Monday, 17 September 2012

Ottawa-Canada | Shining and Beautiful Gem on Rideau Canal.

 Ottawa is one of Canada's most captivating and peaceful cities of North America,a shining and beautiful gem on Rideau Canal,a centre offering everything in a totally relaxing atmosphere for its residents and visitors too.

Located on the banks of the Ottawa River in the southern area of the province of Ontario just over the border with the province of Quebec,the Canadian Capital is a very attractive,cosmopolitan cultural and  recreational centre.

The city has a big number of excellent museums,art galleries,the National Arts Centre,the Ottawa Senators a relevant Ice Hockey Team hockey team and an economy not only supported by the federal government but also in technology and tourism.

The buildings which attract the most attention are those of Neo-Gothic architecture which closely resemble  cities as York in England or Edinburgh in Scotland.

Among the most prominent are the Parliament and all the buidings erected as site of the government offices of the Confederation and the iconic Hotel Fairmount Hotel Chateau Laurier.

Despite they are modern constructions they transformed the city in a mixture of shining combination of an artistic contemporary urban set combined with a stunning nature,all very attractive in its kind and very appreciated for the presence of a good number of shopping centres.

Ottawa is the capital of the second largest country in the world but despite that is characterised to be a very accessible city which enjoys a superb natural environment divided by the Rideau Canal in Upper and Lower city.

The city is the result of the merger in 2000 of the former centre and 10  surrounding municipalities.With a population of about 1,600.000 inhabitants is the 4th largest city of the  Canadian federation.

In recent years it has been transformed from a city government primarily a  technology development centre which offers activities and festivals throughout the year such as the Canadian  Tulip Festival in spring the Canada Day festivities in summer and Carnival Winterlude in winter season making the city a shining gem
full of colours between a fantastic nature and the waters surrounding it.

The beautiful Canadian capital is very famous for its parks.Ottawa has more than 3,000 acres devoted large green areas second centre in the entire country behind Edmonton.

So the fact that one of its main attractions are the outdoor areas with a rich vegetation and the best times to travel to the Canadian Capital are spring and summer,although sometimes the  summer months can become a bit overwhelming with temperatures unthinkable in that part of the world.

Historically the first European settlement in the region was that developed by a  farmer called Philemon Wright,a native of Massachusetts in  the United States established in 1800 as also the Quebec side of the river on the present site of the  former city of Hull.

Wright discovered that it was possible to transport logs from the Ottawa Valley to  Montreal through the flow of the river which did significantly increase the number of settlers settling in  the region.

During the War of 1812, USA tried to invade the British provinces of Canada, and it was decided that a canal would be built to avoid the portion of the St. Lawrence River narrows near the State of  New York to avoid possible USA attacks.

Lieutenant Colonel John By began to install on a hill overlooking the river camp to oversee the construction of what would become the Rideau Canal.Under the direction of Governor,he built a hospital and several military barracks to house his men on the hill while completely forested which became known as the Barracks Hill.

It also appointed two sites to contain the future colonists,one west of the hill, the Upper Town and the other east of the entrance  channel of the future,the Lower Town.

The first former town was founded in 1827 under the name of Bytown by John By.Ottawa region was long an institution in the area of "Odawa" the Algonquin name by the ancient Indian local tribe,hence its current name.

The beautiful Ottawa River,bordering the city was called Kichi Sibi or Kichissippi by the Algonquin,meaning "Great River".On December 31st 1857, Ottawa was chosen as the capital of the Province of Canada by Queen Victoria,in order to resolve a conflict between Montreal, Toronto,Quebec and Kingston all wishing to  become capital of the province.

The current city was eventually named Capital due to its location on the border  between Upper Canada and Lower Canada not to favour either Anglophone or Francophone people as neutral territory and the distance which separated her from the border with the United States of America,the protection of a possible USA attack.

Ottawa also owned the land chosen for the construction of government headquarters where the river  view was impressive.That choice was surprising for several widely criticised, given the very rural and  remote areas of the city at the time.
The highest point of reference is thee upper metropolitan area which lies  west with its shining Neo-Gothic buildings while the Lower side is developed in correspondence of Boulevard Sussex Drive which runs along  the river to the more elegant Rockcliffe in the northeast past the glass building of the National Gallery of  Canada.

