About Ottawa Ottawa, Canada's Capital, sits on the border between the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in central Canada. It was made capital of the British colonial Province of Canada in 1857. In the 20th century, a much larger Capital region was created to serve as a frame for Canada’s Capital. Since 1969, Ottawa and Gatineau (two cities that face each other across the broad Ottawa River) and the surrounding urban and rural communities have been formally recognized as Canada’s Capital Region. Ottawa is one of four capitals (with London, Johannesburg and Budapest) that are neo-Gothic in style and spirit. The complex, picturesque quality of Gothic design distinguishes these from neo-classical Rome, Paris and Washington, which are characterized by a spirit of monumental grandeur.
Ottawa was named the capital of the Province of Canada in 1857. At this time, Ottawa was a plain little industrial town in the middle of nowhere. The transformation started in 1859, when work began on a series of grand new Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. The legislature of the Province of Canada sat for the first and last time in these new buildings in 1866. The very next year, Canada was created as a new independent nation, and the first government of the Dominion of Canada assembled in Ottawa.
  • encompasses 4,715 square kilometres of river valley, mountains, wetlands and fields
  • stretches out on both sides of the Ottawa River to include parts of two Canadian provinces — Ontario (to the south) and Quebec (to the north)
  • lies at 79 metres above sea level
  • has a population of 1.081 million (as of 2000)
  • contains two major cities — Ottawa and Gatineau — as well as numerous small towns
  • enjoys a “continental” climate (hot and humid in summer, cold and snowy in winter)
  • Canada’s most bilingual communities, with nearly half a million people speaking both English and French
    Source: http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/
  • Day 1. Drive to Ottawa, Canada
            (30 June 2009 Tuesday)
    5am depart Norfolk, MA for Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
        Total distance from Norfolk, MA to Ottawa is 490 miles.
        Estimated driving time of about 8 hours 40 minutes.
    2pm arrive at Ottawa, ON / hotel check-in (6 nights)
        Les Suites Hotel Ottawa
    130 Besserer Street
    Ottawa ON   K1N 9M9
    Tel. (613) 232-2000 or toll-free at 1-866-682-0879
    Located at the heart of our historic and vibrant city. Whether you’re exploring the historical sites or celebrating in the streets, the centrally located Les Suites Hotel can meet your every need during your stay in beautiful downtown Ottawa. At Les Suites Hotel you’re steps away from many popular destinations and many of the area’s finest restaurants.
    Our 1000 sq. ft. Premiere Two-Bedroom Suites feature a separate second bedroom, a fully equipped kitchen, an ensuite washer and dryer, private balcony, separate living and dining areas, and complimentary wireless high-speed internet. Website: http://www.les-suites.com/
    Parliament Hill
    Parliament is the heart of Canada’s democratic system. Canadians’ representatives meet on Parliament Hill to make laws that shape the country’s future and affect the lives of every citizen. Parliament Hill, one of the best-known symbols in Canada, has three buildings: Centre, East and West blocks. Centre Block — the main building with the distinctive Peace Tower — houses the chambers of the House of Commons and the Senate. You can watch either chamber in action from the visitor galleries, take a building tour, or go up to the top of the Peace Tower for a spectacular view of the Capital region. In the Peace Tower you can also visit the Memorial Chamber, which honours Canada’s war dead. The historic East Block looks much the way it did at the time of Confederation. Inside are the restored offices of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and other early statesmen. Tours are offered of these historic rooms and they are also the setting for interactions with historical characters from that period. West Block houses offices for members of parliament and is closed to the public.
    Tour Tickets: You can get same-day tickets for groups of less than 10 people beginning at 9 am daily. The number of tickets for each day is limited. We cannot guarantee a tour to any visitor on any given day. Go to the Info-Tent (a large white tent between the Centre and West Blocks) for detailed information on program availability and to obtain tour tickets. Source: http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/bins/
    Supreme Court of Canada
    The Supreme Court of Canada is Canada's final court of appeal, the last judicial resort for all litigants, whether individuals or governments. Its jurisdiction embraces both the civil law of the province of Quebec and the common law of the other provinces and territories. The Supreme Court of Canada stands at the apex of the Canadian judicial system. From May 1st to August 31st, the building is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, including weekends, and guided tours are conducted on a continuing basis.
    A visit to the Supreme Court of Canada will give you the opportunity to become better acquainted with our country's highest court. Our guides, who are all law students, will familiarize you with the operation of the Canadian judicial system and will explain to you how legal issues of public importance are dealt with by the Supreme Court of Canada. When the Court is in session, it is possible to sit in on the hearing of an appeal. Website: http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/
    Confederation Boulevard
    Confederation Boulevard is the Capital's ceremonial and discovery route, and your avenue to discovering this extraordinary place. The Boulevard runs right through the heart of the Capital and encircles the downtown areas of Ottawa (Ontario) and Gatineau (Quebec) in one continuous, flag-lined promenade. Along its length lie some of Canada's most important institutions, heritage sites, monuments and festival plazas. Confederation Boulevard offers a pleasant day of strolling and sightseeing with spectacular views and refreshing intervals of contact with nature right in the heart of the city.
