Covert Ottawa Weekly Newsletter: Phase 3 Re-opening Edition

“How y’all doin’ today?” – Dr. Younan Nowzaradan

I hope you’re enjoying the wild weather we’ve been having in Ottawa. As I’m writing this, there’s a wicked thunderstorm rolling overhead here in Greely, and I’m loving it! I was planning on heading out golfing later today (Sunday) but it looks like that’s not happening. So Monday evening it is! There are lots of things to do these days if you are up to it!

Phase 3 Reopening

Well, it happened on Friday: Phase 3 of the reopening plan began in Ontario. As with most major decisions related to the pandemic, this was met with both excitement and open hostility. Should restaurants and gyms be opening already? Maybe….but who am I to say? But from what I am hearing from friends and seeing online, it seems as though the public is enjoying being out and social again, even if still required to maintain distance. And that really is the key: to keep physically distancing. If we’re responsible adults, and are smart about this, maybe it’ll stick and we won’t get the dreaded second wave that is being predicted.

In case you missed it, we can now be indoors with 50 of our closest friends or at outdoor events in a group of up to 100. These are big numbers compared to what we’re used to lately, but still a far cry from a festival, concert or other major event. Keep in mind that a good Bluesfest night will draw 50,000 people. There’s still a long way to go.

Team Sports

With Phase 3 underway, outdoor team sports will likely be kicking off again very quickly. I’ve noticed that the OSU practice fields on Mitch Owens have been very busy lately, and I expect that to become the norm at fields across the city. I for one am excited for softball season. If you’re looking for a league, Ottawa’s leading softball association is recruiting both teams and individuals for their condensed season. Check out for more information.



A La Carte Tours

I’m happy to report that A La Carte Tours is opening back up, offering a variety of local tours with something for everyone. If you’ve ever been on a Brew Donkey tour, the concept is similar, but with a different spin (pardon the pun). A La Carte offers planned bike tours so that you can work off the calories from the delicious craft beers that you’ll be sampling. This week, they are offering two different tours. The first, on Saturday, is called the “Brews and Bites West” tour. The meeting point is Sparks Street, then you enjoy a shuttle ride (for you and your bike!) to Stittsville to begin your trek. You’ll enjoy a brewery tour and food samples at three craft breweries before arriving back downtown. The great part is that you can go at your own pace as long as you return to the end point (Beyond the Pale Brewery) within the posted tour hours (before 5:30pm) to pick up any purchases you made along the way.



The second tour this week is called the “Mill to Mill Sampler,” and it follows the same general concept, but on Sunday. This tour can start either in Almonte or Carp (64 or 37kms) depending on your biking experience. It will include stops for coffee, wine, and beer samples along with some tasty treats before wrapping up at Mill Street Brew Pub downtown. If you don’t have your own bike,  not to worry: they can rent you one for an additional fee.



Each of the A La Carte Tours run every two weeks. I’ll have them all posted on the events calendar for you! The cost averages around $130, a very reasonable price for almost a full day’s activity. It’s a pretty cool way to spend a day, and a great way to get some exercise while also having fun!

The Happiness Files

Remember when CTV Ottawa used to have a “Happiness Files” segment on the Ottawa news where they featured all the submitted anniversary or birthday announcements for the oldest people in Ottawa? All the 60-70 year anniversaries, or the 90-100 year-olds with a birthday would be celebrated on air? They don’t do that anymore, but I still remember the name. My version of the happiness files is a little different.



Alex Trebek: it has been reported that Alex Trebek has taken another step forward on his road to recovery. 80-year-old Trebek was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and was given an 18% chance of survival, but he has beaten the odds. He says that he’s feeling better and looking forward to moving on. He has written his memoirs while undergoing treatment and will be releasing them this week. As far as Jeopardy! goes, over the next three weeks you’ll see them pull out some classics from the vaults of 36 years of episodes, with the intention of resuming recording in September. Whether you like Jeopardy! or not, it’s been a staple on evening television for nearly 4 decades.

Good Person Test – The Shopping Cart Theory

I randomly stumbled upon this theory last week, and it highlights one of my pet peeves perfectly. The premise is very simple: while it is not mandatory to return a shopping cart to the cart coral when you’re done using it, a “good person” does it instinctively. It drives me nuts watching ignorant people leaving their carts all over a parking lot, blocking perfectly good parking spots when the return coral is mere paces away.

Thanks to @DaynaB from Jump 106.9 for re-tweeting this one!


This Kid’s Got Talent!



My featured “This Kid’s Got Talent” this week is 12-year old Skylar Charlebois. Skylar lives in Crysler, and has many artistic talents, including singing, dancing, and drawing/painting. She has shared with us some of her drawings and a painting.



Skylar has been drawing and painting for years, but during COVID, she has had more of an opportunity to focus on it.


Skylar’s other interests include music, theatre, and jiu jitsu. She has performed in school productions, and after only one year of jiu jitsu, has qualified to be advanced to an intermediate class.



Thank you, Skylar, for sharing your talents with us! If your kid has some talent that you’d like to show off, please get in touch and have them featured in this weekly newsletter. Just email me at [email protected].

Have a great week everyone and thanks for reading!

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