Ottawa Journals

Adventures in Ottawa

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An April 2002 trip to Ottawa by Re Carroll

Canadian Museum of Nature Photo, Ottawa, Ontario More Photos
Quote: Canada's capital city has a lot for visitors to see and do and it's all within a small area which makes it easy to explore.

Adventures in Ottawa

Overview

Parliament Buildings Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
April in Ottawa is sort of an in between time - too late to skate on the canal and too early to enjoy spring flowers but Ottawa is charming anytime of the year. My last visit was 26 years ago and although there have been many changes since then, it’s still an easy city to explore. Ottawa has many attractive historic buildings from the 1800s with plaques detailing the date they were built and their history. As well as the impressive Parliament Buildings, the extensive Chateau Laurier forms a major part of the Ottawa skyline. It was built to resemble a French chateau and is the premier hotels in Ottawa. There are some first class museums, many either free or close to it and I was lucky to...Read More

The Ramada

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Hotel

The Ramada Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
This hotel is older and the rooms reflect that - a bit worn around the edges but they are large, the windows actually open to let in fresh air and it’s only a 10 minute walk to the Parliament buildings and other major sights. My room included a kitchen area with fridge, hot plate and all the pots, dishes and cutlery necessary to prepare meals. I didn’t use it but the fridge came in handy for storing cold drinks. There was also a full size couch and a small table with a couple of chairs in which to sit and read the morning paper which was delivered free to the door. The tiled bathroom floor was heated which was a nice treat on cold mornings. Just outside the bathroom was ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 28, 2002

The Ramada

Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa Jail Hostel

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Hotel | "Ottawa International Hostel"

Ottawa Jail Hostel Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
The Ottawa International hostel actually used to be the city jail from 1862 to 1972 and there are still stocks in the front yard. In 1973 it was dedicated as a youth hostel by HRH Prince Philip. The location is wonderful - 2 blocks from Byward Market which is full of great restaurants and shops and less than a 5 minute walk from the Parliament Buildings. Ottawa’s major shopping centre, Rideau Centre, is just across the street and the area is safe to walk around, even at night. Most of the rooms are actually the old jail cells and still have steel bar doors. Inside, 6 beds (3 bunks) take up most of the space and the lighting is pretty dim - just one overhead light bulb. Tiny bathrooms ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 28, 2002

Ottawa Jail Hostel
75 Nicholas Street
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 235-2595

Oregano's Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Oreganos Pasta Market"

Oregano's Restaurant Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
Oreganos is a family style Italian restaurant located in the Byward Market, just a few blocks from the Parliament Buildings. It’s a large restaurant with stained glass windows and the decor is red and green. The menu is typical Italian - pastas, chicken, etc. and prices are in the $10 - $15 range for an entree. They offer Table D’hôte dinners - appetizer, soup or salad, main meal and dessert for a set price such as Striploin with steamed vegetables for $14.95. A very popular feature is the All you can eat Salad/Pasta/Pizza Buffet and at $10.95 per person, it’s a very good deal. The buffet includes a number of cold salads (pasta, Caesar, green, mixed vegetables and more) as well...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 28, 2002

Oregano's Restaurant
74 George St
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5W1
+1 613 241 5100

Papagus Greek Taverna

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Restaurant

Papagus Greek Taverna Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
Papagus has one of the most extensive menus I’ve seen in a Greek restaurant - about 5 pages in all. It’s located near the Somerset Village area, about a 15 minute walk from the Parliament Buildings. As well as the standard Greek appetizers like spanokopita, dolmades and tzatziki, they also offer scorthalia (cold mashed potato and garlic), gigantes (giant butter beans in tomato sauce), melitzano (eggplant puree), broiled Greek sausage and octopus done in a variety of ways - battered rings, broiled tubes and cold, marinated octopus salad. Main dishes were just as varied - grilled quail ($16), prawns baked with feta cheese ($12), Mediterranean chicken breast with fresh okra ($13) and lamb, pr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 28, 2002

