• Pitching a safe-injection site for Ottawa
• Exit interview with former police chief Vern White
• Spring gardening primer!
• Singing the praises of the new café scene
• An insider’s look at the fiction publishing business
Letter from the Editor
Though I never followed Vancouver politics particularly closely, for years I felt as though I had a pretty good understanding of what was going on in that city — albeit a few years after the fact.
You see, from 1998 to 2006, I was an avid watcher of the CBC television drama series Da Vinci’s Inquest and its successor, Da Vinci’s City Hall. The lead was Dominic Da Vinci, Vancouver’s hard-nosed and charismatic chief coroner and, later, mayor. The Da Vinci persona and plot line were loosely based on the career trajectory of former Vancouver mayor Larry Campbell, who had also been a coroner. Each week Da Vinci would invariably butt heads with various police and political opponents as he sought to establish a safe injection site for the addicts of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside — and I would sit in front of the tube, shaking my head at how difficult it seemed to be to set aside political and moral objections to get done what needed to be done.
During his tenure as mayor of Vancouver, which lasted from 2002 to 2005, Larry Campbell was both lauded and vilified for establishing the city’s vanguard safe injection site in 2003. Known as Insite, it remains the only legal supervised injection site in North America. Dozens of medical studies have catalogued its benefits.
For our cover story, Roger Collier profiles the outspoken Dr. Mark Tyndall, one of the country’s top infectious disease experts — and a man on a mission to get Ottawa its own safe injection site. Reading Collier’s article on Dr. Tyndall was, for me, a bit like reliving Da Vinci’s Inquest. In Vancouver, the battle for a safe injection site ended in victory. In Ottawa, Dr. Tyndall faces opposition both from the mayor and in police circles. Here, the probability of a future safe injection site remains murky.
For years, we have packaged our favourite gardens with the annual Interiors edition. They formed a beautiful complement to the houses but always seemed a bit overshadowed by their brick and mortar counterparts. For the first time, gardens — all 17 pages of them — have their own issue in which to shine. Let the green season begin!
COMING UP: As the weather warms up, Ottawans start getting itchy feet, checking out their friends’ digs, perusing the real estate listings, and wondering whether it’s time to spring clean — then put their house or condo on the market, sell, pull up stakes, and try out a new neighbourhood. This May’s real estate edition is themed around the idea of the ideal neighbourhood, with our picks for the most satisfying places to live. See if you agree.
Sarah Brown, EDITOR
Table of Contents
Safe is the New Risky
Dr. Mark Tyndall thinks the national capital needs a safe injection site. But championing the cause of harm reduction is proving to be a hard sell
A Vision in Green
19 pages of inspiring garden editorial
My Garden: Merilyn Simonds answers questions about A New Leaf, a book of spiritual musings prompted by a year of growing seasons in her expansive eastern Ontario garden
Hot Plants: What to add to this season’s gardening wishlist
Floral Therapy: A landscape project promotes healing through greening
Daytripper: A visit to the glorious Jardins d’Emmarocalles near Ripon
Making a Splash: The joy of swimming in a natural granite pool
On the Rocks: An unusual garden in Pakenham is inspired by owner Paddye Mann’s Newfoundland roots
Mining Rock for Garden Gold: A rock and crevice garden filled with rare perennials
Super Shopper: Garden-friendly pieces for your outdoor spaces
Whodunit? And How?
A stroke of good luck led Peggy Blair to a solid agent with great connections. In the wake of her, the mystery writer offers an insider’s look at the trials and tribulations of getting a first book published
Connecting with Hub Ottawa executive director Vinod Rajasekaran * Judging the competition with poet David O’Meara * Telling tales of supermodels and developers * Taking bets on Ottawa’s future
Talking about travel — and cool kicks — with Mauricio Ortiz
Four local jewellery designers are bringing accessories to the fore
Pitching writers and songwriters as torchbearers in the campaign to make the capital ever more cool
Singing the praises of the café scene
Toasting the new Argentina
Pretty plates at Sushime * Taste testing some seriously gooey sticky buns * Talking poutine with Beckta chef de cuisine Dirk McCabe * Plus our star-rated reviews
WHALE WATCHING at the Museum of Nature * EXPERT PICKS for the culturally inclined * VEGFEST lowdown with Josh Flower * Plus our arts and entertainment listings