Ottawa Journals

Optimal Ottawa

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A June 2007 trip to Ottawa by samepenny

Lord Elgin Photo, Ottawa, Ontario More Photos
Quote: Visiting Ottawa is always a pleasure for me. It is a wonderful city with the best of food, attractions and hotels.

Optimal Ottawa

Overview

Elgin Street shopping Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
I adore Ottawa! That said this was my first visit in high summer. Frankly I prefer the cooler seasons, but I did manage to sneak in some fun and fine meals around my business meetings. Given the handy location of my hotel, the Lord Elgin (pronounced with a hard G), I was able to run out now and then to see some of my favorite sights and to find new ones. Ottawa is the national capital city of Canada, located in Ontario. I would say it is both underrated and under visited. I flew in via Chicago's O'Hare airport, but it is not much harder to fly into Montreal. Elegant, beautiful, friendly and easy to get around in, Ottawa is an absolute must for a visit if you enjoy fine food and beauti...Read More

Lord Elgin

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Hotel

Lord Elgin Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
I had a meeting at the Lord Elgin and thus have a new favorite hotel in Ottawa. The Lord Elgin is a very traditional hotel in the British style, but with the calm friendliness of Canada. I had a very nice room on the executive floor that had 2 windows, a very large bathroom and a huge bed. The room was freshly done up as it was in a recently completed extension of the hotel. The room smelled fresh (no paint smell) and lacked that horrible musty hotel/motel smell that I've experienced so often in travel. Everything was top class from the wonderful Gilchrist and Soames bath products (the London collection in my Executive room) to the smooth linens and pillows. Service was great. My room ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 20, 2007

Lord Elgin
100 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P5K8
(800) 267-4298

Lord Elgin

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Lord Elgin Hotel Cafe'"

Cafe at the Lord Elgin Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
When I made my reservation at the Lord Elgin Hotel I asked about special packages. I booked one that included breakfasts. That turned out to be a really good idea as I enjoyed this restaurant both for breakfast and dinner.Breakfast service is from the menu or a buffet. The buffet was included in my hotel package. The food was nicely prepared and very fresh with a good selection of seasonal fruits and freshly made breads and pastries.The staff is multi-lingual and various staff members could speak in Chinese, English, French and Spanish and did so with ease and a pleasant smile. While worth your time and your money!On our first night in Ottawa we arrived late and dined in ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 20, 2007

Lord Elgin
100 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P5K8
(800) 267-4298

Dunn's Famous Deli

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Restaurant

Dunn's Famous Deli Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
This restaurant never closes although there are some very quiet periods. Open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Normally I would not visit a restaurant with 'famous' in the name, but Dunn's actually is famous for its Canadian style smoked meat (think corned beef) and Kosher-style cuisine. The portions are huge. I had a bowl of matzo ball soup. Well, honestly I had a huge matzo ball stuck in a wee bit of chicken soup. It was good, but having so much matzo ball is a very filling dish. Perhaps that is the general idea.We enjoyed our lunch and having over eaten at several wonderful dinners in Ottawa and having a plane to catch, we went easy when ordering and didn't do desserts.Could have!...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 20, 2007

Dunn's Famous Deli
220 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 230-6444

Johnny Farina Restaurant

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Restaurant

Johnny Farina Restaurant Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
On a very hot summer evening we went looking for a restaurant. Lucky for us we found this one. I enjoy Italian food, especially home made sauces and Johnny Farinas has a real mama cooking in the kitchen. We were lead up a steep flight of stairs to the upper level. There is dining on the lower level which is accessible to the handicapped. The room was very crowded with an open window offering little breeze. Allowing that hot weather is rare in Ottawa, I wouldn't worry about being as warm as I was that night.The food is great with the type of Italian food served in owner operated restaurants and not in chain restaurants. Service was quick, the food was freshly prepared and the wine was g...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 20, 2007

Johnny Farina Restaurant
216 Elgin St
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1L7
+1 613 565 5155

Friday's Roast Beef House and Piano Bar

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Restaurant

Friday's Roast Beef House and Piano Bar Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
I had been fascinted by the restored Edwardian old house near the Lord Elgin Hotel and found out that it was a restaurant and a fine one at that. Featuring Canadian meats and fish in a very dramatic atmosphere. The climb up the front stairs is steep and the climb back down may be harder after a few drinks, but it is a wonderful place to dine. In winter it would be so romantic. We were seated by a fireplace, not in use due to the heat of summer, but beautiful in any case.We had perfect smoked salmon for a starter and each had a beef dinner. A Baron cut for about $32 and a Country cut for the same price. The wine list is long and has a lot of Canadian wines featured. The desserts looked wond...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 20, 2007

