Discovering Ottawa – Part 1

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The classic shot of Ottawa- Parliament Hill of the left, Chateau Laurier on the right and the frozen Rideau Canal in the middle.

This year, 2014, is the year our family applies for Canadian Citizenship, as it will mark 3 years since we became Permanent Residents.  It seemed only right that our first trip to somewhere new was a visit to the Canadian capital, Ottawa.

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Although Toronto, which is right on our doorstep, is a far larger city I had a yearning to go to the capital to check out the Parliament buildings, the museums and the Rideau Canal. So just after New Year we packed the thermals and headed off in snow and -30C wind-chill to discover the delights of Ottawa!

Parliament Hill

For some strange reason on January 3rd at 10am and -35C Parliament Hill was mostly deserted and we pretty much had the place to ourselves! We managed to walk straight in and join a free tour of the Centre Block that took us around the House of Commons Chamber, the Senate and the Library of Parliament.  The library was the most stunning room with a beautiful statue of a young Queen Victoria in the middle.  Unfortunately they do not allow photos in there so I had to fight the urge to try to take a few candid shots with my Iphone! (being arrested in our nations Capital was NOT on my ‘to do’ list 😀 )

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House of Commons Chamber

Senate

Senate

 

Originally built in the 1860’s Parliament Hill is among the oldest buildings in Canada, although much of it was rebuilt following a fire in 1916.  The building itself is in stark contrast to the very modern feel of the majority of Canada’s cities.

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Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II in stained glass

There is an unmistakable British presence in the building, Queen Elizabeth II is still our head of state after all and many of the paintings and carvings around the walls are of British Monarchy especially Queen Victoria who was on the reigning Monarch when the nation of Canada was created in 1867.

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If you ever go to Ottawa you should take a tour of Parliament Hill, the tour was interesting and informative, the building is quite spectacular and an added bonus is the tour is free of charge!

Check one on my Ottawa ‘to do’ list, next stop – The Museum of Civilisation.

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