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Local Directory for Ottawa, ON


Nasty old lady kills swap box

Yesterday I watched a nasty old lady beat my swap box to death with her cane.

Rosie and I were out for an afternoon walk in the Enchanted Forest. As we rounded the curve in the path, I saw the tree upon which the swap box lives. And there was an old lady viciously smashing the […]

Our first swap box

GC and Rosie and I installed a swap box in the Enchanted Forest in honour of Elmaks. Turns out none of us are especially handy with a drill. Rosie played the opposable thumb card (again), but GC and I didn’t really have an excuse. On the plus side, you learn a lot about how to […]

Remembering Elmaks

It was on this day, a year ago, that Ottawa’s favourite street artist hiked into the forest, lay down under a tree, and died.

His parents recently sent me a photograph of his headstone, along with an explanation of the symbols, and kindly gave me permission to share it here.

in the top left corner is Lady […]

Heartwarming Goodbyes

CCOC (Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation) wasn’t just a nice place to work. It turned out to be a nice place to leave, too.

On my last day of work, they took me out for a lovely lunch and presented me with a swap box (!) filled with goodies like antique office supplies and a bird’s nest […]

Saying goodbye

The art-making party for Elmaks was wonderful and fitting, and the service the next day was lovely.

I don’t usually say funerals are lovely, but this one was. His art decorated the room, and several pieces from the art-making party the night before were there too. (Not mine. I’m still working on mine.)

There was […]

A funeral and an art-making party for Elmaks

If you would like to pay your respects to Maks at either or both of the following events, you are very welcome to attend.

WELLS, Maxim
Thursday, September 29, 2011. Maxim “Maks” Wells, at the tender age of 28. Cherished and loving son of Donna and James. Dear brother of Stuart. Friends may pay respects at Kelly […]

Blessing of the Animals

We started the day at an estate auction run by a crabby auctioneer, followed by breakfast in a Glebe diner. Over breakfast, GC and I wrote a note to Elmaks, and later we visited his final swap box, which is hanging on the construction fencing on Bank Street, around Third Avenue.

We left the note […]

Goodbye, Elmaks

Maks and Oboe

Elmaks, local street artist, inventor of The Swap Box, and all-round nice guy and gentle soul, died on Thursday. I’m told that his body was found in the forest on Friday, and that he had committed suicide.

I’m shaken and saddened by this news. I didn’t even realize he was depressed.

He came […]

A whole bunch of stuff

The Baseline Cowboys raised $300 in empties and spare change for Christie Lake Kids on Wednesday! Rumour has it they’ve also volunteered to help out with Christie Lake’s cooking program. It seems everybody who meets the Baseline Cowboys has something to say about how likable they are.

Here’s a photo of them sitting in the […]

Thrills and Spills

Okay, now here’s some MAJOR news for you. Drum roll, please.


He turned one month old today, and he celebrated by flying off my finger while I was washing his face after breakfast. I was so surprised. I just assumed Piccolo would fly first, since he’s the oldest. And I thought it was […]