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Ontario

The Power Plant Celebrates 30 Years

Kapwani Kiwanga, Afrogalactica

Kapwani Kiwanga, Afrogalactica photo by Emma Haug.

ON NOW The Power Plant, a not-for-profit cultural organization on Toronto’s waterfront, turns 30 in 2017. For its anniversary year, it offers a slate of programming reflecting its own history and, in celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial, that of the country as a whole. The Power Plant’s winter exhibition season asks visitors to consider those who lived here before 1867 and to explore how our colonial legacy affects life today. On Fishes, Horses and Man, which explores marginalized lives and the consequences of slavery, is the first comprehensive solo show for Jonathas de Andrade outside his native Brazil. Canada’s own Maria Hupfield references Anishinaabe oral traditions and feminist performance history in The One Who Keeps On Giving. Another Canadian, Kapwani Kiwanga, features a new film, A Primer, which shows the potential built environments have to affect behaviour. And Latifa Echakhch of Morocco presents a site-specific installation that examines present uncertainty in society by imagining what would happen if the sky was a material object.

 

 

Ottawa Pub Guide: Get Cosy in the Capital

By Emma Fischer

From the darkest winter day to the melt of spring, there are plenty of reasons to snuggle up at a fireplace and raise a pint! Feel the warm embrace of Ottawa’s cosiest pubs no matter the season:

Coasters

Coasters Seafood Grill

ELGIN

Woody’s Pub

A self-proclaimed urban pub, they’re known for their wide selection of craft beer, but that’s not all they offer! Enjoy some of their classic pub fare or more multicultural dishes in one of their two main rooms. Cosy up in the lounge with not one, but two fireplaces and several comfy booths. Beat frosty weather with a frosty pint! 

330 Elgin St.

MacLaren’s on Elgin: Much more than just Ottawa’s premier sports bar, MacLaren’s is the place to take shelter from the storm. Sip on a cocktail while you play some pool, or catch the big game on one of their 80 HD televisions. With plenty of variety both on their menus and in the bar, your game plan should involve staying here long after the final whistle blows! 

301 Elgin St.

The Manx: Known for their craft beer and gourmet pub food, The Manx also boasts an incredible Scotch selection and legendary brunch. This basement pub is a little more hidden than most, but it’s the perfect underground refuge for an after-work drink or to wind down from a long day. Pop by on Sunday and Monday nights to live local music and sing your heart out on their special karaoke nights.

370 Elgin St.

BYWARD MARKET

Lafayette

The Lafayette: Having been around for 167 years, the Laff has been serving Ottawa before it was even Ottawa. They offer affordable food, drink specials and live music with free cover, which means more money for bevvies! The Laff has expanded their pub to its original size and now boasts a comfy fireplace area. Assistant manager Deek Labelle gets the last laugh: “We do our best to make our customers feel at home and comfortable at all times. We don’t believe in charging cover – we’d rather have your bum in a warm seat, sipping on a tasty beverage.”

42 York St.

Chez Lucien: Tucked away at the edge of the ByWard Market, this quaint bar looks small from the outside, but has three levels of cosy seating inside. Exposed brick, hardwood floors and a fireplace give this place a relaxed and comfortable ambiance. Come for brunch (it opens every day at 11 a.m.) and stay for dinner. This place is a few short blocks from more conventional touristy pubs, and far more authentic. Warm up even more with their Frida and Diego burger topped with jalapeños.

137 Murray St. 

Vineyards

Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro & Coaster’s Seafood Grill: This cellar bistro and wine bar is found in a historic, 19th-century building in the ByWard Market. Directly above are two sister establishments: Fish Market Restaurant and Coaster’s Seafood Grill. At Vineyards, sample from 200 wines and 250 different beers — there is definitely something for everybody. Pair your drinks with charcuterie or a cheese board, and enjoy regular live jazz musicians (they will warm your soul). If you’re literally looking for fire, head on upstairs to Coaster’s where you can settle in by the fireplace and enjoy delicious seafood while you sip on a cocktail.

