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Not the average gingerbread houses: Where to find them in Ottawa
- Ottawa Travel Guide
- Wednesday, 28 November 2012 17:15
It's a precious childhood memory: Setting up a mini factory in the kitchen, and with mom's help, constructing elaborate gingerbread houses only to be gobbled up minutes later. The tradition is alive and well in Ottawa, where creative residents and visitors annually pit their talents against each other for the title of having the best gingerbread house in the Canadian capital.
Guests at an Ottawa hotel who want to relive their most-loved pastime need only stray a little ways from their lovely accommodations and head to the Rideau Centre for the 11th annual Charity Gingerbread House Competition, which is put on every year by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to raise money for the Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region (NCR).
"Habitat for Humanity NCR is proud to partner with CMHC again this year for another excellent community event," said Ken Merkley, Vice-President of the Board of Directors. "Everyone is a winner in this event, especially the local families who will be helped by your generosity."
For the friendly competition, there will be two separate categories where participants can pit their elaborate displays against one another. For the professional category, Ottawa chefs specializing in pastry and bread baking will construct ornate gingerbread houses that exude the holiday spirit through their designs. Last year's prize winner, Catherine Beddall, earned $1,000 for her gorgeous Victorian gingerbread house, which looked far too good to be edible. Rideau Baker's gingerbread house was more traditional, topped with colourful sweets and surrounded by Christmas trees and Frosty the Snowman, who was, not surprisingly, made of frosting.
The amateur competition invites families and first-time builders to create beautiful gingerbread houses of their own, and while the structures are more on the charming and eccentric side, they are no less spectacular than the professional houses.
Ottawa media personalities will also pit themselves against each other for a speed building competition, and visitors who travel to Ontario this holiday season are in for a real treat when they watch this hilarious and action-packed race unfold before their very eyes.
Although the gingerbread houses will only be on display for a couple of days following the festivities, visitors can snap photos and get some ideas for their own creation.