Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Barbie - Ottawa neighbourhood edition

The wonderful Ms.Rachelicious sends me an equally wonderful email. The contents? Barbie reapproapriated to fit the demographic of various Ottawa neighbourhoods. I read this, laughed out loud, but then realized some of them are outdated, innacurate or just flat out missing. Enclosed, in italics, are my add-ons to this fantastic creation by whomever thought this up. Maybe a Toronto neighbourhood one in the works? I'd personally love to see a Montreal one first.

Orleans Barbie
This princess Barbie is sold only at Place d'Orleans. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade Handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign dog named Honey and a designer kitchen. Available with or without boob job, tummy tuck and face-lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with the boob job version. 

Change Kate Spade to Coach, change Lexus SUV to modified Honda Civic or Mitsubishi Eclipse if we're talking teenagers, add government employee and cottage at Lac Simon somewhere in the mix.

Barrhaven Barbie 
The modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar Minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately. 

Gotcha, but some of these women had the full time occupation of making sure their newly built home was worth every penny and "customized" in its own unique cookie cutter way. Mercedes Kompressor sold seperately. 

Arnprior Barbie
This recently-paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a lo-rider Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a Meth Lab Kit. This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills) ... unless you are a cop, then we don't know what you're talking about.

Never been to Arnprior so yeah?

Westboro  Barbie
This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.

Westboro Village is one of my favourite neighbourhoods, it's the new Glebe. People in Westboro don't drive Hummer's, they like the Mercedes Safari or "Hybrid" cars. Furthermore, they much prefer Bridgehead over Starbucks because it's fair trade and organic and we all know social justice is trendy. Plus, they don't have kids and can be seen wearing Lulu Lemon while working out at the Yoga studio. Watch out though, the American Apparel opening last year has sparked some migration from hipsters* that were once seen on Bank Street. Westboro is also home to most of Ottawa's small jewish population and has its own festival, Westfest.

Stittsville Barbie
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR t-shirt and tweety bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Hank Williams Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's butt when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.

Since the tech boom of the 90s in Kanata, Stittsville has served as building ground for huge houses à la Manotick. I'm sure the locals are still around though.

Rockcliffe Barbie
This collagen injected, rhino plastic Barbie wears a leopard print outfit and drinks cosmopolitans while entertaining friends. Percocet prescription available as well as warehouse conversion condo. 

The richest hood in Ottawa is defined by the likes of Marlen Cowpland and her infamous Richard Robinson dress. Now that Mitel is practically defunt and the Corel Centre owned by ScotiaBank, I think we can add Starbucks and rich white kids with lots of money that have a nose for white lines and attend Ashbury College.

Kanata Barbie
This tobacco-chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased beer-gutted Ken out of Butler Barbie's house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails and a see-through halter-top. Also available with a mobile home (sold in U.S. as Trailer Trash Barbie). 

Hmm, this is definitely innacurate. If you've been to Kanata since the late 90s (you know when Nortel was in the business of hiring and not breaking homes) you'd realize that it's quite the nice place. It also has streets named after Michael Cowpland and Terry Matthews as a reminder of Mitel and Corel. Homes are expensive, there's actual office towers, shops and dance clubs. People in Kanata are somewhat the "nouveau riche" of Ottawa. The description above sounds more like the Orleans teenager crew.

Glebe Barbie 
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, arch-less feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Willow . She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag bumper sticker for free.

Interesting fact about the Glebe: the only place in the city where you have the option of buying coffee from either Starbucks, Second Cup, Bridgehead, Timothy's or an independent café within a one block radius. Another interesting fact: although it is one of Ottawa's wealthiest neighbourhoods, it's very liberal and, unlike the other money filled hoods that are infested with right wing evangelists, Glebe residents vote for Jack Layton's party. Description accurate, but I would've loved to see the rich artist families with their well dressed children and their beautiful old homes described in here.

Vanier Barbie 
This Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant doll. Optional accessories include a bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his 1979 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.

Good, but you've forgotten the outfit description: à la 1997: Adidas tearaways, platform runners or Timbalands with kitten heels and EXCO gear. Gangsta Ken would probably also be riding the bus to keep up the weed dealing business.

Mont Tremblant Barbie
She's perfect in every way. Ken has a condo in downtown Ottawa and visits on the weekends. 

Trophy wife, you get the rest.

Honourable mentions: 
Gatineau-Hull: just picture lesbian cuts on straight women and really trashy French people mixed in with Anglo government employees. Drinking age 18, might contain various high school students.
Beechwood-New Edinburgh: A gentrified neighbourhood within a ghetto (Vanier). Infested with really old people, parking lots that are now condos, parks and trendy restaurants.
Centretown/Little Italy: Hipsters*, cafés, grimy dive bars, and home to some of the city's best restaurants. Located on Ottawa's longest street and connected to some of the best places in town.
Downtown: The most eclectic neighbourhood here you'll find the market, the crack heads and their needle disposle, the most entertaining bums in Canada, the half a million dollar condos and galleries attempting to gentrify Rideau and Cumberland, the university students and oh so much more. Click to listen to the best song that describes downtown pusher Barbie.

Ottawa South (Alta Vista-Heron): AltaVista and Heron is my favourite comparison, one is honourary Little Lebanon filled with shawarma shops and driving schools, while the other is filled with upper class citizens working in private companies and living in expensive homes.

* For lack of a better word.


  1. I lived in Orleans and Westboro, I wish I could remember either.

  2. that's pretty good.. though your gatineau-hull description is a little harsh and incomplete... definitely should add 'bilingual homeless people and a few students (and of course one cute recent comm graduate) hehehe

  3. They did these originally for the GTA ( I think )

  4. that explains why some of these were innacurate. thanks for sharing allison!

  5. AAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA this is hilarious

    love the sidenotes too

    xox your biggest fan

  6. this is gold... I'm glad my apartement didn't fit in any bad categories. xoxo

  7. Whats all over Glebe Barbie's girlfriends shirt?

  8. The Vanier doll made me laugh. Great sense of humour.