The city of Ottawa is situated on the south bank of the Ottawa River, with the city of Gatineau directly across on the north bank, in the province of Quebec. Together they form Canada's National Capital Region.
Fondest memory: Gatineau had a population of 242,124, and metropolitan population of 1,130,761.
Ottawa River was named for the First Nations traders, it is the 2nd longest river in Canada, after the St. Lawrence, to flow to the Atlantic Ocean - 1,271 kilometres in length and drains an area of 146,300 square kilometres.
Fondest memory: The city of Ottawa is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River.
Christ Church Bytown is formally established in 1832.
The church bell, from Mears Foundry in London, England, is installed in 1839. It remains in use to this day.
The history of Christ Church Cathedral is long and rich. A sense of the Cathedral's history can be experienced by a simple wander through the church and its adjoining premises.
Christ Church Cathedral
439 Queen Street,
Ottawa, ON K1R 5A6
Fondest memory: There are four Church Mice in residence at the Cathedral - only four that are in official, permanent residence!: Ms. Bishopmouse, Mr. Deanmouse, Miss Pulpitmouse and Mr. Lecternmouse. You can find them and make a visit.
St. Patrick's Basilica, the oldest English-speaking Roman Catholic Church in Ottawa, was founded in 1855. The building is made of local stone.
The Church was elevated to Basilica status on St. Patrick's Day, 1995.
Fondest memory: Basilica located at 281 Nepean Street, at the corner of Nepean and Kent.
Now, this is my favourite thing and fondest memory of Ottawa, when the trees are in bloom in spring. Here in Iceland we have no trees that bloom, so visiting Ottawa in spring time is heaven for me. I have both been in Ottawa during a heat-wave in May 2010 and a cold, rainy May in 2011, but be it rain or shine the blossoming trees just blow me away.
How lucky you people are who live in countries with such beautiful blooming trees.
Now, VT really needs to come up with a general tip which doesn´t have "favorite thing" or "fondest memory" titles. This tip of mine doesn´t fall under either category. It is just an observation I made when walking around the city of Ottawa.
All the parking meters, i.e. where you get your parking tickets, have the lovely sign of Ottawa, and not one but many in a row. I mean no offence, my Canadian friends, but didn´t anybody notice that when you put so many Ottawa signs together that they look like "666" which is not like the nicest number in the Book? It struck me immediately when I saw this, and I mentioned it to other people and nobody had noticed it, but did when I pointed it out to them.
Again, I reiterate, this is just an observation I made, no offence, as I admire how impeccably Ottawa is presented to tourists, the people of Ottawa have made a fantastic job of making their city so presentable to visitors, that I was taken actually taken by surprise by the perfection of it all. The detailed, beautifully decorated information signs which you can see all over in the down-town area (see my photos), are just a work of art. Kudos to Ottawa, I say.
Just like the rest of Ontario, the sale of alochol in Ottawa is controlled by the Provincial government. Therefore, with the exception of a few chains that are licenced to sell wine, all alcohol is sold through the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) or the Beer Store. That being said, alcohol prices are high (compared to most places) - but if you're in Ottawa you're in luck, with Quebec being directly across the water.
In Quebec, not only is the legal drinking age 18, but you the sale of alcohol is not regulated by the provincial government. That means you're able to purchase alcohol at your local gas station just like in the good ol' US of A! The prices are much lower as well. So if you're able to get over to Hull, I'd suggest making your way over their to buy your booze. Prices are much more reasonable and I would recommend visiting SAQ as they always have great prices and a larger variety than just your local store!
The headquarters of Canada's Department of National Defence is in the Major-General Pearkes Building, on the right bank of the Rideau Canal. Construction of the building complex was highly controversial, and in some quarters the building is still intensely disliked. Among its nicknames are "The Puzzle Palace," "Disneyland North," and "Fort Fumble on the Rideau."
Maybe it's just me, but I don't really think it's that bad.
101 Colonel By Drive
The Central Post Office, at the corner of Elgin and Sparks Street, is a good place to remember - this is where you can buy stamps and mailers for all the postcards and gifts you purchase on your visit to Canada's capital.
It's also a handsome structure that combines elements of the Chateau and Art Deco styles. Particularly notable are the powerful (and British) carved lions that guard the Elgin Street entrance.
The architect and designer was a local man, W.E. Noffke (1878-1964).
Favorite thing: Fortunately, grizzly bear attacks in central Ottawa are extremely rare. However, Bruce Garner's sculpture - at the eastern end of the Sparks Street Mall, near Elgin Street - is real enough that it might frighten small children!
The statue of Louis St. Laurent (1882-1975) stands outside the Supreme Court building on Parliament Hill, which is appropriate because it was during his tenure as Premier (1948-1957)that this institution became the ultimate source of legal authority within Canada. Moreover, this Quebec-born Liberal was a noted jurist himself.
The sculptor who created the work was Elek Imredy, a refugee from the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. He settled in Vancouver and contributed much to the art world in the Canadian west.
The National Library and Archives of Canada are housed in this large impressive structure at the western end of Parliament Hill.
The architect was Alvan Sherlock Mathers. He actually created the design in the early 1950s, but the funding for the project took a while to come through, so the building wasn't completed under 1967.
On the ground floor there is exhibit space for temporary displays. I saw an interesting exhibit about the Treaty of Paris of 1783 - the treaty that ended the War of the American Rebellion and which helped established the boundaries of British North America.
385 Wellington Avenue
Pleasant, moderately (and modestly) adorned Victorian church overlooking Wellington Avenue. "The first church on this site, erected in 1832, was replaced in 1872 by the current structure, designed by King Arnoldi. It became the Cathedral Church of the new diocese in 1895."
Christ Church is at 420 Sparks Street.
"People" is a people-pleasing "installation" on the lawn in front of the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, just across the river from Ottawa. Originally created for the 1967 Expo in Montreal by Quebec artist Louis Archambault, the figures (not only humans, but also birds, flowers, etc.) are made of welded steel.
Fondest memory: N
Ottawa has one of the famous Louise Bourgeois spiders - they are actually called "Maman." It's located in front of the National Gallery of Art.
Louise Bourgeois was born in Paris in 1911 and studied in Paris under the sculptor Fernand Leger, among others. She is still alive (as of July 2008) and occasionally received guests at her brownstone for one of her famous salons. I've also seen "Maman" at the Louisiana Museum Copenhagen and the Kemper Museum in Kansas City.
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