Guest Page No. 3

Home From Home - Ilkestonians Abroad
4 - Ottawa, Canada

This fourth collection of images from Ilkestonians abroad has been sent to me by Jim Garner and comes all the way from Canada. Jim was born in Ilkeston in 1930 and lived in Station Road, Blake Street, Kirk Hallam and Market Street where he tells me "my ma kept a fish and chip shop" until the family moved to Hastings and London. He was educated at Chaucer School before going on to the Ilkeston County Secondary School which later became the Grammar School (IGS). He crossed the Atlantic to Canada in 1957 and has lived in the capital city Ottawa, since 1973. Conversations in the city generally focus on politics, the civil service and the climate and Jim says, slightly misquoting Mark Twain, that everybody talks about them but nobody does anything about them. What Jim has done something about is to send me these photos and also the information for the captions about his life in Canada. Thanks Jim.
Jim in Victoria

This picture of Jim was taken on a west coast winter holiday in Victoria. The climate here is similar to that of England's south coast and makes a pleasant change from the Prairies and central Canada. The average January temperature in Ottawa is about a half-degree lower than that of Moscow.
Jim in Ottawa

Back home in Ottawa this is Jim in front of his house.
Housing here is much cheaper than in most of England --
a three-bedroom condominium townhouse with finished basement and central heating lists for about CA$ 180,000 (GBP 72,000).

Like many cities across North America Ottawa has its own Chinatown. It is small compared with those of Vancouver and Toronto or, for that matter, San Francisco but it still covers four city blocks. Nowadays a substantial part of Ottawa's Chinatown is in fact Vietnamese and as Jim says "It's a great place for a cheap meal."
Farmers' Market

Spring brings the local farmers' market to life where produce on sale has often picked the same morning. Here, Jim's wife Suzanne buys fresh asparagus. As she and the grower are both French-Canadians they do the transaction in French and although Jim studied that language at IGS for six years, he still can't understand the local patois.
Hog's Back Falls

Ottawa has three waterfall within the city limits. This is the Hog's Back Falls, and is just a five-minute walk away from Jim and Suzanne's home. It is maintained as a park by the National Capital Commission.
Ottawa River

By mid-May the snows of northern Canada have melted and hundreds of miles downstream the river levels are high. As the Ottawa river courses through the National Capital Region, kayakers enjoy the best white-water conditions of the year.
Spring Festival 1
Spring Festival 2
You could be forgiven for thinking these two pictures come from the Holland as Ottawa's Spring Festival features nearly a million tulips in fifty varieties. The festival started with a gift of 100,000 bulbs from the Netherlands to honour the stay in Ottawa of the Dutch Royal Family during World War II. Princess Juliana was born in an Ottawa hospital and the Dutch still send the city 20,000 bulbs every year.

So there we have it. Jim has obviously made a good life for himself in Canada but I find it heartening that he still regards his roots with fondness - why else would he go to the trouble of looking up Ilkeston on the internet and sending me these images to share with you. Thanks again Jim.