Parliament Hill overlooking the city of Ottawa is comprised of three buildings that form a spectacular Neo- Gothic complex.They were built in the 19th century and expanded later.The three constructions are the Centre  Block with the famous Peace Tower the Ottawa clock tower,which houses the House of Commons and Senate,in  addition to the library,well worth a visit the East Block with the offices of the Prime Canadian Minister and  the West Block with the offices of parliamentarians.The Parliament Buildings are located on Parliament Hill in Upper Town from which you can admire beautiful
views of the Ottawa River.

.The entrance to the hill through the gate leading south from Wellington Street to Centennial Flame, a flame lit in 1967 to commemorate the centennial of Canadian Confederation and in front there are the three parliament buildings designed in Gothic style with copper roofs.

At centre arises Peace Tower added in 1927 in memory of those killed in the First World War,there you can climb it the summit of the building at an altitude of 90 metres and from there you can enjoy a view of 65 kilometres around.

The Centre Block was destroyed by fire in 1916 and then rebuilt.Since access under the Peace Tower is reached Confederation Hall and the House of  Commons whose main platform is made of wood from the ship of Admiral Nelson.

The Senate is characterised and famous for its red carpets and murals depicting scenes from the First World War and the Library, the only part of the building  that was not lost in the fire.

The West Block is closed, while the East Block offers four rooms open to the  public such as the original office of the Governor,the offices of Sir John MacDonald and Sir Étienne Cartier and the Council Chamber.

The area surrounding the complex offers several statues and monuments among which  the monument to Queen Victoria of England and the monument to the rights of women.West of Centre Block, also emphasises the Summer Pavilion as a lookout on the Ottawa River.It was erected in 1877 by Thomas  Seton Scott as summer retreat of the Speaker of the House of Commons,but its poor state made it down and then rebuild it with the help of the RCMP as a tribute to their fallen. During the summer evenings on the  front of the main building offers a spectacular light and sound.

Also offered from June to August at 10:00 a picturesque Guard change in imitation of the famous London, hosted by the Governor General Guards and  Grenadiers Guards.

The 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa,is the address of the official residence of Prime Minister of  Canada.The house was built in 1866 by Joseph Merrill Currier,mill owner and member of the House of Commons to his wife Hannah.

He appoints the masonry "Gorffwysfa,"Welsh word meaning "haven of peace".The house was acquired by the Government of Canada in the year 1943 and is managed by the National Capital Commission.

It became the official residence of the Prime Minister in 1951 when Louis St.Laurent moved there.Since then all Canadian  prime ministers with the exception of Kim Campbell,who having never been  elected, chose not to settle there  live at 24 Sussex Drive during their mandates.

Previously,prime ministers have lived in various locations in Ottawa.The building consists in a limestone structure providing of 34 rooms on a plot of 16,000 square metres on the shore of the Ottawa River and it is located next to the Embassy of France,opposite the entrance Rideau Hall,Governor  General's residence.The house is surrounded by trees and hedges.Unlike the White House and 10 Downing  Street on 24 Sussex Drive is used exclusively as a residence.The workplace of the Prime Minister is the  Langevin Block,near Parliament Hill.

 Near the Parliament Buildings there is a curious area called "The Stray cats of the hill" which is a complex of white houses with green roofs which had housed cats were cared about and cared for by volunteers from a humane society.

There  was a panel that explained everything,the cats live in Parliament Hill, walking free at home,and that all, are counted with their name and date of arrival or departure for death or adoption of the place.

The National Gallery of Canada is one of the first and most important museums in Canada.Located on Sussex  Drive,the building of glass and granite has a great view of the Canadian Parliament and Parliament Hill.

It was designed by Moshe Safdie and opened in 1988.The previous museum director Jean Sutherland Boggs was  chosen by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to oversee construction of the building.

The museum was founded in  1880 by Governor General of Canada,the Marquis of Lorne whose wife Princess Louise was an artist.In 1882  the museum was installed in its first home on Parliament Hill in the same building as the Supreme Court.

