3 Places To Try Sri Lankan Cuisine In Ottawa!

While there are only a few Sri Lankan restaurants in Ottawa, it doesn’t mean that they lack in terms of quality and service. I was very impressed with the restaurants I visited and here is my review on some of the restaurants offering Sri Lankan cuisine that you must visit if you are in Ottawa!

Something to remember!

  • Sri Lankan food is delicious but can be very spicy. You can always ask the server to reduce the spice for you and they might be able to accommodate the request.

Ceylonta – Best Sri Lankan Restaurant

Address: 403 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K2P 0K1
Business website: https://ceylonta.com/

Roast Beef at Ceylonta

Out of all the restaurants in Ottawa that I have been to so far, I was really impressed with the service at Ceylonta. The manager made really good recommendations and the food was just next level delicious! This one might be the best Sri Lankan restaurant in Ottawa.

If you are wondering what I ordered – it was their roast beef and coconut sambal, both dishes were absolutely delicious. They also have a wide variety of mocktails and I think if you are looking to try a non-alcohol drink then definitely ask them what’s on their menu because my drink was great.

  • Sri Lankan and Indian Cuisine
  • Fine dining experience
  • Great cocktails
  • Great mocktails
  • Great for dates
  • Vegan options available

Dhruvees

Address: 18 Beechwood Ave., Vanier, ON K1L 8A9
Business website: https://www.dhruvees.com/

Jaffna Chicken Curry at Dhruvees

Dhruvees comes as a fine dine restaurant perfect for dates or family gatherings. In terms of dining experience, they have done a really great job and I was very impressed with their décor. The chicken curry that I ordered had really soft and tender chicken, and food was served hot. The servers did put effort as well checking on me if I wanted anything else. While Dhruvees does offer Sri Lankan food menu items, they also have Indian and Indonesian food items on their menu as well.

  • Sri Lankan and Indian Cuisine
  • Upscale Fine dining experience
  • Great for dates / special family occasions
  • Vegan options available

Kothu Rotti

Address: 408 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9J9
Business website: https://kothurotti.ca/

Combo meal at Kothu Rotti Restaurant

Kothu Rotti (temporarily closed) is a takeout oriented restaurant that offers Sri Lankan cuisine at a relatively affordable price. I was able to get a combo meal containing chicken, beef, rice and vegetables for a great price. The portion sizes were huge and the combo meal was more than enough for two people. Though I must say that the food was very hot/spicy.

  • Takeout oriented

Other options for Sri Lankan Cuisine in Ottawa –

Ayini Restaurant (Address: 605 Longfields Dr Unit 5, Ottawa, ON K2J 6T7) – While Ayini has a somewhat nice dining area, I think the food was a little below my expectations from this place. The Kothu Rotti I tried was good but I felt that it was missing something even though it was my first time ever trying the meal. They also offer South Indian cuisine, out of which I ended up trying Idli and Mutton Rolls. The Mutton Rolls were really good so I recommend you to try those at this place but they are spicy.

6 Top Sushi Restaurants In Ottawa Metro!

The Ottawa-Gatineau region has a ton of sushi restaurants and it can be quite hard to figure out which one offer a great sushi experience. I have made it easy for you by visiting out a number of sushi shops in the city and only listing those that offer an incredible sushi experience!

Sunrice Sushi

Address: 190 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5G1
Business website: https://www.sunricesushi.ca/

House Special at Sunrice Sushi

What previously used to be a European style bistro is now a Japanese Sushi restaurant called Sunrice and while the restaurant is relatively new, they are doing a great job at it. Sunrice Sushi offers an extensive sushi menu and the prices are relatively very affordable for the quality of their sushi. I was surprised with the quantity of sushi that I got for my order as well. Besides Sushi, they also offer a variety of dishes including Poke, Noodle Soup, Donhuri, Deep Fried Rolls and More!