54 York St. 

Ottawa’s Best Pizza

BY JOSEPH MATHIEU

Enjoy a slice of the capital with our Ottawa gourmet pizza guide.

WELLINGTON WEST

Anthony’s: Inspired by classic Italian recipes and made entirely from the offerings of Preston’s Luciano Foods, Anthony’s doesn’t compromise when it comes to vintage pizza. A year after topping the list of the Food Network’s 12 Canadian pizzerias worth travelling for, Anthony’s opened a second successful location on Bank Street in the Glebe. Both locations are located in neighbourhoods with top-draw shopping.

1218 Wellington St. W.

Anthonys_PIzzas_Where_Ottawa

Tennessy Willems
You can’t get much more authentic than baking pizzas in a wood oven on dough made in-house daily. After years of generous portions, the quality has remained high at the Hintonburg staple where they only serve local and organic ingredients. Fresh, in-season produce and well-crafted artisanal meats and cheeses don’t come from very far, but they make the pizzas go a long way. “Helen’s” pizza, topped with baby spinach, goat cheese, Parmesan, and toasted pine nuts, pays homage to the previous owner of the building, Helen Saikely, who ran Melrose Groceteria with her husband Buddy at the same corner for 40 years. 1082 Wellington St. W.

Tennesy Willem pizza,

Tennessy Willem pizza,

CENTRETOWN

Colonnade Pizza: You know you’ve found a winning pie when they’ve been making it the same way for 50 years. Celebrating half a century of pizza next year, Colonnade is poised to feed the masses on their way to Ottawa for the sesquicentennial with five locations across the city. The flagship remains at 280 Metcalfe St.

Pavarazzi: Although the affordable gourmet pizza makers at Pavarazzi have moved out of their Laurier Street location, they are still delivering out of Somerset West. The Meat Eaters classic pizza has won local awards and the phones are still ringing for it. 491 Somerset St. W. (for delivery or pickup only)

THE GLEBE

Crust + Crate: One of Lansdowne Park’s hippest new restaurants has oblong, smoky pizzas that are redefining what Canadian pizza can be. With unpolished décor and a daily drink special almost every day of the week, it could easily become the local hang for beer and pizza parties after any game. 105-325 Marché Way

Crus + Crate in Ottawa. (Ottawa's Best Pizza)

Crust + Crate in Ottawa. (Ottawa’s Best Pizza)

BYWARD MARKET

Vittoria Trattoria: The Breakfast Pizza on the weekend brunch menu is a unique and delicious alternative. Add potatoes and eggs to the tomato sauce, mozzarella, and pancetta ham and you’ve got a wake-up winner. Come back for dinner and choose from a wide selection of gourmet pies that feature ingredients like Greek figs and apple wood smoked salmon.

35 William St.

Ravine VineyardPizza

Fiazza Fresh Fired: Every pizzeria can make a custom ‘za, but Fiazza does it right before your eyes. With mounds of broccoli and peppers, heaps of garlic, more artichoke hearts than you can handle, and free fresh basil after the bake, it’s not hard to see why this up-and-coming eatery is making waves in the pizza world.

86 Murray St.

Go Team, Go! Toronto’s Top Sports Bars

Root for your favourite players in style as you fuel up, celebrate or unwind at one of these fine establishments.

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Get a front-row seat to the game with the big screen at the Real Sports Bar & Grill.