That beautiful museum houses a large and varied collection of paintings,drawings, sculptures and photographs. Although it  focuses on Canadian art and also holds remarkable works of European artists.One of the highlight holds an important collection of contemporary art as some works by of Andy Warhol.

The Canadian collection consists of  works by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven,Emily Carr,Alex Colville among others.The museum organises its own exhibitions that travel across Canada and beyond, often co-organised by other museums in  the world.

The nearest Confederation Park is an oasis of peace and relax in autumn and winter and throughout the year  many festivals held there as the Ottawa International Jazz Festival and many other events.

In Confederation Square lies The War Memorial of Canada, also known as "La Response".It is a large granite cenotaph originally built to commemorate the First World War,there are also records the dates 1935-1945 in  to commemorate the Second World War and the previous years.

The dates 1950-1953 to commemorate the War of Korea.Moreover,that monument commemorates the soldiers who died during the other wars and during peace missions within blues helmets.

The tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added to the memorial in 2000.A competition was held in 1925 in  order to find the best design for a memorial to those historical events.The selection of participants was limited to residents of the British Empire who were either British subjects or citizens of allied countries.

The competition  received 127 submissions of which seven were asked to build a model for the judgement final.The winner announced on January 1926 was Vernon March from Farnborough in Great Britain and
his theme was to represent Canada's  response to war.

It has symbolised that response by traversing an arch of triumph by soldiers from all disciplines while deliberately avoiding glorifying war.

Symbolically were placed two allegories of 5,33 metres high  representing peace and freedom are at the top of the arch and their proximity represent the fact that those  two concepts are inseparable.

So in peace and freedom,the 22 soldiers from all services participating in the 1st World War marching to the call of duty.To avoid a pedestrian problem of perspective in which the  figures appear shorter in reality, the group of soldiers positioned at a specific height above ground level and each character is approximately 2.4 meters high.

In front are the foot soldiers to the left a rifleman Lewis,right, a soldier in kilts holding a Vickers heavy machine gun followed by an airman and a fully equipped mechanic aeroplane mechanic,a sailor walking to the left of the aviator.

Also represented are two rifles through  the arch followed by men and women of ancillary services including nurses,a hospital porter and a lumberman with a grappling hook.

The base and the arch are made entirely of Canadian granite gray-pink kind, from the  quarry Dumas in Rivière-à-Pierre near Quebec because granite is virtually no iron thereby making it less subject to tâches.

The sculptures were first made in clay and then be molded.The bronze was then poured in the foundry of  March and all that work was completed in July 1932.

After a period of exposure in Hyde Park caused by delay  preparations Canadian site and a storage period in the foundry,the statues were eventually shipped to Ottawa in the year 1937.

The total height of the monument from the ground to the tip of the wings in the surmounting  bronzes is approximately 21,00 metres and the construction required 503 tons of granite and 32 tons of bronze.

Rideau Hall,located at 1 Sussex Drive since 1867 is the official residence of Governor General of Canada and the residence of the Canadian Monarch when she was in Ottawa.

Unlike many residences of heads of  state from other nations such as Buckingham Palace of England or the White House in USA,Rideau Hall is not  the centre of the city and that place is rather isolated,which gives it the character of a private residence.

The  residence was built in 1838 to house the Scottish Entrepreneur Thomas McKay and his family who lived there  until 1855.When Queen Victoria chose Ottawa in 1858 as the new capital of the Province of Canada,Rideau Hall  became the residence of Lord Monck,then Governor General of British North America.

In 1867,Lord Monck became the first Governor General of Canada and Rideau Hall remained the residence of his successors.Originally  hired as a temporary residence,the house was enlarged several times,including the addition of an indoor  tennis court in 1872,an ice rink and a sled to slide.

The old tennis court is now the Tent Room,used for  formal occasions.The main entrance was completed in 1913,it contains all the arms of Governors of Canada,from Samuel De Champlain,the first governor of New France.

Furthermore portraits of British Governors are set out in the Tent Room and portraits of Canadian Governors General from Vincent Massey in the Reception  Room and also those depicting of the wives of governors general are in the Drawing Room.

As it is customary to plant a  tree for each official reception of a character brand, the park has many trees have small signs reminding  the name of the planter,among which are Elizabeth II,Queen Mother,Princess Diana,John F.Kennedy,Richard  Nixon,Kofi Annan among others.

