most walk around with earbuds, texting and ignoring everything and everyone around and they must believe this is normal. Guess they found their own way of coping. I’m leaving before I turn into an Ottawa robot that only lives for a government job!”
*** “The reason why Ottawa sucks so much is because everyone is sad to live there.
“Immigrant Perspective: Ottawa is the rectum of the Canadian body. People there are mostly rednecks – lacking in culture, manners, finesse or even anything more than a blue-collar perspective. People are not only mean-looking but mean and look miserably unhappy. They are also incredibly boring. People will have nothing to do with you there based solely on your race. They are so prejudiced that they think that they know everything about you based on your appearance only. The attitudes are passive; parochial; backward; primitive almost. Ottawa is a Paradise for Losers. The standards for anything – e.g. food; medical care are abysmally low. The majority of people there are some slack-jawed public servants and their low standards/mediocrity are reflected everywhere. Yet, they all think that they are the greatest, when all they are is small fish in the big pond (rather morass) of Ottawa.
They have no idea how to undertake anything and achieve an outstanding result- only the barest minimum that is enough for them to get by, is the norm. If anyone tries to be excellent at anything, he/she is quickly worn down by envy, contempt and subtle forms of intimidation. The women are like rhinoceros – fat, ugly, aggressive, excessively competitive and will quickly stab you in the back if threatened by your success/characteristics. The weather alternates between violently cold and unbearably hot – it’s like being in hell or frozen hell. I would never in my life go back there.”
“Martha, everything you said about Snottawa is pretty much spot on. I’m “from” Ottawa, and after living 8 years in Los Angeles, 3 years in Italy, 1 year in Boston, 1 year in Zurich, 2.5 years in Vancouver, 1 year in Toronto,coming back to Ottawa was awful,the people incredibly provincial and anal and uptight, like they have a pickle shoved up their backside,and all in all,just a soulless hicktown with a parliament…..glad I left again, it was the best decision I ever made.”
“Ottawa is a provincial backwater town that thinks it’s big time. Do you ever hear people in London or Paris saying “let’s visit Ottawa! I hear it’s so beautiful this time of year!” No you don’t, because it is a squalid dump where no effort has been made other than to do the absolute minimum to exist. It is a perfect example of letting things rot and having to replace them (infrastructure) resulting in at least twice the expense.”
“The people there are so fucking rude. Nobody talks to each other and everybody stares. fucking weirdest city I’ve been. By the way Ottawa…YOU FUCKING SUCK.”
” Yes I 100% agree. I am here right now to change visas for work (An Australian living in New York) and I am both bored to death and sick of the people. They are seriously rude and I kept wondering why they were staring at me!!!!
Tonight I was bored to death, because I am on my own for this trip. I tried to make friends with the bar tender and he barely exchange three words with me. I thought it was very bizarre. Glad to hear it isn’t just me!!”
“it’s like going 30 years back in time. The racial slurs and homophobia is out of control. You could even say it’s accepted. Everyone looks the same because their afraid to stand out at all because of the ridicule it brings. I left Ottawa at 18 and was away for 15 years. I came back to visit family for the summer and worked as a bartender in a VERY busy establishment. All the same shit as 15 years ago by the SAME people who are now 15 years older. Wearing the same ball caps and ponytails they did in high school. Still fighting people who THEY bumped into and spilt a tiny drop of their Molson Canadian.
I’ve lived and worked as a bartender in cities like Los Angeles, Sydney and Toronto. Ottawa is the most violent, ignorant stagnant town I have ever set foot in. This is not a one situation rant either. I saw this day in and day out at work and in the streets. I avoid answering if I am asked where I’m from and when I go back to visit my family I am in and out of town in a blink. My life began the moment I left that town. For those who want out…just leave. Don’t save a pile of money or pay off cars or any shit like that. Get your ass to a city with variety and different cultures. Bar and restaurant jobs are everywhere and they pay great. Ottawa has a way of squashing a dream before it even becomes a thought.
Since I’ve left I’ve recorded decent selling albums, travelled the world with new friends (hot girls included), did a few tv commercials, gone to great partys and just all around seen some cool shit and met cool people … So…those of you who love Ottawa..PLEASE STAY THERE. Don’t travel! Those who hate it…come on out and enjoy yourselves with the rest of us open minded, friendly, hospitable and encouraging folk in the big cities all over the world. We want the best for you and the more interesting things you do the more we raise our hands in excitement and cheer your ass on! For you older folks in Ottawa, I’m sorry your once beautiful magnetic town has been looted. Ottawa is not the way the rest of the world works and don’t ever listen to someone who says it is! GET OUT NOW!!”
“I hate Ottawa because its soo unfriendly people are fake and slimy backstabbers, the jealousy is too much
Its not a place that wants you to grow and succeed in life but its a place that everybody wants to pull you down and wants you to be under them.No body is genuine and everybody stares, everything in this city is soo expensive”
” Honestly i don’t think it’s only Ottawa that SUCKS but the ENTIRETY of Ontario… this place is a shithole!”
“That last comment said everything. I have grown up in this town my entire life. My parents are always pressuring me to find a government job ( despite the fact I have two degrees and a masters) I can’t find anything. I went to Asia to teach for two years. It was amazing, I never felt depressed once or sad. I came back and went through another bout of depression before moving to London, UK. Once again, I felt much happier after a year there. Again, I find myself back in Ottawa trying to get a job to help message to move again back to Europe, this time Berlin. I had to cut off my Ottawa friends because all of them would bully me whenever I would complain about Ottawa.
