Living and Design

Condos + Babies: Interview With Sam

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We sat down with Sam Hetz who is the Owner and Medical Director at Concept Medical to ask him about his first hand experience with having and then raising his daughter while living in their condo. Sam and his wife Hana, raised their daughter Ava in a 1057 sqft two bedroom two bathroom hard loft in Hintonburg.

Hana, Sam, and Hana

Hana, Sam, and Hana

What are some of the biggest issues you had raising Ava in the condo? How were you able to overcome them?

We actually found it a total breeze. Given we had two bedrooms, it made it easier than what I think it would have been if we had a smaller space. The only concern we had was that we have a loft-style condo, with open spaces at the top of the door way, which means sounds travel very easily! In the end, this was actually a benefit, as Ava got use to having ambient noice, and now sleeps through anything! Now that Ava is almost 3 years old, we have found that she is expanding her real-estate and taking over more of the condo.  

Babies take up a lot of space, how did you cope? Any tricks?

The first thing would be to buy what you NEED not what you think you’ll need. Babies, especially in the first 6 months really only require the basics. Loading up your condo with extras is a sure way to fill up your space - and stretch the budget. Second, is organize - we installed a closet organizer (thanks, Ikea) which maximized our storage space. As well, we purchased a crib that has an attached changing table and numerous drawers, and internal shelves which allows us to tuck away diapers, etc… 

You live in an open loft, how did you handle noise and keeping things quiet or getting sleep yourselves?

Honestly, this was a non-issue for us (see question 1). At first it was a major concern of ours. However, I think if your baby gets use to surrounding noise, they become use to it, and are able to fall asleep.  

What did you need and what did you waste your money on?

One of the best things we received as a gift was a Diaper Gene. So worth it! It takes up very little room, and kept our condo smelling fresh! If you’re not fortunate to receive one as a gift, it’s worth the buy. I would say the one disappointing buy was a Jolly Jumper. It DID take up a lot of space, and our daughter out grew it really quickly. Given the set up/take down in the condo, I likely wouldn’t buy another one unless we had more space. Oh, and being in a condo we really had NO need for a baby monitor (although we did buy one as well). 

Did you raise, or do you know someone who raised their child in a small space? We would love to talk to them - we want to help expecting parents with things that can help them with this upcoming transition! Click the button and fill out the form below!


Best Bakeries In Centretown

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Sometimes you just need some dessert! Whether it be for yourself or if you have guests coming over, these bakeries will have just what you are craving. Check out these one-of-a-kind bakeries that can only be found in Centretown.

Three Tarts

Located at 464 Bank St #3, Three Tarts has been in business since 1996. Making sure each product is perfection, the bakers are dedicated to taking part in every action of the bake, from zesting their own lemons to rolling the pasty by hand. They locally source their ingredients so they know exactly what is going into the deserts they prepare. The vast selection of decorated cookies will have anyone’s inner child smile with joy! You can choose from themed cookies they have on display or you can even get a custom order for your special celebration! You can also choose from their selection of cakes, pies, tarts and their dessert menu that changes for each season! Tues-Wed 9am-6pm. Thur-Fri 9am-7pm. Sat 9am-6pm. Sun 10am-5pm.

ThimbleCakes

Located at 369 Bank St, Thimblecakes is one of the most well-known cupcake and cake shops in the downtown Ottawa area. This shop welcomes you in with their vintage tea room inspired environment and their stunning cupcake and cake display. Their 2018 cupcake collection includes Pink Lemonade, Honey Lavender, Cookie Dough, S’mores as well as Gluten Free Banana Pancakes and Gluten Free Chocolate Carousel! They also make custom cakes for weddings or any cakes for any occasions! Bonus, all of their cupcakes, cakes and assorted treat can be ordered to be gluten-free! Mon 11am-6pm. Tues-Thur 10am-8pm. Fri-Sat - 10am-9pm. Sun 11am-6pm.

True Loaf Bread Company

Located at 573 Gladstone Ave, True Loaf is dedicated to baking the finest quality loaves of bread. Their selection includes baguettes, sourdough, buns, ciabatta, breadsticks, etc. Their bread changes daily so you can get something different each day of the week! The bakery also offers gluten-free and organic bread and also some delicious Equator coffee to have while purchasing your bread! Tues-Fri 7am-6pm. Sat 7am-4pm.

Have any other bakeries that we should try out? Let us know!

Grocery Stores In Centretown

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Everything is in within walking distance when it comes to living in Centretown, including grocery stores and assorted food shops. We made it easier for you to locate shops near you or even ones that may have a specific ingredient you may need. This list also includes health and gluten free stores as well! Are we missing something? Let us know!

Herb & Spice Food Shop

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Located at 375 Bank St, Herb & Spice is your go to shop for ethically sourced food, vegetarian and vegan options, gluten-free and raw foods, as well as locally-produced items. There is also a Wellness Shop that offers supplements, cosmetics, personal hygiene, household and aromatherapy products. Open until 9pm every day!

Massine’s Your Independent Grocer

 

Located at 296 Bank St at the corner of Bank Street and Somerset, Independent is your go-to grocery store to get your everyday needs! Open until 10pm M-F and 9pm on the weekend. Underground parking! Offers a student discount on Tuesdays.