  • Upscale casual dining experience
  • Affordable pricing
  • Ideal for small group hangouts
  • Service in English and Japanese
  • Japanese Cuisine

Yuzumi Sushi

Address: 986 Wellington Street West, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2X8
Business website: https://yuzumi.ca/

Yuzumi Specialty Roll

This Japanese Fusion restaurant actually surprised me as it offers a sushi experience with their own unique taste. My sushi was spicy, flavorful and it was both soft/crunchy which is something I really enjoyed. Definitely try out their specialty rolls if you visit this sushi restaurant. They are also quite popular for their poke bowls and sushi tacos.

  • Casual dining experience
  • Takeout oriented restaurant

Sapporo Sushi Ottawa

Address: 1671 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON K2A 0Y2
Business website: https://sapporosushiottawa.com/

Sapporo Sushi Ottawa

If you are on a date, then maybe you would want to go with the Sapporo Sushi restaurant in Ottawa. Their sushi is great and the restaurant has a bit more private space between tables. You might want to go with the Lover’s Platter that has a variety of sushi and comes with appetizers as well.

My order of Sushi had Mango sauce in it and was quite delicious. They do give out Free Miso soup and I think it’s quite rare to get free stuff at restaurants in Ottawa.

  • Casual upscale dining
  • Japanese cuisine
  • Suitable for large groups

Mya Sushi

Address: 277 Boulevard Saint-Joseph, Gatineau, Quebec J8Y 3Y2
Business website: https://myasushi.ca/

Hawaiian Roll at Mya Sushi

If you ever driving by in the Hull region, you should definitely try Mya Sushi restaurant which offers both Japanese as well as Vietnamese cuisine. My sushi was just fantastic and quite flavorful. I would definitely be visiting this place again. If you are going on a date, I recommend that you go for their popular choices. As the restaurant also offers Vietnamese cuisine, you might want to try their pho and other dishes as well.

Even though we were seated quite far away from the sushi chef, I was surprised that he actually showed up at our table and asked if the sushi served was good or not.

  • Japanese/Vietnamese Cuisine
  • Casual dining experience

Shinka Sushi

Address: 2900 Sheffield Rd, Ottawa, ON K1B 1A4
Business website: https://shinkasushibar.com/

Salmon Carpaccio at Shinka Sushi Bar

While Shinka Sushi previously used to offer a dining experience, it has now converted itself to a takeout only restaurant. Nevertheless, their Sushi is one of the best in the city. Shinka Sushi scores well on both presentation and flavor and I haven’t been disappointed with any of my visits so far.

I would hope that sometime in the future they have some seating capacity though as eating the sushi in a car is a little inconvenient. Some of their popular menu items are Spicy Yellowtail, Sashimi Omakase, and Salmon Carpaccio.

  • Takeout restaurant
  • No seating available
  • Japanese cuisine

Genji Japanese Restaurant

Address: 175 Lisgar St, Ottawa, ON K2P 0C3

Phoenix Roll with jalapeno, chicken, and spicy mayo sauce

Genji Sushi is a fine dining Japanese restaurant and offers quite an extensive sushi menu ranging from the cheap California rolls to the more expensive Dragon Rolls. I found my order of sushi to be fresh, flavorful and reasonably priced.

Some of the popular items at this restaurant include – Sweet Potato Maki, Salmon Avocado Maki, Spicy Salmon Maki, California Maki, Sake Maki

They also have a variety of cold/hot appetizers that might be worth trying. From the appetizers I ended up trying their baby octopuses which were quite delicious!

  • Japanese cuisine
  • Fine dining restaurant
  • Ideal for dinner dates

6 Country Bars In Ottawa Perfect For A Night Out

While country music is not huge in Ottawa, there are still some bars out there for country music fans to visit and enjoy country music. Here are some of the places that might be worth checking out if you are into the country lifestyle.

Nash Boîte Country

Address: 325 Bd Gréber, Gatineau, QC J8T 8J3
Business website: https://www.nashvillequebec.com/

Line Dancing at Nash Boite Country

Nash Boîte Country (also called Nash Bar Gatineau) is a new country bar that has opened up in Gatineau. Previously this place used to be called as X Lounge. This bar has a large dance floor than the other bars however it can still get quite packed with people during weekdays. If you are looking for line dancing then this would be the place to go.

