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A number of interesting museums and a rather neat location either side of the Ottawa river make this otherwise sterile capital appealing.
Being a government and politician city, Ottawa is dominated by neo-Gothic Parliament Buildings, and boasts wide streets and plenty of parks. On the face of it, Ottawa appears to be a very pleasant and livable city, though it’s hardly an exciting place to spend your nights.
Some popular tourist attractions include: the War Museum, the Royal Mint, several stately houses, the National Gallery and a host of lesser museums covering everything form nature to agriculture, aviation and science.
The downtown area is dissected by the Rideau Canal, and the lively part of the town is found near Byward Market, east of the canal, which has many cheap eateries, while the western downtown area is more upmarket.
Rideau Hall, the historic residence and workplace of Canada’s Governor General, is located on scenic Sussex Drive just minutes from Parliament Hill and is open to the public throughout the year.
St. Patrick`s Basilica, founded in 1855, is the oldest parish in Ottawa and worth checking out.
The Enchanted Gardens is a magical theme gardens which appeals to all ages, including Dutch Gnomes of Sleepy Hollow, and a serene Japanese garden.
No visit to Ontario would be complete without a memorable cruise of the world famous 1000 Islands near Brockville, only an hour’s drive from Ottawa.
Being the country’s capital, Ottawa has an International Airport with regular flights to many US destinations and limited trans-Atlantic routes. However Montreal and Toronto have much busier airports and many more options for long haul visitors. The airport is efficient and transportation into the city is reliable and always available.
Canada’s VIA train network departs daily from the central station, bound for the East coast, and running more frequently to Toronto, Quebec city and Montreal.
Buses leaving from the main bus terminal head for many regional towns and cities and travel further a field to US cities. However, distances are large and this can become an uncomfortable option.
The city of Ottawa is easily accessible by major roads, no matter which direction you are coming from. The Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy #17), which spans the country from coast to coast, passes through the city in the form of a multi-lane roadway. Ottawa is linked to the busy Hwy #401 (approximately 60 minutes from the city of Ottawa to the nearest US border crossing at Prescott/Ogdensburg NY). From Montreal, follow Hwy #40 west to the Ontario Border where it then becomes Hwy #417. This will then take you directly to the city of Ottawa. Travel time from Montreal is approximately 2.5 hrs.