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Ottawa where to stay & what must be stay

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Chelmsford, United...
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Ottawa where to stay & what must be stay

Sorry, title should say "what must be seen"

We are driving from Toronto and will travel on to Montreal as one leg of a 1500 mile tour of USA and Canada. It would be most helpful to have advice about where to stay with easy train access into the city if this would be better than driving into the City to see the sights. We do not have a set time to spend in the City but generally find we can get a good taste within two days. As we tend to spend few days in any one area, we generally look for motels or B&B.

Edited: 6:16 am, August 08, 2014
Ottawa
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1. Re: Ottawa where to stay & what must be stay

I think you should stay downtown, 90% of you you want to see and do is downtown Ottawa or just over the bridge in Hull (Gatineau). Find a central location, park the car and walk around. You can check on this site for suitable accommodation. There are some nice B&Bs downtown or a few hotels/motels in the burbs, if that's your preference.

"Must Sees" are Parliament Buildings/Hill, Rideau Canal, Byward Market and whichever museum/gallery is of interest to you. I like the War Museum.

Ottawa, ON
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2. Re: Ottawa where to stay & what must be stay

There is no useful train access into the city from the suburbs. Driving in centre town Ottawa is not that difficult, although there is currently an annoying amount of road construction going on all over the city. Les Suites and the adjacent Novotel are central and well-located for the By Ward Market. The Lord Elgin is centrally located and gets a lot of positive comments. Off-site valet parking only may be a detraction. There are a number of suites/apartment hotels worth looking at if you want more space. Albert at Bay and Minto Suites are two. There are also 3 or 4 suites hotels, whose names can never remember, in the golden triangle between Elgin Street and the Rideau Canal.

Regarding attractions, I`d suggest the Museum of History and the National Gallery. I wonder about the War Museum, given that you have, at home, easy access to the great Imperial War Museum. Certainly, if you are interested in the 18th and 19th century colonial wars in North America, or always wondered what the Canadian involvement was in the great European wars of the 20th century, you should visit.

Given you have a car, a drive up into the Gatineau Hills and possibly to Wakefield, would be a pleasant half day.

Chelmsford, United...
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3. Re: Ottawa where to stay & what must be stay

Thank you both for your input. It is just what we needed.

W will visit the war museum as we am interested in Canada's involvement in all things UK. We do enjoy history, especially that of residents and buildings.

We live 30 miles from London centre so have been to our war museum several times. On my last visit we were disappointed as I felt it was more of a showroom than a museum.

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4. Re: Ottawa where to stay & what must be stay

You will enjoy our war museum! It offers our contributions to all of the major conflicts in the past 100 years and more but adds an artistic value to the auora that you may not find in other museums that you will discover while walking thru.

You may enjoy a nice little walk down the canal to go along with an evening sunset dinner cruise of the Ottawa river as well...enjoy your stay!

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Ottawa where to stay & what must be stay

A few items not mentioned above:

The changing of the guard every morning in front of the Parliament building, 10 or 10:30 (your hotel will know)

Mosaika: a free sound and light show again on the Parliament lawn and being shown on the buildings. It's hte history of Canada 9:30 or 10:00 in August (again your hotel will know)

On your way to Montreal, drive on the Quebec side of the river and stop at Montebello for lunch (a log chateau-was used for the G7) and also in Montebello visit Park Omega where you will see all of the Canadian wildlife (bears, wolves, bison, moose, elk, etc) in large enclosures, well worth the visit. When we ahave visitors from out of country we take them there. If you have the whole day head north to Mont Tremblant and drive down the Laurentian autoroute to Montreal.

Have a great Canadian vacation

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6. Re: Ottawa where to stay & what must be stay

For a unique experience google the Diefenbunker. It was the Canadian government's emergency operations center from the '50s through the 90's. it's all underground. Quite different than most tourist sights.

Chelmsford, United...
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7. Re: Ottawa where to stay & what must be stay

I actually manned one of those at one time I remember wearing headphones, needing to learn the phonetic alphabet and First Aid however, the details are forgotten now but it must have been in Sunderland, UK as I didn't have transport.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Ottawa where to stay & what must be stay

The Diefenbunker was locally named after our then--cold-war Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker. It was a ten-storey construction entirely built below surface to preserve the entire structure of Canadian affairs in case of a nuclear war. It contained a vault to store the treasury of the Bank of Canada. A complete radio broadcasting studio for the CBC to broadcast from. Spartan quarters for all the ministers of the government of the day. And troops, lots of troops. And beds, food and water provisions, and some recreational facilities for the important people who were saved from the nuclear wipeout. I'm not sure there was a plan for what they would do when they crawled out into the radioactive wasteland.

My dad worked there (Armed Forces), and during the Cuban missile crisis was ordered to remain on site. Mum and us kids were putting jugs of water and tins in the basement. Aside from that, Dad's biggest problem was that young guys would be stationed there, and after awhile they wouldn't go outside anymore. They got a little funny in the head. If you're interested in that kind of stuff, the Diefenbunker is really worth a visit. You'd need your car to get there.

The War Museum is certainly worth a visit. While it doesn't glorify war, it respects the values of people who went to war for Canada - a tough balance to strike - and this museum does it.

I repeat what others have said, stay downtown. There is so much within walking distance downtown. Plus, all the city roadways are torn up right now due to the (finally!) installation of a modern transit system. Park the car. It's not worth driving downtown right now.

Edited: 11:24 pm, August 10, 2014
9. Re: Ottawa where to stay & what must be stay

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