  • Best Country and Western Bar
  • Best days to go: Friday and Saturday
  • Line Dancing Lessons on Wednesday
  • Large dance floor (relative to other bars)
  • Plays mostly country music
  • Live Musical performances
  • Only bar for proper line dancing in Ottawa
  • Lots of slot machines
  • Attracts relatively older demographic

My personal favorite western themed bar in Ottawa has been Nash Boite Country. The reason being almost always they have country music playing at the venue. This is the only bar in Ottawa where you will find people doing line dancing to country music almost everyday!

Crazy Horse Saloon

Address: 115 Roland Michener Dr, Kanata, ON K2T 1G7
Business website: https://www.thecrazyhorse.ca/

Crazy Horse Saloon (Nepean)

If you are really into country music and dancing then Crazy Horse Saloon would be your best bet! Out of all the places I have gone to so far, Crazy Horse Saloon offers the best experience in the city for country music folks. The place regularly has live music events and it can get quite busy so if you want to get a table, make sure that you arrive early! They also have a mechanical bull on certain days.

  • Best days to go: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
  • Western themed Bar and Restaurant
  • Regular live music performances
  • Plays country music and hip hop.
  • Attracts a younger demographic
  • Free to enter but cover might apply on busy days
  • Can get very busy
  • Relatively small dance floor
  • Offers food and drinks
  • Bit of a drive from Ottawa downtown

Pop-O-Bar

Address: 75 Bd Gréber, Gatineau, QC J8T 3P9
Business website: https://restaurantpopobar.com/

Le Bum Du Country at Pop-O-Bar

Based out in Gatineau, Pop-O-Bar is a popular bar among locals for live music. Just make sure to check their schedule as sometimes they have other things like Karaoke going as well!

  • Best days to go: Friday and Saturday
  • Nice atmosphere
  • Live country music in both English and French!
  • Attracts a slightly older demographic
  • Lots of slot machines
  • Small dance floor
  • Small cover charge on weekends
  • Free coat check

Pop O Bar has a variety of events going throughout the year so make sure to check what event is going on as they are not always country. Regardless, if you are living in the Gatineau region, it is a bar that is worth checking out on the weekends.

Lunergans Pub and Eatery

Address: 1661 Montréal Rd, Gloucester, ON K1J 9B7

Lunergans Pub and Eatery

Lunergans Pub and Eatery has local country music nights every then and now! If there is a band performing then there wouldn’t be much of a dance floor at this place. I would recommend this place if you want to have chicken wings and beer while listening to country music.

  • Best days to go: Wednesday
  • Dive bar feel
  • Attracts older demographic
  • No dance floor

La P’tite Grenouille Gatineau

Address: 9 Rue Aubry, Gatineau, QC J8X 2H1
Business website: https://laptitegrenouille.ca/

La Petite Grenouille

I haven’t tried their food yet but this place gets packed on Weekends! La P’tite Grenouille usually has live music early in the night and then this place converts into a dance bar late into the night. The place tends to attract younger crowd on the weekends. Live music is usually country however once this place is a dance club then the place has a variety of hip hop, or dance music.

  • Best days to go: Friday and Saturday night
  • Bilingual live country music (French and English)
  • Drinks are cheaper (compared to bars in Ottawa)
  • There might be an entry fee over the weekend if you arrive late
  • Large dance floor on the second floor

Chateau Lafayette

Address: 42 York St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5S6
Business website: https://www.thelaff.ca/

The Laff Bar in Ottawa

The Chateau Lafayette is the most convenient spot to go to if you are in the Ottawa Downtown area. Located in the Byward Market, the venue has live country music every weekend! The Laff is quite well known for the its local performers who have been performing at the location for more than a decade now and previously the place has been visited by many popular celebrities including Justin Bieber!

  • Best days to go: Friday and Saturday
  • Dive Bar
  • Jukebox machine to play whatever music you want
  • Seating capacity for large group
  • Small dance floor

If you are looking for other options for country music in Ottawa, your best bet would be when the weather is warmer, as there are internationally known country music artists performing at different festivals in the city.

Feel free to share your experience if you have been to these places or know any other bar in the region.

