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2014-2015Ottawa Visitor Guide

View our Ottawa Visitor Guide online to plan your stay in Canada’s Capital region.

2014-2015 Ottawa Visitor Guide
 

Ottawa 2017

Let’s Go Ottawa

A collaBEERation worth celebrating!

 

Local brewery Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company has come up with a novel way to commemorate the great friendship between Canada and the Netherlands: They’ve partnered with Holland’s De Koningshoeven Brewery to create a new beer! It’s called Vrienden, which is Dutch for “Friends,” and features juniper berries and Canadian maple syrup.

The beer will be released to the public for the first time on Monday, May 10 at the House of Orange, a temporary name given to Bar 56 and Mercury Lounge, two nightclubs in the ByWard Market neighbourhood of Ottawa. They’re the site of a unique Dutch-Canadian cultural celebration from May 10-23, 2010.

Of course, the Canadian Tulip Festival (May 7-24) has its origins in the Second World War and a great story of friendship between nations. During World War II, the Dutch royal family took refuge in Ottawa when the Nazis invaded their country. Princess Margriet, the current queen’s younger sister, was born here in Ottawa in a hospital room that was declared Dutch soil for the birth.

Canadian troops played a pivotal role in the liberation of the Netherlands and when the war ended in 1945 — 65 years ago this month — the royal family returned home. They sent a gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs to the people of Canada in a gesture of friendship, thanks and respect. The tulips came to Ottawa and were planted in prominent places such as on Parliament Hill and along the Rideau Canal. In fact, a gift of tulips has been made every year since, an impressive tradition!

You can enjoy Vrienden at the House of Orange, or Beau’s other brews at the beer garden in Major’s Hill Park from May 14 to 24 during the Canadian Tulip Festival. Cheers!

vrienden

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RCMP Musical Ride Centre a hidden gem

 

Check out this video (yes, filmed on a windy day, sorry about that!) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride Centre. This is where the 32 horses and riders of this famous cavalry-drill-set-to-music are trained.

The video was taken in April as the RCMP Commissioner inspected the Ride before it took off on its summer tour schedule, taking it throughout Canada and the U.S. They will return, though, to perform at the Sunset Ceremonies at the Centre. That’s scheduled for June 23-27, 2010. And they’ll be performing on Parliament Hill on Canada Day, July 1. Don’t miss it!

If you visit while the Ride is on tour, you’ll still be able to learn a lot about the history of the RCMP, the evolution of the Musical Ride and you’ll be able to see some great artifacts like the landau (carriage) that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will use during their visit this July (yes, they’ll be at Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa this year!).

You can also visit the stables and see the horses. Sometimes you can see the new recruits practising. And if you’re driving on the Rockcliffe Parkway on your way to the Canada Aviation Museum, watch for the beautiful black (actually really dark brown) horses gamboling in the fields adjacent to the stables.

Love those Canadian icons!

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Great new shows at Casino du Lac-Leamy!

 

casino-du-lac-leamy-and-hilton-low-res-credit-casino-du-lac-leamyCasino du Lac-Leamy at nightLooking for a fun night out? Consider dinner and a show at the Casino du Lac-Leamy. Just a five-minute drive from downtown Ottawa, the Casino is an upscale entertainment venue, whether your evening includes food, drink, performances, or gaming excitement.

Their Théâtre offers a series of impressive tribute acts over the coming weeks — whether you’re interested in the music of Tom Petty (May 1), The Eagles (May 8), Motown (May 15), the Bee Gees (May 22), Eric Clapton (June 11-12), U2 (June 25-26), or Chicago (July 2), you won’t be disappointed. Tickets start at just $30 for some of the shows, $40 for others.

The facility is quite impressive, with unimpeded sightlines from each seat and first-rate acoustics.

For just $30 more, you can upgrade to the full dinner-and-a-sh0w option. A delicious three-course meal (with choice of appetizer and main course) awaits! Remember, attendance is restricted to people 18 and over.

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Ottawa Bluesfest announces lineup!

 

One of the most anticipated festivals of the year in Ottawa is the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, which takes place from July 6 through 18, 2010. They just announced their lineup today, filled with top names like Arcade Fire, Santana, Rush, Iron Maiden, Weezer, Keith Urban, the B-52s, Gipsy Kings, Moody Blues, Crowded House, and more!

What makes Bluesfest so great is the party atmosphere. Six stages encircle the Canadian War Museum on LeBreton Flats overlooking the Ottawa River — the music continues almost non-stop. The crowds are a friendly mix of locals and visitors., and the festival has a commitment to green practices: using biodiesel for their generators, compostable beer cups made from corn, a robust recycling program, and environmentally friendly cleaning products. They also provide tons of bicycle parking!

Check out their website to search who’s playing by day, by stage or by performer and start planning your visit today — tickets go on sale April 24!

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Who was D’Arcy McGee?

 

D’Arcy McGee was a Father of Canadian Confederation, a true founder of this country. He was known for his writing and oratory skills and was a friend of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.

After a late debate in April 1868 — less than a year after Confederation — McGee was returning to his rooming house on Sparks Street when he was accosted by an unknown assailant, shot in the back of the head and left for dead! It was Canada’s first political assassination, and the hunt was on for his killer.

Ottawa tailor Patrick James Whelan was arrested for the crime. He was a suspected Fenian — a group that thought by invading Canada, they could win independence for Ireland. He was convicted of the crime and was hanged on a cold day in February 1869 in Canada’s last public hanging. (In fact, you can visit Death Row at his former prison as part of a Haunted Walk tour. Or you can stay in the cells on the lower floors — the prison is now the HI Ottawa Jail Hostel!)

darcy-mcgees-hand-replica-credit-the-bytown-museum-ottawa-canadaD'Arcy McGee's "death hand"Visit the engaging Bytown Museum to learn more about D’Arcy McGee and his supposed assassin (there are many who believe Whelan was innocent, and that his ghost haunts the hostel grounds to this day). You can even see his “death hand” — a plaster cast of his writing hand. (In Victorian times, it was common to make plaster “death masks” of recently deceased people, but as McGee had been shot in the head, that was not an option. At the time, they said it was because he was such a great writer.)

Or, raise a pint to the politician at the fun D’Arcy McGee’s Irish pub, located just steps from his former rooming house, on Sparks Street at the corner of Elgin Street. (There are other locations at the airport and in the suburbs as well.) It’s a popular watering hole for politicians and their staffs even today, and offers great live music and food.

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