I always thought I was the only one that felt like this, I always felt depressed and suicidal thinking about spending the rest of my youth in this town. There’s no culture, life, or decent thing going on here. I can’t even find a retail job here, it’s been six months. Ottawa is never going to change. I can leave as much but every time I return home it’s the same back waters hick town. Everyone wants to work for the government, buy a house in Barhaven and go to Mexico once a year thinking that’s ‘extoic’. Go fuck yourself Ottawa and the weird people that live here”
*** “This is all true…I find it scary how there are no jobs here and everything is private sector. People go to school and get out,dont find a job for years and are working at Walmart…I find the youth unemployment rate extremely disturbing. In general, they have ridiculous expectations for jobs paying MINIMUM WAGE….people overqualified get shit jobs and people qualified dont even get a retail job. You literally might as well take your degree somewhere where they will acknowledge it and pay you good And not 40000 a year for some gay job and having to be bilingual and having experience What a fucking Joke.All of the people who talk shit about how great it is here and how the states suck are the ones booking a flight to florida every year because its sooooo GREAT right? The rest of them who think its the best place on earth have never even left the city and been somewhere else and probably dont even have a stamp in their passport…
FYI the states basically runs Canada and theyre gonna buy everything out if they want lol. What is sickening is how everything is so overpriced and people just follow pay out the ass for everything and appreciate everything LOLLL Insurance, Apartments, Houses, Living in general? You might as well move to Miami because OTTAWA IS MORE EXPENSIVE how the fuck does a condo in ottawa donwtown cost 800,000 when i can buy a condo in Miami for 500,000 on the beach and a house in florida for 200,000? a house in barrhaven cost 500,000 Like what the fuck. Everyone is getting robbed and not even knowing it, Im almost done my program and Im getting the fuck out of here.
People are anal and unpleasant, the rules are gay and they rob taxpayers to pay for Bi-Laws to walk around and ticket your car and come to your door when your get together is too loud. I got a ticket for going to britannia beach at 10 pm because im trespassing when the beach is closed…?? This place is a giant retirement home which I may add there are almost 40 of them in ottawa which is 10 times as many in Toronto. Its so dead, theres no exciting events, everyone just goes to work and then home, so strict and so regulated. roads are shit and theres not even a proper fucking transit system or rail system that even third world countries have. There are 5 days out of the year when it doesnt rain and there is actually sun and blue sky…..the rest is rain, 50 cm of snow, and -50 which North Pole doesnt even have.
This city has the WORST drivers I have ever seen I have almost been hit or killed on multiple occasions, they should stop worrying about people making noise after 10 pm and make a proper driving test or stop giving out licenses to kids who are 16 and have only been behind the wheel of a car on their xbox. The radio stations are as limited as everything else here in general, no variety, no taste, just monotomy.”
“All the 20 things about Ottawa are 100% true I couldn’t put it better myself. I’m glad tonsee that there are a few people left who are not in fucking denial. I did a degree in tourism just to get the hell out of here. I was 28 years old and felt like a 90 year old person living in a giant retirement home. If you hate it find a way to leave, I have. R.I.P Ottawa”
“Oh boy oh boy oh boy. People are agreeing with me. Ok, I’m just a fifteen years old, but I can already see how much ottawa (with a minor “o”) fucking sucks. It’s been half a year since I came here, and every day is as painfully boring and shitty as the others. I was raised in Quebec, where people you don’t know rush to you as soon as they see you to say hello and talk to you. Let’s just say that the shitville gave me a bad first impression. so far, for 6 godamn months, no one, and I mean it, NO one ever FUCKING said absolutely ANYTHING to me. Not even “hello”, not even “thanks”. It looks like I’m fucking invisible. The whole city is ugly and grey. Yeah, grey. The buildings are grey. The sky is grey. The snow is grey. The place fucking stinks. People don’t know how to drive, my dog was almost ran over 5 times! Seriously, if you EVER have to move to ottawa, especially if it’s against your will, fucking brace yourself.”
“Wow could not have put it better myself. Small town sensibility, cultural-social wasteland, it’s all true. I felt it since my first weeks in this city, and still several years later. It does not get better because it is not good.”
“… Without being facetious, what Joe is doing is providing a valuable service to society at large. When you arrive to Ottawa, you go through a circle: first, you enjoy it for a brief week or two. After a while, you start noticing all the small and big soul-destroying things about it. Then you start blaming yourself for not trying enough, not giving this city a chance, etc, & ‘being the boring person’ yourself (the fave of our fellow Attawans). Only after several years of trying to give it a shot, you realize IT IS NOT YOU, it really, truly is the decrepit soul-sucking shithole called Ottawa. Joe’s posts are valuable because they help people”
“Dilapidated, that’s the word I’ve been searching for for the 6 years I have lived here. Thank you, thank you, now I know what to call it!”
