The view from our room in the historic Lord Elgin Hotel was spectacular. To top it off we were so close to everything that was available to see and do. We had no idea what a great choice we had made until we got there.
From our rooms we were able to gaze upon the brightly lit ice sculptures created, or in the process of being created, by international artists who had traveled from around the world. It was amazing to watch these sculptures take shape. The finished sculptures were as beautiful as anything I have ever seen.
Just beyond the park you could see the ice skaters as they glided up and down the canal. The ambitious can skate from the start of the canal, where it empties into the majestic Ottawa River, to Rideau Lake and back. It's a trip of about eight miles. For those less ambitous, grab a free bus and determine where your start and stop places are going to be. No skates, no problem. You can rent them at different venues along the canal. Best of all there are rest areas and places to get that hot cup of coffee or cocoa.
Sightseeing, shopping, dining, and nightlife are in aboundance. Take your choice of places to go and see. The Byward Market is a fanastic area with restaurants, shops, bars, and historical landmarks. Just beyond its reaches is the Rideau Center if you're into some serious shopping. Across the canal are the Parliament Buildings, Chateau Laurier, and of course the outdoor Sparks Street Mall.
Along the Ottawa River is Majors Park, a great place to cross country ski.
Elgin Street is reknown for its' bars and restaurants.
Still don't have enought to do? There are several museums to quench your search for knowledge. Most of all don't forget to try a beaver tail or stop into one of the many restaurants alond Rideau Street that specialize in crepes. If you still need more, the mountains of Quebec and the City of Hull are across the Ottawa River.