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Ottawa trip report

Haverhill...
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Ottawa trip report

We just returned from five days in Ottawa, and it was a very nice time. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in East Ottawa; it worked out to be a good base.....short drive in, and used public transportation on Canada Day.....more on that later. We took a Grey Line tour....it turned out to be a good deal. The tour was good for 24 hours....we went for the complete tour on the first day, and got off at different stops on the second. We took advantage of the free museum admission on Canada Day....went to the art museum, and mint....wife and daughter went to the nature museum. I was really amazed by the Canada spirit on Canada Day.....truly a sea of red. For breakfast, we ate at Mello's one day, and Wil and Adas on our last day. W&A was excellent....but a bit pricey for breakfast. I did the blues jam at the Rainbow Café on Sunday.....a very nice vibe. We all liked the Byward market.....it was really happening on Canada Day, although there was a power outage which put a damper for a short time. We checked on Rideau Hall, and took in a bit of Canadian history. We also went into the Notre Dame Cathedral....very beautiful, and similar to the one in Montreal. The only down-side of our vacation was taking the bus after the fireworks....it was a madhouse. A total free-for-all, and took us 90 minutes to get back to the hotel. It was hard to get good info on the buses, and where to pick up our transfer. So overall, and excellent trip, and would reurn.

Capital Cruises
Boat Tours, Sightseeing Tours
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Cultural Tours, City Tours, Sightseeing Tours
Gray Line Ottawa
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Brisbane, Australia
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11. Re: Ottawa trip report

Being an Ottawa resident, would you be able to tell me what is the best area of Ottawa to stay for a weekend please? We are visiting for a weekend in August and would like to be central to tourist sites. Thanks Diane

Ottawa, Canada
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12. Re: Ottawa trip report

mcamp, no, my comments about the national anthem stand. We Canadians live with this, and we know what using one language means, even if not on the Hill, even just in the street nearby. Hockey is our religion here, and we almost all watch the games with the anthem beforehand, and know full well how to sing the anthem using both languages. I'm not blaming the teenagers inflamed with patriotism for singing their hearts out. And I'm equally not blaming the guy who reminded them to use the French words they probably know.

These are the subtleties we live with here. Most of us are more or less comfortable with subtleties. Maybe that is what makes us Canadian?

Ottawa, Canada
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13. Re: Ottawa trip report

Diane from Brisbane, without a doubt, stay in downtown Ottawa, where there are numerous hotels at various price points. This is not a large city, and downtown, where a lot of the good stuff is, is not big, about two square miles, if that.

You can Google the map, but anywhere north of the Queensway (highway 417), east of Bronson, and west of King Edward (the more west the better from KE) will locate you perfectly. There is no north boundary - north, you run into the Ottawa River. All the major chains are located within those street margins.

The Grande Old Dame of the hotels is the Chateau Laurier, one of the original railway hotels built across Canada. It looks like a castle, is perfectly located, elegant, and has a storied history (I believe John and Yoko had their bed-in there, just as an example). But the Holiday Inn, Marriott, Westin, and other major chains are also locate in the downtown area. Plus many others. Google and TA are your friend.

You need to stay downtown because many major points of interest are nearby. You can take a boat tour of the Rideau Canal, walk to and tour the Parliament Buildings, National Gallery, national cenotaph, and so on. Then take a look though the Byward Market.

The downtown is very safe. No worries, day or night.

Any more questions - ask away.

Brisbane, Australia
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14. Re: Ottawa trip report

Brilliant! Thanks so much for that information as well as the highlights of things to see. Cheers Diane

SE Ontario
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15. Re: Ottawa trip report

Glenn S - if you have more queries, I'd suggest you start your own post rather than tagging on to someone else's - that way the original poster doesn't receive notifications about your posts, and you will receive answers that directly relate to your trip.

mcamp - I'd just note that in Canada we do not consider Ottawa to be a "big" city - Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver are big cities - Ottawa is more mid-sized. Thus the transit system, which works quite well for the most part, is not as extensive as those in larger Canadian cities where there are indeed subways, buses, LRT's. As for the tax issue, I'll leave that. But I would say that it's pretty offensive to constantly refer "back to the 90's" when the dollar was down and Canada was cheap ... I find Americans say that a lot ... which just goes to prove that when it comes to value for an experience they know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

Ottawa, Canada
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16. Re: Ottawa trip report

" But I would say that it's pretty offensive to constantly refer "back to the 90's" when the dollar was down and Canada was cheap ... I find Americans say that a lot ... which just goes to prove that when it comes to value for an experience they know the cost of everything and the value of nothing." said phpr.

Wow! You're pretty quick to point out how people offend you. Not so good at seeing how generalizing about an entire nationality is offensive, however.

And who is the "we" in your statement, "in Canada we do not consider Ottawa to be a "big" city?" Are you talking about bigness as in crammed highways and trains full of people who can't afford to live anywhere near where they work? Are you talking about bigness meaning the little people can't get a glimpse of the water because the giant condo towers own the views?

Yeah we're a small -scale city here. You can drive from one side to another in half an hour if you catch the traffic right. You can drive in half an hour to a forest where you can see a deer. You can afford to live and work downtown if you don't insist on granite who-ha and all the fixings. And you can see the water, even if you're not affluent. Oh, and we are the seat of government for all of Canada.

It all depends what you think is big.

Haverhill...
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17. Re: Ottawa trip report

phpt..."I find Americans say that a lot ... which just goes to prove that when it comes to value for an experience they know the cost of everything and the value of nothing."

I don't think that is a fair statement. An experience is not equated to money....but if everything is equal, sometimes the cheaper alternative becomes more attractive. I'm sure that is the reason why I come across so many Canadians in Mexico....many who own businesses there, own vacation properties.

The key is to travel....and if it is more cost effective, I can travel more.

SE Ontario
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18. Re: Ottawa trip report

Compared to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Ottawa is not a big city .... that's a fact. It doesn't mean it isn't a lovely, livable city - which it is.... and yes ... I'm well aware it's the seat of government. Truth be told, when I travel around the country I spend a lot of time explaining to people that Ottawa the city is not Ottawa the government ....

"Hockey is our religion" ... well there's your own generalized statement....

Ottawa, Canada
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19. Re: Ottawa trip report

phpr, I did not generalize about another nation of people and negatively characterize their spending and travel habits. That's out of bounds in my view.

A Canadian generalizing about fellow Canadians, particularly about hockey? That's what many of us call humour.

20. Re: Ottawa trip report

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