5 Reasons to Explore Ottawa
Canada is globally known as the country with some of the nicest people in the world. It therefore shouldn’t come as a surprise that it was a favourite destination for many people this summer. 2017 started with a fast pace- it’s likely you haven’t had an opportunity to really lay back and unwind. Thankfully there’s plenty of time to make vacation plans.
Ottawa; Canada’s slice of paradise
Did you know that in the mid-19th century, Ottawa was chosen by Queen Victoria to be the capital of Canada? Perhaps, because of its strategic location between Montreal and Toronto. Or secretly, because of the lush landscape and recreational environment. You can experience nature’s rich beauty first-hand in Ottawa; whether you choose to bike along the famous Ottawa River or picnic at Gatineau park.
If you are thinking of visiting or even already here, here are 5 interesting things you could do in Ottawa.
- Walk the lovely grounds of Canada’s Home
To many locals, Ottawa is the official home of Canada and it’s easy to see why. Besides it’s picturesque beauty, Rideau Hall is the Ottawa home of Canada’s Governor General– the Head of State. It features verdant gardens in spring and summer, and an opportunity to watch movies under starlit nights. There are also opportunities for outdoor skating but that’s not until winter.
There are free organised and self-guided tours on the grounds of the building. If you are a cricket lover, it is one of the few places in Ottawa to watch a match. Why visit? The over 10,000 trees provide a beautiful shade for relaxation and picnic. Each tree was planted by heads of state and dignitaries; you may find some connected to your home country.
- Hike, Picnic, and find adventure in a cave
There is a cave by Philippe Lake, close to its famous camp ground in Gatineau Park. An easy trail follows the lake from Parent Beach and leads you to the cave trail. The one-way trip takes only about 5 km with a few steep areas. Many people prefer to rent a kayak or canoe at Parent Beach and paddle to the lake end before trekking the last km uphill. It might be quite the journey bought the experience is worth it.
Best to travel with a loved one or friends and enjoy the cool Lusk Cave- a magnificent marble and natural geological phenomenon formed from over a thousand years. Inside the cave, water levels can rise as high as one metre or more. Take with you an extra pair of shoes, a safety helmet and a flashlight.
- Enjoy the best view of Parliament Hill
Canada’s Museum of History is not only a splendid museum with enriching content spanning the breadth of Canada’s history, it is also children-friendly, contains an IMAX cinema and perched in a beautiful place on the Ottawa River. Like most places in Canada, It also makes a great outing destination for children, especially on rainy days.
From here, you can enjoy an amazing view of Parliament Hill, the centre piece of Ottawa’s inner city landscape. Parliament Hill is the governmental and cultural heart of the city. The Parliament buildings are located on top of the hill. Gothic-style structures overlook the Ottawa River as politicians inside the building debate the current and future happenings of the country.
- Enjoy delicious whole wheat bread at Watson’s Mill
Watson’s Mill is located in the former Village of Mannotick. The unique thing about this mill is the way it still rids wheat as it was done far back in the 1860s. Set away from the packed tourist areas, it forms a peaceful outing place for adults and children. In the summer, guided tours offer an explanation of the history of the area and process of wheat flour production.
The water-powered mills provide a unique view on the history of wheat production years ago. The Rideau river still powers one of the grinding wheels to produce flour. Watson Mill is child-friendly and offers an excellent opportunity for the family to learn about Ottawa’s rich heritage while snacking on delicious slices of fresh wheat bread.
- Visit the headstone of Canada’s unknown soldier
The Memorial Hall in the Canadian War Museum is quite sanctuary-like as it has the ambiance of a museum. It contains just the one object- the headstone of an unknown soldier from Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, France. The full address is Plot 8, Row E, Grave 7.
The hall has a single window which has been positioned so that by 11am on 11th November, natural light coming through the window strikes the headstone at an illuminating angle- provided the clouds allow it. The unknown soldier represents every unknown soldier that has died in the country’s war.
Now you have 5 reasons to come to Ottawa, but there’s even more.