The beautiful architecture of that building is a mix of Victorian and Edwardian styles.After McKay and his family,the  house was rented for temporary accommodation but it has also magnified many times,including the addition of  an indoor tennis court in 1872,and a ring ice and a toboggan slide.

The main  entrance was designed by David Ewart,chief architect of the Dominion and completed in 1914,the united front of  the structure with a common style of Georgian architecture was built in limestone.

In front of the buildings complex you can admire the Rideau Canal connecting the city of Ottawa on the River of the same name to  the city of Kingston on Lake Ontario.

The Rideau Canal was completed in 1832 and continues to be active  today.It is the oldest canal system still operating in North America and In 2007 it was declared a UNESCO World  Heritage.

At the time it was proposed,some time after the War of 1812,there was a real threat of attack  from the United States against the colonies of the British Empire now Canada.

To prevent and deter any  future invasion,the British Empire built several forts and canals to defend his original purpose of the  channel was military secure the supply route and communication between Montreal and Kingston.

The intent was to circumvent the narrow passage of the St.Lawrence River marking the border between the then Upper Canada and New York State, which would have left the boats supply vulnerable to British attack.

No other altercation between Canada and the United States has taken place since the canal was built and   consequently,it was never used for its original objectives.The Canal construction was supervised by Colonel John By and entrepreneurs such as John Redpath,Thomas McKay and others were  responsible for most of the construction and most of the work was done by thousands of Irish immigrants and  French Canadians.

The 202,0 kilometres Rideau Canal include sections of the Rideau and the Cataraqui River and several lakes such as Big  Rideau Lake.Some 19 kilometres of track are made by human hands.

Today,only pleasure boats ply the Rideau Canal.Boat trips on the canal are available in the city of Ottawa and boaters can easily borrow from the Canadian Capital to Kingston

.The locks are still operated by hand.There are a total of 23 stations for 49 locks along that canal which   normally can accommodate ships up to 27,0 metres long.

In winter the section of the Rideau Canal through the city of Ottawa became the world's largest skating rink for the pleasure of many locals and tourists with nearly 8,0 kilometres and has an area equivalent to 90 Olympic hockey rinks.

The rink is a popular tourist attraction  and recreation area near the place in which Winterlude Ottawa the festival takes place.On the ice there are small kiosks selling  the popular beaver-tail,a pastry made of fried dough topped with various ingredients such as cinnamon,lemon  and maple butter.

During the 2005-2006 hockey season of the National Hockey League,before a game against the Ottawa Senators,the team Mighty Ducks of Anaheim held a training on Rideau Canal.

The CMPC Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography located at 1 Rideau Canal was founded in 1985 and affiliated with the Museum of  Fine Arts in Canada.

Located between the Chateau Laurier and the Canal,the collection dates back to 1939 then assembled by the Stills Photography Division of the National  Film Board of Canada who had no permanent exhibition space until the creation of the museum.

The building was  inaugurated on 7th May 1992 and it was designed by architect Michael Lundhom who transformed an old railway tunnel  that ran along the Chateau Laurier.The entry made by glass and concrete colonnades leading to recalls the  Museum of Fine Arts guides visitors to the main part of the museum below the street level.

The Laurier Castle or "Chateau Laurier" in located in Rideau Street called also "The Fairmont Chateau Laurier" is a five star Hotel renowned in the heart of downtown Ottawa and a shining gem in its kind for its architecture and services.

Due to  its proximity to Parliament Hill and because it served as lodging and meeting place for many notable  politicians over the years, it has often hinted at the Chateau Laurier as the "third chamber of Parliament".

The Hotel is located near the intersection of lat and Sussex and it is within walking distance of Parliament  Hill, Rideau Canal,the Museum of Fine Arts of Canada, the Byward Market, the War Memorial of Canada, the USA. Embassy in Ottawa and the Centre curtain.

It was commissioned by the President of Grand Trunk Railway,Hays, and was built between 1909 and  1912 in tandem with Union Station now the centre of Government Conference Services located on the other  side of the street.