6 Best Dance Bars For Salsa Dancing In Ottawa-Gatineau!

Here are some of my favorite salsa dancing dance bars that I think are worth visiting in Ottawa-Gatineau region. If you are looking primarily for lessons then I recommend these Salsa Dancing places instead which do lessons followed by social events.

Latinos Resto Bar

Address: 665 Bronson Ave, Ottawa, ON K1S 4E7
Business website: https://latinosrestobarottawaon.com/

Latinos Resto Bar

I found Latinos Resto Bar to be the best place in Ottawa for hangouts. Not only do they have Latin events on weekends, but occasionally on weekdays as well. Sometimes they also do Spanish Karaoke really late into the night. The crowd is very friendly and you can even ask people to dance here. Though I must say that the dance floor is a bit small.

  • Latin Dancing on both Fridays and Saturdays.
  • No cover if you arrive early.
  • This venue attracts both local as well as hispanic crowd.
  • Serves both food and alcohol.

Latin Saturdays at Le Forum

Address: 815 Rue Jacques-Cartier, Gatineau, QC J8T 2W2
Business website: https://leforum.ca/

Latin Dancing at Le Forum 888

Le Forum restaurant has Latin nights on Saturdays and they have a variety of music playing – primarily merengue, salsa, and reggaeton. They also play a bit of line dancing music so you will see people going crazy. Unlike other places, people at El Forum show up really late. The dance floor only starts to get busy after midnight.

  • The place is ideal for groups, not if you are seeking people to dance with.
  • The place attracts more of a Hispanic crowd.
  • Crowd is relatively less friendly than other places.
  • Cover charge always applies.

Mill Street Brew Pub

Address: 555 Wellington St, Ottawa, ON K1R 1C5
Business website: https://millstreetbrewery.com/

Mill Street Brew Pub

Mill Street Brew Pub does weekly events and is surprisingly packed on a Monday night. They also do beginner lessons if you have never done salsa or bachata before. I have heard that if you spend on food at this place then you might be able to get free entry to the event.

  • This place is ideal for individuals.
  • Cover charge always applies.
  • Large dance floor
  • Attracts primarily local Ottawa crowd.

The Mill Street Brew Pub is one of the few spots that is busy on a Monday. You would barely find any other dance bar in Ottawa that is busy on a Monday night. Great place to hangout with friends.

Amigos Sports Bar

Address: 858 Merivale Rd, Ottawa, ON K1Z 5Z4

Live performance at Amigos Sports Bar

Amigos does occasional salsa/bachata events as well. Usually they do the Latin nights on Tuesdays and sometimes the place can get quite packed. I did like that they have a huge dance floor and a sports bar section as well with pool tables.

  • Salsa/Bachata socials on Tuesdays
  • Pool tables and slot machines
  • Large dance floor
  • Dance performances
  • Lessons before socials

The Amigos Spots Bar is great for Tuesday Nights. I have been there a couple of times so far and it’s always been packed! Their lessons are a bit pricey compared to other dance bars however the overall atmosphere is great! They have a limited food menu but do allow you to bring food items from other restaurants.

Bar 7 @ Lake Leamy Casino

Address: 1 Bd du Casino, Gatineau, QC J8Y 6W3

Salsa Dancing at Lake Leamy Casino

Almost every Thursday, the Bar 7 at Lake Leamy Casino turns into a late night Latin dancing spot! Not only do they have a DJ for the night but also sometimes have live music! Definitely a place to check out if you love Latin Dancing. Unlike some of the other places, you won’t get any dance lessons here so make sure you are a bit prepared before heading here. Even though the bar has a large floor, the place does get quite packed during the night.

  • Salsa Dancing on Thursdays
  • Free entry
  • Live Spanish music
  • No lessons
  • Mixed demographic

Speakeasy Tapas Lounge

Address: 55 York St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9B8
Business website: https://speakeasyottawa.com/

Speakeasy Tapas Lounge

The Speakeasy Tapas Lounge is a Spanish restaurant; however, on Friday nights, their basement gets converted to a salsa dancing spot. Even though it has a small dance floor, you are going to have a blast as it has live musical performances.

