Ode to Westboro: Natasha becomes a Local Tourist

Natasha Derouchie is an Ottawa native, who in her free time can be found exploring all the city has to offer with her husband, family and friends. She’s a blogger and aspiring author who is currently working on writing her first book.

It must have been about a year ago when my mom asked me “Do you want to explore Westboro today?” She had asked me many times before and I always brushed it off because I was too busy.

On this particularly cold Ottawa winter day, I had “nothing better to do”, so I decided to tag along.


Natasha Derouchie

Even though I have lived in the Ottawa area (other than my brief stints in Jasper and Toronto) my whole life, I have someone managed to miss so many wonderful parts of the city. Growing up in the town of Richmond (west of Ottawa) and moving to Jasper at the age of 19 probably had something to do with it.  This is also compounded by the fact that I am normally a person who goes from point A to B with a specific purpose or direction.  When I’m shopping, I have a clear idea of what I am going for and why.

So though I had always heard of the area, until recently I never found a reason to explore it – but I am sure glad I finally did.

After just a few minutes into my arrival into Westboro my mind began to go into overdrive: each store I went in to led to a new and unique new delight. The diversity of the shops was a great experience because each store held its own individual intrigue.

Our exploration brought us to a collection of interesting clothing, toy, gelato and truffle shops. We spent hours walking in and out of the store, filling our bags and bellies to the brim. It seemed that no matter what store we went into the staff were genuinely happy to be there – they were knowledgeable, friendly and a pleasure to be around.

So let’s start with The Candy Store. Walking in there made me feel like an excited kid again! Childhood memories flashed before me as I looked at candies I hadn’t seen since I was little! They had everything from wax lips, chocolates, and gummy bears that had been to space (some of the gummy bears, none that you will get to eat, were taken on a space mission. Curious? Check the store out for more information). We sampled and explored the candy; and reminisced over funny childhood memories that were sparked by our visit.

Even though we spent just a few hours in Westboro it felt like we barely scratched the surface. I wanted to share the experience I had so I brought my family each a little something home. Even my dog got a special treat from my visit to Bark and Fitz; a wonderful dog-inspired store dedicated to providing healthy food and treats to your pooch.

My little present to me was from our visit to lululemon athletica, which I have avoided in the past because I thought it wouldn’t be for me – well, I was wrong. Walking into Westboro’s lululemon was more like walking into a different culture, rather than a mere store.

This warming experience on such a cold day has forever changed the way I think about shopping or spending my free afternoons. I would have no qualms about spending a day like this while on vacation, but I never thought about doing it in Ottawa.

Thanks to this great day, exploring Westboro has now become something that my mom, sister and I look forward to!

Thanks for sharing your story Natasha!