Tag Archives: Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario Canada’s Capital.

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Ottawa’s Parliament buildings are just a short two-minute walk from The Lord Elgin Hotel. And, as the city is the Capital of Canada, it’s not unlike Australia’s Capital Canberra, whereby the first thing which comes to mind; government buildings, bureaucracy and red tape. However, a deeper look at Ottawa reveals a truly remarkable and very likeable city with so much to see and do.

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Bruce Garner’s bronze statue, called “Territorial Prerogative”, was commissioned and donated in 1990 to the Sparks Street Mall and placed it near the intersection of Elgin Street. At this point, you can book a number day tours which have their stands right in front of where this bear is situated.

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So my suggestion; if you don’t have a car, then do a sightseeing Hop-On Hop Off Grayline tour of the city as you’ll cover a lot of ground to some of the sites which are located just on the outskirts of downtown with a fantastic commentary.

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This impressive curved building is located across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Québec. Visit the Canadian Museum of History which is home to the world’s largest indoor collection of totem poles and unique artwork.

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“Never Give UP!” – Maurice Richard Monument. Dedicated sculpture to one of the greats.

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Overlooking the waterways.

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This canal is really unique in the world as thousands of skaters appear when the historic waterway freezes over during the winter. Gliding 7.8km (4.8 miles) along the Rideau Canal Skateway.
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What a way to go to work!

Photo courtesy of Ottawa Tourism.

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On the grounds of the National Gallery of Canada, a giant bronze spider named Maman was erected during May, 2005. The spider sculpture is the artwork of Louise Bourgeois which stands at a height of 30 feet.
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Spiders are fine by me, just not snakes …

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Geoffrey Farmer’s perception of reality comes to light with an exhibition “Leaves of Grass”, theatrically illustrated five decades of Times’ magazines dating from 1935 – 1985. Cut outs have been carefully pieced together – unlike any other collage I’ve ever seen.

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See National Gallery of Canada for the World’s largest Canadian Art Collection. Undoubtedly the best.

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And across the road, is the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Ottawa. Had to be quick as one wedding finished and another was lined up ready for their nuptials.

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Spectacular to say the least once inside …

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A short walk from the Basilica there’s ByWard Market for some great bargains and no shortage of food stands.

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Beaver Tails were ‘born’ in Ottawa and here there’s no shortage of people wanting one or two. There’s outlets across Canada and other countries around the world.

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They’re predominately sweet. As a savoury eater I tried the cheese and garlic and yes I know it’s heart-attack food, but had to try just one … Yummo!

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Don’t you just love this!

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A UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Rideau Canal which consists of a series of beautiful lakes and rivers connected by canals. It stretches from Kingston at the foot of Lake Ontario to the city.

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I’m back where I started from and across the road from The Lord Elgin. The park is really lovely and need to have a sit for a while – really you need at least three days to enjoy Ottawa properly – so much more to see and do here.

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Anyway once you’ve recharged, take an Ottawa Jail Tour. Originally it was the “Carleton County Jail” and opened in 1862 then closed in 1972 at which point it was converted into a hostel.

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Bit spooked, but you’re given a sense of what it might have been like. Happy to call it a day.

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From Toronto and onto Ottawa, Ontario Canada with Via Rail – Part Three

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A quick run around in Toronto reveals the city has changed somewhat since I last visited. However, the CN Tower hasn’t moved of course and still a drawcard.

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The new extended metro system is an easy and convenient way to make your way around.(Incidentally is still being extended.)  Bike lanes are open as well for those wishing to make use of it.

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Toronto’s grown up into a cosmopolitan metropolis – it’s the largest city in Canada and fourth largest in North America.

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I’m on my way to Ottawa, Canada’s capital city in the province of Ontario. The passengers are asked to wait inside at the designated gate at Union Station and called forward to board in the same way you might at an airport. It’s orderly and staff are available on the platform once through to assist with directions and reserved seating.

The main difference between flying and using Via Rail is of course, the train departs Toronto from the centre of the city and arrives just outside Ottawa with a short bus or taxi ride into the downtown area. Regular services  depart throughout the day. Business class passengers may use the lounge facilities before boarding whereby you can make use of some light refreshments, read the paper of use the free wifi.

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Yes it’s early and we’re simply enjoying the views, just waiting for our breakfast and business class is definitely worth the difference in price from economy. Book early …
breakfast (2)

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Relaxing and finding the  big comfy seats are spacious with plenty of leg room which I’m really happy about! Oh did I tell you I’m quite tall? Makes a huge difference to me.

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At times the train divides going onto two different destinations. Make sure you’re sitting in the correct carriage or you might find yourself heading somewhere else …

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From Toronto to Ottawa industries range from cultivating crops, mining minerals, manufacturing automobiles, designing software and leading-edge technology are being sourced here.
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Look out, we’re coming through … Trust me this train is on a mission and is faster than fast!

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We’ve arrived at Ottawa and it’s a quick transfer into the centre of the city from here – either by local bus or taxi.

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Hotel of choice … The Lord Elgin Hotel is smack in the thick of Canada’s capital’s must-see attractions. Stylish art-deco hotel with a variety of eateries, bars and amenities at hand.

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Comfortable, clean and spacious rooms. When there’s talk about “location, location”, then this hotel is the one to book. Close to Parliament Hill, Rideau Canal, Town Hall, the Hop On – Hop Off Bus and located a block away from the Information Centre.

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Something I like to see – of course, I’ll trade in housekeeping services for a glass of vino! What Aussie wouldn’t? And yes, I am environmentally friendly wherever possible … Glad to see the hotel has similar views.

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It’s been a great day and all went like clockwork travelling by rail. There’s really no need to fly between the cities of Toronto and Ottawa as the timing is approximately 4 hours one way. And, with Via Rail’s Economy Escape fares which begins at around CAD67.00 (AUD70.00 on today’s exchange rate) they’re excellent value considering the cost of an airfare, with transfers to and from the airport, not to mention check in times and security checks.

Plus, by rail you’re able to see Mother Nature at her finest with a palette full of brilliant colours showing off the change of season to Autumn’s best.

Next up, Ottawa’s attractions and activities. Stay tuned …

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