  • During state visits, Confederation Boulevard is a ceremonial route toured by foreign dignitaries. The Boulevard is decorated with flags, Canada’s familiar maple leaf interspersed with the flag of the visiting country.
  • Every summer, a line of colourful banners weaves around Confederation Boulevard to beautify the Capital and remind us of important moments in the Canadian experience.
  • Walking around Confederation Boulevard, you’ll encounter many works of art ranging from national monuments to quirky, contemporary sculptures.
  • Confederation Boulevard has won international awards in urban design.
    Canada’s Discovery Route - The great thing about Confederation Boulevard is that so many major national landmarks and attractions are located so close together along its route. Website: http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/
  • Byward Market
    This unique shopping and restaurant district covers nearly 12 square blocks—north of Rideau Street and east of Sussex Drive—and offers something for everyone. You'll find trendy stores selling the latest in designer fashions, jewelry and artwork, as well as a variety of restaurants. In the evening, the market is a buzz of activity as partygoers hop from nightclub to nightclub. To experience the true roots of the market, visit during the weekend, when local farmers and artisans ply their wares near the Byward Market Building. Source http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2802396-byward_market_ottawa-i
    See and be seen until the wee hours at one of our hip nightspots. Morning, noon and night the ByWard Market has something just for you.
    Established by Lt-Col. John By in 1826, the ByWard Market is one of Canada's oldest and largest public markets. The legendary builder of the Rideau Canal, Colonel By himself laid out the street plan of the Market, designating George Street and York Street to be extra wide to accommodate the creation of a public market and gathering place. Within an area roughly four blocks square, you'll find museums, cafés, specialty food shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, pubs, hair & aesthetics salons and more! Easily accessible on foot, by transit or by car, the ByWard Market offers a unique experience for all. Website http://www.byward-market.com
    Day 2. Fête di Canada (Canada Day) (1 July 2009 Wednesday)

    Canada Day Official Schedule of Events
    The focal point for many Canadians on July 1st is Parliament Hill with its ceremonies and celebrations that are broadcast into the homes of Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
    An amazing assortment of activities for the whole family to enjoy together! Join in for a day of discovery, adventure, entertainment and fun. Games, contests, demonstrations, fascinating sites, balloons, face-painting, singing, dancing, storytelling — and more!
    A day packed full of exciting entertainment! From sun-up ’til sundown, there’s something for all styles and tastes: from the quirky creativity of roving performers, to the thrill of the main stage attractions, to the spectacular fireworks grand finale.
  • 9am Canada Day Parade - Watch this impressive historical military parade in the heart of the Capital! Featuring: Air Command Pipes and Drums, Cameron Highlanders Pipes and Drums, Central Band of the Canadian Forces, Compagnie franche de la Marine de Montréal, Colour Party of the Royal Canadian Legion, Drums 1812, Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France, Lincoln and Welland Regiment Band, Ontario Military Vehicle Association, 33rd Halifax Pipes and Drums, 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipes and Drums, and more!
  • 10am Changing the Guard - A pageantry of marching music and military drills, performed by the Governor General’s Foot Guards. The Ceremonial Guard of the Canadian Forces brings stirring military drill and music to Parliament Hill.
  • 10:30am RCMP Musical Ride - Representing a colourful tradition and ceremony, with scarlet uniforms and majestic horses, this performance gives Canadians from coast to coast an opportunity to experience part of our heritage and national identity.
  • noon to 1:30pm Canada Day Noon Show on Parliament Hill - The Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages invites you to join the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and thousands of Canadians on Parliament Hill to mark the founding of the Canadian state 400 years ago: from Champlain to today.
  • 12:10pm The Canada Day Poster Challenge 2009 - The Canada Day Poster Challenge 2008 was a resounding success. Close to 13,000 young people from across the country, aged 5 to 18, submitted posters that interpreted the theme “My Canada Today!”
  • 2pm to 5pm Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France - Get a taste of this popular Quebec festival in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Québec City! Enjoy musicians, giant puppets, dancing and street performers inspired by 18th century settlers.
  • 6pm to 10pm Canada Day Evening Show - A Tapestry of Talent!
  • 10pm President’s Choice® Canada Day Fireworks Spectacular - This thunderous pyrotechnics show soars over the Ottawa River, beginning at 10:05 pm. Visitors can expect some special features this year, as we celebrate some of Canada’s important historical milestones.
