My Ottawa Life: Montreal transplant Stéphane Brutus finds a lot to love in ‘livable’ Ottawa

Stéphane Brutus

In 2021, Stéphane Brutus came to Ottawa to take the reins as dean of the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. Since then, he’s made the nation’s capital his home, calling it the most “livable” city he’s ever lived in. 

In this instalment of OBJ’s My Ottawa Life series, Brutus tells us about his love of tennis, fundraising for CHEO, and where to find the best “island flavours” in the city.

What area of the city/region do you live in?

Alta Vista

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What type of home do you have (condo, house, etc.)?


What type of pet do you have?

Two cats: Spirou and Chouchoune

What type of car do you drive?

Car? A Fuji one-speed bike is my main mode of transportation.

What’s your favourite part of town?

The Glebe

What is your favourite place to eat in Ottawa?

My heart is torn between Margo Xpress, which serves Haitian food, and Ocho Rios, a real typical Jamaican joint. Both bring genuine island flavours.

What is your favourite activity in Ottawa?

Biking along the canal.

What’s your favourite hobby?

That’s easy: tennis at Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club (OTLBC). The 18 clay courts, the beach volleyball crowd, the pool and great restaurant bring in a diverse mix of members that create a real unique vibe.

What’s your favourite local charity or cause?

While not a charity or a cause, CHEO has a very special place in my heart. It’s a world-class hospital and Telfer students have raised more than $1 million for CHEO over the years through a student club called CASCO. Many alumni from our master’s in health administration also work there so, yeah, CHEO is extra special for me.

What’s your favourite festival?

Being from Montreal, I am a festival snob and will say that the Bluesfest has been a real surprise for me, honestly.

If you were to play tour guide for a first-time visitor to Ottawa for a day, where would you take them?

The Hill, of course. I am still in awe whenever I walk in front of the Parliament.

What’s your favourite retailer in Ottawa?

I shop by necessity and derive no pleasure from it, so I don’t have such nuance about my retail experience.

What’s your favourite live music or entertainment venue?

I am relatively new to Ottawa, so there are many parts of the city that I don’t know but, so far, I do enjoy hanging out at Lansdowne.

What type of music do you listen to?

Blues, reggae and anything you can tap your feet to.

Where do you get your hair cut?

Whichever barbershop is closest when I realize I have a formal event the next day.

What’s your favourite weekend outing to do with family or friends?

A Gee-Gees game. Honestly, university athletics provides a hell of a show for the money! Everyone knows about the Panda game and it’s fantastic. However, your run-of-the-mill uO-Queen’s rugby, soccer or basketball game is also great fun.

What Ottawa personality, past or present, do you admire?

As the dean of Telfer, I have met many impressive Ottawans, and I would say that Shirley Westeinde is Ottawa royalty. She is a remarkable woman who has done so much for the city — and continues to do so!

If you took a staycation in Ottawa, what would you do?

Tennis marathon at OTLBC!

What’s your favourite business event or conference in Ottawa?

One of Telfer’s internal case competitions where hundreds of our students crack a real case from a local company in front of industry judges. They worked with Kinaxis and Giatec last year.

What’s your favourite thing to do in Ottawa to pamper yourself?

Did I mention that I play a lot of tennis?

What local business or attraction do you think is one of Ottawa’s best-kept secrets?

Where I thrive is an amazing little boutique gym in the Glebe. Their owners, Sarah and Jamie, are both Telfer grads and have created a very special community there.

What’s your favourite season to spend in Ottawa?

Summer by far …

What’s your favourite thing about Ottawa?

It is, without question, the most “livable” city that I have lived in.

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