Tourists in Our Own Town
We are lucky to live in Ottawa. It is a both a nice place to visit and you really want to live here!
As the capital of Canada, it boasts the usual buildings-of-national-significance like the Parliament, and the Supreme Court, many tasteful national monuments to dead white guys -- and one to dead white women -- and an array of world-class museums. In fact, when we hit the road in 24 days -- zoiks!!!!! -- it may come as a shock to our kids that not every city has a "Museum of..."
- Agriculture & Food at the Central Experimental Farm
- Science & Technology
- Aviation & Space
- Canadian History -- formerly the "Museum of Civilization", before the Conservatives made "Civilization" "History"
- Nature (something else that I fear they are trying to make "history")
- War (something that we all hope will stay in history....)
- a National Gallery featuring paintings, sculpture, photographs and some inexplicable, but artfully-arranged modern artifacts from someone's basement; &
- the National Arts Centre that showcases live music, dance and drama performances.
(BTW, in lieu of summer camps for July and to kick-start our "road-scholars" project for the kids, I picked up a Canada's Capital Museum Passport that let's us visit up to 8 of the above museums in 7 days. It's a great deal, even if you don't manage to see them all).
Connecting all of these sites is either the Rideau Canal -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site that we can skate on during the winter -- or a network of green-space and bike paths run by the National Capital Commission. It is a great city to experience on a bike.
Ottawa is also home to a staggering number of festivals for just about any topic that you can think of: music of all types, animation, films, buskers, poutine, children, winter, tulips! Although perhaps not as edgy as Toronto or as hip as Montréal, Ottawa is far from being the "city that fun forgot", and there is a burgeoning independent, hipster scene.
So even though our year-off adventures don't officially start until August, we don't have to go far to be tourists in our own town. Come on up and visit Ottawa soon. Here are a few recents snaps to hold you over until then....