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December 21st busiest shopping day of the year: Moneris

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Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa


Published Friday, December 21, 2018 4:40PM EST


Last Updated Friday, December 21, 2018 6:32PM EST

December 21st is considered to be the busiest shopping day of the year, according to Moneris, one of Canada’s largest debit and credit processors.  It says the volume of sales will surpass even Black Friday.

It’s hard to believe that but don’t think big screen TV’s.  We’re talking smaller items such as groceries and liquor, racking up a record number of transactions.

The sign at the entrance to Bath and Body Works at the Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa asks “What does Christmas smell like?”  Well today, it smells like money.  That’s because, according to Moneris, the company that processes most of Canada’s debit and credit card transactions, December 21 is the busiest shopping day of the year.

Jeff Guthrie is the Chief Marketing and Sales Executive with Moneris, “It’s very busy as people tick off those last minute items,” he says, “at the same time, people are buying the essentials for their festive feasts so grocery shopping and liquor, as people head into holiday season.”

Nathan Clouthier is doing some last minute shopping and has clearly noticed the crowd.

“I’d say your limit on debit and credit will be reached today because of all the last minute pick-ups.”

He’s not the only one likely reaching that limit today. 

Elina Thelen says, “I love Christmas shopping but it’s stressful. You always want to get the right thing.”

So it’s 2 p.m. and according to Moneris, it is the busiest hour on the busiest shopping day of 2018, with some 600 transactions per second across Canada.

And that makes for a whole lot of chocolate sales at Purdy’s Chocolatier in Bayshore.

“We like the busyness,” says Kerry Coughlan, “We always welcome crazy, and with the Canada Post thing and everything, we’ve had a big influx in store but we’ve got lots of snacks so we’re prepared.”

For retailers, the labor strife at Canada Post and the early winter has been their Christmas present.

Denis Pelletier is the General Manager of Bayshore Shopping Centre, “Now people say why take a chance, so that’s had an impact (on the number of shoppers) so we’re seeing people coming back to the mall.  We like to call it “off-line shopping.”

For some shoppers, the busier the better.

“It kind of builds up the excitement when there’s lots of people,” says Bill Gilchrist.

But even Santa Claus needs a break on busy sometimes.

“Oh yes,” Santa Claus says, “We haven’t had a break in a little while yet,” as yet another child is placed on his lap for a photo.

So, once Christmas is done, there’s always Boxing Day. And while that used to be the biggest shopping day of the year, it’s now fallen to third. 

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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