Presenting: Ottawa – Canada’s Capital and An Exciting Travel Destination

8.What are some of the shopping opportunities in Ottawa?

Some great shopping centres exist in Ottawa,including Bayshore Shopping Centre in the west end,Rideau Centre downtown,the St. Laurent Centre in the close east end,and Place d’Orleans Shopping Centre in the east end.These centres offer the best of the well-known brands.

For more eclectic offerings,the ByWard Market neighbourhood offers great fashion and housewares; as does the Glebe,Westboro,and some small towns on both the Ontario and Quebec side of the Ottawa River–inclouding Merrickville,Manotick,Perth,Chelsea and Wakefield.

The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill

9.What are the outdoor,recreational and sports opportunities in and around Ottawa?

From a professional perspective,the Ottawa Senators are particularly beloved by Ottawans,as they march to a Stanley Cup victory! The Ottawa ’67s offer a window to the Ontario Hockey League.The Ottawa Renegades provide Canadian Football League excitement while the Ottawa Lynx are part of baseball’s International League (they’re the Triple A farm team for the Baltimore Orioles).

But sports in Ottawa are much more participatory than that.Home to hundreds of kilometres of recreational pathways,Ottawans love to cycle,inline skate and hike.The Ottawa River offers unbelievable whitewater rafting,as well as canoe and kayak adventures for the adventurous.

The highest bungee freefall in Canada is located just north of Ottawa,just outside Gatineau Park.Year-round,Gatineau Park offers something for the outdoor lover.Whether it’s camping,canoeing, kayaking,hiking,mountain biking or swimming in summer; or snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in winter,the Park is beloved by all in the region.

As proof of how diverse a destination Ottawa is,it’s the only location where you can skate on the world’s largest skating rink and play in the world’s largest beach volleyball tournament?

Ottawa Bluesfest – there is always something going on in Ottawa

10. What type of accommodations options are there in Ottawa?

There are over 11,000 hotel rooms in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.The major chains (Hilton,Fairmont,Westin,Marriott,Delta,Sheraton,Novotel,Holiday Inn,Best Western,Comfort Inn) are represented,as well as more unique offerings such as the boutique ARC the.hotel or Brookstreet Resort.

Downtown locations are within walking distance to many major attractions.Several bed-and-breakfast providers also offer a cosy alternative to hotels.

A comprehensive list of options is found at www.ottawatourism.ca

The Canadian Museum of Civilization

11.What are some of the major events and big news stories coming up in 2006 and beyond in Ottawa?

The Canadian Museum of Civilization celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2006.It began its life in May 1856,as part of the Geological Survey of Canada.The young museum grew into the National Museum of Canada and then,into the National Museum of Man.In 1986,it became the Canadian Museum of Civilization,moving into its magnificent Gatineau buildings three years later and continuing to present informative and entertaining exhibitions for a wide range of interests.

The Casino du Lac-Leamy celebrates 10 years of non-stop excitement in March 2006.Originally opened as the Casino de Hull,it has grown to be one of the top attractions in Canada’s Capital Region,offering gaming each day from 9:00 a.m.to 3:00 a.m.; five-diamond dining at Le Baccara; an adjoining Theatre offering matinees,musical programming,and variety shows of all kinds; docking facilities; an adjacent Hilton hotel with spa; and conference facilities.The Casino is celebrating with a series of themed activities,including the popular 7 Lucky Days promotion which offers a different promotion each day of the week.

The Casino du Lac-Leamy

Emily Carr is the featured exhibition from June 2 through September 3,2006 at the National Gallery of Canada.Her paintings of First Nations villages and landscapes of the northwest Pacific coast,including many images of totem poles,help define Canadian art,especially that of the early 1900s.

In the third Indiana Jones movie,the climactic scene took place in a spectacular desert location carved into the side of a cliff.That venue is part of Petra,located in Jordan,and from April 7,2006 through January 2,2007,you can learn more at the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s exhibition PETRA: City of Stone.

The Seven Years War is the focus of a new exhibit at the Canadian War Museum,Ottawa’s newest cultural attraction which opened with much fanfare in May 2005.The exhibit Clash of Empires:The War That Made Canada runs from May 18 to November 12.

Outdoor activities are a crucial part of Ottawans’ lives.This summer,residents will be able to relish in others’ accomplishments,too,as Ottawa plays host to more than 3,500 athletes and coaches during the 2006 Ontario Summer Games from August 9 to 13,2006.

Québec Scene: April/May 2007: The National Arts Centre has played host to two previous “scenes”—Atlantic Scene in 2003 and Alberta Scene in 2005—and in 2007,it’s Québec’s turn to shine,as the very best of its theatre,music,dance,comedy,culinary arts,literature and film forms the basis of this cultural festival.

Treasures from Beijing: May 11-September 30,2007: At the Canadian Museum of Civilization,learn more about the development of Chinese civilization while viewing selected treasures from the National Museum of China.There will also be an attempt to provide a glimpse of China’s recent history,including economic reforms and the Olympic Games bid.

The Museum of Civilization

Renoir’s Landscapes: June 8-September 9,2007: One of the best-loved of all the Impressionists,Renoir will be front and centre next summer at the National Gallery of Canada.

FIFA World Youth Championship 2007: July 1-22,2007: Ottawa has been selected as one of six Canadian host cities for this three-week,24-nation,52-match tournament featuring the best youth (under-20) soccer players in the world.It is the second largest event staged by FIFA,following the FIFA World Cup.

Rideau Canal as UNESCO World Heritage Site: The heritage Rideau Canal,stretching 202 km from Ottawa to Kingston,is Canada’s entry to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The designation should be received in time for the 175th anniversary of the completion of the Canal in 2007.

Buskers entertaining skaters on the Rideau Canal

Portrait Gallery of Canada: Following last spring’s opening of the new Canadian War Museum,the next major cultural institution planned for Ottawa is the Portrait Gallery of Canada,due to open across the street from Parliament Hill in late 2007.

Thank you,Jantine,for providing such a great overview of all the things Ottawa has to offer.You have given me some great ideas for my trip next week and possible future excursions over the coming year.

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