  1. Open since 1949, Duffy’s Tavern is the longest operating bar in Bloordale and the fifth oldest bar in Toronto. This local favourite has pool and foosball tables, a great selection of craft beers and spirits, and live music nightly. 1238 Bloor St. W., 416-628-0330.
  2. The Contender in Little Portugal is a hip, yet low-key take on the traditional sports bar. Memorabilia like vintage baseball pennants, signed photos and framed jerseys adorn the walls, and the tables might look a little familiar—they’re made of repurposed bowling alley lanes. The ever-changing menu features concession stand-style eats like pretzels, foot-long hotdogs, and nachos, as well as soft serve beer floats for a sweet, boozy treat. 1166 Dundas St. W., 416-792-3513.
  3. At Wayne Gretzky’s Toronto enjoy draft beer, signature cocktails, or vintages from Wayne Gretzky Estates along with an extensive menu. The Great One’s namesake establishment also features daily specials, including a $5 burger with all the fixings on Fridays. 99 Blue Jays Way, 416-348-0099.
  4. The huge space at The Ballroom easily accommodates large groups. In addition to an abundance of TVs and HD projection screens for watching the game, activities include 10-pin bowling, ping pong, pool, bubble hockey, foosball, and an Xbox corner. Try the poutine with numerous options, including lobster, bacon double cheeseburger, and popcorn chicken. 145 John St., 416-597-2695.
  5. The Loose Moose has been a downtown staple since 1989. Show up on game day for the lively atmosphere and more than 65 varieties of beer on tap. 146 Front St. W., 416-977-8840.
  6. Boasting a two-story-high HD TV, Real Sports Bar & Grill, has a prime location adjacent to the Air Canada Centre. Hungry fans can chow down on a wide selection of burgers and wings as they watch the action on one of the 199 television sets. 15 York St., 416-815-7325.
  7. Owned and operated by former NHL goalie Wayne Cowley, The Bottom Line is conveniently located within walking distance of the Hockey Hall of Fame (page TK) and the Air Canada Centre. Drop by for a pre- or post-game drink and tuck into an assortment of pizza, sandwiches, sliders, nachos, and more. 22 Front St. W., 416-362-7585.
  8. A 90-foot-long sports ticker and a 15-foot widescreen means that you’ll never have to ask for the score at The Shark Club Sports Bar Grill located at Yonge-Dundas Square. Two two happy hours (3 to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 p.m. to close Sun.-Thurs.) ensure you won’t miss a second of the action. 10 Dundas St. E., 416-506-0753.

Must-See Performances in November and December

NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER ARE FULL OF EXCITING PERFORMANCES FROM BALLET TO ACROBATICS TO MAGIC, AND MORE  

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The 7 Fingers Cuisine and Confessions merges acrobatics with the art of cooking. Photo by by Alexandre Galliez.

Mirvish Productions, Toronto’s largest theatre company, is closing out 2016 with a program of more esoteric—yet still ambitious—shows to complement its typical grander-scale fare. The 7 Fingers Cuisine and Confessions (November 1 to December 4), for instance, blends acrobatics and cooking in a theatrical feast for the senses, while Fight Night (November 4 to 20) concocts an immersive exploration of democracy—just in time for the fireworks of the U.S. presidential election. And there’s more spectacle to be found in The Illusionists (starts December 13), which features awe-inspiring tricks by seven of the world’s top magicians.

Aligator Pie, Soulpepper

Soulpepper’s Alligator Pie is fun for the whole family. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

The spotlight also shines on sleight of hand courtesy of Soulpepper Theatre Company and magic maestro David Ben’s Hocus Pocus (starts December 10). Equally inventive—and family-friendly—are Rose (December 16, 17, and 22), a concert presentation based on The World Is Round, a children’s book by Gertrude Stein, and Alligator Pie (starts December 27), an award-winning adaptation of Dennis Lee’s poems. 

And for more adult-oriented fare, turn to the Canadian Stage and Daniel MacIvor. His solo show, Who Killed Spalding Gray? (November 30 to December 11), combines the Canadian playwright’s uniquely disarming scripting with some of the titular character’s famed monologues in an interrogation of truth and fiction.

ENCORE PERFORMANCES

A pair of repertory remounts round out the National Ballet of Canada’s year-end slate—alongside its annual production of The Nutcracker (December 10 to 31), naturally. Most recently performed in 2014, James Kudelka’s Cinderella (November 12 to 20) offers a thoroughly modern interpretation of the age-old fairy tale, and later, the expressive Onegin (November 23 to 27)—John Cranko’s adaptation of the Pushkin novel, Eugene Onegin—aims for emotional and psychological nuance even while its dancers push the boundaries of what the human body can do.

