I tried all the vegan soft serve in Ottawa

I tried all the vegan soft serve in Ottawa. I probably missed a few but I did try a lot of them. I have lived in Ottawa for two years and I was still transitioning from vegetarian to vegan when I moved here. I don’t remember having a lot of soft serve in Vancouver when I did eat dairy. I only remember having it at McDonald’s and buffets. I didn’t even know vegan soft serve was a thing until I moved to Ottawa. I tried six places The Merry Dairy, Oddburger, Little Jo Berry’s, Chocolate Favouris, IKEA, PastelXCoco, and 2 bonuses dole whip from Cinnaholic and the plant based dilly bar from Dairy Queen. I also went to Mavericks but they have been having supply issues and the soft serve is currently not vegan. Let me know if I missed any and maybe I’ll update the post in the future.  The Merry Dairy was the first vegan soft serve I had in Ottawa. I remember thinking I had to wait in line to get into the store only to learn soft serve was at the truck with no line. I was super excited that I

Living in Ottawa compared to Vancouver in 2022

Today December 11, 2022 is the first time I have worn my snow Parka in Ottawa or anywhere. I usually avoid places that have snow for enjoyment. If you have not read my previous posts I moved from Vancouver to Ottawa in June.
I lived in Vancouver almost my whole life this is the first time I have lived in a colder climate. I moved to Ottawa in the summer so I haven’t experienced winter yet. I have been warned many times about January. I was also warned many times about the humid summer and I loved it although I have air conditioning and a great rooftop amenities in my building. It does seem to be a warmer winter than usual so far. I bought the snow parka in the summer for a great sale and so far my Vessi boots seemed to work well. Vessi’s were great in the snow but not when it turned to slush so I will have to change to winter boots. It is now a week later and we had another snow storm the winter boots I got from amazon have great grip. The snow plows plowing the sidewalk here was new for me. I was surprised that I had to move out of the way on a sidewalk for a snowplow doesn’t happen in Vancouver. I am continuing writing this on December 16 there was another big snowstorm people are out and about as usual. I even saw a group of Santa’s running from my window. The wind made the snow blow in my face and I ended up putting my sunglasses on outside other than that and having shoes with good grip the snow isn’t a problem. It us still pretty warm for winter the piles of snow are turning to melted puddles quickly. My perspective may change when it gets colder. 

There is a lot of snow here today  but even the back road has been cleared. This is a big difference between Ottawa and Vancouver. I can likely survive winter in Ottawa even if it gets colder. The sun is usually out here the wind is the only thing I have trouble with so far. Vancouver will be getting the storm later in the week and I suspect they will have more difficulty. In Ottawa I have the clothes if it gets colder to bundle up and go walking on sidewalks that have been cleared. In Vancouver I would be looking for how many hoodies I had to layer up under my rain gear to go outside and try figure out how I am supposed to get over the big pile of snow the road snowplow dumped on the sidewalk while not getting hit by drivers with no snow tires. 

The skyline here is always beautiful and always  changing. I also have a fantastic view from my apartment so I’m always posting pictures from my window on Instagram follow me at @livingottawalocal Ottawa Instagram Reel

If you haven’t read my previous posts. I came to Ottawa in June 2022 and my mom also moved here she came in April. My mom got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer while we were already in the process of moving and passed away in October of 2022. We originally stayed in an apartment hotel in Downtown together. 

I did not enjoy living in downtown the pandemic has really changed things it didn’t feel safe and I know a lot of people that live here have noted it’s changed. I still feel safe going downtown during the day and in most other places of Ottawa. I found a place to rent in Wellington Village and my mom moved in a retirement home in the same area. We both loved this neighbourhood it’s the equivalent to Kits in Vancouver with more small businesses. There are still homeless people in this area usually they are politely asking for food which I find different than in Vancouver where people were more aggressive and usually asking for money. There is a food centre and community fridge and this community is always trying to support but it is tough to see that there are so many unhoused hungry people in the capital city. 

