Earthly delights Up the luxury factor the next time you take a bath or shower by slathering on a skin-smoothing scrub. Two of the most popular types of natural body scrubs are salt-based and sugar-based. Salt plays double-duty as a thorough exfoliator and a soothing disinfectant. But if you love gourmand fragrances, pick a scrub that's sugar-based. They're a perfect choice for sensitive skin because the sugar dissolves quickly once water is added. Turn on the brights Most of us wish our teeth were a shade (or two, or three) lighter, especially when a camera makes an appearance. You can make your teeth appear whiter by choosing a lipstick with a blue base. Look for reds and berries, but stay away from oranges and corals as they have the opposite effect. Or actually whiten your teeth with an at-home whitening kit that contains peroxide. We love the new Crest 3D White 2-Hour Express Whitestrips. You only have to use them four times a year because one application lasts for three months. Manicure makeover Bid adieu to passe French manicures and say hello to a well-thought-out mani. The perfect polish is now just as statement-making as a Birkin bag or wedge heels. Fall shades are a mixed bag of moody colours: deep plums, dusty khakis, mixed-up metals and subdued nudes. As far as nail shapes go, you can either play it safe and keep them short and square or try them rounded and a tad bit longer. The rounded shape is flattering for women with shorter nail beds, giving the illusion of elongated nails.
Iced out Soothe tired eyes in half the time by popping your eye cream or gel into the fridge overnight. The cooler temperature will bestow instant relief and put a spring in your previously sleepy step.
Page 1 of 3 – Which beauty gadgets do you truly need? Oue beauty editor tells all on page 2. Great lengths Faux lashes are the makeup equivalent to your favourite LBD – they can make you feel instantly glamorous. False lashes work with a range of looks, from a natural application to something dressed up for night. For a more subtle effect, trim a standard pair of false lashes in the middle and apply them only to the outside corners of the eyes.
Royal flush The quickest way to warm up your complexion is with a soft rose or peachy pink blush. Makeup artists agree it's the one beauty product that looks great on women of every age and skin tone. On the fall runways, the focus was more on the diverse placement of blush than on a particular colour. At the Marc Jacobs show, models had blush dusted on their lower cheeks, while at the Versace show it was blended high across the cheekbones.
Get some great gadgets Give your eyes a lift by adding an eyelash curler to your daily beauty routine. It's a must-have tool for creating that coveted wide-eyed look. The pros say you don't have to spend big bucks to get quality: you can pick up a good eyelash curler at the drugstore. Just choose one that's made of metal, rather than plastic – it'll last longer. Curl bare eyelashes, then set the curled lashes with a few (or a few dozen) coats of mascara. Bright eyes Makeup pros agree that the best way to say "so long" to dark circles and droopy lids is to swap out smoky shadows and sooty pencils for a softer palette. To give the appearance of a few more hours of sleep, try tracing your lower lash line with a flesh-toned pencil. Your tired eyes will take on a decidedly youthful glow.
Page 2 of 3 – Don't have a go-to hairstyle that always makes you feel pretty? Find out which flattering styles should be in your repertoire on page 3. Top touch up Save time and money by forgoing that trip to the salon and covering up roots at home. There are now at-home colour kits that will do the job in 10 minutes flat. If your regrowth is more than 50 per cent grey, stick with a permanent formula; if you have little to no grey hair, a semi- or demi-permanent colour will do the job. Apply colour only to any regrowth, then when the clock ticks dow n to the last two minutes, work the dye through the rest of your hair before shampooing.
Go-to hairdo Don't have time to wash your hair but need it to look flawless in mere minutes? Easy! Pick up a mesh doughnut to give your hair a red carpet-worthy chignon every time. First, smooth your hair back into a ponytail. Next, slide your ponytail through the hole of the doughnut and spread hair evenly around it. Finish the look by securing the ends of your hair under the doughnut with bobby pins and spritzing with a flexible-hold hair spray.
