I’m Going to Be in Ottawa Next Week

I’m speaking at this conference and then attending this meetup, so if anybody wants to have coffee or beer and talk shop or hockey or what-have-you, drop me a line.

I’ve never been to Ottawa in my adult life, and I’ll have a day or so to explore the city. I’m thinking Parliament buildings, National Gallery and the National War Museum. Any other suggestions?


  1. Round out your Ottawa experience, have some poutine & gravy in Hull paired with a highly alcoholic “bière” from the local depaineur (sp?). Oh yeah, skate on the Rideau Canal afterwards.

    God bless our two solitudes. Now if we BC’ers could just loosen up like the frenchies and get our beer at the local cornerstore, I’d be in heaven.

  2. There’s also the Bank of Canada at the corner of Bank and Wellington, if you’re into old coins and bills and the like, Rideau Hall at 1 Sussex Drive, and there’s the Museum of Civilization across the bridge in Hull, which takes a good day.

    Just a warning: a lot of these things can take a lot of time. The War Museum, for example, took up a good day back when it was on Sussex Drive, before they built the new one. Even if they don’t take so long, like a tour of the Mint or a going through the Aviation museum, most of the attractions are open on a 9-5 basis or so, so even if you want to do two in one day, you’re pretty limited in your time.

    The other thing to consider is how they run those Parliament tours. I’m not sure if the system changes in the winter, but in the summer, you have to line up to get tickets (they’re free) and get a tour that probably goes for a half-hour in the middle of the day.

    That might be a problem when the War Museum is way the hell down on the LeBreton flats.

  3. Aviation museum is good, but not near downtown. You’ll need a car.

    The canal!? Well at this time of year it is mostly empty. As in NO WATER. In preperation for skating season they lower the water and put in the huts and things, so theres not much to see there. Skating season doesn’t begin for another two months or so.

    Parliment is good, doesn’t take too long. Museum of Civilization is going to take the better part of a day to see, as is the War Museum, but they are really good. The National Gallery is also large but good.
    If you are into seeing the city sights/bars then the Byward Market is the place to go. Not much to see in Hull these days.
    At this time of year the Gatineau Park is not so good. All the leaves have fallen, but there is no snow yet.

    Have fun. Its a great city. Unfortunately not the best time of year for us.

  4. If you are going to be free on a week day. Definitely check out the Mint. The tour is not very long and you might get to see it in operation.

    If you are going to be free during the weekend, I would suggest the Museum of Civilization (in Gatineau) or the War Museum.

    If you do have a car when you are here and you are intrigued by the cold war. There’s always the diefenbunker. That’s definitely something unique. It is a bit far and you will need a reservation for the tour.

  5. Something I discovered when I was in Ottawa was that if you want to go to Question Period, you have to get a ticket from your MP’s office. Which means you have to *find* your MP’s office. I discovered this by spending a day walking all over the Hill. I recommend Question Period if you have the time though.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: