One in Five Ottawa Residents Signed Up For Ashley Madison

Parliament Hill's shady secret

CBC just reported some not so flattering news: Apparently, one in five residents of our nation’s capital subscribe to Ashley Madison, a website where married people search for extra-marital hook-ups.

The Toronto-based company previously published numbers that say just under 190,000 people use the website in Ottawa, a city with a population of only 883,000. This concernedly high ratio gives the city the shady ranking of number one city for philanderers in Canada, and maybe even the highest per capita in the world. What a thing to be known for.

It gets worse: the top postal code for new members was the one belonging to Parliament Hill, said Avid Live chief executive Noel Biderman in an article published earlier this year. He also said, globally, capital cities top sign-up rates, which he relates to the “power, fame and opportunity” they live with, along with their risk-taking personalities.

To be fair, though, the subscription data might not be all that accurate.

In a case earlier this year, a former employee sued Avid Life, blaming them for the wrist pain, anxiety and insomnia she says she got writing 1,000 fake profiles for the Brazilian equivalent of Ashley Madison.

When hackers broke into Ashley Madison, they threatened to leak the credit card info, nude photos, sexual fantasies, and real names of up to 37 million worldwide subscribers.

Avid Life Media, Ashley Madison’s Canadian parent company, says they’ve now made their website safe again and are working with authorities to figure out who’s behind the hack. We’re not sure if this is a good thing, but police are saying it might’ve been an inside job, or at least the people responsible were formerly connected to the company.

“Everybody says Ottawa is a sleepy town and here we are with 200,000 people running around on each other,” said Jon Weaks, a municipal employee.

The hackers referred to customers as “cheating dirtbags who deserve no discretion,” but at least they don’t want to blackmail individual users.

Still, Ottawa residents don’t seem too pleased, but unsurprised that people use Ashley Madison. “In a blue collar city, they’re not going to use a website, they’re going to do it at a bar,” said Kary, 38. In Ottawa, “you can’t run the risk of someone seeing you at a bar doing that,” said an Ottawa resident interviewed by the CBC.

(Image courtesy of Ashley Madison)