Saturday, May 18, 2013

My Westboro

The May long weekend. Sun and temps in the low 20s. The days we wait for when the snow is piling up and sunlight is at a premium. These are days to savour.

I'm somewhat blessed to live in one of Ottawa's coveted neighbourhoods called Westboro. We're not far from the Ottawa River and relatively close to the downtown (but not too close). When I first moved in with Ted, who had the foresight to buy our house before I met him, our part of the boro was made up of small, quirky houses, large treed lots and neighbours who knew your name and watched out for each other's kids. Our street is still this way although the first of the little houses has been knocked down and replaced by doubles that take up most of the back yards.

We continue to be a walking community with parks and old growth trees, but our neighbourhood is growing up with condos springing up along Richmond Road, and new businesses everywhere you look.. When I moved to Westboro, shop owners were having trouble keeping their businesses going and restaurants were few and far between. All of this has changed in dramatic fashion. Now, the variety of enterprises and the vibrancy in Westboro shopping district make for a wonderful stroll on a Saturday afternoon.  This article by the Montreal Gazette gives a taste - quite something when a Montreal reporter finds our corner of the world of interest since Montreal is such a fabulous city in its own right.

The Anna Sweet series that I'm writing for Grass Roots Press, which opens with My Sister's Keeper, is set in Westboro and Hintonburg - our next door neighbour heading toward the downtown. Anna Sweet is a thirty-two year old ex-Ottawa cop who returns to the city to keep her sister from getting killed. Anna stays on in book two and sets up shop in Hintonburg. I've moved the actual crime into Rockcliffe in book two, the ritzy boro where the wealthy reside, including the Prime Minister, Governor General and dignitaries from numerous embassies. I have to say, these books are great fun to write.

So, if you are planning a trip to Ottawa, you really should drop into our corner of the world and spend a day sampling eclectic menus at our many restaurants, strolling down the main street and stopping in at shops, tea and coffee cafes and pubs (I recommend Whispers) and getting the flavour of Westboro. 

You won't be disappointed.

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