“LOL this is the most Ottawa-esque thing anyone has posted. Person googles “I hate Ottawa” get offended by content and leaves a passive-aggressive comment. WTF were you expecting to find here? Go back to calling by-law on children playing street hockey”
“Hi. Your posts continue to provide me with much-needed support and the endorsement of my views of this place as an Attawa Shitizen. Last night I went to the Trailer Park Boys show at the NAC. I am well aware that “if you can’t stand the fire, get out of the kitchen” but even I was unprepared for the level of buffoonery and sluttery that only Attawans can provide. One girl went up on stage and repeatedly simulated a stripper and lapdance routine, which was met with howls of approval and baying from the crowd. The two hicks sitting in front of me kept standing up and waving their arms in the air – thereby restricting my view even though I paid the same price for my ticket as they did. Two goons who stood at the side throughout the show launched a barrage of profanity-laced abuse at the usher who tried to get them to sit down. The Redneck Convention was not in town – they own this shithole. More reasons to fear for humanity. Keep up the great work and thanks. I fully commiserate.”
“I am asian 6’3 and I know I am not ordinary appearance. But the way ottawa people looking at me almost insulting, they have very limited minds and mentality of hicks country mid-west type. A lot of old people it’s like big retirement home… So many homeless people it’s crazy!!! Ottawa people very snobish I don’t know why, maybe because they never see anything else. Also lots of people coming to work here from shit wholes like new brunswick or nova scotia and they act themselves like new yorkers but in fact they just rednecks… no sense of fashion, luxury, and life in general…the mentality everything must be cheap and ugly although everything in ottawa very expensive….Ottawa people are goon… French are very nervous especially on the parking… Ottawa people treat immigrants like shit I wonder why they invite these people especially skilled one… My immigrants with university degrees working low payed part time jobs… free health, i was waiting for fucking doctor for 6 months they treat doctors like Gods though their skills much lower than in european doctors…one family doctor never even examine my body or done any analyzes he just done his conclusion on assumption which is non sense, and he was white canadian with 11 years degree and some experience..i don’t really know how this country still successfull if everything so low level must be some magic”
“I don’t agree that these comments could apply to any city. I have lived in Vancouver, Detroit, Philly, Toronto, NYC, London, Bangkok,part time in Paris and Hong Kong and now Ottawa. Some of your items are Ottawa spot on; the worst and rudest drivers anywhere,not even close. My car has been hit five times while standing still!!! It is the most boring place I have lived.An unfriendly cliquish city(but not the unfriendliest,Vancouver by a mile). Ottawalians are the country’s greatest busy bodies. Research published in the local paper found Ottawalians more likely than any other Canadians to snitch on neighbours re;by-law infractions(hanging laundry out, growing flowers too close to the curb, complaints about driving etc) The weather? That’s a personal preference. It took me six months but I grew to love the Bangkok weather. Compared to Bangkok Ottawa sucks.I found weather in Vancouver to be really unenjoyable. Six months of low gray overcast and rain. Then it clears up but summer never arrives.I mean the average temp in the summer is 22!! That is a nice spring day everywhere else. But is was the dreadful ‘winter months’ gray miserable really depressing that got to me. The lack of a proper hot summer only made it worse. As far as people speaking another language goes well I guess I haven’t spent enough of my life in my mom’s basement to be bothered by the fact that not everyone speaks English so I can’t comment on that. However you would HATE Hong Kong and Bangkok because so many languages are spoken there. Sports teams?I mean who cares really. Across Canada the sports teams are all a joke. No Canadian team has won a major sports title in over a generation. Ottawallians do seem absurdly attached to their teams. i guess that is because a) there is nothing else to do b) their city is void of any real identity. At least when they lost the finals a few years back they didn’t throw a 3-years-old hissy tantrum and trash their city. The people here live with with the reality that almost all jobs are drone like, dead end lifeless crap civil servant jobs which seem to give them a sense of entitlement. The music scene sucks BIG TIME here. You are right no performer comes here except for festivals. Ottawallians flock to festivals in a sheep like fashion that is rather unique( and a bit frightening). However in Canada the only music scene that kept me happy was Toronto. I still travel 5 or 6 times a year there to see bands who don’t come to Montreal let alone Ottawa. London NYC and Paris were heaven that way. And it fairness to Ottawa the music scene in Vancouver and Montreal is rather pale as well. But nowhere near as bad as here!!