Ponytails This season, all the best runway hairstyles had an organic quality to them – and the standout was undoubtedly the ponytail. We saw ponies at Alexander Wang, Louis Vuitton and Balmain – and we assure you they were nothing like your average post-gym ponytail. To create a haphazard pony, finger-comb your hair back into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck. To add to the bedhead esthetic, rough up your roots with some dry shampoo.
Hats off to moisture Hats and toques make it difficult to maintain your hair's style; they also add static to dried out locks – all of which make managing a seasonal look even more difficult. The key to keeping your look in place is to be ritualistic about your hair regimen. Shampoo and condition every morning with a rich conditioning line like Pantene Pro-V Medium-Thick Hair Solutions Breakage to Strength Shampoo and Conditioner. And never over-apply product like hairspray (this just weighs hair down).
This story was originally titled "Pretty Quick" in the October 2011 issue.
New and improved products from some of your favourite hair brands are hitting shelves this season.
The hair-care aisle is chock full of potions promising miracles, but we're after products that actually work—with the science and research to back them up.
SIZE DOES MATTER
Half of the global population experiences dandruff, but women seem to be slacking. "A far smaller proportion of women [to men] take proper care of their scalp," says Phil Marchant, the principal scientist for Head & Shoulders. "Many women think antidandruff products only fight dandruff or are too harsh." Over the past few years, Head & Shoulders' team of scientists has been working to change this mindset. A combination of zinc pyrithione and zinc carbonate is the brand's dandruff-fighting duo. Product developers swapped the shampoo's former particle size of zinc with micronized zinc (commonly used in facial sunscreens), reducing its size eight times over. "The smaller particle deposits more effectively and efficiently into the harder-to-reach areas on the scalp," says Marchant. This helps banish dandruff while also giving a better lather and allowing shampoo to rinse away more easily.
Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Shampoo and Conditioner, $6, walmart.ca.
NEW AND IMPROVED
"If it's not broke, don't fix it" was Herbal Essences unofficial motto for more than 45 years. Now, the brand known for unforgettable scents and kooky commercials is introducing a new line that marries the best of nature with science, thanks to a new technology called Bio:renew. The complex includes aloe to heal, sea kelp to nourish, bamboo to strengthen and, at its core, histidine, an amino acid and antioxidant. "When you go outside or colour or wash your hair, you're exposing it to free radicals," says Rachel Zipperian, principal scientist for Herbal Essences. "Once free radicals get into the hair, they try to associate themselves with damage sites. The vulnerable parts get free-radical buildup, which accelerates damage, and you end up with lifeless hair." Zipperian explains that antioxidants track free radicals and "take them out" so they're no longer active. The new collection comes in a range of indulgent scents.
Clay's purifying properties are well known to skin-care aficionados, and now your hair can benefit from them, too. L'Oréal's latest hair-care release—available in shampoo, conditioner and a preshampoo mask—tackles greasy roots and dry ends with a combo of kaolinite, argilane and montmorillonite clays, helping balance hair from root to tip. Expect fresh, soft strands for up to 72 hours.
L'Oréal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Clay Pre-Shampoo Treatment, $8.50, lorealparis.ca.
GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT
Take a walk down the shampoo aisle and you'll spot products that seem—dare we say it?—delicious. Hair-care brands are increasingly turning to fruit, vegetables and other plants for their nutritional benefits. Products containing yucca and goji berry, black sesame and grapefruit, and quinoa husk and honey take the guesswork our of reading ingredients labels and leave your hair with a yummy scent to boot.
The new hair-brightening spray from L'Anza uses optical refraction technology, which relfects pigments within the inner cortex of the haqir cuticle to intensify hair colour. Color Illuminator doesn't deposit new colour; instead, it magnifies preexisting pigments that are concealed by the hair's cutcle layer. The result: instantly brighter hair in the short term, and long term, strong and healthy hair nourished with UV protectors, which prevent fading.
