Ottawa is a great city... it is the 4th most populated city in Canada behind Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, and doesn't get as many visitors as well. But, it definitely has character, and is worth a visit for a few days.
It is home of Winterlude in February and the Tulip Festival in May. See the National Capital Commission website (see below) for details. It has many restaurants, shops, and bars to keep you busy. But more than that, it is not as crowded as a major city, and many of its attractions lie in the Byward Market, which is walkable.
For all sorts of information about Ottawa, here are a few sites of interest:
National Capital Commission:
City of Ottawa
Ottawa - canada.com network
Ottawa Kiosk - Your One Stop Guide to Ottawa
And the link on my Ottawa main page.
Ottawa is a very compact city that is easily accessible. Most hotels are within easy walking distance of Parliament Hill and museums.
Fondest memory: Find your way around the National Capital Region with the help of various location maps for different Ottawa areas.
The Capital Infocentre on Wellington is a useful tourist information resource which is run by the National Capital Commission. This isn't a booking or ticket agency, merely a general advice office on what to do, what to see, how to get about & etc.
Downstairs centres around an interactive 3-d model of the city with touch screen computers and has a couple of helpful bilingual staff to answer any queries plus the usual display of freebie leaflets and maps.
Upstairs is an interesting small exhibition space with a bit of the capital's history and a little gift shop.
Also useful are the washrooms on a cold winter morning if wandering around the area.
i was lucky enough to see such systematic and enjoyable strike here around spark st and in front of house of commons. the lockout took place on 15th August and i have no idea how long they have to walk around with their big sign board. for malaysian, it wasn't a normal sight to me as i never seen such peaceful strike without "much" interference of police. nonetheless, it's beneficial to have such strong unions to back people up.
for more info regarding CBC lockout, go to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4325496.stm
Ottawa Police phone numbers:
911 for Life-threatening Emergency or Crime in Progress.
+1-613-230-6211 for other Emergencies.
+1-613-236-1222, ext 7300 To report a theft, property damage, missing person or stolen vehicle.
Central - 474 Elgin Street (Ottawa)
24-hour location, seven days per week
West - 245 Greenbank Road (Nepean)
Weekdays 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. / Weekends 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Go to the Parliament Buildings! Go for a boat ride down the Rideau Canal. Go to the Market downtown, and the Rideau Centre, very pretty in the summer. Go hiking in the Gatineau Hills, this is a must! Many tourists miss this, and it is amazing how great it is, especially Mackenzie King Estate, and the tea room there, also, Big Bear Mountain Hike.
Fondest memory: My first kiss!
Ottawa, Canada is a compromise between British and French influence, cultures and languages. It is a very nice, pretty, medium sized (330,000) city located alongside the Ottawa River in Ontario Province, Canada. The French explorer Samuel de Champlain “discovered” the area in the year 1613, thereby opening the region to European trappers and settlers. Two hundred forty three years later (1857) Great Britian’s Queen Victoria chose Ottawa to serve as the capital of the United Provinces for all of Canada.
After European trappers, traders and explorers arrived in the 18th and 19th centuries, development began to take hold. In 1800 a man named Philemon Wright established a lumber industry with settlers and lumberjacks from Massachusetts, and gave the name Wrightstown to the settlement across the river from Ottawa. That city is currently called Hull. The photo of the Ottawa Parliament is taken from the Hull side of the river. I don’t know why the name was changed, but Hull is a sprawling city with a very nice view of the Parliament building and the mid rise buildings of Ottawa.
Here's a fun Ottawa survey I found somewhere, that gives some of the locals' views of where to go and what to do in the area:
The people's view of Ottawa's top attractions
By Michael Prentice
Which Ottawa sights do you show off to your visitors? And which of Ottawa's attractions do visitors usually like best? Michael Prentice asks local residents. Here are their responses:
CHERYL McBAIN, manager of the Central Canada Exhibition.
* Her choice: 'A drive along the Rideau Canal and a sightseeing tour that includes Parliament Hill, the National Gallery and the homes of Rockcliffe. For eating out, I like to go with visitors to brunch at the Chateau Laurier or dinner at Daly's in the Westin Hotel or the Cafe at the NAC.'
Favourites with visitors: 'The cleanliness and the greenspace.'
FANNY BANGI, student at University of Ottawa.
* Her choice: 'I like to take visitors on a tour boat on the Ottawa River.'
Favourites with visitors: 'Visitors from overseas love to see the snow, and they find the people warm and kind.'