The restaurant scene is sorry in Ottawa. it has improved a lot but is still well behind any Canadian city I have lived in. There was a guy who set up and ran a fabulous restaurant in Ottawa , I mean fantastic. After five years he gave up , sold it and now sells street food in a van. That is Ottawa food tastes in a nut shell. There is almost no cultural diversity. Chinatown is the size of a postage stamp. Little Italy is just that, little and there is nothing else.Very little arts scene in Ottawa. Yes the National Gallery is very good and often has great exhibits; Monet at present, Dore, van Gogh and Caravaggio in the past few years and of course a great Canadian collection. But it is the nation’s national gallery so of course it is good. There are some nice park land areas. the Gatineau Hills are very lovely at certain times. But Ottawa has nothing compared to Stanley Park, Central Park or Toronto’s Rouge Valley Conservation Park. (the largest nature park within a core of a metropolitan area in North America). At least it’s very safe, not Detroit NYC or Vancouver’s Eastside While some of your comments might apply to any city much of what you say is true. Ottawa and Ottawallians are the clear front runners at the bottom of the pile, a good bit worse than runner up Vancouver. My top; Paris(duh)NYC Bangkok Toronto”
“I just wanted to say that I am a huge fan of this blog. You are doing a great thing. I lived in Ottawa for many years and it almost killed me. Please keep this up as I know for a fact that you bring a lot of smiles to a lot of miserable people wanting to break free of the miserable capital. God bless you in your efforts with this blog”
“A sentiment many posters have already raised but I want to express my own appreciation for: thank you for this website. The solidarity we share in our contempt for the Ottawa is, conversely, really positive for many of us who feel or felt isolated. The city and its miserable residents will break your spirit, leaving you feeling self-conscious and lonely. But don’t worry like-minded reader, its not just you who feels this way”
“Awesome list; made me chuckle a few times! Knew it was gonna be a good read when you touched on the staring in point #1. Its like prison inmates sizing each other up but in Ottawa its born out of conceited arrogance, not intimidation. I had the misfortune of living there for over ten years and it is indeed full of unfulfilled, self-involved bureaucrats. A total cultural/social wasteland with terrible public transportation! Its residents love to gloat about their home being a metropolitan national capital yet are flabbergasted and routinely revert to small town sensibility on issues such as transit, infrastructure, crime, employment, development, etc. that every part of city-life everywhere. Don’t even vacation there–you’ll run out of things to do on day three”
“Ive said all these things in public and agree with the improving Ottawa article 100 percent. Ive lived in BORINGVILLE Ottawa for 13 years. I am saving so I can take my book collection via shipping and buy myself an airline ticket back home. I have travelled all over the place USA Europe Canada Southamerica and Ive never encountered such a god awful place as Ottawa. I cant eait to get out of here and if I never see this forsaken place again I will be truly the happiest man in the world”
“Been here 16 months and find it the most unfriendly city I have ever lived in. Superficial people who act friendly if they think you can benefit them, but have yet to have one person follow through on “keeping in touch” or being friends. It’s all about government jobs and money and not about people. I’m leaving as soon as I can before I suffer from permanent depression from becoming like them”
“I was there for 2 weeks and I HATED IT!! I was so glad to leave. This list is legit. I am American, and I never felt so discriminated visiting this place in all my life. The people were beyond rude and would stair or make rude blatant comments to your face. And let me tell you.. If they were in NYC or any other place in the U.S. I could guarantee most of these people would see the front of someone’s fist.
The French speaking people in retail stores acted like I was a pariah and like I was an idiot for not speaking French. Yup, that was my shopping experience-in Ottawa. I laugh because a guy commented the city looks like war-torn Afganastan. I thought the same thing.. only Russia! When I watched tv, the news media seemed to constantly compare Canadians and Americans. Like they hate us. I didn’t get it. But the stuff they would say, and in the manner and tone was like straight up blatant disdain. I couldn’t wait to get out of there! It put a bad taste in my mouth for Canadians and Canada in general. Honestly.. I have NEVER met more rude and miserable people like I did when visited Ottawa.”
“Really dull city. You can line up in any line…restaurant, movie…etc. and nobody will initiate conversation with you. Walk down the street, nobody makes eye contact. A civil servant town where people carry that attitude in their private lives. The greatest thing about Ottawa are the highways leading away from it”
“Again, Mr, Beaver, you nailed it! Cheating on your spouse isn’t bad enough for these IDIOTS, they have to display it on a website. Everything written on the web is permanent, deleted or not, PERIOD. Karma is a bitch, F them all….. “So I’ve known for awhile that Ottawa is full of self-entitled scumbags, selfish assholes and cheaters.” Join the club! “They are delusional and beyond help” yes… YEEESSSS! People are sooooo lazy, they would rather connect thru a website than meeting face to face, pathetic. All the while, leaving their information behind on the web to be hacked and divulged. GOOD FOR THEM!!!!! No wonder it’s so lonely here, everyone meets online. No more casual conversations, no eye contact, please…..that’s sooooo creepy. Attawa is the scumbag capital of Canada. Manipulators, liars, users, petty, superficial and soooo easily scared. Attawa is not only the city that fun forgot. It’s the city where COURAGE came to die. You, Mr. Beaver, give me the strength to go on in this shithole! You are probably the last decent person left in this JOKE of a national capital. Take care and keep this blog going…..Please. Oh, and try to have a good one……somehow :-)”
“I have been in Ottawa for almost 10 years. Even with a “government job” (those of us on the inside call it “public service”), this is a deeply boring, uninspiring place to live. I don’t drive due to a health issue, so every day I have to take some dirty bus across the decrepit downtown. It goes by Parliament Hill and I feel SO bad for the 15-30 tourists with their cameras. They are probably thinking this place sucks. And if I want to try out a new restaurant or visit friends, it takes forever to get there because of the terrible urban sprawl. It ends up isolating people and limiting their exposure to whatever part of town they inhabit. Seriously, City of Ottawa, just build the damn light rail system already.”
“Thank you so much for your blog. Every time I start questioning my mental health in living in Ottawa I read your posts and feel so much better. It’s NOT just me. I am not alone in hating this town. Ottawa is possibly the worst thing that has ever happened to Canada, and having spent time in Winterpeg in January, that’s really saying something. I can not wait to get out of here, and based on the comment above, I understand that you are getting out. Lucky you”
“Thank you for all your comments,they provide a gloomy comfort-confirmation as I am stuck here,for now.Worst place (people,culture,climate) that I have ever lived( and Ottawa is not a big city…not even near..maybe middle ,but only by Canadian standards, a country that has a lower population than the state of California)I actually enjoy super hot summers , and now summer seemd to have been cancelled,for the second year running,as well. “At least its better than Afghanistan” is a standard Ottawa defensive response.Okay, New York State -and the US border…. is less than a two hour drive south away, but the only place wherein Ottawa compares favorably is war-torn ,terrorist -ridden Afganistan? That says it all.”
