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.
Lemony Red Pepper and Asparagus Pasta Salad <br> Photography by Joe Kim Credits: Lemony Red Pepper and Asparagus Pasta Salad <br> Photography by Joe Kim
Planning a picnic or family barbecue anytime soon? Give yourself one less thing to worry about and go for one of our easy pasta salad recipes. It's sure to be a hit!
Pasta salads are great to make ahead, and are absolute tops for large groups. They also take the cake for being an extremely versatile dish – with a host of added ingredients, toppings and dressings, simple pasta salads can go from humble side to star entrée in no time.
We asked Test Kitchen food specialist Amanda Barnier to share some top tips for preparing pasta salads, and why they're a crowd favourite. Here's what she had to share:
Pasta salads: the perfect make-ahead dish
"Pasta salads can easily be prepped in advance and can feed a crowd with little effort," Amanda says. "It can be made in advance and cooled immediately after cooking."
One important tip to remember, she adds, is to "add dressing the day it's being served, because it will quickly absorb the dressing."
Pasta salad favourites
"I like using cheese filled tortellini for a hearty salad. Soba and rice noodles are great with Asian dressings, whole grain and coloured pastas," Amanda says.
How to store pasta salads
"Keep salads well wrapped and refrigerated," she says. "Salad has the same storage life as its ingredients. Seafood is best eaten within 2 days, and chicken (within) 2 to 3 days. If traveling, be sure to store pasta salads in coolers packed with lots of ice."
"Proteins should not be within 4 C and 60 C for longer than a four hour period," she adds.
The long and short of it: best pasta shapes
"Short shapes are best with vinaigrettes and creamy dressings, and chunky ingredients such as chopped vegetables and beans," Amanda says.
"Long pasta shapes are better used with thinly sliced vegetables, proteins, herbs, spices and vinaigrettes."
Tips for making pasta salad
"If making a pasta salad in advance, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and drain well," she advises. "Add dressing just prior to serving. Pasta quickly absorbs liquids; if the dressing is added too soon, the pasta will absorb it."
So whether you prefer chunky pasta salads with a cool, creamy dressing perfect for summer picnics, or entrée-worthy pasta salads with long rice noodles and a tangy vinaigrette, you're sure to find a new favourite with from our collection.
Easy pasta salad recipes:
Lemony Red Pepper and Asparagus Pasta Salad
A bright vinaigrette makes this pasta salad the ultimate dish to serve at any summer party.
Photography by Joe Kim
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
This salad highlights many fresh flavours of the Mediterranean and is at its best when made with good-quality olive oil.
Photography by Jeff Coulson
The Best Macaroni Salad
This is a great keeper salad and perfect for a picnic or BBQ. Just make sure you pack it with plenty of ice packs to keep it nice and cold, both during transportation and at the table.
Photography by Annabelle Waugh
Chicken, Broccoli and Bocconcini Pasta Salad
Make this pasta salad for the whole family—the kids will love the mild dressing and round bocconcini cheese, while the adults will appreciate it as a light alternative to a sandwich.
Photography by Jeff Coulson
More great pasta salad recipes:
Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad
This salad is simple to assemble for a quick family meal.
Warm Spinach and Ham Pasta Salad
Dressed with Dijon mustard and white wine vinegar, this penne pasta salad is a winner topped with goat cheese and cherry tomatoes.
Winter Vegetable Pasta Salad
Cook everything together in one pot for this easy warm salad.
Pea, Pepper and Pasta Salad
This make-ahead salad is perfect for toting to a potluck barbecue or picnic. Toss the salad with the dressing right before serving so the peas stay bright green.
Summer Pasta Salad
Serve this light summery salad with crispy, homemade Parmesan Breadsticks.
Mediterranean Fusilli Salad
Fresh basil, hearty beans, piquant sun-dried tomatoes and al dente pasta make the perfect summer salad.
Warm Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad
The dressing lends a taste of summer any time of year. The red peppers provide vitamins A and C and potassium. Quick and easy to make, this salad is perfect to take to a last-minute potluck or picnic.
Grilled Sausage, Pepper and Bocconcini Pasta Salad
This delicious pasta salad is made with tasty Italian sausage and lots of colourful peppers.
Bow-Tie Pasta Salad
This easy, colourful salad has the sunny fresh tastes of Greece.
Tuna Pasta Salad
Using tuna packed in both oil and broth means you'll need less oil in the dressing.
Salmon Pasta Salad
Start with melon wedges to whet your appetite for this quick and light dinner.
Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
Grilled market-fresh veggies meet marinated olives and artichokes in this healthy dish made with whole wheat rotini. So chock full with taste and texture, carnivores won't complain about this vegetarian dish.