  • Latin nights on Fridays
  • No cover charge (usually Free)
  • Live music
  • Plays salsa, merengue, bachata and reggaeton music
  • Attracts a mixed demographic
  • Located in Byward Market

What I really enjoy about the Speakeasy Tapas Bar is their Oyster Specials that cost about a dollar! You won’t find a better deal in Ottawa for that price and they taste great! Note that the Speakeasy Tapas Lounge doesn’t always have Latin nights so make sure to check with the business before heading there.

Other places for Salsa Dancing –

Rouge Lune Resto-Bar (Address: 70 Prom. du Portage, Gatineau, QC J8X 2K1)
Usually having Latin nights on the weekends, Rouge Lune can be a hit or miss. This Dance Bar is located in Hull which makes it very convenient if you are doing a bar crawl in Hull, having a couple of drinks and then heading down to Rouge Lune to end the night dancing with your mates!

Mavericks (Address: 221 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5X8)
Mavericks does do Latin nights often on weekends. This place might be convenient for those who are around the Byward Market area However, I found the place however too crowded to be able to dance. Mavericks often has live music performances.

Chez Putters (Address: 181 Principale St, Gatineau, Quebec J9H 6A6)
Chez Putters occasionally hosts Latin nights where they play salsa/bachata music. They have a large bar that has multiple pool tables, a virtual golf simulator, and other game machines. Usually Latin Nights take place on Saturdays and they often have live music. This might be ideal location for those who are located in Aylmer/Gatineau region and don’t want to drive down to Ottawa.

A Visit To Battures Green Beach in Gatineau

Battures Green – Gatineau, QC J8P 7C2

Known only among the locals, Battures Green is a beach consisting of coarse sediments and and is located alongside Boulevard Hurtubise. This place is a hidden gem if you are looking for quiet and relaxing place with a beautiful view.

Ideal to visit during Summers, it’s a nice spot to have picnic with your friends or family. Parking is free however just be careful as some of the area alongside the beach is privately owned.

Battures Green Beach

I had to wear my jacket as it was quite windy when I went to checkout this place! You might see other families doing their picnics alongside the area as well sometimes however the place is relatively calm and barely attracts tourists.

You might end up seeing seaplanes around the area as well and if you are not familiar with the term, they are aircrafts that are capable of taking off/landing on water.

Also if you didn’t knew, you can see Ottawa over the other side of the River! Though I won’t say that the views are spectacular, they are definitely relaxing! 🙂

Ottawa River Map

If you don’t have much to do and are looking for something to do in Gatineau, it’s worth checking out Battures Green!

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Live In Toronto!

You might have often heard in the news how Toronto ranks as one of the most livable cities in the world! Things must be really up there right? But did you know that a lot of people don’t like Toronto once they move and a record number of people end up moving out of the city?

Here are some things about Toronto that might make you want to reconsider your decision about living in Toronto! –

Toronto is absurdly Expensive

Average salaries in Toronto have stayed pretty much stagnant over the last decade while the real estate prices have increased astronomically. If you are looking for a 1-bedroom apartment; you will end up paying more than $2000 per month!

Even after paying that much it might turn out to be a crappy apartment. When I was looking for an apartment after moving to Toronto, I had found an apartment which was marketed as new but smelled like smoke. It was just unbearable and I was shocked with housing situation was.

Many people in Toronto are living paycheck to paycheck as most of the salary ends up going towards housing and taxes. Canada has really high income and sales taxes.

The City is Noisy!

Toronto has construction going throughout the year! In a lot of areas, the construction starts up early around 6-7 am! Even if you file a complaint with 311, not much will be done about it as construction companies have a big influence over the government.

This can completely ruin your sleep and also affect your mental health.

Living in downtown Toronto, I personally experienced the construction noise issue while living in my apartment and could hear almost everything on a daily basis. You can use ear plugs and add insulation but they don’t help you get completely rid of the issue.

Homeless Epidemic

You will be surprised by the number of homeless people in Toronto. You will see tents setup by homeless people almost everywhere in the city. The city offers very limited resources to the homeless people.

Research data has shown that there is a relation between homeless and crime. It is no surprise that crime in Toronto has been increasing as more people become homeless.

Lack of affordable housing is one of the reasons why Toronto has a large homeless population.

