We're talking a whole different world in coffee culture over here, but in Ottawa the best straight shot I have seen came from i deal Coffee in the market. Next bet would probably be Caffe Mio on Wellington, though I haven't been back in a while, nor since their renovation.
For an active community, Mio has a good following I understand. i deal is a relative newcomer, but they've got the roaster out in prominence and a waiting Ms. Pacman table machine. I daresay you will find open room to sit, meet, read, or think in this establishment, not to mention the presence of a roastmistress that takes her coffee seriously.
Someone else had good things to say about Jazzoo in New Edinburgh, but I cannot agree from my one(!) visit.
Very few places in Ottawa have a clue about espresso. We must cherish what we have; the beacons of the Ottawa coffee scene are so in part for their appreciation of coffee and their genuine desire to improve and step above in a market where coffee is bucks and seconds. You have to include Francescos in this list as a roaster, along with Equator Coffee in Almonte/Arnprior and Greg Stevenson roasting his heart out down in Winchester at Something's Brewing.
Birds and Beans in Etobicoke was really neat. I stopped by to pick up a tamper and an americano. Got to talking with the owner, Madeline if I recall correctly, and she gave me a tour of their backroom roasting facility. It was very cool considering that was my very first time in the shop. I make a living in the control industry (PID is my friend) and it made my day seeing the control software used for roasting batches.
The americano was most excellent by the way.
I don't get out much but it seems to me that the coffee scene in the GTA is slowly but surely starting to pick up.