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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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
Situated on the northwestern shore of the world’s largest lake, Lake Superior, the small city of Thunder Bay is home to one of my favorite people (my baby brother). I enjoy visiting the city, especially during its summers which are warm and pleasant.
One of the nicest places to explore on foot is the waterfront along the northern section of town. Much of the southern shore of Thunder Bay is devoted to transporting the bounty of the prairies to foreign markets. There are many massive grain elevators alongside which ships pull up and fill their bins with wheat and other grains from the vast stores within the elevators.
The area around the Prince Arthur’s Landing has undergone a dramatic revitalization …
The Terry Fox monument is located on the outskirts of Thunder Bay, just off the TransCanada Highway. The monument honors a popular Canadian hero. Terry had a leg amputated as a young man because of bone cancer. Thinking he was cured, Terry began a “Marathon of Hope” raising cancer awareness and funds for the Canadian Cancer Society. Every day Terry ran, in his hobbling manner on (by today’s standards) a primitive prosthesis, the full distance of a marathon with his goal being to run the breadth of Canada. When he was nearly half finished, Terry became ill and had to abandon his quest. Thinking at first it might just be a cold, Fox and the nation were heartbroken to discover …
Situated about an hour outside the city of Thunder Bay on the Lake Superior’s north shore is a natural wonder you’d never suspect was there if you didn’t know about it. This is where you’ll find Ouimet Canyon, one of Ontario’s many Provincial Park.
You’ll need to do a short 1 km hike to get to the canyon from the parking lot. The trail is partially smooth dirt, partially a boardwalk and overall is accessible to all. It’s important to stay on the trails because the canyon is hidden by dense forest and you wouldn’t want to accidently step into the gorge. The walk is easy and lovely and takes you to two viewing platforms from which you get panoramic …
When you stand on the bank of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, (especially by the Canadian Museum of History), and look across the river you see the Canadian Parliamentary buildings. This is the view captured in the above image. The rounded building with flying buttresses in this complex, which is the one in the foreground and closest to the river, is the Parliamentary Library. Before we step inside, let’s take a look at the history of the Library.
A Brief History of the Library of Parliament
Canada’s Library of Parliament began in the late 18th century with the legislative libraries of Upper and Lower Canada. These two libraries were amalgamated in 1841 when Upper and Lower Canada united. It was not …