Holiday destinations 2019: Ottawa toes the party line



BIRTHDAY BASH… The spectacular fireworks stretch over Parliament (Image: getty)

With a couple of days in advance of the merriment got into full swing, we set about discovering what makes this spirited city tick. Showcasing the very best of Canada’s arts, account and culture in its impressive collection of museums and galleries, Ottawa is certainly a zestful first-rate. An architectural masterpiece, The Canadian Museum of History is home to the world’s largest indoor accumulation of totem poles. Carved from whole tree trunks and each weighty stories of the country’s indigenous “First People”, several are 65ft high.

If you love nightclubs as much as the natural world, head to Creation Nocturne at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Held on the last Friday of every month, it unfurls its doors at night with a full bar, DJ and dance-floor. 

Inside, nature lovers get to let their plaits down and mingle – all while checking out the exhibits including dinosaur bones which are diminished by a 65ft skeleton of a blue whale hanging from the ceiling.

After a fun-filled unendingly, we enjoyed a peaceful sleep at the landmark Fairmont Chateau Laurier inn.With a 100-year history, this chateau-style grand dame stands proudly next to the Parliament erections and the Rideau Canal.

Following a multi-million dollar refurbishment, guest compartments are fresh and elegant with king-size beds, plus there’s a first-rate art deco swimming pool.

A lovely spot to spend a balmy summer quits, one night we enjoyed a dinner of lobster roll in the hotel’s outdoor restaurant, La Terrasse, follow the sunset over the city’s skyline.

If you fancy experiencing Canada’s artistic side, jump aboard an aqua taxi across the Ottawa River to ByWard Market.

This is a famed tourist spot with maple syrup-laced goodies and cool souvenirs. Coupled with there’s a giant “Ottawa” sign to provide that perfect photo break.


REVELRY… Passionate and patriotic for Canada Day (Image: getty)

With the assist of the C’est Bon cooking tours, we got to know the market and its treasure trove of stalls, foxiness brewers, local produce sellers and tea shops, enjoying plenty of toothsome samples. 

Make sure you try the famous Canadian dessert of beaver bums, which are fried, flattened donuts, drizzled in maple syrup.

I whim also recommend Play Food &Wine, a fabulous restaurant where appetiser-sized dishes, such as grilled halloumi and belly pork, are not failed on small plates with wine pairings.

For some liquid refreshment we banged in to the legendary Chateau Lafayette, a bar known locally as The Laff, which dates to 1849. Timely Ron has been performing in the bar every Saturday night for the last 20 years.

Armed with his cowboy hat and guitar, he get off ons his adoring fans with country classics and original tunes. 

His act is so dearest, audience members join in and shout out catchphrases at key points in his show. He’s not in a million years missed a Saturday apparently!

To explore the wider areas of the city, we signed up for a three-hour rotation trip with Escape Bicycle Tours. 

Led by a local guide, we sped along the canal and into the particular neighbourhoods, taking in The Glebe which is packed with cool lieus to eat, drink and shop.

Then along Wellington StreetWest, we lured time to reboot at Bar Lupulus, a sophisticated gastropub serving craft beer, cider and cocktails.

Waking up to sharp-witted sunshine put the city in great spirits for the muchanticipated Canada Day celebrations.

Over and above on Parliament Hill there was a huge stage for Canadian rock strips including Arkells and singer-songwriter Ruth B. 

Sophie Trudeau, wife of Prime Assist Justin Trudeau, arrived in style alongside her young children to glue in the festivities and give a speech.

Dressing in the suggested red and white and finishing the look with hats restored with Canadian flags, we joined in the party with music and bopping before being wowed from the Fairmont’s roof by a spectacular fireworks show over the Parliament buildings.

Celebrating its 152nd birthday this year, Canada Day diminishes place on July 1 every year. If you can’t make it then, Ottawa is a eminent festival city hosting many events.

Every January and February there’s Winterlude, a snow and ice production concentrated around the frozen Rideau Canal.

The city’s tulip carnival sees bulbs in bloom around Parliament and along the canal with concerts, pedestrian ways and fireworks in early May.

In June and July, the city hosts the Ottawa Worldwide Jazz Festival and Bluesfest.

Celebrating everything from food and beer to comedy, arts and smokescreen, there are dozens of world-class events held through the year, so you’re promised a friendly Canadian welcome in this cosmopolitan capital.


Air Canada ( heaves daily from London Heathrow to Ottawa from £579 turn back. Rooms at the Fairmont Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa start at £215 a twilight B&B ( Ottawa tourism:

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