 

Photo: Don and Jenn at FoodiePrints (TIP: check out their book - worth the purchase if you love food)

Photo: Don and Jenn at FoodiePrints (TIP: check out their book - worth the purchase if you love food)

Sobey’s Urban Fresh Metcalfe

Located at 193 Metcalfe at the corner of Metcalfe and Lisgar, Sobeys is conveniently located in the podium of Tribeca Condos (179 Metcalfe and 40 Nepean) where you can grab your everyday essentials or if you are in a rush, they have pre-made meals that you can eat on the go or heat up at the office! Also has wine and beer sales (restricted hours). Open till 11 pm every day. Underground parking is available but can be expensive!

Seed To Sausage

Located at 729 Gladstone Ave, Seed to Sausage cannot be missed when driving down Gladstone Ave as their shop logo is a giant pig. This store is where you can get handcrafted meats that are locally sourced and have few additives and preservatives. Seed to Sausage offers over seven cured meats including Genoa, Calabrese, and Chorizo. In shop made sausages (with no antibiotics, hormones or gluten) include caramelized onion & pepper, garlic red wine, jalapeno cheese curd smokies, apple & sage, and Mexican Chorizo. It doesn’t end there! They also have their own Old Fashioned Double Smoked, Molasses, and Cracked Pepper bacon! You are also able to purchase house-cured ham, smoked duck breast, hot dogs, and other assorted meats like Montreal smoked meat, duck prosciutto and pancetta! Wow your guests at your next dinner party with these selection meat products! Open till 7 pm M-F. 13 minute walk from Bank and Gladstone.

If you don’t mind a short walk outside of Centretown:

Loblaws Glebe

Located at 64 Isabella, just south of the 417 at the bottom of Elgin! Recently renovated, it has a nice selection of fine cheeses and ready made foods. Right beside an LCBO, you can get all your shopping done in one stop. New large space and quite clean. Open untill 11 pm everyday.   

 

Whole Foods Market

Located at 951 Bank St at Lansdowne in the Glebe, Whole Foods is your go-to organic, gluten-free and other food intolerances. There are also pre-prepped stations for pizza, sushi, taqueria ( Mexican-inspired) as well as a coffee var, scratch bakery as well as a butcher and fishmonger. You can also shop online using Amazon!

Metro Glebe

Located at 754 Bank St in the Glebe, Metro is your go-to grocery store to get your everyday needs! Don't let its size fool you, they pack it wall to wall with your standard items - it's no Kanata Loblaws, but decent quality!

Domicile Model Suite Furniture Sale

Domicile Model Suite Furniture Sale

Looking to spruce up your space? Domicile is hosting a one-day furniture sale that has been collected and used in model units over the last few years. We are told it is a mix of contemporary and classic pieces that will be at "very affordable prices". Happening this Friday, February 10th from Noon to 5pm at 376 Madison Ave. 

SoBa Condos - Model Suite Furniture Sale - This Saturday

SoBa Furniture Sale Ottawa Condos

**For updated information about SoBa Condos, check out the dedicated section with regularly updated construction and sales information. CLICK HERE to view.**

In preparation for the start of construction, Lamb Development Corp. is selling off the furniture in the model suite at SoBa (203 Catherine St). The sale will take place this Saturday from 12noon till 4pm. They are offering up to 65% off retail price for furniture, kitchen cabinetry, fixtures, appliances, as well as the bathroom fixtures and lighting. Brands include UpCountry, italinteriors, klaus, Teknion, Visitor Parking, Home Atelier, and plan b. Note: Cash only, and all sales are final.

This sale will allow the construction crew to move the sales centre on March 1st, so that construction can begin.

Pretoria Avenue - Slow Home Studio Video Walkthrough

Pretoria Avenue Glebe Home For Sale Ottawa

Check out this three part video from Slow Home Studio (Calgary) discussing the remodel by Andrew Reeves (Linebox Studio) for 124 Pretoria. John and Matthew take a look at the living room, kitchen, and upper floor areas. They are a quick watch - 2:49, 2:29, 2:21 

"The Slow Home Movement was founded in 2006 by John Brown, Matthew North, and Carina van Olm as a critical response to the poor design practices that pervade the mass housing industry. Our mission is to advocate for a more thoughtful approach to residential design that improves the quality of our daily lives and reduces our impact on the environment."

Currently listed for sale, you can find more information about 124 Pretoria at PretoriaAve.com

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Nest Thermostat + Hydro One

Nest Thermostat Ottawa

Nest has now teamed up with Hydro One to help you save more energy, plus it can pay you up to $125. Keep seeing more and more in homes and condos around Ottawa (such as 124 Pretoria Ave), and have had it in my place for a couple years now (and LOVE it). You can sign up HERE for the program.

From Nest:
Hydro One will give you a $100 cheque per Nest Learning Thermostat when you sign up for Nest Rush Hour Rewards and Seasonal Savings. You’ll get another $25 after you complete a series of 3 surveys about the program. 

Rush Hour Rewards can help you use less electricity during peak energy rush hours while still keeping you cool and comfortable. While everyone else is cranking up the air conditioning, it can automatically cool your home ahead of time or make minor temperature tweaks to your thermostat schedule. If you don’t like a temperature that Nest sets, you can change it at any time. 

You may not even notice it working, but Seasonal Savings can help you save up to 10% on heating and cooling bills. Every summer and winter, Seasonal Savings slowly fine-tunes the temperatures in your schedule to save energy.