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Don’t Miss These Charming Christmas Markets in Gatineau and Outaouais





You’ll find chocolates, preserves, candies and more from La Confiserie |


The countdown to Christmas is on, and with it we can easily get swept up into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. There’s no doubt it’s a busy time, from wrapping up work obligations to wrapping up presents! For me, the month of December can’t get pretty crazy quickly with holiday gatherings, shopping for gifts, and all the impromptu cookie baking! And if I don’t remind myself to slow down and enjoy my favourite things about this season, it will be over in a flash.

It may not be realistic to have a completely stress-free holiday season, but I think that operating at a slower pace, scheduling time for activities that bring a smile to your face, and taking things off your list that aren’t necessary to do this month,  is a good place to start to make it a more joyful time of year for you and everyone around you.

Sometimes, we need to put the brakes on the busyness and make room to enjoy the build-up to Christmas in small ways that allow us to breathe, laugh, and feel likes kids ourselves.

One of my favourite places to do just that is the Old Aylmer Christmas Market. Old Aylmer, in Gatineau, is a storybook town for me all throughout the year. I love to visit the shops and restaurants there. Now add Christmas lights, wonderful vendors selling beautiful, often handmade products, and hot chocolate and it feels like you’ve stepped into an idyllic Christmas scene from one of your favourite holiday films (you know the ones!). It’s really quite a lovely spot to get into the holiday spirit.

For the tea lover on your list, Cha Yi offers over 200 loose teas and herbal teas |

Find beautiful, handmade olive soaps and bath bombs that are 100% VEGAN at Saponaria |


Everything seems to slow down, the pace is calmer, and even shopping for Christmas presents becomes a joy as you visit each stall, finding personal, lovely gifts and often meeting the people who have made them.

To me, the Old Alymer Christmas Market is a retreat where I can relax into a wonderful seasonal spirit and it’s made wonderful memories with my family. You might even spot the big guy in red walking around!

Shop Chocolate Favours for artisanal chocolates and treats everyone will love! |


The exciting part is that it just happens to be one of the many Christmas Markets in the Gatineau and Outaouais region! This weekend, December 7th-9th, there are a few taking place and I definitely recommend making an afternoon of it.

If you love finding unique and special gifts to put under the tree, you won’t be disappointed! In fact, you’ll most likely be like a reindeer on Christmas Eve – over the moon!

Old Aylmer Christmas Market

Where? Memorial Park, at the corner of Principate St. and Park St.

When? Friday December 7: 4pm-9pm, Saturday December 8: 10am-8pm, Sunday December 9: 10am-4pm

Buckingham Christmas Fair

Where? Salle de la Légion – 176 Joseph Street, Gatineau

When? Saturday December 8 and Sunday December 9: 9:30am-4pm

Marche de Noël a Ripon

Where? 4 Marché Street, Ripon

When? Saturday December 8 and Sunday December 9: 10am-4pm

Wakefield Christmas Market

Where? Wakefield La Pêche Centre – 38 ch de la Vallée de Wakefield

When? Saturday December 8: 2pm-7pm

If you can’t make it out this weekend, mark your calendar for next!

Marché de Noël de Val-des-Monts

Where? 24 Chemin du Parc, Val-des-Monts

When? Saturday December 15: 10am-6pm, Sunday December 16: 10am-4pm 

Marche de L’Outaouais Christmas Market

Where? 361 De Lucerne Blvd., Gatineau

When? Sunday December 16: 10am-4pm


For more information about the Gatineau and Outaouais region please visit 


A special thank you to Tourisme Outaouais and the Christmas Market vendors who sent us these holiday treats to showcase in this post. 


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Ottawa families give mixed reviews for online schooling





So, how’s it going with online school? Families reached by CBC Ottawa seem to have mixed reviews. 

Masuma Khan is a mother of two. Her seven-year-old, Hana Wyndham in Grade 2, is attending French immersion virtual school. Masuma is grateful it’s an option, but can’t help notice a lot of down time.

“There’s a lot of, ‘are you on mute?’ In terms of the amount of learning that’s actually happening, it does seem to be not that high,” said Masuma.

Parents who kept their children at home this fall are in the minority, but they still form a significant chunk of families in Ottawa.

In the city’s largest school board, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), about 27 per cent of elementary students and 22 per cent of high school students chose online learning. The Ottawa Catholic School Board says roughly a quarter of its students are online.

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Top environment official urges Canadians to back Ottawa’s ambitious plans to tackle plastic trash





The second in command at the federal Environment Ministry challenged Canadians to continue to speak up about the problem of plastic pollution and push elected officials, scientists and businesses to do more.

Quebec MP Peter Schiefke, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, made the comments online at Vancouver’s annual zero waste conference on Friday.

He said most Canadians want solutions to curb the tens of thousands of tonnes of plastic garbage that ends up as litter each year on the country’s beaches, parks, lakes and in the stomachs of animals. 

“Making sure that message is heard with industry stakeholders, elected officials and make sure that they are constantly putting pressure on it … so we notice that this is something that Canadians want, the backing of Canadians to go and undertake these huge challenges,” he said.

Schiefke filled in for  Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson at the last minute after Wilkinson was called away to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass one of the most expensive fares in Canada





OTTAWA — OC Transpo’s monthly bus pass is one of the most expensive passes in Canada, and transit riders are facing another 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares on New Year’s Day.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Transit Commission meeting on the 2021 budget, CTV News Ottawa looked at the cost of a monthly adult bus pass at transit services across Canada. Ottawa ranks behind the TTC in Toronto, Mississauga’s “MiWay”, Brampton Transit and Vancouver “TransLink” Zone 2 access to the suburbs for most expensive transit fares in Canada.

The cost of an OC Transpo adult monthly bus pass is currently $119.50 a month.

The 2021 City of Ottawa budget includes a proposed 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares. If approved, an adult monthly transit pass will increase $3 to $122.50, while a youth pass will increase $2.25 to $94.50 a month.  The cost of an adult single-ride cash fare would rise a nickel to $3.65.

The TTC is the most expensive transit service in Canada, charging $156 a month for an adult fare. MiWay charges $135 a month, and the cost of an adult monthly pass with Brampton Transit is $128.

Metro Vancouver’s transportation network “TransLink” has three fare zones. The monthly bus pass cost for “Zone 1”, which covers Vancouver, is $97 for adults. The “Zone 2” fare, which covers Vancouver and the suburbs of Richmond and Burnaby, is $131 a month.

Edmonton Transit Service, which includes a Light Rail System with 18 stations on two different lines, charges $97 a month for an adult monthly bus pass.

An adult monthly bus pass in Calgary costs $109 a month.

The survey by CTV News Ottawa of transit fares across Canada shows Gatineau has higher transit fares than Montreal and Quebec City. The STO charges $99 a month.

A monthly adult bus pass costs $88.50 in Montreal and $89.50 in Quebec City.

The cheapest adult monthly bus fare is in Charlottetown, at $58.50 a month. A monthly bus pass in Whitehorse costs $62 a month.

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