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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered


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  1. I’m sad to know that The Mayflower will not be there the next time I go to Ottawa. I first ate there back in the early 80’s on my first visit to Ottawa I can recall – and stayed at the home of my friend and like me, Japanese-Canadian writer, Joy Kogawa when she was living there. Her place was close by- and here was a place I could go to for inexpensive slightly hip and good meals, or a decent cup of coffee. I was just beginning my work as a culinary critic/writer at the time at Toronto Life magazine – and I remember loving their thick meaty burger with swiss cheese, onions and a not-your-standard chef salad. On my many trips to Ottawa since, it remained a standby – if just for a coffee, a sit on the patio. To me, a visitor, that place was a corner anchor of the surrounding community – that held the vibrancy and spirit of a modest but not tawdry streetscape and streetlife: a village. Things have changed – there was once that inexpensive Jewish-named supermarket or some such next door (maybe?) that has long since been replaced. I’ve now been a culinary critic for about those 35 years The Mayflower existed, I’ve eaten at and written about the world’s top restaurants like elBulli and El Celler de Can Roca in Catalunya– and at some of Ottawa’s finest, but I still liked heading to The Mayflower – steadfast to what they knew and how to do it. As client and critic, that’s all I look for. It will be missed, and feel for its past regular patrons. Congrats to the proprietors– and to that charming wait staff over the years, who understood what hospitality means.