Welcome to Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada. It is the second largest city in Ontario and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec, located on the north bank of the Ottawa River; together they form the National Capital Region (NCR).
Architecture of Ottawa
The architecture of Ottawa is most marked by the city's role as the national capital of Canada. This gives the city a number of monumental structures designed to represent the federal government and the nation. It also means that as a city dominated by government bureaucrats, much of its architecture tends to be formalistic and functional. However, the city is also marked by Romantic and Picturesque styles of architecture such as the Parliament Building's gothic revival architecture.
While the political capital, Ottawa has always been heavily influenced from the larger cities of Toronto and Montreal. This has held true in architecture, and over its history Ottawa has followed the prevailing architectural trends popular in Canada and North America. The city is thus a mix of different styles, varying considerably based on what era a building or neighbourhood was constructed in. While founded in the early nineteenth century, few buildings survive from that era and the vast majority of the city's structures date from the twentieth century. Much of the downtown was also greatly transformed in the 1960s and 1970s, and the swath of suburbs that surround the city also date from this period.
The general stereotype of Ottawa architecture is that it is staid and unambitious. Urban design consultant Trevor Boddy said that "with the relative extremes of poverty and wealth removed here, along with the vital concentrations of immigrant cultures which denote most Canadian cities, Ottawa seemed to me to represent only the hollow norm, the vacant centre.". Ottawa Citizen architecture critic Rhys Phillips has echoed these concerns, saying that Ottawa "looks like some tired little Prairie town on its last legs.
Bicycle and pedestrian pathways
There are numerous paved multi-use trails that wind their way through much of the city, including along the Ottawa River, Rideau River, and Rideau Canal. These pathways are used for transportation, tourism, and recreation. Because most streets either have wide curb lanes or bicycle lanes, cycling is a popular mode of transportation in the region throughout the year. There are over 220 kilometeres of paths located throughout the Ottawa-Gatineau region. A downtown street that is restricted to pedestrians only, Sparks Street was turned into a pedestrian mall in 1966. On July 10, 2011 Ottawa saw its first dedicated, segregated bike lanes in the down town core. The lane is separated from car traffic by a low concrete barrier with many gaps to allow for loading and unloading of people and goods. Ottawa's cycling advocacy group, Citizens for Safe Cycling, has been actively promoting safer cycling infrastructure in the community since 1984. On Sundays (since 1960) and selected holidays and events additional avenues and streets are reserved for pedestrian and/or bicycle uses only. In May 2011, The NCC introduced the Bixi Bike rental program.
Traditionally the ByWard Market (in Lower Town), Parliament Hill and the Golden Triangle (both in Centretown - Downtown) have been the focal points of the cultural scenes in Ottawa. Modern thoroughfares such as Wellington Street, Rideau Street, Sussex Drive, Elgin Street, Bank Street, Somerset Street, Preston Street and Sparks Street; are home to many boutiques, museums, theaters, galleries, landmarks and memorials, while dominated by eating establishments, cafes, bars and nightclubs.
Ottawa's hosts a variety of annual seasonal activities — such as Winterlude, the largest festival in Canada, and Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill and surrounding downtown area, as well as Bluesfest, Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, Ottawa International Jazz Festival, Fringe Festival and Folk Music Festival, that have grown to become some of the largest festivals of their kind in the world. In 2010, Ottawa's Festival industry received the IFEA "World Festival and Event City Award" for the category of North American cities with a population between 500,000 and 1,000,000.
As Canada's capital, Ottawa has played host to a number of significant cultural events in Canadian history, including the first visit of the reigning Canadian sovereign—King George VI, with his consort, Queen Elizabeth—to his parliament, on 19 May 1939. VE Day was marked with a large celebration on 8 May 1945, the first raising of the country's new national flag took place on 15 February 1965, and the centennial of Confederation was celebrated on 1 July 1967. Elizabeth II was in Ottawa on 17 April 1982, to issue a royal proclamation of the enactment of the Constitution Act. In 1983, Prince Charles and Diana Princess of Wales came to Ottawa for a state dinner hosted by then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. In 2011, Ottawa was selected as the first city to receive Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge during their Royal tour of Canada
Canada Agriculture Museum
Canada Aviation Museum
Canada Science and Technology Museum
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Canadian Museum of Nature
Canadian Postal Museum
Canadian Ski Museum
Canadian War Museum
Currency Museum (in the Bank of Canada)
Diefenbunker (at CFS Carp)
National Gallery of Canada
Pinhey's Point Historic Site
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography - closed since 2006
Canadian Children's Museum
Other Public Areas
Canadian Tribute to Human Rights
Lansdowne Park (home of the Aberdeen Pavilion and Frank Clair Stadium)
National Arts Centre
National War Memorial (also called "The Response", home of the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier)
Royal Canadian Navy Monument
Notable Buildings and Private Areas
Some of these places allow members of the public to visit, but are not completely open to everyone.
24 Sussex Drive
Canadian Golf and Country Club
Library and Archives Canada
Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club
Royal Canadian Mint
Supreme Court of Canada
STV Black Jack
Festivals and Other Events
Canada Dance Festival
Canadian Tulip Festival
Capital Pride (Ottawa)
Carnival of Cultures
Centretown Movies Outdoor Film Festival
Inside Out Film and Video Festival
International Folkloric Festival
Juno Awards of 2012
Music and Beyond
Ottawa Dragon Boat Race Festival
Ottawa Folk Festival
Ottawa Fringe Festival
Ottawa International Animation Festival
Ottawa International Children's Festival
Ottawa International Film Festival
Ottawa International Hockey Festival
Ottawa International Jazz Festival
Ottawa International Writers Festival
Ottawa Irish Festival
Ottawa Reggae Festival
Rideau Canal Festival
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