Billings Estate Museum
2100 Cabot St
May-Oct Tues-Sun noon-5pm
Go south on Bank St., cross the Rideau River at Billings Bridge and take Riverside East; turn right on Pleasant Park and right on Cabot
Admission charged. children under 5 free
This mansion offers a glimpse into the social life of the period from 1829, when Braddish and Lamira Billings, two of Ottawa's founding settlers, oversaw its construction, to the 1970s, when the home was turned into a museum.
Major attractions: Family heirlooms, personal belongings, furniture, tools and paintings spanning five generations and been carefully preserved. This heritage site stretches across eight acres of parkland and includes several outbuildings and a cemetery. There is a picnic area and visitors are invited to stroll the grounds. Tea and scones are served on the lawn June 1 to September 1, 2 or 3 days a week (call ahead for details).
540 Wellington St At Commissioner St
Apr to mid-May and mid-Oct to Nov Mon-Fri 10-4; mid-May to mid-Oct Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 1-5 Closed Dec-Mar
Housed in Ottawa's oldest stone building (1827), which served as the Commissariat for food and material during construction of the Rideau Canal, this museum displays possessions of Lieutenant-Colonel By, the canal's builder and one of young Ottawa's most influential citizens. In addition, artifacts reflect the social history of the pioneer era of Bytown/Ottawa in three period rooms and a number of changing exhibits. The museum is beside the Ottawa Locks, between Parliament Hill and Ch√Ęteau Laurier.
Contained within the square formed by Sussex, Rideau, St. Patrick, and King Edward Sts
May-Nov Mon-Sat 9 - 6pm, Sun 10-6; Dec-Apr daily 10-6
A traditional farmers' market here still sells all manner of foods, flowers, plants, and vegetables, while the central market building houses two floors of boutiques displaying a wide variety of wares and crafts. During market season, enjoy a snack or meal at more than 70 indoor and outdoor stand-up counters and cafes. The neighborhood is a mix of rehabilitated 19th- century brick buildings and some contemporary commercial structures. The many stalls of carefully arranged gleaming produce invite inspection of the offerings of regional farmers and food artisans.
Canada Agriculture Museum
Prince of Wales Dr. at Experimental Farm Dr.
9 - 5
Admission charged. Call ahead for group rates and tours.
Learn how grain is made into flour and bread, or help collect chicken eggs in the Poultry House. With cows, pigs, sheep, horses, chickens and rabbits, the Agriculture Museum is a working farm that celebrates Canada's agricultural heritage, located on the grounds of the Central Experimental Farm.
Canada Aviation Museum
11 Aviation Parkway, 993-2010
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays till 9 p.m.
Free on Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Daily 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m.
Take a stroll down the Walkway of Time in this massive building, which houses one of the world's best collections of vintage aircraft. In addition to getting an up-close look at aircraft from different eras, visitors will hear some remarkable tales, from the adventures of Canadian bush pilots to the controversy surrounding the Avro Arrow project to the contributions made by women in wartime. Sit at the controls of a Cessna, 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:15 p.m. Wind-tunnel demonstrations, 10:30 a.m.
Canada Science and Technology Museum
1867 St Laurent Blvd
Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission charged. Free Admission during the last hour.
If the energy stored in a jar of peanut butter were transformed into oil or electricity, it could heat a house for several hours or drive a car 10 kilometres at high speed? That's just one of the many things you'll discover here. A lighthouse, a locomotive and rocket are located in the Technology Park in front of the museum. Interactive and hands-on activities.
Permanent exhibitions: Love, Leisure and Laundry explores the evolution of household technology. Canada In Space explores this country's scientific and technical feats in the space program. Includes a full-scale model of the Canadarm. Visitors can climb aboard steam locomotives in the Locomotive Hall. From telephones to radio to the Internet, Connexions explores all facets of communications technology and their impact on our lives. Beautiful antique cars are showcased in the More than a Machine exhibition, featuring vehicles from the 1900s to the 1930sSee if you can keep your balance in the Crazy Kitchen.