L'Anza Color Illuminator Hair Brightening Spray, $35, lanza.com.
It's not just skin care that's ditching chemicals in favour of all-natural ingredients. Rocky Mountain Soap Co. has taken this trend to hair care too. The Canadian company's packaging, ingredients and even store design benefit from an attention to environmentally conscious detail. "I see us heading into a societal shift, defined by simplicity and authenticity, where green choices are the new expectation," says co-owner Karina Birch.
Heart disease and stroke are one of the leading causes of death for Canadian women—and risk factors, symptoms and even treatment might vary by age. Here's what you need to know.
It was Dec. 13, 2014. I was getting ready to go out for dinner when suddenly everything went wrong. I lost coordination, almost like I was drunk. I went numb, as if the local anesthetic that dentists use had been applied to half of my body. My arm went limp, I could barely walk and, out of the blue, I got a raging migraine. At 31 years old, I was in the midst of a transient ischemic attack, often called a ministroke, but I had no idea.
It wasn't until the next day, when I was feeling only slightly better, that I realized something was really wrong. I didn't want to wait for an appointment with my family doctor, so I called Telehealth Ontario, the provincial service that connects callers to a registered nurse via telephone. In the very back of my mind, I wondered if I'd had a stroke—but I was too young, or so I thought. But when I described my symptoms, it became clear that I wasn't too young. In fact, the nurse who took my call was worried enough to send paramedics to my house. Soon, I was in the back of an ambulance, rushing through Toronto's busy streets on the way to the hospital.
The statistics Luckily, my stroke was mild, and, in July 2015, I underwent surgery to have a patent foramen ovale closure device inserted to close the hole in my heart. But, to this day, I'm still shocked at how little I knew about the risks associated with stroke and heart disease, or just how common they are. As I soon learned, about 1.6 million Canadians—557,000 of them women over the age of 24—report having cardiovascular disease. And, according to a study looking at factors and behaviours affecting cardiovascular health published in 2013 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, fewer than one in 10 adult Canadians were in ideal cardiovascular health from 2003 to 2011, which means 90 percent of us are making choices that are increasing our risk for a cardiovascular event. In fact, heart disease and stroke is one of the leading causes of death for Canadian women, and most of us have at least one risk factor.
It's a club that I didn't particularly want to be a part of, but having joined, I began wondering what other women's experiences had been like.
Unlike me, when Victoria resident Carolyn Thomas started having a range of symptoms— crushing chest pain, nausea, weakness, sweating and a persistent ache down her left arm—on her 58th birthday, she immediately thought it could be a heart attack and went straight to the ER. But when she got there and told the doctor on duty about her symptoms, he said it was just acid reflux. "I remember exactly what he said," she recalls. " 'You're in the right demographic for acid reflux. Go home and call your family doctor for a prescription for antacids.' " Embarrassed and apologetic, she did just that. But her symptoms persisted for two more weeks. She eventually went back to the hospital, and this time, she was told she was suffering from what was actually one of the most serious types of heart attacks—a complete blockage of her left anterior descending artery, which is often referred to as the widow-maker.
Since then, she has recovered, but it's far from full—she had to retire early and continues to see a specialist at her regional pain clinic.
Irmine MacKenzie also went to the hospital immediately. It's been 35 years since the New Waterford, N.S., resident lost the use of her left arm and leg after suffering a stroke caused by carotid artery stenosis, narrowing of the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the brain. She was 61 years old and, having just finished eating breakfast with her husband, John, she headed to the kitchen to tackle the dishes. Suddenly, plates started dropping from her hands, shattering as they hit the floor.
After a six-week hospital stay and a three-month stint in a rehabilitation program in Halifax, she eventually learned to walk again. Her ability to manage quite well over the past three decades is clearly a testament to her grit— and maybe some kind words from a stranger. "I won't ever forget the ambulance driver who took me to the rehabilitation centre," she says. "He told me, 'We're taking you by stretcher now, but you'll be walking out of there with a cane.' " Sure enough, that's exactly what she did.
