ottawa is all about community
Jeff Leiper photographed in Somerset Square, Hintonburg.
It was really nice to finally photograph Jeff Leiper for loveOttawa, our paths have been crossing for quite some time as we both live in Hintonburg and Jeff is such a positive and active person in the community. When I asked Jeff if I could photograph him for loveOttawa, he jumped at the opportunity, not because he’s running for city council but because he wanted to share how passionate he is about Ottawa – especially his home neighbourhood Hintonburg. “Hintonburg is close-knit, supportive, diverse and inclusive. I can be blocks away from my house, but it still feels like home.”
Jeff is a man who’s very much about community – celebrating it, nurturing it and protecting it. And he loves to work with others on community events. “It’s never hard to find like-minded, generous people in Ottawa who want to help take on a project.” When I asked Jeff if there were any hidden Ottawa gems he’d like to share, he quickly told me about the Hintonburg 5K Race of which he’s been involved in organizing over the past several years. “It’s a little community run, with all kinds of big race touches!” I think the race is a great metaphor for how all of Ottawa and people from all over, can come and experience one of our city’s more popular albeit historically humble communities. The race brings out and involves not just the Hintonburg businesses but also so many neighbours who live there!
© dwayne brown studio – the loveOttawa project
I love asking everyone what their favourite Ottawa restaurants are (I’m always learning about new places to try). One of Jeff’s favourite places is Pancho Villa’s on Elgin – a restaurant that Jeff’s been going to since he was 12 or 13. Now it’s a place Jeff’ takes his son, who’s about the same age. “I was there last week for lunch for super nachos (half and half) and the Pancho’s special (one of each), just like all the dozens of times I’ve been there in the past 30 years.”
A really unique place Jeff shared about Ottawa is the spectacular view from the Chaudiere Bridge. “It’s an incredibly special place, a juncture of our history and key geography – a place where our politics, technology and ancestors all came together. I find it thrilling to walk across it, actually.”