    The best views are from Jacques-Cartier Park, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Major’s Hill Park, and along the Ottawa River. Be thrilled by Canada’s Snowbirds and CF-18s, cheer on the performers, and discover Canadian symbols and military traditions! Join the party on Parliament Hill, and let’s celebrate Canada’s birthday! Official website: http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/bins/ncc_web_content_page.asp
  • Sparks Street Mall
    This outdoor mall is one of Ottawa's oldest shopping districts. Stretching three blocks, it is home to a number of specialty shops including Nocean, O'Shea's Market Ireland and Canada's Four Corners at the corner of Sparks and Metcalfe streets, which sells a wide selection of original Inuit carvings and other Native Canadian artwork and accessories. During the summer months, the mall is buzzing with activity, especially during the lunch hour when hundreds of public servants fill the many restaurants and outdoor cafes. Located adjacent to Parliament Hill, Sparks Street is the home to the National Press Club. One will regularly see reporters and cameras on the Mall conducting their national political reports. Ottawa tour buses are also stationed on Sparks Street.
    Sparks Street is one of Ottawa's most significant heritage streets. It was founded in the early 1800's by Nicholas Sparks - one of the City Fathers of Ottawa - which at that time was called Bytown. After Queen Victoria selected Ottawa to be the Capital of Canada, Sparks Street became the thriving commercial centre for the Ottawa valley. Sparks Street is home to longtime retail stores and businesses that have been owned by generations of Ottawa families. Some of Canada's largest banks are still located in prestigious locations and buildings on the Mall. In the summer you can meet local artisans who are part of the Mall's Outdoor Market program. Website: http://www.ottawakiosk.com/SparksStreet
    Currency Museum (near Sparks Street mall)
    The Bank of Canada's Currency Museum was opened in 1980. It is home to the National Currency Collection, the largest collection of Canadian bank notes, coins, and tokens in the world. The Museum is located within the first Bank of Canada building (built in 1934), just minutes from Parliament Hill.
    Join one of our regular guided tours, an informative hour-long visit that provides an excellent overview of the collection. Step back in time and explore the evolution of money around the world and through the ages at the Bank of Canada's Currency Museum. A fascinating variety of media of exchange including shells, teeth, and cocoa beans, as well as today's currency, tells us about the societies where they originated.
    Hours Mon-Sat 11am-5pm Sunday 1pm-5pm Admission Free Monday to Friday Tours General Tour 3:30pm; 11:30am Counterfeiting Website: http://www.currencymuseum.ca/
    Visitors are encouraged to explore the evolution of money and the monetary system during a visit to this somewhat quirky museum, situated on the ground floor of the Bank of Canada building on Sparks Street. Displays focus not only on Canadian currencies, but also on those of the entire world; a highlight is a giant circular stone once used as legal tender on Yap Island in the South Pacific. Source http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2802408-currency_museum_ottawa-i
    Confederation Park
    In addition to the trees and benches that characterize many urban parks, Confederation Park also contains a central fountain of Peterhead granite honoring Colonel John By (which had stood in Trafalgar Square, London from 1845 to 1939. This fountain's twin is located in Wascana Park, Regina), a totem pole (donated to the City of Ottawa to commemorate British Columbia's 1971 centennial), the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument and the Boer War memorial statue.
    Many events are held in this park due to its central location and its proximity to most public transit lines. The Ottawa International Jazz Festival's main events are often held here, as well as other festivals that spill over from the neighbouring plaza in front of Ottawa City Hall. The park serves as a common shortcut for pedestrians heading from Elgin Street and/or Centretown to destinations to the north and east (the National Arts Centre, Rideau Street, Sussex Drive, the Rideau Centre and/or the Byward Market), since it is a more direct route than walking uphill on Elgin and Wellington Streets. Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation_Park
    Rideau Centre Shopping Mall
    Ottawa's premier shopping destination located in the heart of downtown, one block east of Parliament Hill. Home to 180 of the biggest names in fashion, food and services. Open Mon-Fri 9:30am-9pm Saturday 9:30am-6pm Sunday 11am-5pm Canada Day 10am-6pm Website: http://www.rideaucentre.net/
    Rideau Centre is a three-level shopping center on Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The centre's proximity to the shops in the Byward Market and on Rideau Street, and its location near most of the City's main attractions, contribute to its status as one of the region's top shopping and tourist destinations. The Rideau Centre complex also includes approximately 180 other retailers, the Westin Hotel, a rooftop park, a movie theatre and the Ottawa Congress Centre.