Sharing the Four Seasons Centre stage with the National Ballet means that the Canadian Opera Company has for the time being ceded the spotlight, but the COC presents a great reason to return in 2017: its ever-popular production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (January 19 to February 24).

HITTING THE RIGHT NOTES

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Itzhak Perlman enchants audiences with his performances of beloved movie scores.

The popular music of previous centuries—that is, classical music—is always in vogue with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. But the venerated ensemble keeps up with the times, too, by presenting contemporary scores. Among this winter’s biggest tickets are Itzhak Perlman’s “Cinema Serenade” (November 22)—in which the famed violinist performs themes from films, including Cinema Paradiso, Sabrina and Schindler’s List—and screenings of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with live TSO accompaniment (December 1 to 3). Christmas classics also get an airing in variety show-style concerts hosted by Colin Mochrie (December 9 to 11) and Jann Arden (December 13 and 14).

Meanwhile, another hallowed musical institution hones in on jazz. The Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall schedule features the likes of Joe Lovano’s quintet with Afro-Cuban piano legend Chucho Valdés (November 9), a cabaret-style pairing of vocalists Laila Biali and Pilar (December 1), and explorations of the trio format with threesomes led by pianist Stefano Bollani, bassist Roberto Occhipinti (both November 18), organist Joey DeFrancesco and saxophonist Christine Jensen (both December 10).

—Craig Moy

Levetto Comes to Chinatown

FIND PASTA, PIZZA, AND MORE AT THE CHINATOWN LOCATION OF LEVETTO

levetto-funghi

The truffle oil-drizzled funghi pizza from Levetto.

The Chinatown outpost of Levetto boasts the same oven-baked pizzas and handmade pastas that have made the franchise’s other locations popular. But one menu offering is unique to the menu here: the Peking duck pizza, which use ingredients like hoisin sauce and medium cheddar cheese for an Asian take on an Italian staple. Among the other highlights are the carbonara with a generous helping of smoked bacon, the rigatoni with tender braised beef, and the fungi pizza with truffle oil.  —Karen Stevens

Hazelton Lanes Rebrands as Yorkville Village

HEAD TO BLOOR-YORKVILLE TO CHECK OUT SOME OF THE EXCITING NEW SHOPS IN THE REVITALIZED MALL.

Yorkville Village Exterior

Yorkville Village is home to a variety of upscale shops as well as a Whole Foods.

At the beginning of this year, Hazelton Lanes rebranded itself as Yorkville Village, part of an on-going $100-million transformation by the property’s landlord First Capital Realty. Design firm Kasian is on board to make over the shopping hub into a “neighbourhood centre” that is anchored by Whole Foods. Some leading retailers have already taken up residence, including Montreal-based womenswear boutique Maska Mode, which imports ready-to-wear pieces from Italy; loose, fluid ladies apparel from Belgian label Sarah Pacini; and trendy menswear shop Philip has relocated to a more intimate space where it carries such coveted designers as Hugo Boss, Paul & Shark, Corneliani, and the philip private label.  —Linda Luong Luck

Reptiles invade the Canadian Museum of Nature

By Chris Lackner

Get your close-up with a chameleon and gaboon viper at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Reptiles is an interactive exhibit that is part zoo, and part natural history presentation. It includes live animals such as colourful lizards, exotic turtles and deadly snakes. They’ll be slithering and scaling their way through the museum until April 8, 2017.

To peel back the layers on Reptiles, we spoke to Chad Peeling, operations manager for Reptiland in Pennsylvania, which tours the show that has invaded Ottawa:

This snake-necked turtle is part of Reptiles at the Canadian Museum of Nature

This snake-necked turtle is part of Reptiles at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Q: What will surprise visitors?

