With our country's 150th birthday around the corner, Ottawa will be pulling out all the stops when it comes to entertaining, enlightening and engaging Canadians. We can’t wait to take part in all the amazing events scheduled throughout the year.
2017 is the 150th anniversary of Canada becoming a country and our capital city has an entire event-planning committee dedicated to creating the best year ever for residents and visitors alike. Ottawa 2017 (at ottawa2017.ca) is headed up by executive director Guy LaFlamme, who has spent more than 18 months imagining a year of incredible, Insta-worthy events that will happen over 12 months—all with the blessing of Ottawa's mayor, Jim Watson.
"We do a really good job of July 1st here in Ottawa," says Mayor Watson. "But we want to take that excitement and enthusiasm and spread it throughout the year. We want to transform our image from Ottawa the old to Ottawa the bold. We want people to understand that Ottawa’s not a stuffy grey-flannel town."
Ottawa, you have us convinced! Here are our top 10 reasons to visit our nation's capital in 2017:
Credits: Diner Entre Ciel et Terre
1. Sky Lounge:
Ever wondered what it would be like to eat dinner while hovering 150 feet in the air? It's a totally bizarre concept—and one you can experience in Ottawa in 2017. There will be five dinners and six tapas/cocktail events hosted with 22 guests per event. Guests will be strapped in at their table to experience a stunning view while noshing. Tickets go on sale soon. Sign us up!
2. La Machine:
French street theatre company La Machine makes its North American debut next summer. Unlike traditional theatre, which requires a stage, this thrilling show will take place on the streets of Ottawa; from July 26 to 30, 2017, two giant machines—a spider and a dragon—will literally walk through the city. Check out the video of a previous show, above.
Credits: Red Bull Crashed Ice
3. Red Bull Crashed Ice:
Watch downhill skaters race to the finish line on a huge track that runs along the locks of Rideau Canal next to Parliament Hill—which will complete 2016-2017 ice cross downhill season. Apparently the adrenaline rush from watching the athletes is like nothing else. The competition will occur on March 3 and 4 and will be free to watch—although Red Bull will be selling some special packages.
4. Pop-up light installations:
Crazy stunts will be appearing all over Ottawa throughout the year with limited warning. For example, the Ottawa 2017 team will have extensive lighting installations constructed quickly, appearing randomly in public venues for a single evening, then disappearing the next day. We can only guess what the Instagram snaps will look like.
Credits: Ottawa 2017
5. Agri 150:
More than 20 events throughout the year will showcase Ottawa food and drink, such as the Wine and Words Tour, which will take participants to local wineries to sample wine and cheese, with a local author to tell stories at each stop.
6. Yoga on a barge:
Not everything will be about the hustle and bustle, though—there will also be special yoga classes for the more zen among us. Think sunset, on a barge floating down the Rideau Canal, accompanied by an orchestra.
Credits: Ottawa 2017
7. Picnic on the bridge:
The afternoon after Canada Day, the Royal Alexandra Bridge, which connects Ottawa and Gatineau, will be covered with sod and will host a giant picnic party. Visitors will be able to rent space for their picnic blankets, with at least three seatings happening throughout the day. Bring your own food or purchase snacks from the local food trucks that will be parked nearby.
Credits: Christian De Araujo/Shutterstock.com
8. Ottawa Welcomes the World:
The many embassies and high commissions that reside in Ottawa will be given the opportunity to take over Aberdeen Pavilion and the Horticulture Building with multi-cultural celebrations including food, film, music and more—likely one culture per day.
Credits: Ottawa 2017
9. Underground experience:
Though the Confederation Line of Ottawa's Light Rail Transit won't open until 2018, one underground station will be transformed into a futuristic world by a 10-week-long multimedia presentation. Though it's free, you'll have to sign up for a time slot in order to attend. See videos of the upcoming immersive experience here.
