Laura Byrne Paquet


Like many freelancers, I’m curious about almost everything. So although I specialize in social history, travel and shopping, I’ve written about all sorts of other topics, from serious (urban planning, Vietnamese refugees) to light (dental veneers, mail-order bacon, home winemaking disasters). Here’s a sample.

My Date With Alex
Published in Ottawa City Magazine

Being on Jeopardy! is a crazy idea, really. It’s like taking a pop quiz in front of millions of people, all of whom are sitting at home yelling, “You idiot! Everyone knows that the capital of Chad is N’Djamena!” 
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Cottage Real Estate
Published in Ottawa Magazine

What a difference four years make. Back in 2002, I wrote an article on the cottage real estate market for what was then Ottawa City Magazine. At that point, it was still possible to find a decent cottage for under $100,000. Sure, it might have been a fixer-upper, and it probably wouldn’t have been a four-season home, but it would have had lakefront. When I contacted cottage country realtors this year to get their take on how the market has changed, they laughed at the prices I’d quoted just 48 months ago. 
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Under the Big Top
Published in Legion

Every audience member seems to take away a different image from a Cirque du Soleil performance. For some, it is the high-tech light show or the fantastical costumes. For others, it is the aerialists moving gracefully on ropes and wires high above the ring. 
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Canadian Bacon
Published in enRoute

We fry it over backwoods campfires. We love it in sandwiches. We’ve even seen it on marquees as the title of a John Candy movie. But ask most Canucks what “Canadian bacon” is, and you’ll get a blank stare—until you explain that it’s just the American moniker for peameal bacon. 
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Downtown Profiles
Published in City Journal

In this biweekly column, I’ve profiled a wide range of Ottawans, including a city councillor, a cop-turned-artist and a professor who has launched a partnership to send Canadian journalism teachers to Rwanda.