“I couldn’t have put together a better list. What I would add though, and I think it’s probably the biggest problem is Ottawa is the following: Smug people who have no clue how mediocre/shitty Ottawa really is (or they’re in denial). I don’t think you can overemphasize #17, how ugly the city really is. New neighborhoods are low-end construction with houses featuring weeds instead of front yards, new overhead hydro wires, vinyl siding, asphalt driveways, no trees, etc. Few people takes care of their properties, probably because it’s either frozen outside or a Mississippi swamp during the summer and unbearable. Finally, the lack of ambition is mind numbing. This permeates all aspects of life in Ottawa, from municipal paralysis to a ‘can’t-do’ attitude in all areas of private life. I consider myself so fortunate to have taken the opportunity to leave this hell hole.”
*** “Ottawa has to be one of the boring cities in Canada. In general, people are cold and incredibly dull.”
“yeeeesss, attawa is a retarded town! Vancouver not only has lounges but also sells to license holders without any problems from police or city officials ; they have other priorities…..not in attawa though, they enjoy harrassing pot smokers! binge drinking, steroid and cocaine consumption is rampant within the ottawa police force but smoking a joint in designated areas, that’s a real crime. What a bunch of IDIOTS! Attawa really is a backward town!”
“I agree with the first commenter. Ottawa is a very boring and depressing city indeed. I think this is due to the climate, geography and the fact that it is a government town. The down town is sad and dilapidated, overpriced and dull. It is also devoid of character and culture. Suit up, clone in or get out!”
“All of the above 20 reasons are highly accurate! My husband and I are from Montreal originally, and I’ve lived and traveled outside of Montreal and Ottawa, and Ottawa is indeed a dump!!! After a few years of being shit on by government workers at work, as a security guard, and super-rude citizens in general, we are happy to be leaving. My husband found a decent job at a crown corporation, but even he says people here are rude and self-centered. (All I could find was security jobs as alot of job ads promising full-time work here are not really at all. Job fairs here pretend to be hiring, but expect the moon and the stars for min. wage jobs with no guaranteed hours, so you can’t support yourself. If you’re not a friend or dumb-ass relative of a government worker, you’re screwed. That’s why most job fairs or ads are scams here; they already know they will be hiring their buddy, so they make job criteria i,impossible to fulfill. Expect to see just fat, lazy government workers boozing it up, because besides hockey, pubs are all they have).”
“YEAH…..OTTAWA SUCKS….BIG TIME…… no way to meet women…. dead after 11pm god this town blows…… people do drive like idiots here…stuck in their little world…. “
“I am not from Ottawa but have lived here for 5+ years on and off. I am Canadian. I thought it was just me,but your right about the people. I find it very odd that people can be so cold and not bother with you just because you are not from here, or you are out of work or don’t have an overpaid government job (people who work at hardly working). I had a few of them say they only invite someone to dinner if that person did a favour for them! I never heard of such a thing.”
“they by laws, gross unattractive people who act confident with nothing to back it up, unnaturally strange behaviour, kindergarten mentality on the road, dog shit every where because everyone is too entitled to pick up shit. People who talk in clipped tones (accompanied often with spit) or people who converse in obscure Canadian accent hybrid (yo guy, eyh watsup gouy) fun times. + psycho bus drivers”
“Hello. I absolutely adore your blog. Adore. I moved from a hellish 20 years in the city of strange, antisocial sucks and I am ecstatic being in civilisation again. My father moved to Ottawa when I was 9 from the GTA an right away, the pudgy, pinched faced kids who told on me at every opportunity made me so unhappy and miss the more civil behaviours of southern Ontario. My experiences since then consist of people deliberately endangering their lives in traffic ‘because I had the right of way’ trying to control every aspect of their neighbour’s lives, exhibiting the rudest behaviour possible and attempting to pass of ignorance and cuntyness of as sophistication.. they love honda civics and have never heard of Hermes. I feel for y family remaining there.
My mother, who is ill, poor and lives alone presently has little joy in he rife, her uptight decided she was having to much fun feeding the squirrels, his crotchety complaints resulted in a memo (they LOVE those) warning people not feed the squirrels, because it leaves too many shells on the ground. These people would not understand quality of life, the value of a dollar or the basic rules of civility if all three jumped up and bit them in the anal retentive collective behinds. I am so, so, sooo happy to be out of that hellhole. People think TO is bad? HAHAHA..no. Simply put, Ottawa is a stupid contest, and -everyone- is winning. ps. you really, really suck Ottawa.”