Initial plans of the Hotel have generated some controversy because it was to be built on  part of the territory that included the Major's Hill Park.Wilfrid Laurier Prime Minister of Canada at that time obtained the land required for major construction of the structure and that is why the castle was named  in his Honor.

In addition,a dispute arose when the original architect,Bradford Lee Gilbert was sacked  because of disagreements with the executive of the Grand Trunk.The Montreal firm Ross and MacFarlane has  subsequently been selected to complete the design.

Inaugurated April 26, 1912 but Charles Melville Hays who was in transit to Canada for the opening of the Hotel perished in the sinking of RMS Titanic on 15th April 15,1912 and a lack luster opening  ceremony has taken place later on 12th June1912, in the presence of Wilfrid Laurier.

When Grand Trunk joined the Canadian National in 1923,Chateau Laurier became one of the most prominent  hotels and CN.For years and that accommodation has benefited, being hosted royalty,heads of state, politicians,celebrities and members of the Canadian elite.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the construction of several new Hotels in the Canadian capital,in addition to the closure of Union Station led to a slow decline in its revenues.Major renovations took place in the decade of 80s to improve its situation which allowed it to resume its  place as a Hotel of prestige.

Close to Rideau River,at 335 Laurier Avenue East is situated Laurier House which was the residence of  French-speaking Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier who commanded the Liberal Party won  the elections in 1896,remaining in power until 1911.

Laurier Avenue East leads to Rideau River whose banks are  populated by walking trails and bike paths which lead north to Rideau Falls,twin waterfalls separated by two small green Island.

Near that Canal and McKenzie Bridge is situated the NAC,The National Arts Centre.It is one of many projects initiated by the government of Lester Pearson to commemorate the centennial in 1967 and it was opened in 1969.

The site has already been planned to accommodate the City Hall of Ottawa but the city was finally donated it  to the federal government.The building was designed by Fred Lebensold is a broad framework based on a hexagon  shape while the roof of the NAC is attached to the Mackenzie Bridge and gardens open to the public have been  set up.

Much of the building is underground on Elgin Street with the lower level overlooking the Rideau Canal and its walls are made of concrete with pebbles.

At a certain distance it seems that the walls are brown and flat but getting closer you can see that in fact thousands of small stones are embedded in the concrete.Within the theme of the hexagon is adjacent to both omnipresent different works of art in the halls and stairways.

The NAC is one of the largest arts centre in the country with 1,158,000 square feet,it works with thousands of artists equally well established that those of succession who come from  around the world. The NAC's mission is to be a leader in the art forms in which it is engaged,such as  classical music,English theatre,Italian Opera,French theatre,dance and variety shows.

It is at the forefront  of youth supporting programs for young and emerging artists and programs for young audiences, and production of resources and educational materials for teachers.The NAC is the only multidisciplinary,bilingual centre  of performing arts of North America,and one of the largest in the world.

The National Arts Centre is also home to the Orchestra National Arts Centre one of the world's leading classical  orchestras size.Pinchas Zukerman,renowned conductor, violinist and teacher, is the musical  director of the orchestra since 1999.The English Theatre Artistic Director is Peter Hinton and Since 1st September 2007, Wajdi Mouawad is the French Theatre Chief.

The NAC is the co-producer of the Canada Dance Festival and it is also the site of the International Festival of Animated Film providing 4 scenes artists and spectators.

Bytown Museum  focuses on the military origins of Ottawa.Through practical activities,students will explore the life of a soldier in Canada during the turbulent 19th century learning more about the construction of the Rideau Canal and the founding of Bytown (Ottawa) occurred as a direct result of the USA  invasion and the Canada future capital grow and flourish under the watchful eye of the British garrison.

Crossing Alexandra Bridge you can reach beautiful Jacques Cartier Park,a huge green area,particularly frequented in  summer by families and in the months in which snow falls is the place about competitions of curious snow sculptures.

Next to the park in Rue Laurier is located the Canadian Museum of Civilisations,a very interesting  exposition to know the history of Ottawa and Canada and inside you can admire objects of the native Indians,including totems,large Algonquin canoes,the local native Inuit art,a section dedicated to the Viking Age and  the French colonisation til to come to the Canada more modern history.

In addition the Museum offers a  modern Imax Cinema and a section dedicated as children's exhibition, beyond that the museum is really spectacular  because of its unique architecture from afar looks like the head of a beaver.

