a peek inside the fishbowl

22 Oct, 2014

On this day in Ottawa history

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa

The Peace Tower

Well, this day was one of the worst in recent memory. I am still in shock. I was at a coffee shop when it happened, in the middle of an interview for the Kitchissippi Times. I turned over my phone and saw the news that a shooter was on the loose in downtown Ottawa. Someone was shot at the war memorial, I said. She and I stared at each other for a moment in disbelief. And with that, I pulled out my camera, because our interview was over and I had to get moving. I focused, and asked her to smile, and snapped the photo. How strange it was.

I rushed home and witnessed the rest of the day unfold on television. I don’t think I can watch that awful footage of the thunderous shooting inside Parliament Hill anymore.

I am still trying to reconcile how it all happened, how it happened here, in Ottawa, but I am taking solace in the fact that our family is safe, and in the actions of Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons, and our emergency responders.

At the moment Mark’s office downtown is on lockdown although news staff are coming and going. He rode his bike to work and I hope he won’t have any difficulty finding his way out of the downtown core and getting home. I’m expecting the girls from school soon. They know exactly what happened today, but I truly don’t know what I’m going to say to them.

2 Responses to "On this day in Ottawa history"

1 | Safe and Sound

October 23rd, 2014 at 4:43 pm


To me and no doubt others out there, the thunderous gun battle video is incredible because we see law enforcement officers running towards this hell. They signed up for this job (amazing) and when it was time, they did what had to get done. They stopped someone who was trying to hurt many people.

I am not a cop but I am grateful to those in our society who have stepped forward to protect me and those I love.

2 | andrea tomkins

October 24th, 2014 at 8:51 am


I’m grateful too, very much so.

Our day had a happy ending. Mark arrived home from work, the girls came home from school at the usual time, and it was pretty much business as usual. I am still saddened and shaken by the whole thing, and anything I try to write sounds trite and hollow. I’m wearing my Remembrance Day poppy a little earlier this year, and will have to leave it at that.

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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 daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). 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, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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