.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

Rambling around Ottawa

02 Around Ottawa (5)

Canada’s capital city of Ottawa is one I’d highly recommend for a visit.  It’s small (even if including its twin city of Gatineau across the Ottawa River), has many interesting museums and sites for tourists to visit, is home to some fine restaurants and a great market, and is very easy to explore on foot.  It makes an excellent long weekend get-away destination.

My most recent visit to Ottawa was my third so I had a pretty good sense of the city and where I was going.  I was traveling with my brother and cousin, both less familiar with Ottawa than I was, but we all had a great time wandering and exploring and catching up with what’s happening in each …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / Food Tour / North America / Ontario

Breakfast at the Elgin Street diner

06 Elgin Street Diner

When I last visited Ottawa with my brother and cousin, we decided to have breakfast at the Elgin Street Diner because of a recommendation I’d seen (I believe in Frommer’s).

The diner is open 24 hours, and is a clean well kept place.  It wasn’t too busy when we visited, although it was a late breakfast for us so we’d likely missed the breakfast rush.  Here’s what the place looks like on the inside.

Peameal bacon, beans and eggs, Elgin street Diner

Peameal bacon, beans and eggs, Elgin street Diner

Elgin Street Diner is relatively new — open about a quarter century — and during that time has amassed a very respectable reputation as a good and reasonably priced place to eat in the nation’s capital.  It has been recognized as Ottawa’s best diner and for having the …

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“Pic of the Week”, June 14, 2019: The Rideau Canal

Rideau Canal (23)

The Rideau Canal is a 202 kilometer (125 mile) stretch of scenic waterway.  It is a Canadian National Historic Site and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The entire canal connects a series of lakes and rivers, and stretches from Kingston. Ontario (on Lake Ontario), to the nation’s capital, Ottawa.

The Rideau Canal is the oldest continuously operated canal in North America and its locks are operated today much as they were in 1832.  Each lock is unique. Many locks offer the free advice of helpful lock keepers, washrooms, overnight mooring and picnic facilities.  In summer the canal is popular with boaters and in winter with ice skaters.

We visited the portion of the Canal that stretches through Ottawa.  There are some large flat …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse, Niagara Falls

02 Niagara Parks Floral Showcase

The Niagara Parks Floral Showcase is only 500 meters south of Horseshoe Falls. Greenhouses in the area date to the time of Queen Victoria, but the current complex was built the mid 20th century with several subsequent additions, including a large central atrium.  The complex includes space for storing bulbs, planting and growing new flowers for the Floral Showhouse (and elsewhere in Niagara Parks), but that is a behind the scenes activity that you won’t see.  What the visitor experiences after walking through the lovely grounds (enjoyable in the summer, less so in the winter) is a series of greenhouses that contain lush tropical vegetation, making it especially popular during times of cold weather. 

Plants you’ll see include orchids and cacti, and many …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / Food / North America / Nova Scotia

Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery, Halifax

24 Alexander Keitih Brewery Tour (38)

While almost certainly not as famous as it’s founder would have liked, Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Brewery has developed a niche following throughout Canada, especially in its eastern provinces.  The brewery was created almost two centuries ago, in 1820, making it one of the oldest breweries in North America (the oldest surviving commercial brewery is John Molson’s, founded in Montreal in 1786).

Alexander Keith was a Scottish immigrant who had been a brewer in Edinburgh and London before moving to the New World.  He had an interesting career that extended beyond brewing and including being mayor of Halifax and President of the Provincial Legislative Council of Nova Scotia.  While in Canada he experimented with ale, porter, ginger wine and spruce beer, …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / Food / North America / Nova Scotia

Halifax’s Seaport Farmers’ Market

00 Halifax Farmers Market and Food Tour (4)

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is the oldest continuously operating farmer’s market in North America, originating a year after Halifax was founded, in 1750.  For over 250 years the market has sold meat and produce delivered from Acadian farms in the Annapolis Valley and elsewhere in Nova Scotia.

The Market has operated in several locations across the city since its inception, including within the Keith’s Brewery Building.  In 2010 The Market moved into a converted warehouse along the Halifax Seaport and today hosts over 250 vendors! 

Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market

We spent more than a day exploring the waterfront area and made several stops at this market.  Our visit to Halifax was during the early fall so the produce available reflected the season — apples, peaches, plums …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 16, 2018: Halifax’s Old Town Clock

Citadel, Halifax (12)

The Halifax Town Clock (aka ‘Old Town Clock’, or ‘Citadel Clock Tower’) is situated just beneath the old Citadel on a hill overlooking the city and its harbor.   It has kept time for over 200 years and is considered one of the city’s iconic buildings.

The clock was a gift from Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (Queen Victoria’s father). Prince Edward was the Commander-in-Chief of British Forces in North America and was stationed in Halifax for about a year, ending August 1800.  Upon leaving, the prince (who was obsessed with punctuality and found Halifax residents lacking in this regard) decided to give the city this timepiece.

The Clock was designed by Prince Edward’s engineer in 1801 and was crafted by the …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Nova Scotia

Halifax’s Legislative Home — Province House

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During my travels I often find myself visiting sites of government.  Not sure why this is so because, as a rule, most governments really annoy me.  Perhaps it’s because the buildings in which they’re housed are often grand and opulent and their landscaping beautiful, covering many acres of prime real estate. 

So a visit to Province House in Halifax was a pleasant change from the norm.  When we first spotted the building during our exploratory walk through the city, I thought it must be of some significance because it was old and looked important, but it is not at all large, occupying only a small city block.  Perhaps, I thought, it was a courthouse or library?  Turned out this was Province …

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