The temperature is dropping in one of the world’s coldest capital cities, but there are plenty of fun and sexy things to do inside this winter. Xtra found eight enthralling Ottawa winter activities to help get our readers through the calendar’s coldest months.
Ready to get hot and sweaty? At Moksha Yoga all classes are held in a room that's at least 41 degrees. But don’t be intimidated; a wide variety of yoga styles are available. These include Yin (slow-moving seated poses) and the more dynamic Power Flow. Moksha offers the added bonus of a reduced price ($50) for the first month on an unlimited membership, so get ready to strip down and practise your poses.
mokshaottawa.com, 300 Preston St
mokshaottawa.com, 300 Preston St
Got cabin fever from too many days inside? Get decorating! HighJinx sells vintage furniture and décor to add personality to any room. The shop owners have a community conscience and donate part of their profits to the chronically homeless. A constantly changing array of items from estate sales means you could walk away with a funky orange vinyl upholstered armchair or Mad Men-style ‘50s cocktail glasses. If you’re looking for a specific item, just let the owners know and they’ll try to track it down for you.
621 Somerset St W, 613-261-3502
Royale Boutique photography specializes in pin-up style photos as well as Hollywood glamour and boudoir shots. Clients include Rockalily Burlesque and Rideau Valley Roller Girls. Photographer Gilda Furgiuele has worked with many queer couples to produce photos that juxtapose traditional gender roles. Furgiuele specializes in location shots, so if sexy for you means a naked photo of your partner baking cookies, Furgiuele will come to your home and work within your budget. Vintage clothes are also available for purchase.
Les Ateliers is a group of crafty gals who hold monthly workshops at cafés and other community spaces around the city. Past workshops have featured classes on bookbinding or creating animated short films without a camera. The group is planning upcoming workshops on making zines, sewing plush toys and designing handmade Valentine's cards. Meetings often include a vegetarian potluck. All events are $10 or less and are queer inclusive. lesateliers.tumblr.com
Art-Is-In Bakery has thrown open its doors, turned up the heat, and is now offering baking classes. New bakers can learn some tricks from chef Kevin Matthieson, who has trained in Paris and New York and is master of the most delectable – oh la la – croissants and French baguettes. Matthieson says techniques will be simplified so new bakers can dazzle dinner guests after just one class.
250 City Centre Ave
Fall Down Gallery
A new kid on the Village block, Fall Down Gallery is an eclectic mix of urban clothing and contemporary art. Friendly pug Lili will greet shoppers if she’s not dozing by the cash register. With its rotating exhibits that change every two weeks, shoppers are sure to find a funky piece, be it photography or graffiti art. Be sure to check out January’s Collected Scene show, featuring pieces from 50 different Ottawa artists. Climb the stairs and dive into a treasure trove of vintage men’s and women’s wear at Hand Down Your Pants.
288 Bank St
Get your fill of political and radical queer books at the Glebe’s best-kept secret. With its huge selection of alternative fiction, non-fiction, magazines and gifts, Octopus Books will surely help fill those cold, lazy Sunday afternoons with some great reading. An added bonus: Octopus hosts readings, launches and live music events.
116 Third Ave, octopusbooks.ca
You’ll actually want to brave frigid temperatures to try The Moonroom’s extensive wine list and deliciously sinful cocktails. A romantic and intimate bar, the sleek space offers great tunes and ambient lighting that changes from pink to orange. Gourmet tapas includes charcuterie plates of local cured meats, artisanal cheeses and spiced almonds with homemade sauces and pickles. Service is friendly yet unobtrusive.
442 Preston St, 613-231-2525