Ottawa's Parliament Hill area has historic buildings, Changing of the Guard show (daily at 10AM), and summer night light & sound show (extremely impressive technology to project intricate lights/patterns on the Parliament's Central Block building).
Suggest that you plan a day of touring there as follows:
- arrive at/after 9AM at the Capital Visitor Ctr (across the street from the Parliament)
to get timed tickets to free tours of the Parliament: there are 2 sep tours and the suggested start is go for the shorter/simpler tour of the Eastern Block building first (after the conclusion of Changing of the Guard at 10:30AM), and a short break before starting the longer tour of the Central Block.
Our tour guides were all enthusiastic and had lots of Canada history Q's for the visitors to keep the format interesting & interactive, so it's not just like a guide lecturing.
- Changing of the Guard: line up for it by 9:45AM as the 1st band (bagpipes/drums) & soldiers
actually start marching out (from the back of East Block) at around 9:50. Then a larger marching band & 2 grps of soldiers march up the street to the show ground.
The ceremony is interesting and there are various music interludes in between.
- After all timed tours, line up for the free self-guided tour to the Peace Tower with a fantastic 360 degree view of the city, Ottawa River, Rideau Canal, and many important landmarks.
Be sure to stand near the back door of the elevator so you get a view of the carillon bells on the way up & down the tower.
The tour ends at Memorial Chapel commemorating all Canadian soldiers who died in wars
dating back to the 1860's(?).
Finally after all the above if you want a fantastic view of the area, and how the Canal meets the River, go to Major Hill Park for a walk & views.
From the Visitor Ctr area, there is a 4-block pedestrian mall lined with shops & places to eat.
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