A: People are often surprised at how truly beautiful reptiles are. They have suffered a stigma for so long that I think the intricate shapes, textures, colours, and adaptations of these animals are often overlooked.

This Red Spitting Cobra is part of Reptiles at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

This Red Spitting Cobra is part of Reptiles at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Q: Why is this exhibit important?

A: Reptiles, particularly snakes, are among the most feared and misunderstood creatures — but they are important members of the living communities on which we depend. In a human-dominated world, I think it’s important for us to stay connected with nature. This exhibition offers an up-close look at this important group of animals.

Q: What are your favourite aspects of  the exhibition, and what are your favourite reptiles?

A: I love the interactivity of this exhibit. It really offers the best of zoo and natural history museum presentations. It’s tough for me to pick one favourite animal, but I am in awe of the gaboon viper — it’s truly beautiful and deadly.

This Gila Monster is part of Reptiles at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

This Gila Monster is part of Reptiles at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Q: The chameleon will be fascinating for many visitors. What’s one thing about chameleons that will surprise people?

A: Chameleons are specialist predators and their projectile tongue is one of the most bizarre adaptations for catching insects at a distance. It’s remarkable that these otherwise slow-moving lizards can nab a moth or katydid (AKA cricket). The turret-like eyes allow chameleons to look in two completely different directions at once, but when focused on the same prey they provide exceptional depth perception.

A chameleon shows his colours at Reptiles at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

A chameleon shows his colours at Reptiles at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Q: What would happen to a chameleon if he was dropped off in a fall forest amidst the foliage of reds, oranges and yellows?

A: Although chameleons are able to change colour, most do so as an expression of mood rather than an attempt to blend in. If a panther chameleon was dropped off at the peak of fall foliage colours it might well turn red with stress, but it would also die quickly in the cool temperatures.

9 Fashion Trends to Fall For

DIRECT FROM THE RUNWAYS, GET THE SEASON’S MOST WEARABLE LOOKS
— Linda Luong Luck

Embrace Fall With Comfort Food

AS THE TEMPERATURE DROPS STAY WARM WITH THESE FALL FAVOURITES

Funghi 2

Get your fill of delicious carbs with the fungi pasta at Ardo. Photo by Adam Mazerall.

Say hello to fall with these hearty comfort foods.

  1. You won’t go hungry with the toothsome Arcadian Court chicken pot pie, which is served with mashed potatoes and scratch gravy at Bannock.
  2. Head to Harlem Underground for the savoury-sweet combination that is fried chicken and waffles, a beloved Southern dish.
  3. With handmade gnocchi, local mushrooms, heirloom carrots, and creamy stracchino cheese topped off with shaved black truffle, the funghi pasta at Ardo is a decadent answer to any carb craving.

Ottawa Spirits Guide: from Caspers to Cocktails

By Chris Lackner

Ottawa will leave you haunted — both by spirits that say boo, and the ones better served in a glass over ice. From ghostly restaurants and museums, to spirited cocktails and whisky-soaked welcomes, we showcase how the capital will leave you screaming for more tricks and treats.

Ottawa's Haunted Walks.

Ottawa’s Haunted Walks.

SPOOKS

“When most people think about Ottawa today, they think about a safe and beautiful capital city,” explains Jim Dean, creative director of Haunted Walks. “However, many are unaware that ByTown, the first name of the city, was once considered to be one of the most dangerous places in North America. The gang warfare between the rival English, French, Irish and Scottish groups, contributed to significant violence, murder and riots in the city streets. The construction process of the Rideau Canal, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also claimed the lives of close to 1,000 workers along its banks. With such a dark and deadly past, Ottawa certainly has all the elements to be one of Canada’s most haunted cities.” On that chilly note…

APPETIZERS & APPARITIONS

Beckta restaurant is one of the city's oldest haunted haunts.

Beckta restaurant is one of the city’s oldest haunted haunts.

