For nearly 80 years, Gemmell's Garden Centre has fortified and ornamented lawns with plants, garden decor, and accessories. Undernourished noses can feast on the fruits of Gemmell's 24 lush greenhouses, where more than 48 combinations of colourful, fragrant Victorian hanging baskets ($39.95) originate. Customers can conceal a lawn’s bald spots with photosynthesizing toupees such as vegetable plants, including more than 30 varieties of plump tomatoes ($1.99–$4.29). Trees and shrubs ($10+), meanwhile, lavish lawns with a leafy canopy in the summer and shelter for hibernating garden gnomes in the winter. The nursery’s friendly, knowledgeable staff provides helpful advice on gardening and landscape design, gladly assisting customers in selecting plants for filling flower beds, pots, or piñatas.
After moving to town in 2005, glass artisan Melody Jewitt was renting studio time in Merrickville, Ontario. While at work, the Sheridan Institute–trained craftswoman discovered a kindred glassblowing spirit in the studio's owner, Bronwen McKnight, who has since retired. The two forged a friendship and artistic alliance that eventually became a business venture as well—their Ottawa studio dubbed Flo Glassblowing. The women used the studio to produce new work, continue their ongoing experiments with glass catcher's-mitt prototypes, and showcase their best designs. They also offer visitors a variety of workshops tailored to all ages, in which they reveal the secrets of flameworking, fusing, and casting that enable students to execute their own small glass pieces. In addition to the workshops, the studio creates a wide variety of custom glass blown products.
During her more than 20 years as an interior designer and a teacher at Algonquin College, Elaine Comeau made sure to continuously sharpen her already formidable skills in the visual arts. Colour theory and perspective drawing are just a couple of the various mediums she’s taught at art schools and in private lessons. Now the owner of her own studio, Comeau again welds her experience as an educator to her talent for illustration. As with Fellini films and lectures on Thomas Pynchon, anyone over age 3 is welcome: Elaine's group, private, and semiprivate courses are all geared toward different age ranges. Better-half-free visitors can meet one another at singles workshops, which combine paint and blank canvases with music and a relaxed atmosphere. Children's art classes send celebrants home with their own crafts.
The imaginative makeup gurus of On Scene Fx lend their transformative powers to the silver screen, but the company originally sprang from an unexpected source: medical training programs. On Scene's artists are so skilled at moulage, or fake wounds, that they are called upon to layer actors in gore to give trainees the most realistic learning experience possible.
When not applying on-screen or medical makeup, the artists train staffers at Halloween stores, and they even hold classes to teach laypeople how to work latex, incorporate fake blood, and blend paints. Customers can also commission the On Scene Fx artists for help with their own costumes.
Inside pristine showrooms, the knowledgeable staff of Cuisine Santé International shares their know-how with a host of products that simplify the art of cooking. Constructed with patented seven-ply thermal bases and surgical-grade stainless steel, Santé Cookware heats quickly and evenly, saving time whenever one needs to pan-fry deep-frozen snowmen. Along with a healthy-eating guide of recipes, Cuisine Santé's chefs lead classes to help promote fat-free, water-free cooking to bolster healthy lifestyles.
A fleet of muscular vehicles from Ferrari, Porsche, and Lamborghini series powers Ottawa ECR Inc. Its staffers can drop off and pick up the luxurious rides at customer's doorsteps for rentals, ideal for special events such as a wedding or baby's first doctor's visit. Alternatively, drivers looking to polish precision driving skills can buckle their seatbelts for an instructor-accompanied test ride in a red Ferrari 360 Spider, complete with insurance coverage and gas.