“OTTAWA IS A SHIT HOLE – that’s how i found this blog. the people here are bland boring rubes. idiots with no sense of humor. But what is the most annoying thing about Attawans is they feel threatened by the most inane things, they have such a victim mentality….it’s like they all have battered woman syndrome. Honesty scares the shit out of them and it’s tragically unfunny. I live in Kanata and holy f–k!!! Talk about boring!!! I’ve worked close to the Canadian Tire Center for almost 6 years now… Well I still attract police attention, just this afternoon upon coming to work, there was a cruiser waiting in the parking lot and as soon as he saw me, he took off. It was a black police member (you know, one of the 28 working in the organization). In Attawa, they have a subtle way of saying that you are not wanted in the neighborhood, they feel entitled to ostracize people and, in their view, provoke an incident that requires a violent response ATTAWA POLICE ARE PENISES ! Since the police in this town are discreet white supremacist, black police members are forced to act as “uncle toms” ; serving their white masters or else be crucified in the media like Const. Jason Mallett who was a community minded member of police unlike his white counter parts or the suicide of Sgt Ghadban another non-white member of Attawa police. Police in Attawa will harass, threatened, charge and ultimately murder the members thatdoesn’t fit the mold of white supremacy. I will mention that Sgt, Ghadban committed suicide in his office at HQ. Get the message? Any excuse is used for walking around with assault rifles bought with OUR MONEY!!! I was searched on 29th of Sept. 2013 for dubious reasons, no charges.
When walking to and from work, I’d get almost run over by police “cruisers”.
On 24th Dec. 2013, a white pick-up truck aimed for me while biking back home from work at 01:15 AM and when I took the same way to commute back to work on the same day 11:30 AM, the same pick-up was waiting for me at the Esso gas station on Edgewater street. Attawa police are murderers!
PLAIN AND SIMPLE! Just looking for a reason to assault honest, working individuals with no criminal past, mind you. F.U. OTTAWA!
“1965 anyone…… oh and since the O-Train is as useless as it can be, maybe the city will build a monorail to nowhere…..with that song blaring on the speakers! dullard attawans will clap and cheer, throwing their money in the wind, making it rain, as the saying goes. Veni Vidi Vici…..TABARNAK!!!”
“Indeed friend, Attawa is a piece of shit place to live….. Not only full of wannabe tough guys or hoodlums ( I mean come on, right….Get a grip Attawa…..this isn’t Chicago) The cops here are ridiculously over paid, harassing and covert white supremacist! (2% are non caucasian out of a 1400 strong work force) APPALLING!!!! With this ‘Mall Shooting Incident’ we will now be treated to a parade of ‘gym rats’ in uniform sporting AR-15s….Why the long face, sir? Isn’t this the wet dream or fantasy come true! Playing make believe GHETTO USA on the tax payer’s wallet! ATTAWA SUCKS BALLS—–PERIOD!”
“I absolutely love this post! I consider myself an open minded type and it is a dreadful, dreary, place to live. I’ve been living in Attawa since sept.1988. The city has changed tremendously since then. It used to be homely, comfy and service oriented as far as public insttitutions went. Now……It’s snobby, indifferent, cold and heavily prejudiced. SHAME SHAME SHAME on Attawans! The vast majority of friends and accointances are from outside the country or grew up outside this city. Attawans have the worst sense of perspective EVAAR. They are so intitled and self absorbed. I just wish I could afford to get the “F” outta here 4ever. THANX FOR THE POST—–RIGHT ON THE MONEY… and BTW, there is NOTHING wrong with grabbing a beer on a wednesday. Some of us actually work with a schedule outside of the monday to friday, 9 to 5 standard.”
“Thank you for your contributions to the sanity of the remaining non-lobotomized population of this wretched city. I wish you all the best in your attempts to extricate yourself from this miserable excuse for a “capital” of a first-world country”
“I could have written your block entry yesterday. I had major stare down by loser at my dentist office in the split second between coming into the office and taking my snow boots off. Dirty look at staring at my boots. What a creep. Then I drive down Merivale and cars turning left onto Merivale are blocking the entire lane of oncoming traffic since they’re pulling out into the intersection too late and traffic’s not moving (why one earth people have to drive 20kph on Merivale I will never understand). A light after light is missed due to this conduct, no one honks, nothing. If you honk at illegal behaviour in Ottawa, YOU are the aggressor. I hate this place so much and I’m counting down the days”
“Great column! The driving has always been atrocious here. The locals used to use Carling Ave. as a drag-racing venue back in the sixties. Because, using a main drag where pedestrians could be put in harm’s way, was, apparently, the logical and fun thing to do. And also, showing one’s ignorance in dramatic fashion is a sort of rite-of-passage, here. So goes the well-known adage goes, “you can take the Ottawan out of the sticks, but you can never get the sticks completely out of the Ottawan.”
“I lived in Ottawa a few years…hated every second of it and got the heck out. Not just Ottawa…I got out of Ontario/Quebec. What a dump. Worst weather imaginable and no ocean, waves, mountains, beaches. Everything in that region is so lame. I cannot stress how much I loathe the weather and geography in that part of North America. And the way the French bully English speakers is appalling. Only regret is not leaving sooner. Ottawa is just a sawmill town that won the lottery. Nothing there but French speaking government drones, dumb immigrants, and even dumber Anglos, too stupid to move West”
“I’ve lived here going on four years and have tried my best to make it work. The fact is I like the city less every day. Ottawa boosters sadly believe that their provincial backwater is a major city. It is not. Here is the impression of someone from coastal BC who has also lived in Washington State, California and Québec (Montréal):
– Ugly downtown streets: Either chocked full of aggressive busses and white trash smokers during the day, or depressingly vacant at night. No (or few) street trees
– Bleak neighborhoods with low property-maintenance standards; even expensive Glebe homes need significant reno work. New homes are cheaply built with vinyl siding and asphalt driveways (and no trees). Old ones if renovated are done on a shoe-string budget and look cheap. Horrible landscaping.
