Ottawa, Canada
Beccy, 26
UX Designer
see her Ottawa city guide

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What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm a strategist and user experience designer, with a past in branding and visual design. I love what I do because it's not just making things look nice - it's finding the solution that users actually want. It's a blend of common sense, design, psychology, and business, and technology.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Jungle's self-named debut album. It brings me back to driving around Cleveland with the windows down, dancing in the kitchen, hearing their songs while travelling...

Name some spots in Ottawa that are good for a Tinder date.

The Staff Room at Union if you think it'll go well.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

I find a lot of my favourite clothes on my travels, actually! I find it more meaningful to be reminded of my trip by something I wear daily than a typical souvenir. Otherwise, I love the top floor of Simon's - they have great deals if you go at the right time.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Kanata! I grew up there and let me promise you there's no reason to go there.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

I love to bike around the canal on my 90's Giant road bike, as fast as I can go! Same in the winter - ice skating as far and as fast as possible on the canal. I never get to do it because I'm the only speed demon among my friends, and we like to do things together.

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Ottawa and where did you get it?

That would hands down be the Cabane à Sucre Au Pied De Cochon near Montreal during maple syrup season. Think 7 courses of foie gras, maple butter, pork, and pastry.

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Ottawa that you particularly like?

The Manx on Elgin is a dank basement bar that's the perfect winter spot. I don't think I could go in the summer!

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Ottawa? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

Spa Nordik is a splurge at $68 just to get inside, with plenty of massage and treatment options to add on including a saltwater flotation pool for an additional $45. However, it's the largest and probably the best hydrotherapy spa in North America, so I do think it's worth it. I do the entrance fee plus a drink or 2 to enjoy in the panorama pool - there's a lot of value included already if you see a few Aufguss rituals and us! See more details in my map.

What restaurant in Ottawa looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Rice Pea on Carling Avenue. If you can read the peeling sign from the busy road and don't mind fingerprints on your glass, this is an incredibly good Northern Chinese spot.

Where can you get the best cocktail in Ottawa? Which one do you like?

Clear Blue Skies at Union 613 is my usual. It's off-menu but they'll know what you mean. Most foodie restaurants have fantastic cocktail menus: El Camino, Fauna, Citizen, Common, North and Navy, Fairouz... we're spoilt for choice.

Where would you take your partner in Ottawa if you wanted to really pamper them?

We'd start the day with brunch at Edgar before going to Spa Nordik for a few hours. Then we'd go to Gray Jay for a meal, and end up at Union for late-night drinks.

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

If you want to try poutine remember this: the nicer the restaurant, the worse the poutine. You'll find the best at food trucks on Quebec highways.

What’s the one place you think is overrated in Ottawa?

The Byward Market!

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Ottawa?

It's technically in a different city despite being a short walk from downtown, but Vieux-Hull in Gatineau is ignored both by Ottawa residents and tourists.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Ottawa. How do you spend it?

A picnic with my friends by the river on the Gatineau side. Then we'd go for dinner at Clandestin and a slow walk back through the city at night, ending with a nightcap on the Union patio.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

I love Lisbon for its friendly people, walkability, and visible history. Unlike many city destinations, it's not so overrun by tourism that you can't see lives being lived.

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