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caroml Ottawa - A travel report by Carolyn
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Ottawa,  Canada - flag Canada -  Ontario
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caroml's travel reports

  9 votes

It's a little big city, as it has the benifits and the problems of a large city but can be still quite safe and people are not so cold as in great metropoles. It's my home town and I love it, even more since I have been studying in Toronto.

Favourite spots:
There are many places I enjoy hanging at. In the summer, the ByWard Market is a great place to shop for handmade krafts, clothes, fresh fruits and vegetables, eat out and have fun at night. Elgin Street is another great area with lots of bars and restaurants. Strolling by the Rideau Canal in the summer, or skating on the longest skating rink in the winter while enjoying a 'beaver tail'. Some places I don't know if I should disclose because to many people will start showing up.

What's really great:
What makes it special is it's my home town. Some people may say it's special because it's the Capital of Canada (and you thought is was Montréal or Toronto). So we have the nice parliement buildings. But I think it is the presence of the two main cultures in Canada: French and English. They are still not completely equal and harmonious but it works. Not to metiona that we also treat our Aborigals like shit.

I think hearing french (spoken by french-canadians) is the one thing I miss living in Toronto or going over-seas

The National Gallery is a sight from the outside and in. This building who's exterior is made primarily if glass houses a great collection of modern, asian, classical, canadian, and inuit art. It's free except for special exhibits.
The Museum of civilisation is found across the river, in Hull and houses many exhibits on civilisations around the world and in Canada. Free after 4pm. There you can also catch an IMAX or OMNIMAX movie.
La Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame-d'Ottawa, is just a sight to see inside with the whole interor carved in wood. It has been recently renovated, so it is extra brilliant.
The Parliament buildings and the changing of the guards at 10am in the summer is something nice to see (ah! Our british heritage).

I don't really know about that, except for my parents place. Oh, and there's this cool hostel that is in a former prison. It's right downtown, by the Rideau Centre (our big indoor mall). And you can find plenty of hotels.

Clubs, there is a good amount. Some I know are:
Atomic, great if you want to dance to hard beats all night until the sun is way up in the sky;
The Well, has a young crowd but nontheless a good place to dance to amiance, techno (not hard stuff), house... Also has booths in the back to sit with friends, talk and drink;
The Mercury Lounge is great to hear live music and DJ's perform

Pubs are fun because a lot of them also have a dance floor but you don't need to pay a cover fee to enter. they are also more earthy (not so many yuppies). Some favourites:
Pub en Ville (Pub in Town), is the french speaking pub of Ottawa (anglos welcome of course). A great place to have beers with friends, dance, or chill on the patio in the summer;
The Cabin, and Houlahans are descent also. all three places are in the Market.
Elgin Street is also good and popular with the 25+ crowd. Try the Lieutenants Pump, or the FireStation. Another favourite is the Elbow Room, a tiny place great to hear live music. You can play there yourself on Wednsday Open mic night.

The Elgin Street Diner. Great for many reasons: fast, friendly service, good food (must try their vegetarian 'poutine'), 24hrs open (so when you miss the last bus, you can spend 2 or 3 hours having coffee).
Promise Perfection Satisfaction is a great vegetarian place by the University of Ottawa. It is run by followers of Sri Chin Moy. The place is small so you might not find a seat but take out is just as well.
Pete's Power Juice Bar is in the centre of the Market. Here you can taste the best ever fresh fruit and vegetable drinks. They are not cheap but well worth it and can be quite filling.
Ask where you can get a 'beaver tail'.

Other recommendations:
Major's Hill Park, usually a sight for many Festivals, is a great place to have a picnic when it is empty.
The Rideau Canal locks is also a good area to just sit, look across the river and talk at long length with friends.

Published on Thursday June 6th, 2002

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