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Ottawa: the City That Fun Forgot

My Analysis As to Why Ottawa Is Considered a Boring City

By Brian AnonymousPublished 6 years ago 4 min read

It’s often said that Ottawa is the city that fun forgot. I’ve always wondered why. There are a ton of things to do and see every weekend in this city and yet it’s still considered boring. After I started exploring the sites and scenes of the city, I started discover why people consider this city to be boring. I think some of the circumstances come from Ottawa’s city culture and its own reputation.

To explore why Ottawa is considered boring I went to a few of the events scattered across the city. Recently I went to a large event at city hall where they seemed to be ready for a large concert. There were inflated jungle gyms, balloon animal artists, the weather was nice and the crazy thing was that it was free! On paper it sounded great but when you got there you realized it was a desert. No one showed up! Not too long before going to this event I checked out the Mosaic botanical gardens on a beautiful sunny day in Gatineau (I will include Gatineau and Hull in this write up) and that was pretty much dead as well. I went to 2 large dance festivals during the summer. Both of which were free and it seemed like they were poorly attended. The night life during the summer is pretty dead as well. I started realizing that people may have reason being considered a boring city.

Some of the events such as Bluesfest, Canada Day celebrations, and Winterlude have very good attendance. The problem with these events is that the attendance of these events are usually made up of tourists. Ottawans don’t generally go to events within Ottawa. So I asked myself why Ottawans wouldn’t go to events in their own city. Maybe it’s because they lived their whole lives there and thought nothing of it. Something similar to Torontonians not going to the CN Tower. There may be some truth to that but there is great variety of events in this city how can all of them be so poorly attended?

Then I thought of the demographic that live in Ottawa. Although their citizens may have liberal values they are generally conservative when it comes to their money and their time. Ottawa is a very family friendly city and they tend to stick to cliques. One of the issues I have with the cultural mosaic ideology is that cultures segregate themselves to their own kind. Yes Ottawa is culturally diverse and we do have cultural festivals but the diversity within their cultural festivals aren’t necessarily diverse. I think cultural festivals miss the mark when they don’t have a great diversity of people for each of the festivals.

There are a ton of public servants living in Ottawa, I believe more than anywhere else in the country. I thought that this would mean that there should be a steady stream of money in the city. I find that a lot of Ottawans are very frugal when it comes to spending for events and having a good time. Ottawa has so many free events every week that the citizens of the city may have become spoiled. One example of their Ottawa’s frugal culture is that they have problems selling playoff tickets to their own professional hockey team. In a way it’s interesting too because Ottawans don’t bite when you bait them with advertising. It seems that large businesses have taken note and so some franchises will skip this city. This would be actually a good thing if it wasn’t for the fact that the city doesn’t have many entrepreneurs.

A lot of the Ottawans generally buy the same pragmatic brands and even dress generally bland. There aren’t too many people that think outside the box in terms of fashion and looks. Those that do are daring because of the social shaming that they have to endure. A stark contrast to what you see in places like Montreal where everyone needs to be different but to the point that different all seems the same.

Ottawa is a very bureaucratic city. Sometimes the fun is taken away because there are too many rules. They made laws that make it tougher for buskers to perform within the city. No music and performances can make a city very dull. They have sound curfews that curtail music festivals and parties. For those outside of North American it may seem foreign but you can’t drink any alcoholic beverages in public and you have designated places to smoke.

After many years Ottawa has developed a culture for the pragmatic and recluse. The city is unapologetic about its ways and visitors have taken notice. Ottawans have a reputation for being cold and frugal but this is simply a misunderstanding. They are like introverted people where they don’t talk or interact until they get to know you but once they do they won’t shut up. Ottawa has a lot for the city but their citizens have to change their culture in order to make it a great city.


About the Creator

Brian Anonymous

I have tons of opinions that change constantly. I watch a lot of movies and play video games. There are some articles on my struggles with languages and dance as well.

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