Beckta: This restaurant serves up a famous ghost, heritage architecture, and a tantalizing menu — making it the perfect haunt for the living and the dead. The previous long-time tenant, Friday’s Roast Beef House, could have inserted the word Haunted into its official name. Dr. James Alexander Grant built the three-storey masterpiece in 1875, practiced his craft onsite, and was even rumoured to maintain a morgue in his basement. Today, the only surgery being done in the old Grant House is by talented sous chefs. Owner Stephen Beckta discusses his restaurant’s famous phantom:

Q: Is Beckta really haunted?

Most of the stories come from before Beckta moved in. They involved seeing a figure in the window or staff hearing coughing (Dr. Grant was both asthmatic and loved to smoke cigars). When we took occupancy, I left a glass of champagne on the mantle in an heirloom Grant family glass. It was partially gone (thenext morning) and we’ve been haunting free ever since, so (Dr. Grant) likes us in his space… One time we had a problem with lights flickering and we thought it might be  the ghost, but it turned out our dimmer switch was faulty.

Q: What signature drink would you serve Dr. Grant?

I’d offer him a smoky cocktail, like our Smoked Butter (brown butter bourbon, vermouth, black soochong, cinnamon, mole).

The Courtyard Restaurant

The Courtyard Restaurant

The Courtyard Restaurant: Located in the ByWard Market’s Clarendon Court, a cobblestoned hotspot for ghostly activity, the building is said to be haunted by Mrs. Evans, a woman that reportedly died during an 1872 fire when the site was an inn.

Cynthia Verboven, senior events coordinator:

Over the 36 years of The Courtyard’s history, few privileged staff have had the opportunity to encounter Mrs. Evans, our resident ghost. One employee, while burning the midnight oil, reported seeing a ghostly apparition standing next to the third window of the Loft Room on the second floor. Others have reported experiencing extreme chills and an overwhelming sensation to flee the building, or the sound of tinkling glasses when left alone in the dining room. Some have even seen saltshakers move swiftly on their own across the tables!

OTHERWORDLY TOURIST DESTINATIONS

The Chateau Laurier.

The Chateau Laurier.

Château Laurier: Railway executive Charles Melville died on the Titanic en route to the grand opening of the landmark hotel, located adjacent to Parliament. He never got to see the French-Gothic style building he commissioned in action, and his name has been linked to supernatural phenomenon — reported both by famous guests and staff — ever since. “It would make sense that he believed in this project so much, that he was so passionate for it, that he would want to see it through,” explains Creepy Capital author Mark Leslie.

Mackenzie King Estate

Mackenzie King Estate

William Lyon Mackenzie King: The specter of the former prime minister, and avowed spiritualist, haunts two famous buildings open to the public. He inherited Laurier House, and is said to have conducted séances onsite with everyone from his mother and dog to famous personalities like Leonardo da Vinci and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The ghost of Mackenzie King himself is associated with his Gatineau Park retreat, Mackenzie King Estate, where Leslie’s book describes sightings of a glowing, spectral figure. It plays host during Fall Rhapsody from October 1 until October 16, when its museum and cottages close for the season.

Juan Sanchez, site manager of Laurier House: 

Every summer at least one of our employees has some supernatural experience. The sound of someone sneezing when no one was around, doors opening when they were thought to be locked, objects being moved when no one has been in the house. This summer, we have been experiencing strange events with our alarm system. William Lyon Mackenzie King was a spiritualist and owned a crystal ball. Of course, this is very valuable, so it is hooked up to its own alarm system. For a few weeks in June, the alarm was being triggered in the middle of the night. On several occasions, the alarm company was called, the ball was inspected and nothing was detected. They would leave ensuring us that the matter had been fixed, the next day the same thing would happen. Perhaps the spirits were trying to get in touch with us!

SPIRITED RETREATS

Ottawa's old jail is now a haunted hostel.

Ottawa’s old jail is now a haunted hostel.