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rideau_Centre
    Avant-Garde Bar
    At 135-1/2 Besserer St, Ottawa, ON K1N 6A7. Avant-Garde Bar is a combination of Soviet constructivism and contemporary Western life. Avant-Garde bar consists of two main rooms: open space, shimmering with contrasting and distinct colours of the counter and cocktail glasses, reflected in interlacement of the mirrors, which transforms into a cozy lower room, radiating warmer and more intimate shades. Website http://www.avantgardebar.ca/
    Review: Avant-Garde's Russian owners have created an unusual (and popular!) spot, where part of the fun is taking in the décor – bold colors, curved mirrors, Soviet propaganda posters, Kandinsky and Lissitzky prints, and Russian knickknacks. The menu includes a variety of interesting Russian vodkas, salads, sandwiches and pastries, plus blini prepared several ways. Entertainment runs the gamut, from poetry readings and live bands to DJs and films.
    Day 3. Laflèche! (2 July 2009 Thursday)
    Laflèche Adventure Park
    The best way to take maximum advantage of Aventure Laflèche is to spend the whole day here. Start your day with the aerial park before it gets too hot, followed by an open-air lunch. Then cool down with a guided tour of the Laflèche Cave (which is naturally air-conditioned) or take the mountain trials. Whatever the order of your activities, you’ll have a full day up in the air and down underground. Laflèche Adventure Park offers walking paths and mountain trails with scattered lookouts where the views of the Laurentian forest are simply breathtaking. All our paths and trails are clearly marked. Not only that, but they’re chock-full of information points and special things to discover...a unique opportunity to discover the wonders that await you when you take a walk in the woods on the Canadian Shield. Laflèche Adventure trails are a great way to discover the secrets of the Laurentian forest. Summer hours 7 days a week 8:30am to 9pm.
    At 255 Route Principale, Val-des-Monts, QC, J8N 4B7 about 45 minutes from downtown Ottawa.
    Website http://www.aventurelafleche.ca/en/index.php
    Laflèche Aerial Park
    An outdoor treetop workout! Fly more than 30 metres above a lake on two giant 200 metre-long zip trek lines. Over 82 suspension bridges provide incredible views of the Laurentian forest. Tarzan ropes, wooden footbridges, nets and giant zip trek lines make Laflèche the region’s most unique destination. As soon as you arrive at the site you’ll be greeted by a supervisor. Clasps, harnesses and gloves will be provided and you’ll receive the necessary training to ensure your safety along the trail. We recommend that you wear clothing appropriate for this activity. Heeled shoes and flimsy clothes should not be worn (No sandals, closed shoes only), and long hair should be tied up. An experienced instructor will accompany you from start to finish so you can get the most out of the trail and its mysteries.
    Plan to spend several hours having fun, but bear in mind that you must arrive 30 minutes ahead of time to complete registration, then undergo a 15-minute training session before you set out, and take about 3 ½ hours to cover all the trails. Children under 1.52m (5ft) tall will not be admitted into the aerial park. Rates C$42 / C$34 (13-17 years old). Reservation required 1 877 457-4033.
    Laflèche Caves in Chemin Des Cavernes, Val-des-monts, QC
    Experience the thrill of an underground trek in the vast Canadian Shield’s largest cave. With ice stalactites and stalagmites in winter and geology which is accessible to everyone, the cave holds many surprises and discoveries. Its history is littered with astonishing anecdotes and mysteries. If you’ve never ventured underground before, please be aware that the cave’s temperature is a constant 4°C (the temperature inside a fridge). Warm clothing should therefore be worn, even in summer. We supply a helmet with a headlamp. Just like a real explorer, you’ll be able to follow the guide and make the most of the visit. During this voyage to the heart of the Canadian Shield you’ll learn about more than 20,000 years of history. Not only that, but you’ll find out about speleology – the study and science of cave exploration.
    Day 4. Around and About in Ottawa (3 July 2009 Friday)
    Rideau Hall
    Rideau Hall is the official residence of the Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean. Canada's Governor General invites you to visit Rideau Hall, the home and workplace of every Governor General since Confederation in 1867, where Canadians are honoured and welcomed alongside world leaders and visitors from around the globe. Rideau Hall is a 79 acre oasis of beautifully landscaped grounds - just minutes from downtown Ottawa. It is open year-round, a gracious and inviting place where Canada's history comes to life with vitality and warmth. Tour the magnificent residence and gardens, wander through the peaceful grounds, have a picnic. Rideau Hall, a national historic site and the symbolic home of all Canadians, welcomes you. Watch the ceremonial guard every hour! The grounds are open daily, from 9 a.m. to one hour before the sunset. Admission is free. Source: http://www.ottawakiosk.com/rideau_hall.html
    Major's Hill Park
    What an astonishing place for great views. In many cities in the world this prime real estate would be owned by developers and private individuals, but in Canada this treasure is preserved for the use and enjoyment of all. We enjoyed this park several times, but my fondest memory is walking around this park just at sunset. Incredible! Above the Ottawa River, across the Rideau Canal from Parliament Hill, and a couple flights of steps up from the Byward Market, this fine park is very handy. The city activity is so close, but the park is quiet and peaceful. Acres of green grass, plenty of public art to view and views that will have to amazed and pleased. Free of admission charges! The park is a city escape for all. Source http://www.igougo.com/attractions-reviews-b48162-Ottawa-Majors_Hill_Park.html
    From Wikipedia: Major's Hill Park is one of the most notable parks in downtown Ottawa. The park stands above the Rideau Canal at the point where it enters the Ottawa River. Across the canal to the west are the parliament buildings, to the north of the park is the National Gallery of Canada, and east is the United States embassy and the Byward Market. To the south is the Chateau Laurier hotel, built upon land that was once part of the park.