Poor Public Transport

Even though you might hear in the news about T-dot having the best public transport in North America, it is certainly not true.

Breakdowns on public transport happen on a daily basis, and you can expect to be delayed anywhere between half-hour to a few hours on a regular basis as well. The public transport is not in a great shape, and you will have a much better life just avoiding it completely!

I remember that once I had to go somewhere and decided to take the subway. I was just shocked that almost every light rail that was arriving was full and what should have been 5 minutes became an hour long wait.

Horrible Traffic Situation

Toronto has consistently been ranked as one of the worst cities in the world for traffic.

With a lack of highways in the city, you are forced to use city roads and have to stop every few 100 meters due to signals. The highways can be slow as well most of the days with cars driving at snail pace.

Don’t be surprised if it took you a few hours to get your destination. In Toronto, it’s considered completely normal to be late. Many people leave an hour or two early for that reason.

Increasing Crime Rate

While crime is less compared to other American cities of similar population size, Toronto has much higher crime rate compared to other Canadian cities where you can live much safer.

More recently there has been a surge in auto thefts happening in Toronto which has led to high insurance rates besides paying for parking already in Toronto.

Living in Toronto you would get used to hearing about gangs and gun violence that has been increasing in the city in the recent years.

Cold Weather

While Toronto is relatively warmer compared to most Canadian cities, it can still get quite cold during winters. Temperatures plummet to -20 C which can be unbearably cold.

If you have been used to nice and warm weather all your life, you would need to be well-prepared for the Canadian winters. Get yourself a proper winter jacket, gloves and boots.

It is advised to check weather updates to make sure there are no storm advisories.

Do you still want to move to Toronto? I would love to hear back on what your thoughts are about Toronto if you are either living here already or planning to move here.

Do You Really Need Know French To Live In Canada?

Many people outside Canada, don’t really realize that Canada is actually a bilingual country where both French and English are official languages. If you are an English speaker and are thinking about living in Canada, I have laid out when it might make sense for you to learn French.

Does an English speaker need to learn French to live in Canada?

While it’s not a requirement for English speakers to learn French, it can be very beneficial for you to be able to speak French if you plan to live in Canada for long-term. Also, certain regions in Canada only speak French so your life is going to be a lot easier if you are able to converse in French.

Benefits of learning French –

  • Pathway to Permanent Residence in Canada – Canada follows a points based immigration system and being able to speak both French and English can help you get more points, making you eligible to be invited to apply for Permanent Residence in Canada.
  • You want to live in Quebec or New Brunswick – While a lot of folks in Quebec and New Brunswick are bilingual in French and English, there is still a significant number of people who do not speak English and it can be really hard for you to have any conversation.
  • You plan to travel to Quebec / New Brunswick – It will be much easier for you to get by if you speak French in Quebec and New Brunswick.
  • You want to work for the Federal Government – If you can speak both English and French, you will have to access to more opportunities to work in the Federal Government.
  • You want to work for Provincial Government (Quebec/New Brunswick) – To be eligible for Provincial Government jobs in Quebec, you must be able to speak French (some exceptions apply)
  • Access to bilingual opportunities in Private sector – There is a huge demand for bilingual speakers (French and English) and if you speak both languages, Canadian employers would be more willing to hire you.

Learning French to acquire Permanent Residence

To be able to acquire Permanent Residence in Canada, you would need to be fluent in either English or French. The required minimum level can vary depending on the pathway that you have chosen.

Under the current points based system, demonstrating skills in both languages gives you a higher score than those who demonstrate fluency in just a single language.

Living in Quebec or New Brunswick as an English Speaker

While it is definitely possible to live in certain parts of Quebec and New Brunswick as an English speaker, things would go a lot easier if you spoke French as well.

Most importantly learning the language can help you get yourself more immersed within the Francophone culture of Quebec – help you enjoy Canadian French music, movies as well as interact with unilingual French speakers.

My own experience living in Gatineau, Quebec has been that while almost everyone in my region speaks English besides French, things change once I am outside the city where many people might not be able to converse with you in English. It can be very beneficial for you to learn French from that standpoint if you like to explore.