Papagus Greek Taverna
281 Kent St (At Cooper)
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2A3
(613) 233-3626

Blue Cactus Bar and Grill

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Restaurant | "Blue Cactus Bar & Grill"

Blue Cactus Bar and Grill Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
Located in the Byward Market, this large restaurant is a busy place. We were there at 6:30 on Thursday night and it was packed. Most of the diners are in the 25-40 year range and there is lots of trendy music playing - rather noisy but fun. Their margaritas were voted the best in Ottawa so I tried a Blue Cactus, made with blue curacao to give it the colour and I must admit - it was pretty good. The menu is a mix of Cajun, Southwestern grill and more. Some of the items included catfish, ribs, fajitas, steamed mussels, grilled shrimp, gumbo and specialty dishes like voodoo chicken, with a creole mustard sauce and angry chicken wings featuring "hot sauce with a bad attitude". ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 28, 2002

Blue Cactus Bar and Grill
2 Byward Market
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7A1
(613) 241-7061

Giovanni's

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Restaurant

Giovanni's Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
Giovannis is located on Preston Street, the main thoroughfare in Little Italy, about a 15 minute drive from Parliament Buildings. It’s very upscale and the parking lot boasted a Lexus, a couple of Mercedes and a Porsche. The first thing you notice when walking into Giovannis are lots of pictures on the wall of famous people who have eaten here - lots of Senators (Ottawa’s NHL team), Ralph Lauren and others. Sophia Loren is in almost all the pictures. My friend and I were very impressed - obviously, Sophia really likes this place if she is here all the time. Actually, the woman turned out to be the mother of the restaurant’s owner but she is the spitting image of Sophia Loren. T...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 28, 2002

Giovanni's
362 Preston Street
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 234 3156

Canadian Museum of Civilization

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Attraction | "Museum of Civilization"

Canadian Museum of Civilization Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
This museum is one of Ottawa’s main attractions but it often gets missed because it is located in Hull, Quebec, just across the river. It’s an easy 10 minute walk or 3 minute drive from the National Gallery, across the Pont Alexandra (Alexandra Bridge). There are four floors of exhibits. The first floor or Grand Hall, is devoted to west coast native history. As well as totem poles, there are 6 different traditional houses, representing the different Aboriginal cultures. Each house has displays inside that explain the specific culture and tradition. One of the highlights here is a large sculpture by native artist Bill Reid, titled "The Spirit of Haida Gwaii". Level 2 has an IMAX ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 28, 2002

Canadian Museum of Civilization
100 Laurier St.
Ottawa, Ontario J8X 4H2
(819) 776 7000

Canadian Museum of Nature

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Attraction | "Museum of Nature"

Canadian Museum of Nature Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
The museum is set in a heritage building that temporarily served as Parliament from 1916-18 when the actual Parliament Buildings burned down. The building is gorgeous inside - high ceilings, stained glass and carved wooden staircases. Inside, there are 4 floors of exhibits with lots of hands-on and interactive displays. The main floor has life size replicas of dinosaurs and information on the earth and how it has evolved. Kids will enjoy participating in "Animal Athletes" where they participate in warm up events, athletic events and learn about healthy eating. Each event relates to a different animal and they compete against pretend kangaroos in jumping, elephants in weightlifting, e...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 28, 2002

Canadian Museum of Nature
240 Mcleod Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6P4
613 566 4700

Ottawa For Free

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Story/Tip

National Gallery Photo, Ottawa, Ontario
Quote:
Many of the museums and attractions are free year round so its easy to have fun in Ottawa without spending much, if any, money. They are also located close together so you can leave your car at the hotel and not even pay for parking downtown. Directly across from Chateau Laurier on Rideau Street, the Contemporary Photography Museum is a modern, two story building. The ever-changing exhibits are part of the Museum’s extensive collection. During my visit, the featured exhibits included black and white Inuit photographs from the 1940s as well as scenes of Paris and Havana. Admission is by donation only and the museum is open Wed. to Sunday until 5 p.m. Behind the museum, Major’s ...Read More