-Bizarre driving habits–people thinking nothing of blocking major roads to selfishly make left turns, refusing to pull into intersections when waiting to turn left (meanwhile making other cars miss lights), and suddenly finding the gas pedal in major neighbourhoods and blowing through despite pedestrians including elderly, children, and pets. Real asshole mentality.
– Constant raving amongst urban “elite” about overpriced and extremely mediocre restaurants. Best restaurants are in the suburbs. -Deeply-ingrained municipal “can’t do” attitude. Corrupt municipality. Absence of community police. – Pathetic signature university – OttawaU – where bilingualism trumps academic merit. Much like public service approach to bilingualism. -Decades behind on public transport. -Much more horrible climate than locals will admit. There are many better climates within Canada. -Knee-jerk anti-Americanism, yet ask a local when they were last in Vermont (so close by) and they’ll tell you they’ve never been! -Sparks Street speaks to the lack of ambition and imagination in this city. -Outside the Rideau Centre is truly third-world. I won’t go there and wonder what Nordstrom was thinking (even though I’m thrilled they’re willing to give Ottawa a shot). -Anyone who is dynamic is planning their exit strategy. Only true losers or those with family also trapped in Ottawa want to live their after retirement.”
“Born and raised here in Ottawa, did what many do, got a decent degree, got a gov job, a wife and kid and a house in the berbs. Travelled abroad a few years ago with my wife, saw life outside and thought Ottawa oh hell North America in general sucks. Been overseas yearly since then sometimes with my wife other times by myself just cause I cannot stand to not atleast experience a better life even if only for a couple of weeks. Why dont I leave, well the hardest part is giving up a gov job. The pension is only a few years away, once it does, I am gone within a few days of it kicking in. Done with Ottawa forever aside from a few visits to family that will sadly remain here. To those locals who love this city, great good for you, but try travelling and staying in a few cities overseas and try living life as a local and you will never want to set foot in Ottawa again. I found heaven in Italy, and if all goes to plan, it will soon be a reality and Ottawa will be a memory that I used as a means to get where I really wanted.”
“A friend of mine who worked with street kids said that the Ottawa version were well-known as being far more violent than the Toronto or Montreal ones. When we first moved here a few decades back, I was shocked to see that there were hundreds, if not thousands of guys like the angry fellow in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNE6cub4v74 A few decades later and things have improved (believe it or not) but there’s still a lot of angry, barely civilized people in this city. Part of the culture, especially among the ‘locals’ is stuck back when they built the canal under poor working conditions and feigning being a tough guy was the best you could hope for. There are still people here who are about as anti-union as you can find anywhere in the world. Things are improving, but according to Ottawa time – very very slowly”
“Sweet fucking god please get me the fuck out of this hell hole this year before I stab my eyes out with a fork and then slit my own throat to escape” THAT was my daily prayer (actually I no longer pray since I gave up on my faith while in that HELL HOLE!) while I still lived there. I have made my life’s work to leave, there was no alternative, I was basically willing to work hard and do WHATEVER it takes to leave Can-nada. Now I live in the United States of America. Yes, there is LIFE here. Enough said”
“I have lived in that hellhole for twenty years! I basically grew up in Ottawa, and as a none white person it was nothing short of living a nightmare. I truly sympathize with anybody living in that horrible place. Ottawa is like a horrible-time-wrap-experiment gone wrong, from the 1970s. I now reside in the United States of America, yes, I waited my time and quietly left that hellhole. And the difference for me is life and death. I left to save my sanity”
Every single comment so very on the money about Ottawa . I am so relieved I am NOT alone in my perception of this horrible city .”