Old Ottawa Jail (now the Ottawa Jail Hostel): “The Jail is recognized as one of the most haunted buildings in North America and new reports continue to come in,” says Haunted Walk’s Jim Dean. “Several years ago some newlyweds joined us on a tour of the old jail and took photos of each other inside some of the cells. After taking a photo of the husband, they noticed the face of another man with an old-fashioned haircut in the photo. The image is so clear that if it weren’t shot on a digital camera you would think it would have to be the result of a double-exposure.” 

MUSEUMS

The Museum of Nature

The Museum of Nature

Bytown Museum:  The museum, located alongside the Rideau Canal’s arresting locks just below our political hub, is the oldest — and one of the most haunted — buildings in the city. Eerie experiences range from the sound of footsteps on an empty staircase to objects seemingly moving of their own accord. Leslie suspects “some of the ghosts at the museum came from the spirits of those that died building the canal.”

Canadian Museum of Nature: Normal by day, Leslie says the site’s supernatural nature reveals itself at night. Security guards have reported unexplained sounds and activity — from cold spots on the fourth floor to elevators moving and doors opening of their own accord. He says one female employee reported seeing the faint outline of a man form in a mirror before passing through her body, and even daytime visitors have allegedly had the uncanny feeling of being watched. But it’s likely just another Casper; Leslie suggests the ghost could be that of original architect David Ewart. But given the ancient artifacts and relics that have been housed onsite over the years, who knows what forces may have tagged along with an exhibit? The museum’s castle-influenced design is practically a ghost welcome mat.

Dan Smythe, head of the museum’s media relations: 

Perhaps the spirit of Sir Wilfrid Laurier graces the museum. When the Parliament buildings burned in February 1916, Parliament moved into the museum for four years. Under Laurier’s leadership the museum was built; when he died on February 17, 1919, his body lay in state in the museum’s auditorium. An estimated 50,000 people passed by to pay their respects.

SPIRITS (THE HARD STUFF):

North-of-7-Where-Ottawa-Spirit-Guide

North of 7 Distillery’s spirited products.

North of 7 Distillery: The first batch of four-grain, bourbon-style whisky from the capital’s first-and-only distillery won’t be available until early 2017 (it needs to be aged for at least three years). Co-owner Greg Lipin promises a flavour with hints of “butterscotch ripple or caramel.” For now, visitors can buy their top-selling gin, vodka, rum and White Dog, a “fancy moonshine” – basically fresh whiskey off the still. Split Tree Cocktail Co.’s local cocktail mix is also sold onsite. Lipin is clear on which spirit he recommends pouring before seeking out Ottawa’s ghouls and goblins: “Our White Dog moonshine. It will give you liquid courage beforehand, and calm your nerves afterwards.”

TRICKS AND TREATS: SHOPPING & ATTRACTIONS

Saunder's Farm

Saunders Farm

Saunders Farm: Haunting Season (daytime, family-friendly activities opening September 26) and Fright Fest (night-time activities for adults and children, open weekends starting September 24) return to this farm in nearby Munster, Ont. Get your spook on with labyrinths, a Haunted Hayride, the Ghost Town stage show, the Barn of Terror, Camp Slaughter and a new spooky attraction opening in October. After fending off the phantoms, enjoy some farm fresh food.

Pumpkinferno

Pumpkinferno

Upper Canada Village lights up with Pumpkinferno from September 30 to October 30. You’ll feel haunted by the outdoor, nighttime exhibit of 7,000 handcrafted pieces of pumpkin art just inside the gates of the historic attraction. Illuminate your Halloween season with displays of scenes from exotic places and historic ages, forest animals and sea-born creatures, storybook heroes, mythical characters, cultural icons and more.