A better understanding It has now been two years since I suffered my transient ischemic attack, and I feel like I'm still learning about heart health. I now understand the importance of cardiac rehabilitation, for one thing. When I had my stroke, I didn't know this kind of program existed—my cardiologist didn't refer me to one, but having access to dedicated professionals in a safe, encouraging environment could have helped me navigate the health-care system and guided me toward healthier choices.
One thing I found myself, Carolyn and Irmine echoing is how, as women, we must advocate for ourselves in the health-care system, ensuring that our voices are heard and our health is looked after. We need to put ourselves first, without shame or guilt. As Dr. Paula Harvey, director of the cardiovascular research program at Women's College Hospital in Toronto, says, "It comes back to education and partnership with your health provider. Don't be afraid to ask questions and be informed."
Heart health by the decade Nearly two-thirds of all heart attacks and strokes occur in Canadians 65 or older, but younger Canadians are increasingly at risk. Here's what you need to know at every age.
In your 20s and 30s: Young people with heart-health issues are part of a growing minority. A study published in 2012 out of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine found that, over a period of 12 years, strokes among people aged 20 to 54 made up an increasingly greater proportion of strokes across all age groups, growing from about 13 percent in 1993–94 to 19 percent in 2005.
Closer to home, the Heart and Stroke Foundation says several studies predict that the rate of strokes among younger adults will double in the next 15 years. The main reason? According to Dr. Tara Sedlak, a cardiologist at Vancouver General Hospital and clinical assistant professor at The University of British Columbia, it comes down to lifestyle—high stress levels, poor eating habits, lack of exercise and smoking. Research bears this out: The University of Cincinnati study suggested that a rise in lifestyle-related risk factors (such as diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol) may contribute to a higher incidence of stroke.
But there is a way to turn the tide: As with other age groups, simple changes such as exercising regularly, quitting smoking and eating healthily could see the rates of cardiovascular disease—and, more specifically, stroke—decrease, says Dr. Paula Harvey, director of the cardiovascular research program at Women's College Hospital in Toronto.
In your 40s and 50s: Cardiovascular disease is less common among younger women, in part because of their higher estrogen levels; the hormone offers some protection to the arteries. But as women approach menopause and their estrogen levels drop, the incidence of stroke and heart attack increases.
Unfortunately, broad knowledge of their increased risk may not protect perimenopausal women from misdiagnosis. According to research by the Canadian Medical Protective Association, which provides advice, legal assistance and risk-management education to 95,000 Canadian physicians, doctors are missing the signs of stroke in patients nearly 10 percent of the time, largely because symptoms are often nonspecific—patients often complained of headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
And women, who have historically been less inclined to advocate for themselves, are particularly at risk. Research out of the University of Leeds in England showed that, between April 2004 and March 2013, 198,534 heart attack patients at National Health Service hospitals in England and Wales were initially misdiagnosed—and most of them were women. During that time, women suffering a heart attack were 50 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed compared to men.
It might be difficult to challenge doctors who tell you nothing's wrong, but Dr. Sedlak encourages women to listen to their bodies and to be firm with health-care providers about what they're experiencing. "If you feel there is a real problem, be persistent," she says.
In your 60s and beyond: Women over 65 have the most strokes of all age groups, but they still have fewer strokes than men the same age. However, a Danish study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2015 found that, after 60, women tend to have more serious strokes than men—and they're more likely to survive, which can have serious repercussions on quality of life.
John Sawdon, the public education and special projects director of the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada, explains that cardiac rehabilitation programs, which are free with a referral from your doctor, are the perfect next step for recovering cardiac patients of all ages, but they're particularly important for older Canadians, who tend to live more sedentary lives. These programs are supervised by a cardiologist and, after an assessment, are tailored by your cardiac rehab team, which usually includes nurses, physical therapists, kinesiologists and social workers. They can provide exercise training, education on heart-healthy living and stress counselling—all of which can contribute to the health and well-being of people who have heart problems. And they're effective, too: "Research has shown that those completing cardiac rehab live seven years longer than control groups," says Sawdon. It also "reduces incidence of another heart attack by 50 percent."
