Can Ottawa Become 'Cool'?

Amid recent talk amongst Canadian officials about the future of Canada's capital city, Ottawa, some say the government city is too square to become an international destination. But others see a way for Ottawa to "swagger".

"How does Ottawa become a swagger-worthy city?"

"A city 'with swagger' suggests a town that rocks; where people look around and find reasons to say 'Cool, huh?'"

"That's what happens in places like Providence, Rhode Island; San Antonio, Texas; Quebec City; Barcelona and Copenhagen. Is Ottawa next? While some observers see potential here to notch it up, others say there's no way for a government town to put a swagger in its step."

"It's a tough challenge, says Ottawa architect Ron Keenberg. 'The problem in Ottawa is what people do for a living. We're a city populated by people who went for the safe thing and joined the government. In Ottawa, everything is safe. People don't swagger.'"

"'Still, Ottawa is actually becoming a pretty city and a healthy city. In summer, it's totally buzzing with people.'"

"What ruins Ottawa's financial district are the street-deadening activities on main floors, such as banking and office tower lobbies. He says the city can boost buzz with tax incentives: higher taxes for office use of main floors and no taxes for restaurants and bars with sidewalk cafés, and by allowing metered parking on both sides of downtown streets."

Full Story: How Ottawa can become swagger-worthy, too


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