A Travellerspoint blog

The Canadian Capital

Canada - Ottawa

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When planning this trip I felt it would be interesting not only to visit Toronto and Niagara Falls, but the capital - Ottawa, and the French speaking area of Quebec, and therefore make a whole trip out of the holiday.

After having a final breakfast with Halina, we said our goodbyes, and boarded a five hour bus crossing southern Ontario towards Ottawa, eventually arriving in the city by mid afternoon. After checking in to our huge room, we then headed out for a short walk to the heart of the city.

What had struck us most in Canada was just how shabby much of it is, and Ottawa was no exception. Even though we were just a five minute walk from Parliament, the whole area was very shabby, with signs falling off, paintwork needing maintenance, and broken pacing slabs everywhere. And yet, as we walked past the city hall and entered the very heart of the city it was very well maintained.



The city centre was rather pretty, and Parliament Hill's Gothic architecture was a welcome sight against the bland and typical North American architecture of the suburbs. Walking past a protest against FPTP, we headed towards the back of the complex for views over the Ottawa river that separates French speaking Quebec from English speaking Ontario.

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

It is for this reason that Ottawa was made capital - being neither Toronto, nor Montreal, yet between the two and therefore a good compromise for a united country. Although with the Parliament buildings overlooking Quebec, it's a good job their independence never happened!

Château Laurier

Château Laurier

After walking past some beautiful buildings and the Rideau Canal, we made our way to the Alexandra Bridge to cross into Quebec. What would we find on the other side? Would people be speaking in French? Well... yes... in fact everyone we heard was a French speaker, and as we headed back from what appeared to be the same city, we followed some French speaking ladies and were intrigued to find out if they would revert to English by the time they reached Ontario.

French before English was one of the few differences

French before English was one of the few differences

Unfortunately our illusions were shattered as they continued their conversation in French as we dispersed back towards our hotel for the night.

Posted by kmmk17 11:14 Archived in Canada Tagged city canada capital parliament

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