Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ottawa barber shop steps away from Parliament Hill marks 100 years in business

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Just steps from Parliament Hill is a barber shop that for the last 100 years has catered to everyone from prime ministers to tourists.

Victoria Barber Shop on O’Connor Street has been serving Ottawa since 1924 and has seen its fair share of ever-changing hairstyles and trends come through its doors.

The shop prides itself on being old-fashioned and is neatly tucked away among the concrete buildings that house the federal government.

“I think it’s very, very impressive the fact that we’ve been able to stay here in the parliamentary precinct,” said Robin Seguin, the owner of the Victoria Barber Shop.

“All the way through COVID-19, all the way through the convoy, all of the things that have happened here on the Hill over the years, all of the changes, all of the different governments that have come and gone.”

Articles and photos on the wall of the shop tell the story of its history and those who have sat in the chair, including former Prime Minister Paul Martin, the first Canadian astronaut in space Marc Garneau and NHL player turned Senator Frank Mahovlich.

“We’ve had everybody from your regular people that come in off the street, you know, tourists, right up to prime ministers have been here. A lot of ministers come here to this day. A lot of Supreme Court judges, MPs and a lot of senators,” said Seguin, who is the fifth person to own the century-old shop.

The cost of a cut is $20.

“I’m happy to work here,” said barber Joseph Hamdan. “Not only because of the shop itself. Because of the people too.”

“I try to be humorous and keep a good sense of humor, keep things going. A little bit of sarcasm thrown in there every now and then always helps. And I think it’s the vibe too that keeps people coming back.”

As long as the shop remains open, Seguin said she will be there.

“Just going to keep doing what I’m doing because I love what I do. And when you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,” she said.

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