“Pic of the Week”, August 23, 2019: The Spirit of Haidi Gwaii

02 Spirit of Haida Gwaii

British Columbia native artist, Bill Reid (1920–1998), may well be the best and best known Haida artist in the world.  I think his finest work is this piece entitled “Spirit of Haidi Gwaii”. 

Haidi Gwaii is a chain of islands off the coast of northern British Columbia which were formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.  The native culture features a rich history of totem pole carvings.

This white plaster model can be found in the main hall inside the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa.  The piece was subsequently cast in bronze and two copies are available, one outside the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the other at the International Terminal at Vancouver International Airport.  I prefer this version because …

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.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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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

A visit to the Library of Parliament, Ottawa

Parliament Hill 02

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 …

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Ottawa’s Fabulous Byward Market

08-13 Byward Market 09-2016

As many of you know, I am great fans of visiting markets during my travels.  Besides the beautiful assortment of food and goods, markets are a wonderful place to watch people and relax with coffee and a tasty fresh snack.   On a cold winter’s day, it’s often good to see the fresh bounty of summer (or in the case of our visit, fall).

Byward Market is a well known and long established market in Canada’s national capital, Ottawa.  The market was begun in 1826 by John By, who gained fame as builder of the Rideau Canal.  Mr. By laid out the street plan of the market, creating extra wide streets to facilitate the market as a gathering place for the area’s …

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Ottawa – NOT the coldest Capital in the world!

Ottawa – NOT the coldest Capitol in the world!

Ottawa is a vibrant and charming small city — so pleasant that it’s hard to believe it’s home to soooo many politicians.  Of the national capitols I’ve visited, Ottawa seems the most livable to me (ie. if I had to live in political city, I’d probably choose Ottawa).  I like Ottawa as a travel destination — big enough, but not sprawling, with a compact central area that’s easy to visit and walk around in.  Besides Parliament Hill, it has lots of museums and parks, plenty of things to see and do and a good selection of pubs and restaurants.  It’s very near nature and has a youthful energy.

Ottawa does have two serious drawbacks 1) It’s filled with politicians and those who “work” for the government  2) It …

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