Going Out

ASK A LOCAL: Elizabeth Hay, Jim Watson, Peter Herrndorf, China Doll, and Yasir Naqvi parse the Ottawa scene

Elizabeth Hay
Novelist and short story writer 

Why I came to Ottawa: I was living in New York City and homesick for Canada. My husband leaned toward Montreal, I leaned toward Toronto, and the compromise was Ottawa.

My neighbourhood: Old Ottawa South, where crucial things are within walking distance — like the canal, the Rideau River, the Sunnyside branch of the library, and the Mayfair Theatre.

Five words that describe Ottawa now: Isolated, tranquilized, congealed, fragrant, discreet.

Five words I hope will be used to describe the city in 15 years: Green, green, green, green, green.

Favourite spot: The Fletcher Wildlife Garden, especially its backyard garden, where everything is labelled and cared for yet relaxed and loosely arranged. A lovely spot that makes me feel 10 years younger.