Tour of Ottawa sights

2014-09-03

in Canada, Geek stuff, Ottawa, Photography, The outdoors, Travel

My Saturday in Ottawa involved a rather comprehensive trek.

Beginning at the home of my friends Andrea and Mehrzad, I walked up Booth Street – past the first apartment I rented in town and the War Museum – and across the Chaudiere Bridge to the Terrasses de la Chaudière complex which includes Environment Canada headquarters.

On the Quebec side, I then walked to the Museum of Civilization, which has been rebranded by the Harper government as the Canadian Museum of History. I then crossed the Alexandra bridge back into Ontario, putting me near the National Gallery. I walked through Major’s Hill Park and crossed the Rideau Canal near the Chateau Laurier. I then entered Parliament Hill, walking the scenic northern edge, looking out over all the major government buildings of the National Capital Region.

I carried on west, walking around the Supreme Court, before heading east again to buy a ticket for the guided tour of Centre Block. While near Parliament Hill, I had a peek at the building where I used to work for the Privy Council Office, along with the Blackburn Building (home of the PCO library) and the Langevin Block (home of the Prime Minister’s Office).

I then walked through the downtown core, mostly along Bank Street, getting a peek at the new Venus Envy location before diverting west down Somerset. I also had a quick peek at the headquarters of the Department of Finance and Treasury Board Secretariat. I also talked to some not-especially-interested salespeople at Henry’s cameras about the relative merits of the 6D and 5D Mk III.

All through the walk, I was struck by how small a place Ottawa is. Having spent five years working there, every neighbourhood is peppered with memories and (at least on a pleasant summer’s day) they can all be walked to quite easily.

I walked down Somerset all the way back to the Booth neighbourhood and said hello to Andrea’s hilarious dogs before following the river back to Parliament Hill for my tour. The guided tour included the elegant corridors and atriums of Centre Block, committee rooms, the senate, and the extremely beautiful Library of Parliament.

After the tour, I walked up Elgin Street, passing the pub where I used to do trivia on a team of tax economists on Tuesday nights. I headed south to the Museum of Nature before having a look at the much-developed Beaver Barracks complex where I used to live. I then walked back to Bank Street and south through The Glebe to the redeveloped Landsdowne Park.

From there, I visited the Bank Street canal bridge and wandered along the canal and through neighbourhoods as far as Dow’s Lake, before making my way back to Andrea’s via the Natural Resources Canada complex on Booth Street.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

alena prazak September 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

What a great illustrated walk–it makes me want to visit Ottawa again. I found it so pretty and safe; a Canadian Geneva.

oleh September 15, 2014 at 1:26 am

So many historic sights – and in two provinces

You referred to the Beaver Barracks complex as much developed – how has it developed?

oleh September 15, 2014 at 1:29 am

It is very cool how by clicking on the links we get photos of your walk.

Milan September 15, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Compare:

April 2011

August 2014

These photos are looking in the same direction, one from ground level and one from a third-floor balcony.

Milan September 15, 2014 at 5:22 pm
Milan September 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm

This view also shows where there is a whole new building now.

oleh September 16, 2014 at 2:32 am

The presence of the garden stands out immediately.

About 6 years ago, we replaced our lawn o one side of our house with a garden. My wife Alena has tended that garden for both vegetables and flowers such that it is a standout and a substantial source of conversation within our community.

I have also seen how community gardens brings people together.

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