Ottawa might have the reputation as a boring city, but there was no shortage of pranksters on the prowl on April Fools Day.
Various news agencies staged their own tall tales, all the while sorting through a multitude of hilarious press releases and news tips.
CTV Ottawa announced, on its morning broadcast, the opening of a zoo to help revitalize the Sparks St. Mall. The new Sparks Street Zoo was said to be opening in early May, when wild animals would be brought in to roam the pedestrian street with shoppers.
Mucho Burrito also had a mouthful to announce; the Jim Watson Burrito. According to the company’s website, “After seven years of being the capital of burritos, the Watson Burrito will be relaunching itself this Fall with a controversial red black package makeover.”
One prank spanned almost half the world – originating in Switzerland and travelling to the National Capital region very quickly.
HC Davos, a Swiss hockey team, got Sens fans talking briefly when the team announced on its Facebook page they had signed all-star Ottawa defenceman Erik Karlsson for next season.
An hour later, HC Davos announced Karlsson had ripped up his contract on the flight over after finding out his jersey number, 65, was already taken.
Deputy Mayors Eli El-Chantiry and Steve Desroches sent out a press release proudly announcing the opening of the Deputy Mayor Hall of Distinction. Attached was a photo of the ribbon cutting ceremony with only the two present.
The new “heritage hallway” was to feature portraits of El-Chantiry and Desroches hung in the dingy, narrow halls of the Ottawa City Hall basement. According to the press release, “very short tours” would be available.
The Ottawa Humane Society claimed they were the targets of animal rights activists for their decision to train cats and dogs at the OHS to do light office work such as filing and mail sorting. The initiative, it said, helped the eager pets earn more treats and beef up their resumes.
Not wanting to be outdone, the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary tweeted asking for help from the public for a very important, serious issue.
“It’s a cold Ottawa spring, but turtles in our care are ready for release. Please help them survive by knitting sweaters.” read a poster on their website.
The plea for help featured pictures of three turtles modelling vibrant shell-sweaters in the shape of various animals. Joan Rivers could not be reached for comment regarding whether or not the styles are actually still in season.