“Could not agree more with every comment on here. Glad I’m also not the only one!“
“I totally agree. I am out of this SHITHOLE as soon as I am able to. I HATE Ottawa , its the place you go to die. Ottawa should be renamed BORINGVILLE . I’ve sadly lived in SHITHOLE Ottawa for 13 years. Never met such People as the People who live in Ottawa. Conversation topics = beer hockey beer hockey or weather . Damm don’t these People read? Maybe they should read Noam Chomsky, Freud, Yukio Mishima, John Pilger, WB Yeats, Francis King, Aleister Crowley, Colin Wilson etc. Would give them something a little bit more interesting to talk about, oh I forgot they only like beer hockey and shitty weather LOL.“
“Crappy and expensive restaurants and pubs for food. The only place I like and really like is The Prescott!“
“Thank God! It’s not me. I don’t have a “bad attitude”. My husband has lived all over the world and came here for ( drumroll…) WORK. My grandfather came here for… work. My father came here as he was fleeing a dictatorship. He thinks it’s fantastic! I don’t! I hate it here. I’ve been stuck in this hell hole for 43 years. People stay here because of golden handcuffs. The “Ottawa Allowance” or ” Northern Allowance ” paid by employers so you will fritter away the best years of your life in an intolerable climate, with equally cold people, depressing streetscapes and architecture and now…. expensive taxes and housing, too? Thank God, we all have our EU Citizenship. We are out of here. Time is the real commodity, people… not money.“
“It is good to find this blog and to know I am not alone in my dislike of Ottawa. It’s sad to think that a blog must exist just to help people survive this wasteland. I have been here almost 3 years and I am so happy to be leaving in a couple of months. I too have lived in several countries and other parts of Canada. Ottawa is a soul destroying place full of narrow minded people with a strange sense of entitlement. Don’t make jokes they have no sense of humor and will look at you blankly or be offended. There is absolutely NO culture or creative vibe here. It is a completely risk adverse place where independent thinking is frowned upon. I’ll be burning rubber out of here soon never to return.“
“You are sooooooooooooooo lucky to get out of shithole Ottawa. I am saving up so I too can get out of shithole Ottawa. Living in this boring city is truly a NIGHTMARE.“
“Every time I have to come back to Ottawa from vacation I cry. I hate Ottawa. I moved to Toronto but I have to go back to Ottawa because of family and I just want to die after 2 days of being back. It’s SO DEPRESSING. Everyone’s so by the book. All work, no play, no fun, no life. No wonder I started travelling young!“
“These comments are hilarious. So accurate. I have been in every small or big town in Ontario and Ottawa is by far the worst, maybe other than London or Windsor…sorry guys. I have lived here my whole life and it is a city that breeds unhappy people. no one is open to change, or give people chances. you want an entry level job? sorry man you need two years experience. uhhh what the fuck? the whole mentality is this pompous elitist entitled fuckery where no one is good enough but everyone is better than the rest. makes sense right? coldest, rudest place to interact with humans. my lovely girlfriend moved here to be with me and quickly learned that the peopel here are just awful. dont even try to have a conversation with someone or ask for help at a store. i wont even start on how fake the poeple here are, do we have to make links about the whole fucking ashleymadison.com ordeal? cause ottawa had the highest sign up rate on earth. want to use public transit? be prepared to shell out AT LEAST 2000 dollars per year, not including the INSANE amount of time you have just spent attempting to use said transit. tip: buy a piece of shit car and save yourself an average 10-15 hours a week of bussing in good weather. apartments are insanely expensive and most landlords are scum bags. ive had two rent deposits stolen after being told i was accepted and then fucked over. this is the scary part: the average apartment in ottawa costs just under 1000 dollars per month for a one bedroom, not including utilities or bills. In order to be considered as an acceptable applicant, one must have an income that is over three times their annual rent value. ie: your rent is 1000 dollars per month, you need to make 36,000 dollars per year to be considered for your shit ass, smelly, poorly kept apartment. WHAT THE FUCK. Minimum wage here is under 12.00 and you can stop kidding yourself if you think youre getting anything more than that here if you dont have a university degree in government fucking ass licking, let alone find a job in the first place. this city has the highest unemployment rate its ever had! but of course none of this can be addressed because then it would be real and the city would have to do something about it. save yourselves children. go to school somewhere else, go live somewhere else. this world is too big to sit and live in a dreary, unhappy city.“
“OMG, what a relief to see SO many people hating Ottawa! I just returned to Montreal from Ottawa. WORST city everrrrr!! The bars sucks, people seems to have a stick up their asses. Everyone seems to be LOVING “the market”, which completely sucked balls too. I went to the Rockcliffe Boathouse Marina – a BUNCH a snobby peeps, wannabes, food was disgusting too!! No cultural diversities much as well! I thought Ottawa would be better than Toronto, now, I know that TO is def better than Ottawa!! Will probably never go back to this city!“
“Yep, this city is trash and so are the people who live here. I’m a gay dude, average looking at best. I can’t walk anywhere without being psychotically stared at/called a faggot/threatened with violence all over minding my business. Fucking warped and morbid values people have here. Extremely superficial and lacking in human decency. I’m always confused when on the rare occasion I’m met with kindness from a stranger.“
“Yes anon is sooooo right…a boring politically correct, unimaginative rat hole! Transit station elevators always out of service, smelling of shit and urine. Buses always late. A mayor who never rides the buses but who constantly spouts politically correct jibberish about how things will be so much better when (and if) the lrt is built….no spaces for public music or entertainment…everything revolves around the federal government…no industry…a giant golf course with nanny state twerps shouting orders on transit public address systems..almost orwellian in its cold, calculating monotony…the poor are simply ignored…bmws mercedes benz and other high priced vehicles racing around the streets at top speed without regard for pedestrian safety..any self-respecting person would be well advised to leave this shit hole..for good!“
“Have lived here for 35 years of my life. Have visited Calgary, Banff, Montreal, Toronto, Baltimore, New York/Brooklyn, and Florida. Ottawa is by far the coldest, rudest, most stuck up place of them all. I can always tell a newcomer or tourist just by how friendly or outgoing they are in public. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, it was a boring, bland government town, but seemed cleaner, safer and had decent city services. Now its a boring, bland government town that is dirty, unsafe, full of gang activity, swarmings, shootings…Herongate, South Keys, and Bayshore are basically ghettos. And the Byward Market is overrated.“
Enjoy the video. Typical Ottawa: lousy Senators/ bragging about being in the capital city/ obligatory filming of down town (since the rest is too ugly)/ promoting the dump/ lying about it being safe and affordable/ very honk.