Presenting: Ottawa -Exciting Travel Destination

Presenting: Ottawa -Exciting Travel Destination

In anticipation of my upcoming trip to Ottawa next weekend, I started doing some research and contacted Ottawa Tourism.

Presenting: Ottawa -Exciting Travel Destination
Presenting: Ottawa -Exciting Travel Destination

Ottawa, as the capital of Canada, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada and has a wide variety of destinations, activities, and events to offer.

I had the opportunity to speak with Janine Van Kristen from Ottawa Tourism who was kind enough to give me a great overview of things to see and do in Ottawa.

Capital and An Exciting Travel Destination

1. Provide general information about Ottawa. How big is the city, where is it located, what is the weather like?

With the neighboring city of Gatineau in the province of Quebec, the region has about 1.2 million inhabitants. Ottawa is located in eastern Ontario,

about a four-hour drive northeast of Toronto; two hours west of Montreal; and one hour north of the New York state border.

Ottawa enjoys four distinct seasons, with warmer temperatures and sometimes high humidity in July and August; a mild fall with beautiful fall colors; a cold and snowy winter; and a wet spring.

Presenting: Ottawa -Exciting Travel Destination
Presenting: Ottawa -Exciting Travel Destination

2. How can I get to Ottawa and what is the best way to get around Ottawa?

Ottawa is accessible by direct flights from major hubs in Canada and several US cities, including New York, Washington, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, and more.

By car, major thoroughfares include Highway 416 which links Ottawa with Highway 401.

Capital and An Exciting Travel Destination

3. Ottawa is the capital of Canada and has played an important role in the history of this country.

Ottawa’s history begins with the construction of the Rideau Canal between 1826 and 1832 by Lieutenant Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers and thousands of mostly Irish workers.

The Canal stretches 126 miles (202 km) through eastern Ontario to the Saint Lawrence River and was built to ensure a supply line in the event of an American attack (which never came).

The Rideau Canal is Canada’s candidate for UNESCO World Heritage status, which is expected in 2007, the 175th anniversary of its construction.

Queen Victoria decreed in 1857 that Ottawa would be the capital of the country that would become Canada. Rideau Hall (home of the Governor-General, with guided tours of the residence and gardens available); and dozens of high commissions and embassies from governments around the world.

Don’t miss Laurier House, home to Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie King, two former Prime Ministers, or the Mackenzie King Estate, King’s summer home in Gatineau Park.

Presenting: Ottawa -Exciting Travel Destination

4. Tell us about some of the top attractions, museums, and galleries in the Ottawa area.

The latest addition to the national museum scene is the impressive Canadian War Museum, which opened in May 2005 in a stunning location along the Ottawa River.

Presenting: Ottawa -Exciting Travel Destination
Presenting: Ottawa -Exciting Travel Destination

The most visited museum in Canada is the Canadian Museum of Civilization at Gatineau

Other museums include the Bytown Museum, which tells the story of Ottawa’s early days, including the construction of the Rideau Canal;

the Billings Estate Museum that traces the history of a prominent local family; and the funky Diefenbaker,

Canada’s Cold War Museum is a four-story underground bunker that was built between 1959 and 1961 as a place for Canada’s political and military elite to withstand the effects of a nuclear attack.

Capital and An Exciting Travel Destination

5. Our readers would like to know about festivals and special events in Ottawa.

The festival scene in Ottawa is a solid year-round affair.

Presenting: Ottawa -Exciting Travel Destination

In March, the Irish community celebrates Irish Week, and in March and April, the maple syrup season spawns a series of delicious festivals and events celebrating this tasty treat.

May belongs to the Canadian Tulip Festival: a three-week celebration of Ottawa’s favorite flower.

The end of May brings Canada’s largest marathon as part of the Ottawa race weekend.

Italian Week; the Ottawa Fringe Festival; the TD Canada Trust Ottawa International Jazz Festival; the Nortel Ottawa Dragon Boat Racing Festival;

Cisco Systems Ottawa Blues fest (the largest in Canada); the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival (the largest in the world); the Sound of Light fireworks festival;

Ottawa Busker Festival; Ottawa Greek Festival; CKCU Ottawa Folk Festival; the Central Canada Exposition; and Pride Week.

Capital and An Exciting Travel Destination

In the fall, the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival colors the skies;

Fall Rhapsody celebrates the splendid colors of fall.

The capital lights up for the holidays with the Christmas Lights Across Canada program.

currents and entertainment/nightlife areas in Ottawa? Several neighborhoods offer entertainment options in Ottawa.

The By Ward Market is one of Ottawa’s oldest neighborhoods and doubles as its entertainment district, with more than 100 food and drink options in just a four-block area.

Whether it’s fine dining, fine dining, a cozy bistro, or a romantic café, you can find it at “the market”.

be it the thrill of the game or a show at its popular theater or dinner at its five-diamond restaurant Le Baccara.

Capital and An Exciting Travel Destination

7. Give us an overview of the performing arts offered in Ottawa.

The National Center for the Arts is Canada’s leading performing arts center, offering theater performances in English and French, dance, and the National Center for the Arts Orchestra.

Third Wall Theater Company, Odyssey Theater (offering outdoor performances along the Rideau River), A Company of Fools, and many productions at Arts Court, a municipal facility.

From May 18 to June 11, Cirque du Soleil will bring its production to Ottawa.

The CenterPoint Theater on the west end offers a variety of performances, as does the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

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