Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, is located on the bank of the Ottawa River and borders Gatineau, Quebec. With a population of close to one million, it is the fourth largest city in Canada and is known as the political center of Canada with all major politicians living and/or working at Parliament Hill. A multi-cultural well educated community and high standard of living has made Ottawa one of the best places to live for high quality of life and low unemployment. The city is well-known for its exquisite architecture and arts and culture. Ottawa hosts many annual events such as the Canada Day Celebration, Winterlude which is the largest festival in Canada, Bluesfest, Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, Jazz Festival and many more. Whatever time of year you travel, there is always something exciting happening in Ottawa as it’s always an interesting place to visit. Take the time to visit the Parliament buildings, Laurier House, the Canadian War Museum and the National Arts Centre, or grab a sweet treat at BeaverTails and enjoy the beautiful Rideau Canal.
1. Visit Parliament Hill
Located on the banks of the Ottawa River, Parliament Hill, also referred to as “The Hill”, is the home of the Parliament of Canada. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the location was originally a military base called Barrack Hill until it was no longer strategically important. The buildings on The Hill are currently under extensive renovations and they are not expected to be completed until around 2020.
The parliament and departmental buildings are arranged in a formal garden fashion forming a quadrangle of buildings. It consists of the Senate and Commons chambers fronted by the Peace Tower, the Library of Parliament as well as ministers’ and senators’ offices and meeting rooms and other office spaces. It serves as a site for Canada Day celebrations and the changing of the guard. On the grounds you will find statues of many significant figures such as Sir John A. Macdonald, Queen Victoria, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and Queen Elizabeth II to name a few, as well as monuments, a gazebo and a reconstruction of the Summer House built for the Speaker of the House of Commons. The rest of the area is left in its natural state creating a beautiful landscape.