June 30 – July 2
As with the capital of any nation, Ottawa offers a lot to see and explore all laden with various historic and national significance. I took in a few festivities and the fireworks on Canada Day and a day on either side exploring the city. I confess to spending little time in the various museums and galleries and instead took in the architecture, monuments, and places including some of the lovely bicycle paths. I managed to tour both the centre block of the Parliament including the Peace Tower and Rideau Hall but unfortunately missed the Mounties’ musical ride at the stables by a day. Much remains to be be seen and explored for another visit, maybe during the winter when the Rideau Canal is frozen over and one long skating rink.
Canada Day is properly celebrated only once you get your photo with a Mountie or two
Canada’s Senate and House of Commons. The throne is to the right and behind the Senate Speaker’s. (There is construction everywhere, even the House of Commons. I guess no royal visit this summer. Not that they’re allowed to step foot in the Commons)
The Supreme Court of Canada. Currently led by Chief Justice, The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin ( More construction. I managed to keep most of it out of the pictures)
Canadian Museum of History used to be called the Canadian Museum of Civilization but the Conservative government changed the name to narrow the focus from human achievements of interest but not limited to Canada to Canadian history alone. The architecture avoids straight lines and draws inspiration from different natural landscapes in Canada.
Former mill converted to picturesque brewery and pub.
Entrance to the Rideau Canal flanked by the Chateau Laurier on the left and Parliament Hill on the right. The canal was dug to prevent the possibility of US barricading English supply ships on the St Lawrence after the War of 1812. The Canal was never used for military ships.
The Rideau Canal was used for commercial traffic for awhile but soon only recreational boats and one of the world’s longest ice rinks during the winter.
Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada. The grounds are covered in trees planted by royals, heads of state, and other dignitaries that visit. Beware if you visit Canada, you’ll be required to plant a tree.
The changing of the guard at a Rideau Hall. The sprawling grounds are located directly across the street from the prime minister’s residence. I wonder if the prime minster is required to walk up the drive and knock on the door to form or dissolve her/his government?
The official residence of the prime minster at 24 Sussex Drive. Trees keep tourists from gawking up close but from a vantage point at a distance
This is the East Block of Parliament Hill. The roof is apparently a uniquely Canadian feature as a blend of English and French architecture.
The only prominent statue of Queen Elizabeth II I’ve come across. Victoria is everywhere.
The Library of Parliament with Queen Victoria in the centre. The only part of the original parliament building that was saved in the fire of 1916.
Clock on the Peace Tower. The most prominent tower on the Hill to remind all of the horrors of war. Built in response to WWI.
The original Byward market, which has now spread out for blocks of shopping and restaurants. A must visit for most, I avoided it since I have so little silver to part with
The silver roofing on St Patrick’s is common of French Canadian architecture in the past.
The Museum of Nature had a special exhibit on luminescence in the natural world. There is a huge model jelly fish in the glass portion that sadly doesn’t show in the picture.
Interesting balance in the naval monument.
This sculpture is called “Mother” and dedicated to the artist’s mother. Either she had a different view of spiders or a very complicated relationship with her mother.