Our Neighbours: An Active Lifestyle Suits This Couple Thrilled To Make OOE Their Home

By Bonnie Weppler 

“I was blown away; I was so happy to be in Ottawa!”

That is how Jen Elliot felt on her first day in Ottawa.

She grew up in Ajax, moved to Waterloo to attend Wilfrid Laurier University and then headed to Hamilton for two years to work at Canada Basketball.

A position with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees varsity sports teams is what pulled her to Ottawa in June 2009.

Elliot’s first home in Ottawa was in the Byward Market. In 2017, she rented on Harvey Street and became familiar with Old Ottawa East. This past February, she and her partner of five years, Jas Chima, moved into a new, unique building at the Greenfield/Havelock split.

Chima arrived in Mississauga in 1981 from his native England. He graduated in electronics engineering at Sheridan College. At that time, Mitel was looking for students to work in Renfrew and he got the job. In 1985, that plant closed but Chima transferred to Kanata. Mitel is the only employer that he has had, although he has held different positions within Mitel and has worked in different locations with the company, including overseas.

Jas Chima & Jen Elliot.
Photo by Bonnie Weppler.

Chima is a widower with two adult daughters. He met Elliot nine years ago when they both played volleyball with Ottawa Sports and Social Club (OSSC). They continue to play indoor and beach volleyball.

Elliot was thinking about buying rather than renting so they looked around to see what was available. They chose their building for two reasons: 1) the proximity to the University of Ottawa for Elliot’s job and 2) one of Elliot’s friends had bought a condo in LeBreton Flats built by the same developer and was very happy with his condo and the building amenities.

“The best things about living in this building is the space – it’s not a square box – and the layout, as well as the neighbourhood, ” says Elliot.

She confesses that, when the building was built up to the top floor, they had a friend come with his drone so that they could see what the view would be like from the rooftop terrace!

The couple have met many of their neighbours and feel that it’s a good group and a neat mix of people.

Elliot and Chima love the proximity of the canal for walking, biking and skating. They are eagerly awaiting the opening of Happy Goat Coffee Company, perhaps more for the live music that will be offered there than the coffee! In the meantime, they patronize the other restaurants on Main Street as well as the Manx on Elgin. They also give a special shout out to the Farmers’ Markets around the city.

This couple loves to travel and, in the past few years, they have visited Italy, Dublin, Jamaica, Whistler and Vancouver Island. They often search out jazz clubs during their travels. Closer to home, they also enjoy cooking and have gone to cooking classes at La Botega Nicastro.

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