    Canadian Museum of Civilization
    Canada’s largest and most popular cultural institution, the Corporation manages the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum. The Canadian Museum of Civilization is a museum that celebrates the diversity of humankind and wonders at the achievements of cultures, past and present. Walk through a thousand years of settlement in Canada, from the earliest Viking landing site in Newfoundland, through New France and Upper Canada, to the Prairies and beyond in the Canada Hall.
    The Canadian Postal Museum The Canadian Postal Museum focuses on the history of the postal service in Canada and around the world, illustrating how the need for long-distance communication has led people to employ state-of-the-art technology, from antiquity to the present day.
    The Canadian Children’s Museum At the Canadian Children’s Museum, visitors of all ages will enjoy our interactive Great Adventure as they journey — passports in hand — through the many destinations in our International Village. During the summer, visitors to the Canadian Children’s Museum are invited to step outside to Adventure World: a seasonal park bursting with fun and games. Open 9am to 6pm. Source: http://www.civilisations.ca/
    Rideau Canal and Locks
    At Wellington Street. The currents of history flow through the Rideau Canal, operated by Parks Canada as a National Historic Canal. Dating back to the nineteenth century, the Canal links lakes and rivers for a distance of over 200 kilometres from Ottawa to Kingston. The Canal offers outdoor recreational activities in an historic and beautiful natural setting.
    Today, the Canal appears much as it did over 150 years ago with limestone locks, hand-operated cranks, wooden lock master houses, and stone supply buildings. Parks Canada presents exhibits and programs which tell of the amazing feats of the canal builders and the evolution of the Canal from military route to recreational waterway.
    The Rideau Canal is one of the Capital's most popular recreational areas. In the summer, canoes and motorboats ply the waters, while walkers, joggers, cyclists and in-line skaters enjoy the recreational pathways alongside. In the winter, 8 kilometers are cleared to become the longest outdoor ice-skating rink in the world. Source: http://www.ottawakiosk.com/rideau_canal.html
    Château Laurier
    An ornate building, with the air of a medieval castle but actually built in 1912, the Château Laurier, at the upper end of the canal locks, is a prime example of the grand hotels built by the big Canadian railroad companies, which is what it still is today. Visitors don't need to stay at the Fairmont Château Laurier to appreciate this imposing building. It is a striking landmark. At 1 Rideau Street.
    Reflecting the confidence, dignity and style of Ottawa, Fairmont Château Laurier stands as a testament to this dynamic, thriving city. Located in the heart of Canada's capital next door to the Parliament Buildings, the landmark Fairmont Château Laurier is a magnificent limestone edifice with turrets and masonry reminiscent of a French château. Website http://www.fairmont.com/laurier/
    Ottawa By Night: Byward Market
    Suite 34 at 34 Clarence St, ByWard Market, Ottawa, ON K1N 5P3 One of Ottawa's most fashionable addresses, Suite 34 draws a trendy crowd who enjoy the rooftop patio, spacious dance floor and extensive menu of designer martinis. Whether you're in the mood for lounging or dancing, this is the place to do it. But be sure to wear your most stylish threads!
    Collection & Bar 56 at 56 ByWard Market.This ByWard Market hotspot literally pulsates with dance music from Thursday to Saturday, hosting some of Ottawa's top dance parties. Indeed, this is where you go to be seen and a part of the scene in the capital city, whether you're in the mood for grooving to some mid-80s classics or lounging on one of their cozy couches, "in repose, with martini." Upstairs, you'll find the ultra-hip Mercury Lounge. Source http://www.10best.com/Ottawa,ON/Nightlife/Best_Nightlife/ 52178/Collection_&_Bar_56_Ottawa_ON/
    Mercury Lounge at 56 ByWard Market, Ottawa, ON K1N 7A2. Located upstairs above the Collection, the Mercury Lounge boasts an eclectic, Euro-style atmosphere that includes sleek, velvet furniture, modern artwork and beat-driven international music. Expect to find an interesting hodgepodge of clientele here, from young professionals to trendy students. Worth noting: the Mercury's martini menu tops out at about 20 or so, and rumor has it their bartenders mix what just might be Ottawa's best. The Mercury also has a dance floor where the beautiful people shake the night away under the supervision of some of Ottawa's hottest celeb DJs. Source http://www.10best.com/Ottawa,ON/Nightlife/Best_Nightlife/ 52177/Mercury_Lounge_Ottawa_ON/
    Day 5. Upper Canada Village (or Mont Cascades) (4 July 2008 Saturday)
    Upper Canada Village Heritage Park
    Escape to another time and place, amidst the sights and sounds of an 1860s village. You'll meet loads of friendly folk from the past as you visit over 40 heritage buildings including mills, trades shops, farms, churches, homes, factories and even a one-room schoolhouse. Enjoy horse-drawn wagon and boat rides, shopping, food and family fun.
