Our Neighbours: Jamie Hurst

Jamie Hurst, transplanted Albertan, now Old Ottawa East resident. Photo by Bonnie Weppler.

Jamie Hurst, transplanted Albertan, now Old Ottawa East resident. Photo by Bonnie Weppler.

By Bonnie Weppler

Jamie Hurst took the long way to Old Ottawa East.

Raised on acreage outside Calgary, surrounded by sheep and rabbits and a pony, Jamie left for a short stint at the University of Victoria.  There, she discovered she didn’t love economics but instead wanted to study nutrition.

She moved to Nova Scotia to complete her undergraduate studies at St. Francis Xavier University.  Jamie then came to Ontario and the University of Guelph, where she graduated with a master’s degree in Applied Nutrition.

With a job lined up in Ottawa, Jamie moved first into Old Ottawa South and then to Old Ottawa East, to a house on Drummond Street with friends and then to Hawthorne Street.

“I love the walkability of this neighbourhood and that I know my neighbours”, Jamie says. “It’s also great to be able to walk to local restaurants.”

Jamie is a public health dietician for Ottawa Public Health.  She is responsible for developing programs and policies in the area of nutrition. Her current portfolio focuses on food insecurity in the city.

“This means that I look at ways to increase access to healthy food for people in our city who, for a variety of reasons, don’t have that access,” she says.

Jamie works on the annual Nutritious Food Basket Survey in order to calculate how much it costs to maintain a nutritious diet in Ottawa.  She also co-chairs the Poverty and Hunger Working Group, an initiative of the Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres.

The pop-up Good Food Markets (one of which is located in the Strathcona Heights section of Sandy Hill) and the MarketMobile (a mobile grocery bus targeting four food insecure neighbourhoods) are success stories of the Working Group.

“I have the opportunity to work with the community and the people with whom I work are passionate about making Ottawa a better place,” Jamie says. “What more could I want?”

In her spare time, Jamie runs with the Bank Street Running Room club. She has taken part in marathons and last year completed her first half iron-man triathlon.  Jamie also enjoys cycling, swimming and cross-country skiing.

While Jamie has traveled across Canada, she hasn’t seen much of the rest of the world.

“I have no reason not to travel and I aspire to see more of the world over the course of coming years,” she says.

Her wish list includes hiking in Nepal, visiting India and touring through South America.  In the meantime, she will travel to Costa Rica with her dad this spring where she is looking forward to learning a bit more Spanish and eating a lot more Costa Rican food.

Bon voyage!


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