Party Parmesan Pasta Salad
Try this hearty salad studded with salami, olives, tiny tomatoes, roasted pepper and fresh basil.
Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad
This easy tasty pasta salad is loaded with calcium. Omit the banana peppers if your child is not a fan of hot food.
Deli Pasta Salad
Add 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) extra pasta to the pot at dinner the night before to have enough for this lunchtime salad the next day.
Sirloin Steak with Green Bean Pasta Salad
Sirloin steaks paired with green beans and tomatoes make this salad a hearty entrée.
Looking for more great recipes? Try our best potato salad recipes.
Three Canadian cities are considered the most liveable in the world, and we're not surprised.
It's a good time to live in Canada. The Economist Intelligence Unit recently released it’s annual livability index, and once again, Canadian cities are three of the 10 most liveable in the world.
Vancouver ranked third on the list, followed by Toronto and Calgary at fourth and fifth respectively. Other cities on the list include Melbourne (the most liveable city in the world), Vienna and Adelaide. Despite global instability playing a strong role lowering scores for many of the cities this year, these Canadian cities maintained some of the highest global rankings.
Out of 100, Vancouver scored a near perfect at 97.3. Toronto was ranked 97.2, and Calgary was ranked 96.6.
The list weighs 30 important factors to rank each city, such as health care, education, crime, infrastructure, and security. There are 140 cities examined for the report.
Three of the other top ten cities are from Australia. The report suggests a correlation between these cities, indicating that mid-sized cities with low population densities tend to score higher on their index.
Canada ranking well on the top ten isn’t a new thing. Six years ago, Vancouver was the most liveable city in the world. In January, the Economist also named Toronto the best city to live. These cities are consistent in the international index, and are repeatedly being recognized globally for their safety, acceptance, and culture.
Click here for the full Economist Intelligence Unit report.
Photography by Angus Fergusson Source: Canadian Living Magazine: August 2016
In 2012, food-truck owner Rebecca Hunt and artist Stewart Jones bought a beautiful 1860s home in Wellington, Ont. If that wasn't exciting enough, the property also boasted a charming carriage house. Despite its dated exterior and dark, neglected interior, they saw great potential for the space as a rental cottage. So they stripped it back to the exterior brick walls and installed reclaimed-wood floors throughout. Then, Income Property came calling, and designer Melissa Davis took on the project.
The exposed post-and-beam construction inspired Davis's overall design: She wanted to highlight the history of the space, while giving it a contemporary feel. "I used a mix of clean lines and a neutral palette to allow the character of the home to shine through," says Davis. She didn't forgo colour entirely, though; a touch of red appears in every room—cushions, accessories, artwork—which ties everything together and injects a vibrant energy. Despite its diminutive dimensions, the cottage now feels airy, bright and light.
Davis knew that practicality and functionality would be important elements, especially considering how the space would be used (hello, revolving door of vacationers!). "Everything in this carriage house was designed with a purpose," she says. "From the vintage ice bucket to the borrow-a-book shelf at the entry, nothing is too precious." Now on the other side of the reno, Rebecca and Stewart have named the space StudiohousePEC, and not surprisingly, it's become one of the most sought-after cottage rentals in Prince Edward County.
Floating wooden shelves were fashioned from an Ikea oak butcher-block countertop that had been cut to size. From a collection of vintage tins to pretty rocks picked up at the nearby beach, every knickknack has its place.
The row of hooks is perfect for drying towels and hanging beach bags.
Narrow wooden shelves stacked with books and a basket of cozy blankets are welcoming elements in the entry.
Exposed brick and open shelving give the kitchen a casual vibe. Budget-friendly white Ikea cabinets are contemporary and ultra-functional. Running the length of the counter, a narrow wooden ledge offers additional storage for small appliances and other frequently used items. Perfect for big dinners or for playing board games, the ingenious dining table is an Ikea butcher-block top attached to a metal base from Lee Valley.
Nestled in a corner by the kitchen, the dark-grey sofa, topped with patterned cushions, doubles as a pullout bed. For the living area, a compact bench serves as a coffee table; it not only fits the narrow space but also functions as extra seating for the dining table.
Suspended over the living room, a stylish twin loft bed boosts sleeping space. Clad in tongue-and-groove pine and painted white, the bed frame is a fresh counterpoint to the darker exposed-brick wall. You can't beat the futon below as an inviting place to snuggle up with a great book.
A deep soaker tub awaits guests after a day of exploring the lakeshore
The iconic stripes of the Hudson's Bay Company point blanket serve as the jumping-off point for the loft bedroom design.