The Food Map of Merivale Road in 2024

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This week I updated the Merivale Road food map. I actually took the bike out on a bright sunny day, but not before I greased the bike chain as it was already making a crunchy, resisting sound. I probably rode it about week and a half ago, and already the chain started to rust. This has been a strange bike winter, I have been swapping my wheel with the studded tire for a wheel with my regular tire back and forth. I am not even using a rear studded tire this year.

a store front with the text Yes! mama kitchen

Last year’s food map of Merivale Road

Last year, I started the food map because I think Merivale, as ugly as it is, has some decent places to eat, run by hard working (new) Canadians. It was a bit of a fun project for myself and I never expected the map would get the attention it got. After the Ottawa bicycle maps page, it was one of the most visited pages on my blog last year.

The NeMa Spoof of Merivale Road

Although the work I put in last year was sincere, I spoofed the name “NeMa” as a parody on ‘SoPa’ (South of Parliament). Not everyone got that. Someone even complained on social media “how much money they must have spent on the logo“. FYI, nothing, I just made it myself. The assumptions people make.

Store fronts of a mall with Pinky Floy and Coco as company names

15 minute neighbourhood

So this year, I conform to the name Councillor Devine and Duncan Rae gave the area in their efforts to make Merivale’s Area Great Again. While councillors Devine and Johnson are working to get a BIA going, Duncan is pumping out some awesome design ideas to densify this area, currently rich in asphalt surfaces and snow dumps.

a pile of snow on a parking lot. Behind the snow is another pile of snow, obscuring yet another mall
There is so much empty space on Merivale’s parking lots, they don’t even bother trucking the snow out anymore (which is not necessarily a bad thing) but clearly land is still cheap here
Looking north east at the Merivale – Clyde triangle intersection as visualised by Duncan Rae. On the right the (former) Dairy Queen.

I have been working with councillor Johnson’s office a bit to make the area better accessible from the neighbourhood west of Merivale. It is hard to fathom, but for some Merivale is actually a 15 minute neighbourhood with restaurants, doctors, coffee shops, a library, clothing, cafes, garages and dare I mention it, GASP!, an adult store. It could be even better with more cleared connections at the rear of the malls.

A store front saying OK Mart
I think I would have simply called it “Korean Food Market”

Places gone on Merivale Road

Unfortunately, several business have closed or moved elsewhere. The Dairy Queen is gone, as is Nicastro, Tutti Frutti and La Casa de Gusto (There is an Italian theme here). MeetFresh in Emerald Plaza didn’t last long and Pho An Vu was supposed to move in at Emerald Plaza last winter, but never did. Asian Stars is gone (next to the Denny’s). Green Papaya on Baseline is gone too; I suspect it might be bought out for the new large Claridge development in the Merivale-Clyde-Baseline Triangle. I checked the two food trucks websites but they don’t mention Merivale as a location this year.

New places on Merivale road

Other new places popped up too. ‘Yes Mama Kitchen’ came in place of Asian Stars. A Korean grocery store called OK Mart can be found next to Giant Tiger. Popular Pizza moved in at the mall behind the Baklava King. Robin’s CafĂ© is in a free standing building next to the former Swiss Chalet (still empty). Saffron replaced Meet Fresh in the Emerald Plaza mall. ‘Pink Floy’ moved in the mall where Baskin & Robbins is and Bite & Bite (replacing Day Day) moved in the Food Basics Mall. Tutti Frutti’s place has been taken over by Gyubee Japanese Grill, also in the mall with the Food Basics. Pakistani Baa Desi Dine moved into the former Green Papaya place on Baseline across from the Walmart (which by the way has a McDonalds inside)

A beige store front with GYUBEE Japanese grill
Ottawa’s favourite structures are beige stucco-ed stores

Bad Boy gone

I don’t really keep track of non food businesses, but while I am on it, I noticed Bad Boy was closed on a Tuesday afternoon. Back home, I learned they are bankrupt. I also noticed that Stripe Studios (Broadcasting Graphics) has moved out (to Hamilton Ave) leaving an empty ground floor that used to have the Storage Solutions business way before in the building on Merivale and Meadowlands.

Enjoy the map and let me know if I missed something. Contact me on the contact page if you want a PDF version. Matt Pinder and I walked on Merivale Road a few years ago. More on Merivale Road here including a poem! Last November Peter Hum in the Ottawa Citizen wrote a nice article about the new food places coming to Central Nepean.

Edits: the previous version of the map omitted Booster Juice in the Lowlaws building on Merivale at Baseline, next to Starbucks. I also did not mention a brand new Pakistani place called Baa Desi Dine. Also learned from a reader that Shaan Curry (near Casa Mexico) has new young owners. Happy to hear the place is continuing.

2 Comments

  1. Please mention Shaan Curry by name on Merivale north east of the old Dairy Queen. It has new younger owners and they are trying very hard to keep going. The Indian food there is first rate. I do enjoy reading about the business news along Merivale Road, especially the existing and new restaurants.

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