The Glebe:

Your hub for all things Christmas

By Trevor Greenway

Santa Claus waves to kids packed onto Bank Street for the Help Santa Toy Parade November 17. PHOTO: TREVOR GREENWAY

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Glebe – the lights, the sights, the smells and sounds – and there isn’t a Grinch to be found. Instead, you’ll find festive banners and Christmas lights, decorated storefronts and a 40-foot Christmas tree illuminating the iconic Aberdeen Pavilion. And to go along with the beautiful backdrop is an entire advent calendar of festive events – everything from horse-drawn wagon rides to a brand new Christmas Market at Lansdowne Park.

“You feel like Christmas,” says John Mathers, senior vice president of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, referring to the vibe at Ottawa’s first-ever Christmas Market.

The lighting of the Lansdowne Christmas tree on November 30 signalled the official launch of the Ottawa Christmas Market – and with it a sleigh full of festivities. Families can tour the site on a horse-drawn wagon and visit with Santa while slurping free hot chocolate on Saturdays and Sundays, or warm up at the Ottawa Farmer’s Market inside the Aberdeen Pavilion that will be running all weekends throughout December.

The new European-style Christmas market, complete with retailer cabins, carollers, a roaming Santa Claus and live performances, is an exciting addition to Ottawa during the holiday season. Mathers says this year’s market is a taste of what’s to come in 2019. A full schedule of events is posted at

“It starts to give you the sense of what the Christmas market will be, and then, ultimately, the all-singing, all-dancing Christmas market will happen next year,” adds Mathers.

The Ottawa Potters’ Guild is hosting its annual Christmas Show and Sale from December 7 to 9 at the Horticulture Building, featuring a pop-up gallery, a mug market and an array of moulded works to browse.

Music fans can catch all the tunes they can handle this December at Irene’s Pub, with several holiday events including Lynn Miles and the Crusty Mitten Quartet December 21 – 23. The pub is also hosting the 3rd annual Improv Embassy Holiday Special on December 12.

For those looking to ring in the new year in Scottish style, the Hogman-eh! 2018 party is where you’ll want to be on New Year’s Eve. The Aberdeen Pavilion will be bursting with live music and activities all night long, with fireworks illuminating the sky at midnight. If you’re on a mission to own your Christmas list this year, you’ll be happy to see an array of new shops and restaurants that have popped up in the Glebe over the last year.

For the fashionista in your family, the new Micklemack’s Haberdashery is the perfect boutique to pick up a spiffy chapeau – everything from winter fedoras and flat caps to adventure hats.

Don’t forget to pamper yourself this holiday season! Stop by the new Phi Beauty Bar for a luxurious mani-pedi, or relax at the recently-opened Plush Beauty Lounge that offers a premiere full-service esthetician spa experience right in the heart of the Glebe. And while you’re out shopping, stop by the grand opening of The Ten Spot that is offering freebie samplings of some of their beauty services from 12 – 5 p.m. on December 15 on a first come, first served basis.

Looking for a present for Dad? Head over to Cigarman and pick him up a celebratory stogie from their extensive selection of award-winning cigars.

Studio Sixty Six, the Glebe’s recently relocated art gallery, will have the art lover in your family covered. The gallery hosts monthly shows and weekly Friday socials from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Or, if your family has its own budding artist, head to the new 4 Cats Art Studio and register them for a sculpting or painting course.

And if you’re looking to burn off the Christmas calories, sign up for Krav Maga classes at the new Glebe martial arts school and learn the art of authentic Israeli Krav Maga.

Did someone you know recently write their G1? Sign them up for some driving lessons at Universal Driving School and spend the holidays perfecting the parallel park. And make sure they are safe and ready to roll with new Desjardins Insurance agent Vivian Yau, located just a few blocks away.

If you’re out on a Christmas shopping marathon, you’ll need to stay fueled up. Fortunately, there is a slate of new restaurants to sample this holiday season, from southern California-inspired sharing plates at the new Banditos and sweet crêpes at Indulgence, to casual fine dining at the new Eldon’s on Bank Street. At Nosh, satisfy the entire family with your favourite comfort foods like spaghetti and chicken pot pie, or gobble up “familiar food done well” at the new Bowman’s on Bank. Boston Pizza is always a family favourite with their signature Spicy Perogy Pizza and for those on the go, the new Sushi Shop serves up quick and delicious poke bowls.

If you’re looking to sample some new flavours this holiday season, head over to the new Korean grocery store on Pretoria Avenue – Seoul Mart – that offers a delicious array of Korean foods, spices and goods.

From top-drawer shopping and delicious fare to entertainment options galore, the Glebe is the place to be this holiday season.

Trevor Greenway is responsible for communications at the Glebe BIA (Business Improvement Area).

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