My Ottawa: Sheepdogs, ponds, ’70s music — the city through the lens of Michelle Valberg

My Ottawa Life Michelle Valberg
Editor's Note

My Ottawa is an occasional column where we ask local business personalities about their life in the nation’s capital and what they like most about the city.

Award-winning photographer and Ottawa native Michelle Valberg has spent a good chunk of her career capturing the country’s wildlife and natural surroundings. Her work has been featured on Canada Post stamps and a commemorative coin produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. She was named to the Order of Canada in 2022

An entrepreneur in Ottawa for 37 years, a Nikon Ambassador and photographer-in-residence for Canadian Geographic magazine, Valberg is a familiar face in Ottawa. But even after travelling the globe, camera in hand, to capture the world’s most beautiful places, she always comes back home to Ottawa.

In this instalment of OBJ’s My Ottawa, Valberg talks ’70s music, her Ottawa “staycation” itinerary, and what sets Ottawa apart.

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

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

Cedardale, south end behind the airport off of River Road.

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

Two-storey Tudor-style house. I have lived in this house for 35 years!

What type of pet do you have?

Old English Sheepdog, her name is Ginni. I call her Ginni Gurl and she is the cutest and most adorable dog on the planet.

What type of car do you drive?

Silver Jaguar F-Pace.

What’s your favourite part of town?

The Glebe.

What do you think is Ottawa’s most photogenic feature?

National Art Gallery.

What is your favourite thing to photograph in Ottawa?

Animals and the tulips in the spring.

What do you think is one of Ottawa’s “best-kept secrets”?

Mud Lake.

What is your favourite family and friend outing in Ottawa?

Spending time with family and friends in our homes, backyards, porches or patios.

What is your favourite place to eat in Ottawa?

Vittoria Trattoria.

What is your favourite activity in Ottawa?

Walking and hiking on the trails and photographing local wildlife.

What’s your hobby?

When I am not travelling, I love to be at our cottage on Sharbot Lake. Kayaking, swimming, walking, enjoying sunsets on the dock, bonfires and boating. Our cottage is my hobby! 🙂

What’s your favourite local charity or cause?

Too many to name one!! Every charity is so important.

What’s your favourite festival?


What’s your favourite retailer in Ottawa?

Shepherd’s Fashion.

What type of music do you listen to?

I listen to all kinds of different music. I absolutely love ’70s, though.

Where do you get your hair cut?

Saab Salon Spa.

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

Rabbi Bulka.

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

Look for every pond and find as many different creatures as I could.

What’s your favourite meeting or convention venue?

Canadian Museum of Nature.

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

Go to the spa.

What’s your favourite thing about Ottawa?

The culture, history and natural beauty. Ottawa is a gorgeous city with numerous greenspaces and parks, but the community and people who live here set it apart.

Get our email newsletters

Get up-to-date news about the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Ottawa and beyond.

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.