“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore..”– Andre Gide.
As a part of Business trip, I was in Ottawa for 3 days and got a chance to see some parts of this city during these days.
Ottawa is Canada’s capital, a small city where three rivers (Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau) meet. This is the political power house of Canada.
For travelling within Ottawa, you can depend on Lyft or Uber. The Public transport was also fine. I was staying in Marriott Fairfield hotel near airport and was using bus 97 to reach the city centre (30 minutes, 3.5 CAD)
Managed to visit the following places:
1) Parliament Hill/Peace Tower:
This is one of the most visited place here in Ottawa and it’s close to Ottawa River. In front of the parliament, you can also see the Centennial flame.
Seems there is a Change of Guard ceremony that happens every morning here in front of this parliament hill.
2) Byward Market:
Across Ottawa, I did not see much local shops in the street.
Probably all such shops (restaurants, street food) are concentrated in this part of the city.
History says that this market was built a few hundred years ago and then it quickly became one of the largest public markets in Canada.
Please note that most of the shops gets closed by 6 PM (except restaurants)
3) Rideau Canal:
In Summer this is a very scenic canal and in winter, it becomes the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink at 7.8 kilometres..
There is a Rideau canal cruise available in summer.
Apart from the guide (Brennen) and his jokes, I personally feel this is a waste of money. Both sides of the canal have a very clear pathway. If your intention is to experience the scenery in both sides of the canal, my suggestion would be rent a cycle (afterall, let’s get some fat burnt).
The Rideau Canal was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 2007
4) National War memorial:
National War Memorial is located in the centre of Confederation Square across from the Chateau Laurier. The monument commemorates all Canadians who gave their lives in the World War I. It was designed by Vernon March, and includes twenty-three bronze figures, representing people who move from war into peace. Overhead figures symbolize Peace and Liberty.
5) Fairmont Château Laurier hotel:
Built in 1912, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier is one of Canada’s most famous landmarks.
Located in the center of Downtown Ottawa, Fairmont Château Laurier is minutes away from its biggest attractions including: The Parliament Buildings, Rideau Canal, Byward Market, National Gallery of Canada, Shaw Center, and the National Arts Centre.
Will definitely come back and stay here once. Really liked the royal look of this hotel.
6) Nordstrom Shopping Mall:
Nordstrom Inc. is an American chain of luxury department stores, the store here in downtown Ottawa is also very large. There are a lot of restaurants available in this mall. There is a bus stop just in front of the mall.
7) Ottawa Name boards:
I always wish that every city should have a name board, so that the travellers can take some snaps in front of that. These pics are always a treasure.
Fortunately, Ottawa had many such boards.
8) Famous 5 Monument and Statue of Yousuf Karsh
This Famous Five monument is to commemorate the pursuit for women’s rights to participate on legislative bodies to the country’s greater power, the senate; three among them were the members of the Alberta legislature.
The unveiling ceremony of Yousuf Karsh (Canadian-Armenian world-renowned portrait photographer) statue happened on 9th June 2017, on the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Canada and 150th Anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.
9) Canada Agriculture and Food Museum:
The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is a national museum in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It houses a modern working and experimental farm. Its purpose is to display the history of farming in Canada, to demonstrate advances in farming science and technology, and to show how these affect the lives of Canadians.
Kids would love this place, for sure.
As mentioned earlier, mine was a business trip.
In case if you get more time here in Ottawa, you can include some of the below options:
Ottawa City tour by land and water (https://www.tripadvisor.ie/AttractionProductReview-g11964688-d11453538-Ottawa_City_Tour_by_Land_and_Water-Kanata_Ottawa_Ontario.html)
Canadian War Museum
Notre Dame Basilica
Hop-On Hop-Off Guided City Tour Day Ticket
Ottawa Written Board
Aqua Taxi – Takes you from the Rideau Canal Locks to Gatineau
National gallery of Canada
Try Whitewater rafting
Aviation and Space Museum
The Canadian Museum of History
NOTE: I think 2 days should be a good itinerary for Ottawa.
As usual, I always try to visit an Indian Restaurant (if available/if possible) in all the cities that I visit. This time, it was a privilege to visit ‘Coconut Lagoon’ restaurant.
I never realised that it was a Kerala restaurant until I saw the menu.
If there are any Indian’s (especially Keralite’s) reading this, please don’t miss this restaurant.
The food was excellent, and the price was decent. Was surprised to see a lot of Foreigners enjoying the Indian cusine.
I also got a chance to meet the Owner and main chef of this restaurant ‘Joe Thottungal’.
Joe is very friendly and down to earth person. Great to get in touch with a person like him.
Address: 853 St. Laurent Boulevard
Ottawa, Ontario K1K 3B1
Contact Number: +1 613-742-4444
Working Hours 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Seems they also have another restaurant named ‘Thali’ in Downtown.
Joe has published a book – ‘Recipes from a south Indian Kitchen’ and the same is available in Amazon.