The cost of living really surprised me in Ottawa. Coming from Vancouver where we are always told how expensive things are there compared to other cities. I found many things in Ottawa to be either equivalent in price or more expensive the exception may be houses but not apartments or rents. I was surprised at the cost of food here. I know I told my friend in Vancouver this when I first moved here she said prices had gone up there too. After visiting Vancouver recently prices on food are definitely more here plus added HST expense. I also find that stores are more spread out here it is difficult to go from store to store to price compare. In Vancouver this was easy. People should be aware that we always hear about how expensive Vancouver is. Assuming you are not moving here to buy a house be prepared the cost of living may be higher in Ottawa depending on your lifestyle. Granted I am comparing living in the outskirts of the lower mainland to living in central Ottawa. The other thing is getting a doctor it is hard to even get a walk in clinic appointment if you don’t have a doctor and the wait list to get one in a few years. I got very lucky as I found one that is almost retired and only works half a day a week but I have one and I know this is a privilege a lot of people don’t get. I think it is difficult to get a new doctor anywhere in Canada right now but in BC it was easier to get seen at a clinic. It is something I wasn’t aware of before moving. 

There are pay phones everywhere here I don’t know if they work but if you need to show your kid what a pay phone is it’s a great place to visit. 

There is a farmers market in the neighbourhood with lots of pop up events. It has been easy to get local vegan food here. There is a lot to try and there are many fully vegan businesses in the city. I have been spoiled with the Vegan food here. I recently ordered the plant curious box so I could get some Vegan items I had been missing from BC and it made my realize how different the vegan scene is in both places. Ottawa might not be well known for its Vegan options but it is great everything is good here. The one thing that is better in Vancouver is sushi. I have even been able to attend a vegan night market and most markets and festivals have a variety of vegan options. Winter has less events but there are still a few especially holiday ones. The Christmas market is indoors in the beautiful building. 

I find it is harder to get to mainstream grocery stores as things are so spread out here. I often get vegan meal prep delivery from Quebec. 

It is more cost effective for me than cooking. I liked that it is individual means. It is very nice living in a building that has a package room and a lobby for delivery. 

I have furnished almost my entire apartment from things that have come in the mail. A lot of my my bedroom is from Endy. Most of my kitchen is from Ourplace. I started using Amazon for lots of things since moving here I never did previously. The robot vacuum is my favourite gadget from Amazon so far.

One thing I really miss about Vancouver is that water was easily accessible a lake or beach was easy to get to. Here the canal is easy to get to but it’s not the same. There is one park Andrew Hayden that reminds me a lot of Vancouver but it is a bit of a commute to get to. Commuting here is different than Vancouver. Everything is a 15-20 minute drive away. There are a lot of buses and a train but they are not convenient. They don’t go direct to destinations so you have to sit on a bus a long time. The way the bus loops are built have the bus stops are so spread out that you have to figure out which bus you think will come to be at the right stop at the right time and its easier to just walk to your destination if you can. It could be a good system if they restructure the routes and maybe they will when the rest of the train opens. Uber is very good here and because everything is a 15 minute drive away it doesn’t get that expensive. 

Parks for kids are every couple of blocks here. Ottawa is a very family oriented city but it has activities for all age ranges. I find that people are more introverted in Ottawa. I feel like there are many people like me here and feel I fit in Ottawa more than I did in Vancouver. 

I started a job in Ottawa in September. I did work an as a federal public servant in Vancouver and to my surprise it was very difficult to get a transfer here. A major barrier has been not being bilingual although I had a scholarship to learn French in Quebec and was fluent years ago In Vancouver I lost all my French skills as it is rarely spoken there. In Ottawa I’m often hearing people speaking French so I am now understanding the requirement and do plan on upgrading my French in the future. I have recently been informed that I will no longer have my current job in January and I am not sure what my next plans will be. 

Thanks to my work I did get to experience a conference in Ottawa.It was held at Shaw Center which can be compared to the convention center in Vancouver. The conference here was so much bigger than any of the conferences I have been to in Vancouver. I was a little overwhelmed at the amount of people there and a little surprised that so many people were willing to gather so closely while covid and other viruses are still an issue. There was an online option and before I got covid that was my choice but after Im more willing to go to in person events. It was a good experience. I also appreciated that they had vegan options for lunch and even soy milk for coffee. I am really enjoying living in Ottawa. My future is uncertain at the moment but I like it so much I want to experience the winter weather I have been warned about so many times.

Next blog post will be about vegan holiday chocolate tasting. My Instagram are @livingottawalocal and @vegancanadianfinds



  1. Wow, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and comparing Vancouver and Ottawa!


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