Opportunities For Bilingual Speakers

Being bilingual in Canada has its advantage as there are many opportunities within both private and government sectors where being bilingual in both French and English would be a requirement.

To find bilingual opportunities in the private sector you can use Indeed or Linkedin. Both are popular job search platforms and they also list jobs in the government sector though the list might not be as comprehensive.

Learning French in Canada

There are a ton of programs offered by provincial governments in Canada to help you learn French. These programs are usually FREE or are heavily subsidized! You may also choose to self-study French by watching YouTube videos or using French learning apps.

If you are a newcomer then you can actual access a number of resources by the regional governments that will help you with learning French. Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and other provinces as well have a variety of French second language programs.

In my case, I took French classes offered by the College in my region. However, many people also go for online apps like Duolingo that offer Free French courses.

It would be important to ask yourself question if you have the time and effort to learn the language. Only by spending a lot of time would you be able to gain proficiency in French.

Ottawa’s Hottest Spots for Authentic Nigerian Cuisine

Close your eyes and imagine the sizzle of Suya skewers charring over an open flame, the intoxicating aroma of ginger and garlic wafting through the air, the vibrant hues of red peppers and emerald greens dancing on your plate. This is Nigerian cuisine in Ottawa—a symphony of flavors and textures.

Here are some Nigerian restaurants in Ottawa that will awaken your senses and transport you to another world. Be warned that Nigerian Food is hot and spicy!!! 🌶️🌶️🌶️

Suya Palace

Address: 1066 Somerset St W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 4T3
Business website: https://www.suyapalace.com/

Suya Palace is a Nigerian/African Charcoal Grill and is located on Somerset. Among the locals, this one is usually referred to as the Best Nigerian Restaurant in the Ottawa region and I agree.

Suya Beef and Goat meat combo at Suya Palace

The restaurant is located not too far from downtown and has usually been my go to spot for Nigerian Food! Here are their most popular menu items –

  • Suya Beef – Beef infused with aromatic Nigerian spices!
  • Suya Goat – Goat meat (has a more chewy texture)
  • Suya Chicken – Chicken infused with aromatic Nigerian spices!

Besides that they also have a variety of Nigerian soups which are served with meat and fish, something that you would not find at other restaurants in Ottawa.

If you do not enjoy meat, try their fried plantains and jollof rice, both of which are yummy!

Quick summary about Suya Palace –

  • Nigerian Cuisine
  • Large dining area
  • Takeout option available
  • Casual dining
  • Variety of Suya
  • Limited vegan menu
  • Family friendly environment
  • Catering service
  • Located in Downtown Ottawa

Suya Joint/African Grill

Address: 1383 Clyde Ave., Nepean, ON K2G 3H7
Business website: https://suya-joint.com/

Located in Nepean, Suya Joint is another place that offers a casual atmosphere to explore Nigerian Food. They also have vegetarian options like veggie skewers with Tofu and Bell Pepper.

While there are dining options available at the location, the restaurant mainly caters to people who are looking to grab and go with their meals.

  • Nigerian restaurant
  • Takeout oriented
  • Casual atmosphere
  • Dining options available
  • Bit of a drive from downtown ottawa

How has your experience been visiting Nigerian restaurants in Ottawa? Do you know of any other place that offers Nigerian food in the Ottawa region? Let us know!

Get Your Canadian Passport Faster Than You Think

While normally it can take weeks for the Canadian Passport to be issued, you can actually get it faster if you have legitimate reason for urgent travel.

Here is a quick guide that will help you get your Canadian passport FAST!

How to qualify for priority processing?

To be prioritized for your Canadian Passport to be processed faster than normal timelines; you will need to have evidence that you will be traveling soon!

Evidence for your upcoming travel plans could be

  • Travel tickets (air / bus / cruise) – Agent might ask for proof of payment.
  • In case you are traveling by car, you can use your hotel bookings as evidence as well.
  • Illness or recent death of family member.

In certain cases such as recent employment requiring travel you might not have tickets booked already (since employer might ask for passport before booking). In such cases, you can ask your Employer to provide you with a letter showing your intent to travel for business/employment purposes.

How to apply for urgent or emergency processing?

Do NOT apply for urgent/emergency processing by MAIL.