    Touring Upper Canada Village is a magical experience, transporting you back in time to the 1860s. A key part of the experience is the authentic buildings that make up the village, the activities that each housed, and of course, the people who lived there. Experience what life was really like in the 1860s through themed Activities and Special Events offered throughout the season.
    There is constant activity to see and learn from at Upper Canada Village; from the spinning of wool in a log home, to the grinding of wheat into flour in a steam powered mill. Tradesmen demonstrate their skills by forging iron, shaping and soldering tinware, crafting furniture, shoeing horses and more. Throughout the Village costumed interpreters are busy in homes, shops and on the streets, tending to livestock in the barns and farmyards.
    Take a ride through the Village on a horse-drawn Wagon, and return by water via the Tow Scow. Take the Miniature Train to Heritage Park and the Queen Elizabeth Gardens. There is always something interesting going on in the Family Activity Centre. Finally, dress up in period costumes at the Photography Studio leave Upper Canada Village with a perfect souvenir.
    The Queen Elizabeth Gardens, an eye-pleasing oasis of brilliant colour and breathtaking fragrance, are located in Upper Canada Village Heritage Park, the scene of a battle where American forces fought British Regulars, aided by a Canadian contingent, in 1813. The Gardens have been designed with an awareness of this history; the 50-acres (20 hectare) site is in the heart of the area settled by the Loyalists; through historic varieties of plants and lush walkways that lead to historical memorials, the Gardens stand in a colourful tribute to the richness of the past.
    Open May to October 9:30am to 5pm Daily. Admission C$20. Distance from Ottawa is 57 miles with estimated driving time of 1 hour 15 minutes. Website: http://www.uppercanadavillage.com/home.htm
    Mont Cascades Waterpark (alternative destination)
    448 Mont Cascades Road Cantley, Québec J8V 3B2
    17 miles 35 minutes drive. Open 10am-6pm. Admission C$25.
    The Water rides at Mont Cascades Resort are the best in the world! These are the same ProSlide water rides that are installed in the amusement park industry's best known waterparks such as Canada's Wonderland and both of Disney's major waterparks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. These rides are widely recognized as the best in the world for safety, thrills and fun.
    Tornado Alley - The world's first TornadoALLEY nick-named the MOUNTAIN SCREAM. This new extreme 4-man experience will be a ride you'll never forget! With its TANTRUM funnel and dark tunnel features, the TornadoALLEY will take your breath away! Kamikaze Slide - Only for the daring! This speed slide provides the exhilarating feeling of "free fall" until the splash deceleration runout at the bottom slows your descent. Turbo Twister - A thrilling experience in a wet tunnel. Experience full 360 degree rotation.
    Mammoth River - This is one the family can enjoy together! Riders go up 5 in a raft and cascade down a twisting flume to an exciting splash at the bottom. Fun for all ages!