Wicked Wanda's. Credit: Pole Star Photography

Wicked Wanda’s. Credit: Pole Star Photography

Wicked Wanda’sLocated in the iconic Imperial Theatre, which was one of Canada’s major music venues in the 1980s, Wicked Wanda’s houses hundreds of hand-selected adult leisure products. Along with the popular brands of pleasure makers, you’ll find unique and custom items by local artisans and entrepreneurs. Wanda’s is also home to the Sensorium Erotic Gallery, Ottawa’s only erotic art space, which includes works by local, national, and international artists. The gallery, curated by artist-in-residence David Cation, is open during store hours. Not too sure about the tools of satisfaction? Don’t be shy — the knowledgeable staff have a passion for pleasure. 327 Bank St., 613-820-6032, 

Wunderkammer is the German word for “cabinet of curiosities,” and this shop certainly lives up to its name with its whimsical, one-of-a-kind products. You’ll even meet a 100-year-old doll that stands in a glass jar and acts as store security. Vintage furniture, animal skulls, and walls covered in sassy, out-there artwork give the location character. Among the glass cases full of jewellery — including Frug, a line created by owners Tamara Steinborn and Nathan Dubo — you’ll also find stationery, handbags, art, and home décor. The owners say their most magical items are found in one of their house jewellery lines: Tamara Steinborn Jewellery. “We launched the line on Halloween 2015 and it plays on dark and mystical themes from mythology and Wiccan lore.” 234 Dalhousie St., 613-860-3510, Facebook @wunderkammerboutique

The Bloor Street Culture Corridor

THE STRETCH OF BLOOR STREET BORDERED BY BATHURST STREET AND BAY STREET HAS BEEN DUBBED THE “BLOOR STREET CULTURE CORRIDOR.” IT TAKES ABOUT 30 MINUTES TO WALK FROM ONE END TO ANOTHER, BUT THERE’S A WEALTH OF PROGRAMS EXHIBITS, RESOURCES, AND PERFORMANCES TO DISCOVER.

Cartier

Head to the Gardiner Museum for exhibitions like True Nordic and view works like this vase by Jean Cartier. (Collection of the Gardiner Museum, gift of Léopold L. Foulem.)

  1. The multi-purpose 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media and Education is a space for everything from ‘zine fairs to live performances, such as the unscripted Like Mother, Like Daughter (October 24 to 30), which explores the stories of newcomers’ parent-child relationships. 918 Bathurst St., 416-538-0868.
  2.  Housed in a heritage building and former church dating back to 1888, the Randolph Centre for the Arts features a number of theatre and music performances year-round. Check the calendar at randolphcentreforthearts.com for upcoming shows and events. 736 Bathurst St., 416-924-2243.
  3.  Informative and captivating motion pictures await at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123). The century-old movie house presents Canadian as well as international documentaries year-round, in addition to hosting independent film festivals, screening series, and other special film presentations. 
  4. For more than 30 years, the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir have skillfully performed music from the baroque and classical eras among others, often providing a unique take on time-honoured pieces. Catch one of their shows at the historic Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, like Christophe Coin’s October concertos by Haydn and Boccherini. Visit tafelmusik.org or call 1-866-882-9844 for a schedule.
  5. Footwear aficionados can explore four galleries at the Bata Shoe Museum, which contains more than a thousand shoes and related artifacts. The collection All About Shoes has an impressive assemblage of 20th-century footwear from various celebrities, like a pair of Elton John’s monogrammed boots, as well as sneakers, high heels and more from almost every culture in the world.
  6. Spend a day at the Royal Ontario Museum —one of the largest institutions in North America—perusing suits of armour, ancient Greek pottery and rare
    prehistoric creatures, among many other fascinating artifacts. Along with the permanent collection, which includes 6,000,000 items, check out a newly discovered dinosaur in the triceratops family, and the colourful exhibit by glass artist Dale Chihuly, on through to January 2017.
  7. Enjoy one of the world’s oldest art forms at the Gardiner Museum, which is dedicated to ceramics. Drop in for a clay class and the True Nordic exhibit on Scandinavian design.
  8. Tour the Japan Foundation’s public gallery, home to exhibits on graphic design, visual art, and handicrafts from the far East. The cultural centre also boasts a library of about 20,000 items along with free screenings and lectures.  —Karen Stevens