What's your risk? Ninety percent of adult Canadians have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. But while factors such as obesity, hypertension, alcohol abuse, family history and ethnicity increase everyone's risk, regardless of gender, the following three are particularly relevant to women.
Smoking: While we all know that smoking is seriously unhealthy, it can be especially damaging to women's cardiovascular health. Smoking when taking the oral contraceptive pill can drastically increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. But quitting can cut your risk within a year.
Diabetes: According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are at a very high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In fact, "they may develop heart disease 10 to 15 years earlier than individuals without diabetes."
Mental illness and stress: "Women have a higher frequency of stress-induced heart disease, and women's hearts are affected by stress and depression more than men's," says Dr. David Fitchett, a cardiologist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto.
Heart health dictionary
Atherosclerosis: When arteries narrow and harden due to plaque buildup.
Cardiomyopathhy: Diseases of the heart muscle, which cause it to become enlarged, thick or rigid.
Cardiovascular disease: A broad term for problems with the heart and blood vessels, often due to atherosclerosis. These conditions can lead to heart attack, angina or stroke.
Heart attack: Also known as a myocardial infarction, these attacks happen when the flow of blood to a section of the heart is blocked, preventing the muscle from getting oxygen.
High blood pressure: Also called hypertension, this is when the long-term force of blood against artery walls is elevated, requiring the heart to work harder, which may eventually lead to heart disease.
Microvascular angina: A disease of the small coronary artery blood vessels. Many angiograms do not view the small blood vessels, so this can be difficult to diagnose.
Spontaneous coronary artery dissection: A tear in the coronary artery wall. Physical or emotional stress appears to play a role. Most cases (around 70 percent) occur in women under 50—and a third of those are pregnant or postpartum women.
Stroke: When the blood supply to a portion of the brain is interrupted. This can happen when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain either bursts or is blocked.
Have you been putting yourself last lately? Here are 19 super-easy things you can do to beat stress, reduce anxiety and boost your mood.
If you're trying to live your healthiest life, eating clean, working out and making sure you take preventative measures against the illnesses women commonly face are all likely on your radar. But do you remember to do the small things, too? Those tiny, seemingly unimportant actions, like taking a real lunch break, grabbing coffee with a friend or planning a do-nothing day, can actually have a huge impact on your mental, and even physical, health. Keeping that in mind, self-care isn't selfish or shallow; it's a really important part of a healthy lifestyle. (This is especially true for women, who often put everyone else's needs before their own!) With that in mind, here are 19 inexpensive and easy things you can do to put yourself first.
1. Make your bath or shower that much better
Turn your nightly shower into an impromptu aromatherapy session by using an easy-to-make bath or shower bomb. A 2009 study in the International Journal of Neuroscience found "credible evidence that odours can affect mood, physiology and behaviour"—so try lavender, jasmine or ylang ylang for relaxation and peppermint, citrus or rosemary for an energy boost.
Yes, we're quoting a hashtag. But it actually is important to do something for yourself, for no other reason than you want to, even if it's just once in a while. So consider this permission to have that doughnut or splurge at the mall!
3. Stay hydrated
Don't forget your H2O! If you need some help in the hydration department, try adding citrus fruits, mint or cucumbers for a flavour boost. Also worth a try: finding a fun eco-friendly water bottle that you love. And there are also apps that will ping you when it's time to refill your glass. Try Plant Nanny or Waterlogged.
5. Plan a spa day
Splurge on a professional massage, or, get the same effect at home by giving yourself a spa-quality DIY facial. Even taking a few minutes to paint your toenails can have a soothing effect.
