Canada Through Your Eyes part 2

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Lilypon started a thread in June in which she wrote

Quoting:
Thought it would be nice to see everyone's pictures of places, in your province, that you'd like others to see.
You'll find the original thread at: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/858195/#new

It's taken me quite awhile to take action and get some pics but today a friend and I decided to play tourist in Ottawa. We didn't get nearly as much done as we had wished and hope to go back for day 2 at some point. But here are the pics. And since there 110 posts on the previous thread, I hope Lilypon will forgive me for starting a new one.

We started out fairly early. The changing of the guard on Parliament Hill is a summer show and August 23 is the last one for the season. The weather was great and we decided not to miss it. We arrived on the Hill early enough to wander around for awhile and to book a Centre Block tour after the changing of the guard. For those who might not know, the changing of the guard is a time honoured military ceremony but it is performed by university students who will shortly be heading back to school. Being a member of the band is a plum summer student job.

Here is the newly refurbished Library of Parliament. This is the only part of the original Parliament buildings which survived the fire of 1916.

This message was edited Aug 22, 2008 12:00 AM

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

We had time to wander around a bit and snapped these shots of the Ottawa River which is just north of Parliament Hill. This is looking a bit east at the Inter-provincial bridge which connects Ottawa to the Québec city of Gatineau on the other side of the river.

The Royal Alexandra Interprovincial Bridge is a steel truss cantilever bridge spanning the Ottawa River between Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec. It is known locally as both the "Alexandra Bridge" and the "Interprovincial Bridge". The bridge was constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railway between 1898 and 1900. The bridge's main cantilever centre span was, at the time of construction, the longest in Canada and the fourth longest in the world.

The bridge was designed primarily to carry CPR trains but also had a track for local electric trolley service between Ottawa and Hull, as well as a lane for carriage traffic. During the late 1950s the bridge was upgraded to carry vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The bridge now provides an important commuter link between Ottawa and Gatineau. The roadways for vehicles are located on the centre and east decks.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Looking west, we see more bridges, the rapids, the Supreme Court of Canada building which had the copper roof replaced a few years ago and has not yet turned green and the little white building is the last remaining "temporary" building from World War II. When I moved to Ottawa in 1970, there were quite a few of these still around.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Should have posted this one before looking west, but I guess it is more or less straight across. This is the Canadian Museum of Civilization which opened in 1989. You can take a virtual tour of this interesting building at http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/archieng.html

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Also looking east is the National Gallery and across the street from it, the Notre Dame Basilica - the oldest church in Ottawa. The main structure was finished in 1846, but it was not until 1866 that the spires were installed. The steeples are topped with standard French-Canadian tin and bells. Its exterior is fairly reserved, but the interior is as far more ornate, designed by Georges Buillon. The interior of the church is brightly painted and decorated with carved features, exquisite stained glass windows and hundreds of statues of various religious figures.

The National Gallery is housed in a glass and granite building on Sussex Drive with a notable view of the Canadian Parliament buildings on Parliament Hill. The acclaimed structure was designed by Moshe Safdie and opened in 1988.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

The changing of the guard ceremony began at 10 am as the band and regiments arrived on the Hill. The white building across the street was the American Embassy until their new building was opened in 1999.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

More changing of the guard.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

There is quite a bit of back and forth inspection of the two guards. It would take a military expert to tell just what happens. A number of years ago, they seemed to have a commentary during the ceremony, but it has apparently been eliminated.

Note the soldier that I've marked with a X in the foreground. There were about 4 such soldiers and just before the end of the ceremony, she pulled a rolled up stretcher out from in front of the shrub and put it into a van. It's not uncommon for one or more guardsmen/women to keel over during the ceremony with the hot bear-skin hats.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Eventually the inspection of the new guard is over, and they all regroup and leave the Hill.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

This is just a shot of the West Block - parliamentary office buildings which were in dire need of repair. I believe the MP's were actually moved out of this building during some of the repairs. There was one crane there during the changing of the guard and later there were two. Among the repairs are replacement of the copper roof as well as stone work repairs.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

After the Changing of the Guard, we had time to wander a bit on the Hill. This is an interesting monument to 4 women who were instrumental in the fight for women's rights early in the 20th Century. I believe the original monument is in Calgary and this is a copy.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Another view of my friend Valerie at the same monument.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

A statue of Queen Elizabeth II.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

The famous sanctuary for feral cats. One elderly man in Ottawa looks after them and solicits donations for food and I believe also to neuter them.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

The Centre Block tour was led by a charming student whose parents were also on the tour just to keep her on her toes. LOL Getting in to the building is much like airport security with everything x-rayed. Even wanted cell phones turned on - something which I have NOT needed to do for airport security recently.

This is outside the House of Commons. The stonework tells the story of Canada as you look around this room.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

This is the House of Commons, the elected part of Canadian Government.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Outside the Senate Chambers. This room was lined with portraits of British Royalty (which, of course, is also Canadian royalty).

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Inside the Senate. The desks here were all covered in plastic tarps because there has been some repair work going on during the summer recess. The Senate in Canada is appointed and Senators can keep their job until age 75 at which time they must retire. But the Senate DOES review and must pass each bill approved by the House of Commons.

Note three red chairs. The two behind are thrones and when the Queen is in Parliament, she will sit in the one on the left with her husband on the right. When she is not here (most of the time), her representative - the Governor General will sit there for royal assent or for the Speech from the Throne at the start of each new Parliament. The one in front is occupied by the speaker of the Senate.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

We then went to the Library of Parliament, but were not allowed to take pictures. Following that, we took the elevator up the Peace Tower. I got this shot of the Library of Parliament. It just reopened two years ago after a major 4-year restoration. They had the entire library shrouded and at one point, they had the top of it removed and brought down to ground level to be worked on.