Credits: Courtesy of Bell
10. Inspiration Village:
Inspiration Village, which will be located on York Street in the historic Byward Market, will be built out of sustainable sea containers (similar to the image above) and will pay tribute to Canadian provinces and territories. The village will showcase special exhibits and performing arts events from May to September.
Are you excited yet? Because we sure are.
A smile is the first thing you notice about someone, so of course the prospect of achieving whiter, brighter teeth is appealing. Here’s what you can do at your bathroom sink—or in your dentist's chair—to help get you a brilliant smile.
We all know that proper brushing is key to oral health, which in turn is important to achieving whiter teeth. For years manual toothbrushes have been the weapon of choice, but is it as effective as an electric brush? Probably not, says Dr. Roger Avila, a dentist at Islington Bloor Dentist in Toronto. “The purpose of a toothbrush is to remove plaque and stimulate gums to help prevent tooth decay. Electric toothbrushes are exceptional at doing both jobs.” With the constant advancements in technology our toothbrushes are working stronger, faster and better. But along with the advancements comes a steep price tag: The Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush, widely considered the Rolls-Royce of toothbrushes, will cost you about $225. If that gives you sticker shock, try Oral-B Precision 1000 Electric Rechargeable Power Toothbrush, which will cost you around $60. But real talk: Even a $10 battery-powered spin brush can give your teeth a polishing effect.
Use Whitening Toothpaste
This seems like a no brainer, but whitening toothpaste really can help your toothbrush remove surface stains caused by beverages, such as red wine or coffee. Most whitening toothpastes on the market include both abrasive and chemical ingredients that clean teeth and remove stains, but only at the top level. If you have sensitive teeth try Sensodyne True White Mint toothpaste ($19), it helps relieve tooth sensitivity while giving whitening results with a low abrasive formula. But if you want something that will give you instant results we suggest Luster Premium White NOW! Instant White Toothpaste ($65). This toothpaste deposits a bluing agent that temporarily clings to teeth, which masks yellowness.
Try an At-Home Whitening Kit
The dentist chair isn’t your only option; at-home systems and strips have come a long way since they first appeared on the market. Products that claim speedy results (within a few hours) often contain a high percentage of peroxide (a chemical that changes to hydrogen peroxide once it hits your teeth), which can irritate sensitive teeth and gums. If you fall into the sensitive teeth camp, Dr. Avila says to look for whitening systems or strips that use 10 percent (or less) of peroxide. He warns that with some teeth, at-home or professional systems simply won’t help you reach a whiter and brighter smile. “Some teeth don’t change as much as others and that is because of the colour of the dentin, which is the layer that lies under the enamel.” Bad news, there’s nothing you can do to increase you dentin; the amount of dentin you have comes down to genetics, says Dr. Avila. If your dentin game is strong, always make sure your teeth are as clean and as dry as possible to increase efficacy; this helps the peroxide adhere to your teeth. Try: Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advanced Vivid, $46, walmart.ca.
Avoid Foods and Drinks That Stain Teeth
Basically, anything that brings you joy in the food and drink department—and can also stain your white button down—can stain your teeth. Some of the worst culprits are red wine, coffee, barbecue sauce and blueberry pie. “If you are a coffee drinker, tea drinker or love red wine, whatever kind of teeth whitening you use, it’s not going to be effective or work to its fullest strength,” says Elmira Amirpour, a dental hygienist at Islington Bloor Dentist. She suggests using a straw whenever you can to avoid contact from teeth and to chase that glass of red wine with some water.
