Ottawa is the Capital City of Canada and we spent our Easter there with friends.
It is a four hour drive but on the way we always stop in Pembroke to have lunch at Irving's Truck Stop, it is a tradition on this annual weekend trip.
On this visit we met a new friend, visited the Byward Market, spent 4 hours in IKEA shopping, helped move our friends daughter into her new apartment and had a wonderful Easter meal at the home of my friends mother.
The Chateau Laurier, this hotel was celebrating an anniversary and gave away 100 rooms for a nightly rate of $19.18 each.
The Fairmount Chateau Laurier is a gorgeous place and a regular room rate is normally $298.00 per night. We stayed with my girlfriend, as we usually do. We had the radio on in the vehicle on our way into the city and heard they had just given away 100 free night stays so I thought I would make sure I got a picture for you all to see.
The weather was sunny but cool, Saturday was a warmer day but we wanted to support Laura in her shopping adventure at IKEA. Our vehicle was a crucial part of the purchases, being able to pack them into it to take to her new apartment.
We went to an old diner for lunch and then shopped around the market and went into a t-shirt shop and a candy store that were open. It was Good Friday so I am still unsure why these shops were open as everything else was closed?
Yes, it is the Château Laurier's 100th. It is right next to the Houses of Parliament - in the first picture you see the Parliament spires at the far left.
Byward is the largest public market in Ottawa, and just a bit east of Parliament, which once again you see in the background. It is also just north of University of Ottawa, onte of the two major universities - Carleton University is the other, and some distance south on the Rideau Canal, but an easy bicycle ride. There is also little St Paul's University, a Catholic College. There is an Université du Québec campus now, just across the Ottawa River, in Gatineau, Québec. University of Ottawa is bilingual, French and English, as is St Paul's. Carleton is English and of course the Université du Québec branch is French. Obviously there are students from all over the world.
You can see that there are many tourist-oriented stands in Byward, as it is smack in the city centre, though locals would buy the maple products as well. When the growing season starts, there are local farmers selling fresh produce. Those little old one-storey buildings (and some others that are higher on adjacent streets) are food shops, some very good indeed. And quite a few have become restaurants, bars, newstands/cardshops etc.
Usually our weather is pretty much the same as Ottawa's - it looks to be about the same temperature by what people are wearing - but we had a cloudy, misty Easter weekend and they seem to have had full sun. Mtl is practically due east of Ottawa.
The main railway station for Ottawa used to be right opposite the Château Laurier. MPs - and lobbyists - could take an underground tunnel straight to the hotel in foul winter weather, and be right next to Parliament. Unfortunately the station was moved outside the central city area in one of those "modernising" postwar moves - a pity!
Mich, what part of Ottawa do your friend and her mum live in?
Lovely little photo report. I've managed to miss Ottawa going to and fro from Montreal from the Detroit-Windsor crossing and it looks like a very worthy destination. Glad you could manage a poutine shot too.
Thank you Casi, Fumo and Lagatta! Someone was bound to order poutine.
Lagatta thank you for all the regional information. We did drive by Ottawa U and St. Paul's. Both Laura and Tommy went to Ottawa U., Tommy has graduated and works for Immigration and Laura graduates in June and is waiting to write entrance exams for Veterarian School. They were able to point out to us all the different University buildings.
They live off St. Laurent Blvd., actually in Gloucester.
My favourite restaurant at the Market was Silk Roads and unfortunately it has closed. It featured vaguely Central Asian foods, and was delicious. There is a great quirky portuguese chicken place on Dalhousie just a bit east and south of the Market, Casa do Churrasco - it used to be a KFC! Still a chicken place, but a much better one, and not a lot more expensive.