I was very interested to see red sandstone among the stone of this building. I looks really interesting with the copper roof. Before the restoration, it was all black.

I neglected to take a general picture of the Parliament Buildings, but you might enjoy visiting this site. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_Hill

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

After our tour was over, we bought our sight-seeing bus tickets, but decided to walk to the National Gallery for lunch at their Café and pick up the tour closer to there. This is the National War Memorial and the relatively new Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in downtown Ottawa.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Looking the other way is the National Arts Centre - the concert hall where the Ottawa Symphony in which I play viola, performs.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

And to the west, an Historic building of shops - the Chambers Building.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

We took a route which went down along a series of 8 locks which take the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa River. These are original locks and are opened by hand.

The construction of the Rideau Canal was proposed shortly after the War of 1812, when there remained a persistent threat of attack by the United States on the British colony of Upper Canada.

The initial purpose of the Rideau Canal was military, as it was intended to provide a secure supply and communications route between Montreal and the British naval base in Kingston, Ontario. Westward from Montreal, travel would proceed along the Ottawa River to Bytown (now Ottawa), then southwest via the canal to Kingston and out into Lake Ontario (and vice versa for eastward travel from Kingston to Montreal). The objective was to bypass the stretch of the St. Lawrence River bordering New York State, a route which would have left British supply ships vulnerable to attack or a blockade of the St. Lawrence.

Once the canal was constructed, no further military engagements took place between Canada and the United States. Although the Rideau Canal never had to be used as a military supply route, it played a pivotal role in the early development of Canada. Prior to the locks being completed on the St. Lawrence in the late 1840s, the Rideau served as the main travel route for immigrants heading westward into Upper Canada, and for heavy goods (timber, minerals, grain) from Canada's hinterland heading east to Montreal. Tens of thousands of British immigrants travelled the Rideau in this period. Hundreds of barge loads of goods were shipped each year along the Rideau, allowing Montreal to compete commercially, in the 1830s and 40s, with New York (which had the Erie Canal), as a major North American export port.

The Canal also played a pivotal role in the development of Ottawa because before it was built, the major development in this area was on the Québec side of the Ottawa River.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Another view of the locks.

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Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

As many as a thousand of the workers died from malaria, other diseases and accidents during blasting. The Rideau Canal Celtic Cross is a memorial in Ottawa, Canada, erected to commemorate the workers and their families that died building the Rideau Canal between 1826 and 1832. It was unveiled in 2004.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

After lunch, we took the bus tour of Ottawa. Good tour, but it didn't allow for picture stops. It WAS hop-on, hop-off, but the frequency of the runs didn't really allow much flexibility. Perhaps in the real peak tourist season it is more frequent, I don't know. We walked north from the National Gallery towards the Canadian Mint to get the bus and we saw this truck parked in front of the mint.

Two hours later as we came along on the tour bus, RCMP officers (mounties), but not in scarlet tunics, were stopping traffic as the large truck backed into the mint. The tour-bus driver speculated that it was picking up a shipment of coins for Mexico and would be escorted all the way to its destination by police cars in front and behind.

Thumbnail by ViolaAnn
Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

No more pics for now. By the time we got off the bus it was 4 pm. We stopped into the nearby Chapters Book Store to use wash rooms and headed back to the national Arts Centre where my car was parked. With rush hour traffic, it was about 5 pm when I got home. We have more to do and see. Must make another day of it soon.

Ann

Moose Jaw, SK(Zone 3b)

Ann you have given us such a wonderful tour of Ottawa! What a treat to see the pictures and be able to read the story behind them. Ü

Your 2nd last posting made me chuckle ........ never expected to see that one.

The Celtic Cross Memorial is new to me ...... I'm glad it was erected to recognize those who lost their lives building that lovely Canal (that I usually picture people skating on).

I read and looked at each picture as you uploaded them Ann and I truly enjoyed seeing sites I'd only read about (or had seen older pictures of) as well as viewing some I hadn't been aware of.

This message was edited Aug 21, 2008 10:34 PM

Grand Forks, BC(Zone 5b)

Thanks for the excellent tour ViolaAnn. I have always wanted to visit Ottawa. Now you have given me more incentive with you beautiful photos. You missed your calling as a Tour Guide Extraordinare! :)

White Lake, ON(Zone 4b)

Fantastic tour, Ann! I should hire you next time we have family visiting ;-) Loved the tidbits of history. You had great weather for it, too.

Sandy

Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

Nice tour of Ottowa ViolaAnn, I have a sister living Orlean, and she love to bring her visitor sight seeing around Ottowa, very nice city.
This is Lake Edward in New-Denmark, a few miles from here.

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Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

This is a view from New-Denmark main street, of Drummond's fields. Drummond is where I was raised. The farm I lived on, own part of those fields.

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Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

The opposite part of Lake Edward.

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Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

Still in New-Denmark, looking toward the fields in that area.

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Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

St-John River, from the old Hwy, coming from Edmunston.

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Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

Ski slopes in Summer at Mont Farlangne, in Edmunston. Sorry about the corner glare in the picture.

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Grand Forks, BC(Zone 5b)

Very nice, burn_2007. I especially like the third photo. Good enough for a calendar or magazine, for sure! :)

Grand-Falls, NB(Zone 4a)

Thank you, what a nice compliment.

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

Thanks for the Tours Ann and Burn_2007
I have visited Ottawa as my folks lived on the river part of the Canal years ago but your tour was a beautiful reminder!
Other than Halifax I have not been further East so one of these days I may get to see the other part of our Country thanks for the introduction Burn.
Ann

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

burn_2007 - thanks for the tour of your part of the country. I also liked the third pic with the lovely wild flowers. And the St-John River.

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