    Mont Cascades Waterpark also offers other features aimed to make your visit more enjoyable. They include: Leisure Pools, Water Falls, Full Food & Beverage Service, Spacious Picnic Facilities. Website http://www.montcascades.ca/aqua/en_home.asp
    Royal Canadian Mint
    The mint has been producing Canadian coinage since 1908. Although coins in circulation are now struck at the mint in Winnipeg, Manitoba, special commemorative coins, tokens and medallions are still struck here. Take the popular and extremely interesting guided tour, offered alternately in French and English—call ahead for times, as they change seasonally. Admission: CAD2 adults; CAD8 families; half price on weekends. The boutique offers limited edition coins and assorted souvenirs. Source: http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2802417-royal_canadian_mint_ottawa-i
    The Royal Canadian Mint's headquarters occupy an historic building in central Ottawa, the same premises on which the Mint was founded in 1908. Today, the Ottawa facility produces hand-crafted collector and commemorative coins, gold bullion coins, medals and medallions. It is here that all the master tooling is done to create the dies that strike coin designs for both circulation and commemorative issues. The Mint's gold refining and advanced engineering operations are also located here in Ottawa. Visit the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa to learn more about the exacting skill that goes into precision coin design. Summer hours weekdays 9am-7pm weekends 9am-5pm. At 320 Sussex Drive, Ottawa. Website: http://www.mint.ca/
    Ottawa By Night: Elgin Street
    Visit one of Ottawa's most popular night spots for the after-work crowd and dance enthusiasts. From the twenty-four hour diners to the classy, sophisticated restaurants, Elgin Street is the place to be on a Friday or Saturday evening for many. Nestled in amongst this lively street are many exclusive homes and condominiums that help keep Elgin Street a thriving community all day, and all week long. Source http://www.ottawakiosk.com/panos/elgin_street.html
    During the evening the intersection of Elgin and Gladstone came alive with nightclubs; the clientele pouring out in the balconies and the patios on the street. This was all dandy, except these clubs were sports bars and meat markets. Don't get me wrong! This is fine if you don't mind Top 40 music blasting, TV's blaring sports games, and girls dressed in skimpy trendy club outfits as they try to score with the guys. There is a time and a place to this, and that's fine... if that's what you're looking for... Source http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/Canada/ Province_of_Ontario/Ottawa-905720/Nightlife-Ottawa-Elgin_Street-BR-1.html
    Day 6. National Gallery (5 July 2009 Sunday)
    National Gallery of Canada
    The National Gallery of Canada is one of the world's most respected art institutions, renowned for its exceptional collections, revered for its scholarship, and applauded for its unique ability to engage audiences of all ages and all levels of artistic knowledge. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada is among the oldest of Canada's national cultural institutions.
    Arguably the most beautiful structure in the nation's capital, and certainly a spectacular addition to Ottawa's skyline, the Gallery was designed by Moshe Safdie and completed in 1988. After entering the building, visitors proceed up a long, glass concourse with a vaulted ceiling that leads to the Great Hall. From the hall, visitors can access the gallery's many rooms, each based on an artistic style or period. Pieces include works by masters such as Pissaro, Gustav Klimt and Rembrandt.
    The European and American galleries integrate painting, sculpture and decorative arts ranging in date from the early fourteenth to the late twentieth century. The contemporary art collection is the beating heart of the National Gallery of Canada. Engaging with living artists, the contemporary collection represents current trends in the art world while continuing to build upon and create relationships to the museum’s historical works. As one of Canada’ foremost places to experience contemporary art, the gallery is a site for exchange, debate and contemplation.
    From its founding in 1880 the National Gallery of Canada has grown to become the largest visual arts museum in the country. The Gallery's outstanding holdings of Canadian art are the direct result of its unwavering commitment to the acquisition of works by living Canadian artists, a commitment that can be traced back virtually to the foundation year of the institution. By now our collection of contemporary art is truly international. Open daily 10am-5pm Thursday to 8pm. Admission $9. Website: http://national.gallery.ca/
    Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography
    Discover Canada's most photogenic museum — the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (CMCP). This elegant building is a creative reconstruction of an abandoned railway tunnel. It houses a collection of over 160,000 images by Canada's most dynamic art and documentary photographers. Inside the CMCP's galleries, you'll discover works that startle, excite and reveal. Every few months, the galleries are completely transformed with new exhibits drawn from the museum's collection, and complemented by works and exhibits from other venues. Source: http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/
    The collection of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography spans more than forty years, from the early 1960s to the present. It has been developed through numerous purchases, assignments and donations of the best documentary and art photography produced in Canada. Photographers represented in the collection were either born in or are permanent residents of Canada.
    The CMCP collection comprises over 160,000 photographic works. The main area of acquisition is prints, with the collection boasting some 16,500 – and growing! Other works include, transparencies, negatives, books, filmstrips, audio-visual presentations, mixed media works, assemblages and installation pieces, video art and other types of art or information media based on still photography.
    The variety and range of its collection make CMCP a unique institution in this country, and one of only a few national museums devoted to photography in the world. This body of work offers us a detailed and panoramic view of Canada's recent history and culture, showing us both what we look like and how we see our world. Website http://cmcp.gallery.ca/
    Gatineau Park (alternative destination)
    This natural getaway is only a five-minute drive from downtown Ottawa. Take the Chaudiere Bridge across the Ottawa River to Tache Boulevard and turn left. The park entrance is on the left, about two miles down the road. The park itself winds through a beautiful old growth forest and features several nature trails, lakes and panoramic lookouts. The area is especially beautiful in the fall, when the National Capital Commission stages its annual Fall Rhapsody series of tours and lectures. There is limited handicapped access.
    source: http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2802399-gatineau_ park_ottawa-i
    Gatineau Park is a magnificent area just waiting for your visit to reveal its charms. It’s an open window on the National Capital Region’s great outdoors. Managed by the NCC, Gatineau Park is a superb nature reserve just 15 minutes from Parliament Hill. It serves as a reminder that environmental protection is a cherished Canadian value, and its objective is to ensure the permanent preservation of a vast natural territory for the enjoyment of all Canadians. The Park is endowed with hundreds of kilometres of trails, forests containing more than fifty species of trees, abundant wildlife and numerous crystal-clear lakes typical of the hills of the Canadian Shield. Summer and winter, visitors can participate in outdoor activities or simply enjoy the tranquility of a protected natural environment.