Canadian War Museum is located at 1 Vimy Place and it is the national museum of military history of Canada.The Museum was officially founded in 1942 and it covers all aspects of the military past of the country.

It has large permanent exhibits on wars on Canadian soil,the total wars of the 20 century,the Cold War operations and peacekeeping abroad.The exhibition also has an open storage area which exhibits  large objects in his collection such as naval guns,tanks,motorcycles and jet aircraft.

The section of that museum  illustrate the military history of Canada in its individual, national and international aspects with particular  emphasis on the human experience of war and how war affect Canada and was marked by the participation of  Canadians.

A large part of public space is devoted to exhibition galleries in Canada and the conflicts that constitute the bulk of permanent exhibitions.Those presentations highlight the profound impact the war has  had on the evolution of Canada and the significant role that Canadians played in international conflicts.

The content of those galleries is a rich blend of some 2,500 objects ranging from works of art inspired by  the war in armoured vehicles,numerous audiovisual materials and a variety of activities requiring the participation of visitors.

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame located at 385 Sussex Drive is a Basilica which replaced the original Church of St Jacques which was originally built in wood.That former structure was demolished in 1841 to make way for another building more in tune with the times,a neoclassical work of local architect Antoine Robillard.

Opposite the cathedral extends Major's Hill Park,a place chosen by the engineer Colonel John By as a place of residence to see the works of the Rideau Canal.

The park is a quiet ending in the high Nepean Point in which you can have great views of Chaudière Falls, Gatineau and Laurentian Mountains. Continuing east on George Street comes Byward Market,an old  farmer's market turned into a hippy district and entertainment area in which you can find some of  the best restaurants and bars in  Ottawa .Those apples between George and St Patrick Streets still maintain buildings from the time of the first settlers.

As in other cities,Ottawa has maintained for many years its curious traditions,in the case of the Canadian Capital is based on the firing of a cannon to confirm the time of day.

The noon gun is fired the shot that was heard daily at 12:00 in the Point Nepean  Major's Hill Park warning from 1869 to the postal service to deliver synchronised their watches and timely  shipments.

The gun was manufactured 9 pounds in Wales in 1807 and used by the British Navy during the Crimean  War. Donated to the British garrison in Canada was called on Parliament Hill, between the East Building and the library, making its first trip in Ottawa on 26th April 26, 1869.

After the burning of Parliament in 1916 moved to the quiet canyon Major's Hill Park to avoid shocks to their Lordships who seem to preclude  detonation concentrate.An interesting anecdote occurred in 1966 when one morning to get the gunner,he discovered that the gun was gone.

Quickly,the RCMP,the Royal Canadian Mounted Police began its search operation discovering that some students pranksters had borrowed the gun to use as a star attraction in the  carnival parade.The gun fell out of use in 1994 and was transferred to the gazebo located behind the statue  of Queen Victoria to the west of Centre Block.A later work on the same site have withdrawn from circulation  again.

The MCG houses the Centre for Military History,an advanced facility for research in libraries and  archives and an extensive collection of some 500,000 artifacts including uniforms,medals, weapons,works  of art inspired by the war,aircraft, military vehicles and artillery pieces.

.The origins of the MCG back to  the year 1880 and the current building which opened in May 2005 is located less than 2 kilometres west of the  Canadian Parliament Buildings.The architecture of that building has attracted the highest praise both  professionals and the public.

The MCG is part of the Canadian Museum of Civilisation which  also includes the Canadian Museum of Civilisation, Canadian Children's Museum, the Canadian Postal Museum and the Virtual Museum of New France.

The Museum of Science and Technology located in St. Laurent Boulevard south of Highway 417 Mission is another attraction which worth a visit.That exhibition was founded in 1967 during Canada's centennial celebrations.The museum's role is introducing visitors understand the history of science and technology in Canada,honouring 42 Canadian scientists,engineers and innovators recognised in the Hall of Fame.

Scotiabank Place, originally called "Palladium", opened on 15th January 1996 with a performance by Canadian rock star  Bryan Adams and it is the home of the famous Ice Hockey Team Ottawa Senators.
 when the arena was built, it had a capacity of 18,500 seats for ice hockey and it was immediately considered one of the best in the entire country.