Friday's Roast Beef House and Piano Bar
150 Elgin St
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1L4
+1 613 237 5353

Empire Grill

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Restaurant

Empire Grill Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
The Empire is a world famous restaurant located in the Byward Market area of Ottawa with cuisine worthy of a nation's capital! Absolutely top class in service, style, food preparation and atmosphere. Recommended by IgoUgo guide 'girlfromals' as a top choice for dining in Ottawa, we toasted that fine and beautiful lady with a wonderful Canadian wine.This is the sort of place you go on the date of your dreams as it is modern and up to date while being focused on serving the best possible food. It didn't take me long to decide on a filet mignon and each of my friends chose a huge serving of lobster. From soup to nuts, this is a really fine restaurant. We dined outside and enjoyed the summer eve...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 20, 2007

Empire Grill
47 Clarence St
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9K1
+1 613 241 1343

D'Arcy McGee's Irish Pub

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Restaurant

D'Arcy McGee's Irish Pub Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
It was by luck, perhaps Irish luck, that we wandered into this extremely popular pub and restaurant and managed to score a table. I would suggest making a reservation to avoid disappointment. It is on the corner of Sparks Street and Elgin just across from Parliament Hill. To say that it is lively is an understatement. We loved it. The food was great and the Guiness was extremely fine. I had a small steak crock (around $7 Canadian) which was more than enough for my dinner and my friend had a steak boxtie (around $10 Canadian) which was a very large dinner which he enjoyed very much.Due to local and national taxes on liquor and beef in Canada, you will fine that in the pub the food is th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 21, 2007

D'Arcy McGee's Irish Pub
44 Sparks St
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5A8
+1 613 230 4433

Lady Dive Tours

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Attraction

Lady Dive Tours Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
Well, the one I took is sort of a bus tour, but a bus that also becomes a boat. Great fun and a wonderful way to see Ottawa. Buy your tickets at the kiosk or check online at www.ladydive.com, open from May 1 to October 31 in just about all weather.The Lady Dive amphibious vehicle which drives on the street and is able to roll down a ramp into the Ottawa River. I've always wanted to take this sort of boat ride. I am very glad that I did.Before you go out on the River, you get a little city tour, cross a bridge over to Quebec and roll down on to the water. You should see the looks of the faces of people watching this happen!I would rate this as family entertainment that...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 20, 2007

Lady Dive Tours
Corner of Sparks and Elgin Streets
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 223-6211

Bytown Museum

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Attraction

Bytown Museum Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
The headline reads "Bytown Museum, true tales of Courage, Passion and Scandal!" Well, that says a lot. This museum is in one of the oldest buildings in Ottawa at the foot of the Chateau Laurier and Parliament Hill. Open April through November, this fine museum is accessible to all on the first floor, but there are steep stairs to the upper floors. (613) 234-4570. Walk down the stairs from Wellington Street on the Parliament side of the locks. At the time of my visit the way down from the Chateau Laurier was closed for construction. Very nice guides who know their history will answer your questions about early Ottawa history. www.bytownmuseum.comI was there at the same time as a large nu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 20, 2007

Bytown Museum
Ottawa Locks
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9J7
+1 613 234 4570

Canadian Tribute to Human Rights

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Canadian Tribute to Human Rights Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
This absolutely outstanding example of public works of art is amazing in its complexity and it its strength. Created by Montreal architect and artist Melvin Charney it was unveiled in 1990 by the Dalai Lama and features a later dedication to Nelson Mandela.I'd read about this monument long before visiting Ottawa but was astonished by the way it sits next to a very busy street but is so strong in its nature that it overcomes its surroundings. It might be less effective in a park setting.Dedicated to the long human struggle for rights and freedom, this monument changes in appearance from sunrise to sunset and again in the dark under lights. I visited it at different times of the d...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 20, 2007

Major's Hill Park

Attraction

Major's Hill Park Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
What an astonishing place for great views. In many cities in the world this prime real estate would be owned by developers and private individuals, but in Canada this treasure is preserved for the use and enjoyment of all. We enjoyed this park several times, but my fondest memory is walking around this park just at sunset. Incredible! Above the Ottawa River, across the Rideau Canal from Parliament Hill, and a couple flights of steps up from the Byward Market, this fine park is very handy. The city activity is so close, but the park is quiet and peaceful. Acres of green grass, plenty of public art to view and views that will have to amazed and pleased. Free of admission charges! The park is a c...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 21, 2007

Major's Hill Park
Above the Rideau Canal
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8S7