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.
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.
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."
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
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
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.
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.