 In the year 2004,that arena hosted the largest crowd in the history of the Canadian Hockey League with 20,081 spectators when the Ottawa  67's were beaten by the Kingston Frontenacs.Subsequently, the room capacity was increased by 2000 seats.

The famous player Wayne Gretzky played his last part on Canadian soil before retiring in 1999 as an NHL player.The arena was renamed Scotiabank Place (Scotiabank Place in English) in January 2006. In the past it has  been called Palladium and the Corel Centre.June 2, 2007, the hall held its first game of Stanley Cup final with a record crowd of 20,500 people.

Close to the Airport is situated the Aviation Museum of Canada the national museum of aviation history, founded in 1964.The exhibition collection contains a wide variety of  civil and military aircraft representing the history of Canadian aviation pioneers of the era before the 1st World War until today.

The collection of old bush planes the 1920s to the 1940s is particularly  remarkable.The collection of military aircraft flights is made by Canadians during the 1st and 2nd World Wars and during the Cold War too.The exhibition's most famous museums are the remaining components of the Avro CF-105 Arrow, built in the late 1950s.

Also there are on the site interactive activities on the science of flight, films,demonstrations,gift shop and guided tours.Some tours take visitors behind the scenes to see the work of  preservation and ongoing restoration and parts that are in the warehouse.

The best choices about beaches in Ottawa are on the north bank of the river in Gatineau.The beach Du Parc du Lac Leamy,at 100 Chemin du Lac-Leamy, is a frozen lake in winter and mild summer meadows to bathe it is equipped with toilets,picnic tables, bars, rent canoes,,kayaks and pedalos.

Another good option is the parc du Lac-Beauchamp at 745 Boulevard Maloney Est-a space of 213 acres with 15 miles of trails that offers the same facilities of the former 20 kilometres to the south is the Marina d'Aylmer a beach and marina on the banks of the Ottawa river, where they can rent sports equipment and dive into the cold river.

Ottawa offers a very interesting nightlife with pubs and traditional Irish  in Clarence Street,as Patty Boland's
Black Thorn Irish Village and Clocktower.Elgin Street is another place full of clubs and bars The Standard
Club 92",The Manx" and Lieutenant's Pump.

In the blocks between Sussex and Dalhousie Street areThe Druid and the The Rainbow while Zaphod Beeblebrox in 27 Street is the mecca of live music venues for local bands,electronic and alternative rock and dj's sessions.

As for leisure activities should be noted highlights of the Tulip Festival held in spring and fills the streets of Ottawa of colours and the Winterlude winter carnival which attracts hundreds of people on the Rideau Canal.

Every May since 1953 Ottawa has hosts that event in commemoration of that day,celebrating  peace and brotherhood among different cultures.The city wears colours by the millions of tulips bloom in early May, it is highly advisable to Commissioner's Park with over 300,000 tulips and Major's Hill Park.During those two weeks take place concerts,exhibitions, parades and shows throughout the city.

The International Airport Ottawa McDonald-Cartier is situated in Riverside South,approximately 11,0 kilometres from Ottawa downtown.It is the 6th most busy airport in Canada with respect to passengers and the 10th in terms of air operations.Thay airport is also a focus city for Air Canada Jazz and Air Canada and is the hub for First Air.The transport is provided by OC Transpo whose network includes local bus routes with frequent stops, circuits called rapid lane transit way and a train-tram called O-Train.

The network STO serving Gatineau on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River in some circuits to the city of Ottawa and OC Transpo did the same to Gatineau.The whole gives a very dense network of public transit..

Ottawa is a very charming city,nature and modern buildings are a beautiful mix of colours and contrasts,the Rideau Canal and the several parks are all to explore and enjoy,for all that Ottawa is a great destination to North America all to discover with its splendorous charm.

Francesco Mari

Recommended Hotels in Ottawa

Hotel Chateau Laurier
Hotel The Westin Ottawa
The Marriott Hotel Ottawa
Hotel Sheraton Ottawa
Hotel Arc
Hotel Lord Elgin
Hotel Cartier
Hotel Cartier Place Suites
Hotel Novotel