    The Champlain Lookout, located at the end of the Champlain Parkway, offers what is unquestionably the best known and most popular view in the Park. Accessible by car, this lookout perches atop the Eardley Escarpment, 335 metres above sea level. What makes this view special is the juxtaposition of two of Canada's major geological formations: the Canadian Shield, and the St. Lawrence Lowlands. Champlain Lookout offers a bird's-eye view from the Gatineau Hills over the Ottawa Valley.
    As well as offering a surprising view over the Ottawa River, the Étienne-Brûlé Lookout has a number of picnic tables and barbecues (bring your own charcoal briquettes). From this lookout, visitors have access to the hiking and cycling trail network. This site features many parking spots and dry toilets.
    Mackenzie King Estate - this estate used to be the summer home to William Lyon Mackenzie King who was Canada's 10th Prime Minister. When he died he left the estate, which lies on 231 hectares, to Canada. You can explore the different chalets, the beautifully kept gardens, the ruins and the paths that lead to other parts of the Park. There is also a tearoom if you want to stop and grab a small bite to eat and a cup of tea.
    Lusk Cave - these caves are made of marble and you can explore them by foot. Websites www.canadascapital.gc.ca/gatineau/ and http://www.ottawa-information-guide.com/gatineau-park.html
    Canada Agriculture Museum
    The Canada Agriculture Museum is living proof of the "Green Capital". In fact, Ottawa is the only world Capital that has a working farm at its heart. Canada's unique agricultural heritage is featured at the Canada Agriculture Museum, where you can explore the sights and sounds of typical farm life.
    Visit the animal barns and special exhibitions at the largest urban working farm and research station in Canada. Discover the many breeds of dairy cattle and see a modern dairy barn in operation. In the Small Animal Barn you can meet sheep and lambs, pigs and piglets, chickens, rabbits and goats. In our Horse and Cattle Barn, you can see the Clydesdale horses and seven breeds of beef cattle. Wander through the Dominion Arboretum and the ornamental gardens right next door.
    Visit Tractors Exhibit and follow the 100-year-old story of the tractor from unfamiliar oddity to commonplace tool on the Canadian farm. Listen to farmers speak about tractors they have operated, and admire some objects used to market tractors, visitors will discover how tractors have evolved from an unfamiliar oddity into a commonplace tool on the Canadian farm in less than 100 years. As you enter the exhibition, pause and admire a photo display of tractors and farmers from the past century. You will see many different tractors, some at work in the field pulling ploughs and harrows, and others displayed as treasured objects, with their proud owners standing on or near them.
    See the new exhibition "Brewer’s Gold – A History of the Hop Industry in British Columbia". Hops are an important ingredient in beer because they add bitterness to the sweetness of the malt. Through artifacts and photographs Brewer’s Gold tells the story of hop farming in British Columbia, one of the province’s first commercial agricultural crops.
    Daily 9am to 5pm. Admission $6. Location is at Prince of Wales Drive (between the traffic circle and Baseline Rd), Ottawa, Canada. Website http://www.agriculture.technomuses.ca/
    Canada Science and Technology Museum (alternative destination)
    The largest of its kind in Canada, this Museum fulfills its mission through its collection, permanent, temporary and travelling exhibits, special events, school programs, workshops and demonstrations, publications, loans, conferences and lectures, expert advice, and joint action with other museums and organizations with similar goals and interests. A visit to the Museum will allow the visitor to push buttons, turn dials, and pull levers to experience science and technology first-hand, as you discover artifact-rich exhibits featuring marine and land transportation, astronomy, communications, space, domestic technology and computer technology. Science and technology have changed Canada and influenced its people. The transformation of Canada, from the period of early exploration and settlement to the present, has been marked by achievements in science and technology.
    The Museum is located approximately 10 minutes south-east of downtown Ottawa. Open 9am-5pm. $7. Exit the Queensway (Highway 417) at "St Laurent South" and drive 2.6 km to Lancaster Road. Turn left. Website http://www.sciencetech.technomuses.ca/
    Day 7. Drive Back Home (6 July 2009 Monday)
    7am hotel checkout / drive to Norfolk, MA
      Total distance is 490 miles and estimated driving time of about 8 hours.
    4pm Home Sweet Home
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