a peek inside the fishbowl

31 Jul, 2011

(a peek inside) the Ottawa River Pathway

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Multimedia experiments

I was going to let this video speak for itself but I cannot help writing a preamble.

I love visual media, I really do. When I was studying journalism at Carleton my focus was on multimedia storytelling, although at the time it meant something a little different. It was radio and television. I loved my radio classes; recording interviews and editing them together with sticky tape and a razor blade in a tiny little room. It was hands on and incredibly satisfying and the fact that sound could tell a story fascinated me. I loved my TV classes too, and in my fourth year I took a documentary film class in which my classmates and I created a couple of really neat projects. One of the documentaries I produced went against the wishes of my instructor. I insisted on doing a piece about Tom Green but my instructor thought the idea was ridiculous because according to him, Tom was just a kid who wan’t going anywhere. (Ha ha on him, right?) Another piece I worked on was about Beechwood Cemetery. It was essentially part of a “the business of death” series I was working on that extended into my magazine and print classes as well. (It was all I could talk about for awhile. I must have been a great person to hang around with!)

I graduated, and life intervened. Instead of going one direction I went another, and didn’t get to fulfill my dream of becoming a documentary film producer. I’ve had good fortune to work on some cool projects in recent years: a script for a promotional video about an explosives testing facility, for a children’s summer camp, and one for a secondary-school level educational video about the Canadian government. This has only whet my appetite. I hope to do more, more of my own.

Storytelling with pictures and sound is thrilling to me. Words are great, hey, I love words, but sound and images take your story to another level altogether. And lucky for us, we live in a time when regular people can pursue their passions on their own time, without the need of tiny rooms, razor blades, and heavy cameras.

That’s why I’m very happy that the blog is taking a bit of a new turn and entering the age of vlogging (a.k.a video blogging). It’s going to be the occasional video post, not a whole new format, BUT STILL. I thought it deserved a preamble. :)

I want to explore more of Ottawa in this format and share these stories with you, but I need to state for the record that Mark plays a giant role in this, as it would be impossible to go down this road without him. The video below is rightfully his and he deserves full credit. I look forward to many creative collaborations with him in the future.

Anyway, that’s the preamble! I’ll try not to be so wordy next time. Without further ado, here’s (a peek inside) the Ottawa River Pathway. It’s a three-minute summary of his commute along the Ottawa River and what he sees along the way. We would love your feedback.

16 Responses to "(a peek inside) the Ottawa River Pathway"

1 | Glen Gower

July 31st, 2011 at 1:37 pm


Oh the suspense! Will the camera fall off the bike and plunge to the bottom of the Rideau Canal? Will anyone dismount and walk their bikes through the tunnel?

Enjoyed the video Andrea & Mark. Ottawa’s bike paths are one of our greatest creations.

2 | Katie McDonald

July 31st, 2011 at 2:30 pm


A very pleasant journey, well produced. I like the music. Thanks for sharing. I enjoy seeing things from others’ point of view. Living in Ottawa is a path we did not follow so I especially like following you and thinking of the what if…

3 | Kaitlin

July 31st, 2011 at 7:52 pm


It’s a lovely video and it highlights one of my favourite parts of the city (and my old commute as well) The only critical thing that I noticed was how many people ride their bikes through the tunnel and along the stretch of the path at Parliament Hill, where they’re supposed to walk them. Surely, they’re being careful ;)

Good work you two!

4 | Mary @ Parenthood

July 31st, 2011 at 8:25 pm


Not watchable on an iPhone. I’m not a big vlog fan, so I hope your blog doesn’t become all video. Mostly I read and comment on blogs while nursing child, so even if I watched a vlog (rare!) it would have no sound.

5 | Mary @ Parenthood

July 31st, 2011 at 8:26 pm


I’m sure the video is lovely though!

6 | Ginger

July 31st, 2011 at 10:58 pm


Totally LOVE! this. It is so exciting to actually experience a little slice of where you live. Reading about it one thing, but seeing it and hearing it is completely different. Vlogs makes me a little nervous because I don’t know if I want to sit and listen to a person talk. But this video was different and I liked it. (Not that I wouldn’t mind listening to you talk from time to time.)

It makes me wish it was more feasible to ride to work here. But it would be very dangerous to ride where I live. There are no bike paths around here. (Although there are some in other communities around.) Not that I would be doing it right now with our excessive heat warning in place for the next week!

Anyway, totally loved and can’t wait to see more!

7 | NoraB

August 1st, 2011 at 5:12 pm


Just so you know… not watchable on the iPad either. I do 95% of my blog reading on the iPad so I miss out on the video content as well.

8 | andrea

August 2nd, 2011 at 9:31 am


Thank you for your comments! It is a lovely piece of Ottawa and we thought more people deserved to have a looksee. :)

Mary, the Fishbowl isn’t turning into a total vlog. My idea is only to supplement new content with the occasional video, that’s all. Sorry you won’t be able to view that additional content very easily! I’m looking into a fix …

9 | andrea

August 2nd, 2011 at 10:58 am


Hmm. Will a direct link to the video file work?

10 | fern

August 2nd, 2011 at 12:27 pm


I like this! Especially the way the bike (or parts of it) appear in the photos – resting on the park bench, etc.

11 | Denise

August 3rd, 2011 at 6:29 pm


I love the video. This is my bike commute home. I’ll wave to Mark if I see him on the bike path.

12 | Finishing summer strong: Ottawa Start shares its checklist of 30 must-do ideas «

August 3rd, 2011 at 10:21 pm


[…] Bike down that really steep hill behind Major’s Hill Park. […]

13 | Scott Paterson

August 4th, 2011 at 5:14 pm


Loved the video. What kind of camera was used?

14 | Mark

August 4th, 2011 at 9:49 pm


The camera is a Sony HDR PJ10. Nice little camera. Easy to hold. Shoots in HD. If you are using a Mac you will have to convert the video files but it’s no big deal to do so. So far I’m happy with the camera. I’ve only had it a week.

15 | other andrea

August 6th, 2011 at 3:24 pm


Nice! One of my favourite spots appears at 2:34 — a group of white pines near a bench where you can sit and look through them to Bate Island.

16 | The Ultimate Ottawa bucket list! >> a peek inside the fishbowl

April 25th, 2012 at 7:16 am


[…] Cycle the city: Ride down the Ottawa River Bike path (like Mark does almost every snow-free day) […]

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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