The recommendation is to go to the Passport Service Center (Service Canada) near you and apply for your Canadian passport in-person. An appointment for urgent/emergency passport is NOT required.

What documents are required for passport application?

For most passport applications you would need to make sure you have the following –

  • Adult application form
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Passport photos
  • References/Guarantor

It is recommended that you evaluate your situation using ircc service as depending on your exact situation, certain requirements can change.

You will need to take all the documents required for your passport application AS well as proof of urgent travel. If you don’t have the evidence, your request for priority processing might get rejected.

How fast can you get your Canadian passport?

Your case agent will determine if you need urgent or emergency processing based on your travel plans and advice you to apply accordingly. Usually they will let you know the date when you would be able to pick up your passport.

Here is the expected processing times for each

  • Urgent pickup : next business day
  • Express pickup: 2 to 9 business days

In certain situations, you might be able to get it processed even on a statutory holiday.

Example – When I went to apply for my passport, I had to travel in the next 2-3 weeks. So I informed the agent at the desk that I needed priority processing. They reviewed my evidence and informed me that I could go for express pickup and gave me a date on when I would be able to pickup my passport.

Additional fees $50 for express pick-up and $110 for urgent pick-up apply.

Hopefully this guide will help you get your Canadian passport processed faster than the usual timeline. Feel free to share your experience if you have had any issues while getting your passport and would like to share that with others.

4 Convenient Baby Passport Photos Services In Ottawa

Not all photo businesses take baby passport photos which can make it a little tricky to find a business that does. There are many locations in Ottawa where you get baby passport photos.

Here are some places where you can get baby passport photos done in the Ottawa region –

Walmart Photo Centers

Business website: https://www.walmartphotocentre.ca/

Your best bet to have affordable prices for baby photos would be try Walmart. Some Walmart Locations might run promotions sometimes where they give additional discount on passport photos.

The Walmart Photo Center offers photo printing services and can also do photo gifts and film processing. You even have the ability to upload the photos and get them delivered which is something many small shops might not offer!

Pricing starts at $16.97 for passport photos.
Address: 2277 Riverside Dr., Ottawa, ON K1H 7X6
Address: 500 Earl Grey Dr, Kanata, ON K2T 1B9
Address: 1980 Ogilvie Rd, Gloucester, ON K1J 9L3

  • Cheapest option
  • Multiple locations
  • Online upload and pickup option
  • Offers photo gifts, film processing services
  • Same-day service

Superior Photo

Business website: https://www.westgateshoppingcentre.ca/store/Superior-Photo/2138918391/

Superior Photo is located in the Westgate Shopping Centre on Carling Avenue. Their business appears to be highly recommended on social media websites and also has good ratings on Google Maps.

Superior Photo has been in business for more than 35 years.

Pricing: Starts at around $20.00 for two photos.
Address: Westgate Shopping Centre, 1309 Carling Ave Unit 22, Ottawa, ON K1Z 7L3

  • Fast service
  • Closed on Sundays

Sooter’s Photography (1996photolab)

Business website: https://1996photolab.com/

Sooter’s Photography has been in business for more than 30 years. They do have multiple locations and don’t require reservations so can walk-in anytime for your photos.

Pricing: Around $19.99 and you have to pay extra if you want digital.
Address: 2277 Riverside Dr., Ottawa, ON K1H 8K2
Address: 1430 Prince of Wales Dr., Ottawa, ON K2C 1N6
Address: 129 Bank St., Ottawa, ON K1P 5N7

  • Upload and order option
  • No reservation required
  • Downtown location
  • Open on Sundays

Shoppers Drugmart

Business website: https://www.shoppersdrugmart.ca/

There are two shoppers drug mart on Richmond Road that you can try for photos.

Pricing: Around $19.99 for two pictures.
Address: 1460 Richmond Rd, Ottawa, ON K2B 6S1
Address: 410 Richmond Rd, Ottawa, ON K2A 4C4

  • Multiple locations
  • Upload and delivery option
  • No appointment required.

Please note that pricing is subject to change.

If you had a great experience with a photo center, feel free to share your experience with us through the comments section! Please do add their name, address and pricing as well.