BRUCE FIRESTONE, who brought back the Ottawa Senators after the capital had been without top-level hockey for almost 60 years.
* His choice: 'My No. 1 pick is a visit to the Corel Centre, usually for a Senators game.'
Favourites with visitors: While adults opt for a NHL game, the favourite with children is the snow-and-ice playground in Jacques Cartier Park during Winterlude. In summertime, it's a visit to a nearby lake.
MERLE NICHOLDS, mayor of Kanata.
* Her choice: 'We have an affinity with water. We love to drive visitors along the Ottawa River Parkway and the Rideau Canal, and then go for a walk by the canal, winter or summer. Then we go for a coffee or a BeaverTail.'
Favourites with visitors: 'They are absolutely amazed at the greenspace and how beautiful the capital is. The view of the Museum of Civilization across the Ottawa River blows them away.'
MICHEL GAUTHIER, executive director of the Canadian Tulip Festival.
* His choice: 'A tour of Parliament Hill and a browse in the Byward Market. I like the atmosphere in the Market. We usually sit and eat or drink something, outside or inside, depending on the weather.'
Favourites with visitors: 'They like the Hill because they can tell people back home that they were there. They like the Market because it gives them a different picture of Ottawa, and they find real people there.'
VIKI PRYSTAWSKI, whose husband, Walter, is leader of the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
* Her choice: 'I like to take visitors to see the latest exhibit and the permanent collection at the National Gallery of Canada. For small children, the Canadian Museum of Civilization children's museum is absolutely delightful. In the evening, we like to go with our adult guests to a show at the NAC or the Great Canadian Theatre Company.'
Favourites with visitors: 'The beauty of the city, the trees, the water, the fact that in 20 minutes you can be in the country.'
WOLFGANG SPADINGER, minister-counsellor, Austrian embassy.
* His choice: Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau Park.
Favourites with visitors: 'The combination of city and nature. There is so much greenspace. Ottawa is much less crowded than other cities. There is such a large variety of possibilities for walking and enjoying the outdoors.'
LEN TROMBLEY, retired police officer.
* His choice: Parliament Hill, Gatineau Park, the imposing residences on Sussex Drive.
Favorites with visitors: 'Coming to Ottawa for Canada Day and being part of all the activities.'
Favorite thing: Ottawa is a great place to visit. It’s not overwhelming. You can get a good idea of the city within just a few days (unless you want to skate the canal, then add four more days to your fun.) It’s interesting, alive and active. I highly recommend including this city on your trip into Canada, and if you haven’t yet planned a trip to Canada, then you are missing a wonderful time.
Favorite thing: There're a lot of things to see in Ottawa - the Parliament building, the Byward Market, Gatineau Park (in Hull), etc. There are tonns of museums, and festivals happen practically every weekend. Some of the major ones are Winterlude in February, the Tulip Festival in May, the Balloon Festival in September. Mostly it's the beautiful Nature of the area. Any time you go to Ottawa, chances are that the days'll be sunny (except possibly in November and March).
Favorite thing: Canada's capital, it's a great city. Parliment buildings are a big tourist attraction. Neat to see all the people protesting something or another outside the Parliment Building, though there is alot of homeless people which is kinda a downer sometimes. This city has a great deal of youth there, between the University and the college. Party all day, party all night. Went on a white water rafting trip there on the Ottawa River which was cool. Other activities available at the camp site were hiking, mountain biking and sitting pool side with other adventurers.
The Central Post Office is a historic building at the corner of Sparks and Elgin Streets and dates from 1937.
The building was designed by W.E. Noffke and is known for its Art Deco style, the outside lion statues and the big clock.
As this is our nations capital you must see, the Parliament buildings, the National Art Gallery, and all of the museums. If the weathers right take a hot air ballon ride over the city.
Fondest memory: Parks, parks and more parks, Ottawa must have the largest ratio of green space per person than any other city I've visited. You are virtually a few minutes from a nice quiet secluded area in a park from anywhere in the city.
Favorite thing: Ottawa is really underrated. It's a beautiful city, and relatively quiet. The market/restaurant part of downtown has many good shops and restaurants. In the summer there are many activities around the river area and the art museum, houses of parliament, etc. It's also very affordable.
Ottawa is a rather small city at the border of Ontario and Quebec provinces. On the other side of the Ottawa River, there is Hull in the Quebec Province.
Fondest memory: CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE.