Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Canadian's thoughts on Columbia Heights

I get emails every now and then from out-of-towners who are staying in the neighborhood, asking advice on what to do, where to go and such. It seems that a lot of people are renting apartments for a week or so rather than staying in a hotel.

I got an email a few weeks ago from Jen from Toronto, Canada asking for advice. She recently got back home and shared her impressions of the neighborhood, which are interesting to read. She appreciates things a lot of us take for granted, like the Giant, for example. Take a look and let's hear your thoughts.

I said that I would let you know my thoughts on the neighbourhood (Canadian spelling!). We arrived back in Toronto yesterday afternoon after four nights at 13th & Girard.
It was great. The Columbia Heights that I saw was both friendly and beautiful.  So many people just saying "good morning" as we walked by. Smiles all around! Row houses with front yards, iron gates, dogs, kids...perfect urban neighbourhood.
Thanks to your blog, I knew about a few places to take my friends locally! We shopped at Giant, which was a very good experience, despite what some of the comments said.  The selection was good and the service was fairly quick...they bagged our groceries which doesn't happen in our local store... we have to do that ourselves.  Jacinta was awesome!!  Double bagged everything without knowing that we had to walk with the food, beer, wine...
You may have seen us struggling at some point walking down 14th!
We managed to find Meridian Pint on Sunday. We walked the long way around, but we made it!  Had something to eat then met up with the rest of our group -they discovered the suffleboard table so went back Monday and last night as well.  Big hit!!
DCUSA centre gives it a really suburban feel.  It made me, as a tourist, feel comfortable in the area.  I'm not a shopper by any means, but a mall to me feels comfortable.  I lived in downtown Toronto for years and I didn't feel as comfortable there as I did in Columbia Heights even at night.
All in all, a great experience.  When I travel, I definitely like to see the city as it is and I am so glad we picked your area to stay.  We spent more time in Columbia Heights than we did on the tourist route.
Your advice was appreciated (we did pick up some potatoes at the farmer's market in CH) and proved to be a hit.  It helped me as the unofficial tour guide, to pick the best places for my group.
Maybe we'll be back again!  If we are, we will certainly stay in the neighbourhood and hopefully in the same apartment we just visited.


  1. Too bad she didn't stop by BloomBars, we would have loved to give her more tips on the 'neighbourhood!'

  2. she must have a higher threshold/tolerance for ineptitude because i have never had the same experience at the Giant.


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