6. Start an indulgent post-shower ritual
Use a luxurious lotion with a scent you love, toss your ratty PJs in favour of soft and cozy new threads—and consider splurging on the fancy face cream!
7. Go outside
There are serious wellness benefits to getting out of the house (or the office, for that matter). In fact, spending time in nature has been part of the Japanese government's preventative health strategy since the 80s. They call it shinrin-yoku, which translates to "forest bathing," and it means simply being in the presence of trees—not by hiking or camping, just by… being there. And there's science behind it: a 2010 study in Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine found that spending time in nature leads to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lower blood pressure and a lower pulse rate than spending time in urban settings.
8. Set screen time limits—for yourself
We love our smartphones, tablets and laptops, too… but binge-watching the hottest new show or scrolling through emails before bed can impact your sleep, and researchers are starting to look at the ways social media can impact your mental health. Turns out, there a real health benefits to going tech-free for at least part of the day.
9. Spend time reading
Whether it's a novel, non-fiction read or collection of poetry, practice some affordable escapism with a good book. (Need a recommendation? Check out our book club.)
10. Pet a dog
Or a cat! Researchers believe cuddling with a pet has real mental health benefits. Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression, and petting an animal prompts your body to release this hormone. And owning a pet has other health benefits, too, including decreasing your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, warding off loneliness and encouraging you to exercise and socialize more, says the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
11. Or, cuddle up with a loved one
In fact, hugging another person—or even a pillow!—releases serotonin, too.
12. Listen to music
Put on your favourite song or album and let yourself jam out. Scientists say music can have mood-boosting effects—though one study did find it only works if you actively try to feel happier. Here's to dancing like nobody's watching!
13. De-clutter your social media accounts
It can feel rude to unfollow people on Facebook or Twitter, but if you're constantly cringing at friends' too-candid updates, or you disagree with their political or religious posts, or you don't actually like them IRL, it may be time to clean up your friends list. And it doesn't have to be a major statement—both Facebook and Twitter allow you to stop seeing someone's updates without actually severing your connection. (Just opt to unfollow on Facebook and mute on Twitter.)
14. Bake something
There's something meditative about the act of baking—you have to measure the ingredients precisely and combine them in just the right order, and at the end, you're rewarded with a positive result: a sweet treat!
15. Get organized
If you're feeling stressed out but you're not sure why, the culprit might be surprisingly close to home. Actually, it might be your home. Clutter isn't often discussed as a source of stress, but it can make us feel anxious, overwhelmed and embarrassed. Don't feel like you have to whip your entire house into shape at once, though. Start by tackling small corners of your space—say, your cluttered home office or overflowing front closet. You'll find peace in the order and cleanliness, we promise.
16. Write it out
Jotting down your thoughts and impressions about stressful, emotional or even traumatic experiences can actually help you overcome those events, according to a 2005 study published in Advances in Psychiatric Treatment.
17. Try breathing exercises
Meditation, and it's recently popular cousin, mindfulness, has lots of well-documented health benefits—including reducing anxiety and depression, according to a 2014 study in JAMA Internal Medicine, and lowering blood pressure and increased quality of life in senior citizens, according to a study published the same year in Geriatrics & Gerontology. But if you (like us) find the idea of meditating a little intimidating, there's good news: simply breathing deeply can have a similarly positive impact, reducing your heart rate and blood pressure, relieving stress and even boosting productivity.
"Laughter is the best medicine" isn't just a pithy saying. It can instantly put you in a better mood. Find a funny movie, TV show or stand-up comedian and have the first, and last laugh.
19. Get enough sleep
Don't cheat yourself out of one of the most important things you can do for your health! Skimping on sleep can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. So make sure you're getting enough shut-eye—and don't feel bad about taking a quick cat nap if you're not.
Rediscover Ottawa, which walks the line between charming town and cosmopolitan city, with first-class cultural and historic experiences.
