Reading our blog you’d get the idea that the only place in Canada is Toronto. It’s probably safe to say that the rest of Canadians are convinced the residents of Toronto feel that way, but it is far from the truth. We drove about 7 hours from Detroit on our way to Montreal for the weekend and stopped in Ottawa, the nation’s capital.
We arrived early in the morning and wandered around Parliament Hill. Unfortunately, sometimes when you travel the destinations aren’t in pristine condition. This time, the building was being renovated.
Not the prettiest of sights, but impressive nonetheless.
The Centennial Flame has been burning since “the eve of New Year’s Day 1967”, which seems like an awkward way to say “since Jan 1, 1967”. Or is it “since Dec 31, 1966”. Anyway, it marks the first 100 years of Canada’s existence on the world stage. People throw coins in the fountain, of course, and in this case all are awarded to fund research for Canadians with disabilities.
We walked from there towards the National War Memorial. Along the way we saw the locks on the Rideau Canal.
The Rideau Canal was significant in opening up the transportation and shipping routes between the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario, 202 kilometers away. It was designed for military purposes and was completed in 1832. Never used for defense, it primarily used for recreation. It was quite an expensive investment in infrastructure.
Beyond the canal is the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.
This impressive 4 star hotel is relatively inexpensive at under $300 a night. I bet the view towards Parliament Hill is beautiful. It was commissioned by the Grand Trunk Railway back in 1909, before they became the Canadian National Railway, the same folks who have naming rights to the CN Tower in Toronto, back in
Crossing under the main thoroughfare we encountered a lone bagpiper preparing for the changing of the guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Those things are LOUD, especially in an enclosed underpass.
Can you name all the provinces in Canada? Even harder, can you name the flags? I only know two by sight.
From left to right: Canada, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. I didn’t know the last two without looking them up. Thanks, Google.
The memorial is also home to
This solemn attraction was marred by violence in October of 2014 when Cpl Nathan Cirillo was tragically shot and killed whilst standing guard by a terrorist. The killer then tried to invade the Parliament, intent on further mayhem. He was calmly dispatched by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons, Kevin Vickers. You can read the story here.
Ottawa is a beautiful city, befitting the capital of Canada.