Consult a Pro
If money isn't an issue and you’re looking for major results, fast, head to your dentist. A great entry point into in-office whitening is Philips Zoom! QuickPro. This whitening process doesn't use LED, instead a 20% hydrogen peroxide is applied to teeth followed by a sealant that helps lock in the hydrogen peroxide layer. It should take 5-10 minutes, 30 minutes later patients brush away the varnish leaving teeth that are up to four shades lighter for around $150- $200. The treatment is also touted to be the best option if you experience sensitivity—we tried it and it lifted our teeth up to six shades lighter, shattering its four shade claim. Amirpour suggests trying the treatment one to two weeks after a cleaning and to ban foods that can stain (beets, coffee, toffee) for 72 hours post treatment. If you want to step up your whitening, try Philips Zoom! Whitespeed or Sapphire Whitening, “Zoom is very intense but results wise it’s the best,” says Dr. Avila. With its combination of peroxide and LED light Philips Zoom! Whitespeed costs around $500-$650 and can whiten up to eight shades. It works in a similar way to the QuickPro procedure however you receive three cycles (each lasting 15 minutes) of LED light that activates the whitening gel. The light used in Philips Zoom! Whitespeed also gives you the option of going to high, medium or low, depending on patients teeth sensitivity.
Roast Turkey With Nutty Stuffing</br>Photography by Jeff Coulson/TC Media Credits: Roast Turkey With Nutty Stuffing</br>Photography by Jeff Coulson/TC Media
1. Remember to thaw: If the turkey is frozen, it will take at least a few days to thaw in the fridge. Never thaw a turkey at room temperature.
2. Use a large roasting pan: The roasting pan should be large enough that the turkey does not touch the sides and ideally should have a few inches of room around it.
This helps for better air flow and even cooking. Just make sure the pan (and turkey) actually fits in your oven.
3. Don't stuff: Filling the turkey cavity with stuffing increases the cooking time, which can lead to a dryer bird. Besides, my favourite part of the stuffing is the crispy bits, which you can only get if the stuffing bakes separate from the bird.
Pop the "stuffing" into a casserole dish and into the oven while the turkey is resting. Click here for downloadable information on turkey roasting times.
4. Don't tie your turkey: Tying the turkey is just a waste of your valuable time.
Tying the legs together (or going all out and trussing the whole bird – tying snugly with kitchen twine so the wings and legs stay close to the body) does make for a nice presentation, but it increases cooking time. We suggest leaving the legs as is, and tucking the wings under the breast so they don't burn.
5. 325°F all the way: 325°F is the perfect temperature for roasting a turkey. It's not too hot that the bird will burn before it's done, and not too cool that the turkey takes forever. Some recipes start at a higher temperature and then reduce to 300 or 325°F, but if you don't get the timing right, the turkey might get too dark.
Cooking at 325°F the whole time yields a nicely browned and still juicy turkey.
6. Baste often: Basting the turkey while roasting helps to develop a nice overall colour as well as keeps it juicy. We recommend basting every 30 or 45 minutes. Use a turkey baster to suck of the juices from the pan (or use a pastry brush or spoon) and drizzle the juices over the top of the turkey. Sometimes the juices can accumulate in the cavity of the turkey. Carefully tip the turkey so the juices run out and there is something to baste with.
7. Tent with foil: If the turkey is getting too browned before it's cooked, cover loosely with a piece of foil. This will limit the browning while the turkey continues cooking.
8. Use a thermometer: Just because the turkey looks cooked, doesn't mean it is cooked. The only way of ensuring it's done is to use a thermometer. We like a digital instant-read thermometer because it gives the most accurate reading. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, if it reads 170°F, then the bird is cooked.
9. Let it rest: Once the turkey comes out of the oven, let it rest on the counter, loosely covered in foil for at least 30 minutes. This will let the juices redistribute and cool the turkey down a bit so it is not too hot to eat. Also, this gives to time to finish the side dishes and make the gravy. Just be sure to add the resting to the total time and time everything accordingly.
10. Carve in the kitchen: Although a beautifully presented bird brought to the dining table is the idealized picture of Thanksgiving, I always carve the turkey in the kitchen. Carving a turkey can be a messy job. Doing it in the kitchen means less mess, and less stress at the dining table. Start by removing the legs and thighs (remove the bone and cut up the thigh meat), cut away each breast from the bone and slice.
Check out these tips on how to have the best Thanksgiving ever.