Heart of Orléans BIA

 613.617.0608 / 613.899.8442

Explore The Heart of Orléans

Restaurants, Shops and Services in Orléans, Ottawa

The Interview

Meghan Fish-Bellefleur, VP of Human Resources at Bellefleur Physiotherapy and Board member at the Heart of Orléans BIA. 

What do you love most about the Heart of Orléans?

I love the small town feel of the neighbourhood. I grew up in a small town, and St-Joseph Boulevard brings me back to my childhood, where shop owners know you by name. You can discover unique items you can’t find in box stores and client service is always paramount.

What makes the Heart of Orléans the perfect spot to locate a business?

For our business, it was the boutique feeling of the district. It has a very artisan feel to the area which draws in crowds looking for quality items and/or services over what discount box stores have to offer. I think clients appreciate all the “extras” and “special touches” they receive from small business owners.

What do you think the most important issue facing the Heart of Orléans is?

Walkability is definitely an important issue. We really love the Centrum Boulevard area, where our business is located, because all the businesses are within walking distance from each other. The Shenkman, amazing restaurants, healthcare are all in one area and easy to access with very little travel between. I think for many clients, it is the size of the district and travelling down the large stretch of road that becomes problematic in order to shop.

Name a new type of business you would like to see in the Heart of Orléans.

We have so many hidden gems, so this is a difficult question! We are foodies, so a greater variety of restaurants is always a bonus. Although I think bringing back a farmers’ market or night market to the area would be fantastic. Festivals have been a challenge due to COVID, but I really want to see them come back. I love outdoor events!

What do you think the Heart of Orléans will look like in 2046?

My husband says flying cars like the DeLorean – only kidding. With the arrival of light rail and some intensification, I think we will see a transition to a more pedestrian friendly district. 

Which two BIA businesses, outside your own, do you love and why?

Again, such a difficult question! Boutique Arc-Ange-Ciel is one of my favourite stores, as it calls to my inner yogi. The store has beautiful jewellery, crystals, incense, and unique gift items. It is a small store with so much to look at and has a positive energy.

My other favourite business is our neighbour, St. Martha’s Brasserie. They just go above and beyond to make your experience exceptional. We enjoy lunchtime, especially with one of our favourite servers, Helena, who is always so kind and works extremely hard. She even remembers my favourite menu item – Soupe à l’oignon française.

What Inspires you?

Community. Being part of a community enables us to give support to other members. With all that is going on in the world, there’s never been a more important time to help others struggling.

When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2018, I saw so many community members come forward to help our young family as I went through surgeries and treatments. Dinners, offers of assistance, and even helping our business raise over $12,000 for Run for the Cure. Community members came to cheer us on as we crossed the finish line for the race. The support was absolutely overwhelming.

Who (living or departed) do you admire most and why?

Walt Disney is someone who I really admire for his ability to dream big. Disney was a dreamer because he had big ideas that he wanted to share with everyone around him. Even though he has passed on, Walt’s dreams have not been lost, but have expanded because of the mark he left on everyone around him. 

What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from this interview alone?

Perhaps my creativity. I was heavily into the arts community through my late teens and 20s. I acted in many community theatre plays, and even travelled around southern Ontario and into Michigan performing murder mystery dinner theatres. Before coming to school in Ottawa, I was actually at the University of Waterloo specializing in Fine Arts, Acrylic Painting. I love art for its ability to transport you outside your own familiar bubble.

If someone narrated your life, who would you want to be the narrator?

A professor of mine from university, Georges E. Sioui. Besides having the most calming voice, he is someone I respect greatly and have never forgotten. Georges, who is indigenous (Huron-Wendat), is an author, poet, song-writer, and philosopher. Through his writings he argues that for human beings there is only one way of looking at life on earth, and that is as a sacred circle of relationships among all beings.

What else would you like us to know?

How much I love and appreciate our community, and how thankful I am to call Orléans my home.