10 Things I Hate About You *

* And yes, that means you, Sparks Street Mall

1. No trees.
2. One word: Yesterday's.
3. Wanna drive your big honkin' poison-spewing SUV down Sparks? Then park it there for hours? No problem.
4. Wanna ride your relatively unobtrusive eco-friendly bicycle down Sparks? Pay a hefty fine.
5. Constant tearing down, reinvention and overhaul -- seemingly on a whim.
6. Tacky souvenir joints.
7. Army of smokers blocking every second doorway.
8. Remote regions of Antarctica have more exciting nightlife.
9. Sadly, most distinctive Canadian feature is Tim Hortons.
10. All street, no sparks.


A. & J. said...

Sparks street has no 'sparks'. I never even think to go on a patio on sparks street. There is always construction. There aren't that many (good) patios, no (good) shopping, very touristy.

The only thing I make a point to go to on Sparks is the rib fest. Even that event is $$.

Aggie said...

IO, thank you for putting my hatred of Sparks St. into words. Why can't they do anything interesting with this space? Why can't it be a Prince Arthur St...?

Woodsy said...

I miss the Sparks St of 30 years ago... it was nice then... I also hate all those same things about it now!

Wandering Coyote said...

I had a good chuckle when I read this. I always thought Sparks was so overrated and so annoying - for all the reasons you listed.

I should do a Thurs. 13 about the things I hated about Ottawa in general...

Anonymous said...

Let me add a few other things to hate about Sparks Street:

- loose, cracked and absent tiles
- burned out lightbulbs on the light fixtures
- pigeons and their shit

Manny Blue said...

I did see belly dancers one night at one of the outdoor terraces. It was about midnight - people were sitting around smoking hookahs, clapping to exotic music, and 3 beautiful women were belly dancing!

Seventh Heathen said...

I like the fountains that resemble broken water mains bubbling up through storm sewer grates.

Wandering Coyote said...

I thought the patio at Darcy Magee's was OK, but I could never handle the inside of that place.

Seventh Heathen: Oh, those lovely fountains are many places in the Capital Shitty! Very chic!

Jo Stockton said...

I, personally, hate how every year I seem to accidentally walk down Sparks in the middle of the weird, gigantic barbecue festival. It's like Vegetarian Hell.

However, when I ran a program for school aged kids I always enjoyed taking them to the Busker Festival on Sparks in the summer time...

Wandering Coyote said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that I actually did like the rib/BBQ thing on Sparks, but you're right, it was a tad pricey.

Nick said...

Hello tourists to Ottawa.... Welcome to our pedestrian "only" street in Ottawa... Sorry for the trucks and cars,dust,bikes and construction...Feel free to buy a tacky dollar store souvenir !....

Please come back soon and visit our billion dollar transit hole.. lol

Sleep well after walking downtown after seven to find any sign of nightlife or a patio to have a late night snack !

By the way... the market area is this way and Elgin Street is down this way!... lol

D'Arcy McGee said...

That street just kills me.

bob said...

This is all so true, what a shame, and thank you for describing this missed opportunity. I like ribfest, but its the only time i go there... i used to go there to shop for xmas items, but i'd always end up a rideau street. Some things i think adding to this street that certainly couldn't hurt:
- a bridgehead
- a lululemon
- a bistro or two that does good brunch, decent dinner, and serves micro brews
- a jazz lounge (wait, isn't there one of these there already)
- farmers market (ones close enough already)

Ok all those ideas suck, i wouldn't open a business there unless i had to.

Nick said...

That's a great description !! "MISSED opportunity ! Just a quick look at Old Montreal would tell you that.. full of nice little cafe's, some tasteful craft stores... and there... a real pedestrian street :)

Sure.. the chicken and rib cook offs ... the busker's are great... but only for a weekend or so, then the rest has to have it's own appeal.

But.... for ONLY $5.00 on your tax bill.... we can change that lol

Badger said...

The Rib Fest Sucks.
Third rate at best by international standards. Over priced and over rated. The biggest turn off for me eco-friendly bikers that don't get caught and ticketed.