Modern digs: Alt Hotel Ottawa Rest your head at the Canadian-owned Alt Hotel in downtown Ottawa, where you can grab snacks (or full meals) in the lobby and keep up your yoga practice with the hotel's new Nama-Stay yoga videos. Bonus: The Alt is eco-friendly, with geothermal energy used for heating and cooling, plus energy-efficient lighting.
Historic haven: The Century House Bed and Breakfast Ottawa With just four rooms, The Century House offers a quaint stay without skimping on modern amenities such as free parking and Wi-Fi. It's known for its gourmet breakfasts (think indulgent waffles or a hearty frittata), served up family-style in the dining room.
Morning munch: Benny's Bistro Hidden behind The French Baker in the ByWard Market, this is a tiny gem that serves some of our all-time favourite brekkies. Order the buckwheat crêpe, which is stuffed with ham and Gruyère and topped with an egg.
Dinner hour: Absinthe Café Stop by this Wellington West hot spot for French-inspired cuisine and a taste of its namesake drink. On Monday nights, there's a special fondue menu; go with friends and order cheese and meat varieties to share, then finish with the Valrhona chocolate fondue for dessert.
Sweet treat: Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen Try small-batch ice creams and ice cream truffles made with Ontario dairy and fresh, sometimes surprising, ingredients, like craft beer or lime leaves.
Spring: C'est Bon Gourmet Food Tours Take a guided walking and tasting tour of one of Ottawa's famed foodie neighbourhoods: the ByWard Market, Wellington Street, Preston Street (Little Italy), the Glebe or Chinatown.
Summer: Yowttawa This outdoor music fest will celebrate the country's 150th anniversary with performances by Canadian artists, plus contributions by other international artists.
Fall: The Canada Science and Technology Museum After $80.5 million in renos, the museum will reopen in November, just in time for its 50th anniversary of celebrating Canadian innovations, such as a prototype of the world's first pacemaker and a cobalt-60 therapy machine from the '50s—at the time, a revolutionary new way to deliver radiation to cancer patients.
Winter:Nordik Spa-Nature Spend a day rotating between the spa's seven outdoor baths and eight saunas. Book a massage for ultimate R&R.
WHAT'S CLOSE BY? If you have the time to range farther afield, here are three other spots to see in Ontario.
2 1/2 hours away: Thousand Islands A pretty archipelago with ton of history (it was once pirate territory!), this region is now an ideal spot to go boating, hiking and exploring historic castles.
3 hours away: Prince Edward County Visit a few of the dozens of artist studios and galleries in the region, where you can even take an art class—in between wine tastings, of course.
OTTAWA THE GREAT To celebrate Canada's sesquicentennial—the 150th anniversary of Confederation—Ottawa is leading the charge with a full year of awe-inspiring events. Here's a small sampling of what's on in our nation's capital.
March 3 and 4: Red Bull Crashed Ice Watch downhill skaters race to the finish line on a huge track that runs along the locks of the Rideau Canal— which will be the final leg of the 2016–17 ice cross downhill championship.
May 20 to Sept. 4: Inspiration Village Located in the historic ByWard Market, Inspiration Village will pay tribute to our provinces and territories, while also showcasing special exhibits and performing-arts events.
All summer long: Kontinuum, an "underground multimedia 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-weeklong multimedia presentation.
Nov. 26: The 105th Grey Cup This year, Canada's capital will host the CFL's annual championship game.
Ignite 150: In a series of 17 stunts spaced throughout the year—from yoga on a barge accompanied by a live orchestra to gourmet dining at a table suspended nearly 50 metres in the air—Ottawa will delight visitors and residents with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Ottawa Welcomes the world: Ottawa's many embassies and high commissions will be given the opportunity to take over Aberdeen Pavilion and the Horticulture Building with multicultural celebrations including food, art and music.
Agri 150: More than 20 unique one-day outdoor events in 2017 will showcase Ottawa's 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.
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.