Canadian Museum of Nature
240 MacLeod St.
9:30 - 5. Thursdays till 8.
Admission charged. Children under 3: Free. Free on Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Seven permanent exhibit halls trace the history of life on Earth from its beginnings 4,200 million years ago. A huge tree of life traces the evolutionary threads of life from 500 million years ago to the present. The third-floor dinosaur hall is a popular highlight, with fossils, skulls, and the intact skeleton of a mastadon. In an opposite gallery is a variety of snails, bugs, spiders, and other "creepy critters," some of them live. Down one floor are mineral galleries and exhibits of Canadian birds and large mammals preserved by taxidermy and placed in natural settings. Children enjoy the Discovery Den activity area.
Canadian Museum of Civilization
100 Laurier St.
May 1 to June 30: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., open Thursdays till 9 p.m. (Children's Museum till 7 p.m.)
July 1 to Sept. 3: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays till 9 p.m.
Admission charged. Museum Admission free on Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., half-price on Sundays.
Guided tours of permanent or special exhibitions offered daily at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Audio guides are also available for some exhibitions. A breathtaking architectural achievement. The building's design recalls the Ice Age, when wind, sea and glaciers molded the land. Inside, visitors are taken on a tour of First Peoples' culture and Canada's past. The building also houses two smaller museums, the Canadian Children's Museum, and the Canadian Postal Museum, as well as an IMAX theater. The Museum of Civilization is the country's largest and most visited museum. The Grand Hall was built in the shape of an enormous canoe. Architect Douglas Cardinal was inspired by a native myth about the raven's magic canoe, which could shrink to the size of a pine needle or expand to hold the entire universe.
Canadian War Museum
330 Sussex Drive, 776-8600
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursdays till 8 p.m.
Admission charged. Free Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Half-price Sundays.
A life-sized diorama of a typical First World War trench and the Mercedes Benz used by Adolph Hitler are just two of the exhibits showcased here. The museum has the largest military collection in Canada, with more than 500,000 artifacts, including medals, uniforms, tanks and other vehicles, and works of art.
Canada's war history, from New France to the First and Second World Wars to modern-day peacekeeping missions, are documented on three floors. The museum's newest exhibit explores Canada's contribution to NATO. It chronicles everything from the return of Canadian troops to Germany in 1951 to our participation in NATO missions in the Balkans nearly 50 years later. The Hall of Honor celebrates the valor and heroism of more than 40 Canadians.
Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada
245 Sparks St., 782-8914
http://Mon. to Sat., 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun., 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
July 2 to Labor Day: Daily tours 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. (English); 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. (French); afternoon tours only on Sundays.
Before coins and paper money became the coin of the realm, shells, teeth and cocoa beans were used. Trace the evolution of the world's money over 2,500 years. The museum has the most complete collection of Canadian bank notes, coins and tokens in the world.
Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum
3911 Carp Road
Admission charged. Under 6: free.
Tours : Until June 30: Mon. to Fri. 2 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. July 1 to Sept. 3: Daily 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. (French version at 1 p.m.)
For 33 years, the secret bunker served as Canada's Central Emergency Government Headquarters. In the event of a nuclear attack, the bunker could house more than 500 government leaders, public servants and military personnel. It was designed to resist a five-megaton nuclear weapon detonated 1.8 kilometres away.
335 Laurier Ave. E At Chapel St
Apr-Sept Tues-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 2-5pm; Oct-Mar call ahead for hours
This comfortable 1878 brick home is filled with mementos of the two Canadian prime ministers who lived here over a span of 50 years. From 1897 to 1919, it was occupied by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada's seventh Prime Minister and the first French-Canadian elected to that office. He was followed by William Lyon Mackenzie King, who held the same post for 21 years and lived here from 1923 to 1950. King is said to have held seances in the library; on display is the crystal ball he supposedly had seen in London but said he couldn't afford: an American bought it for him when he overheard King's remarks. A portrait of the PM's mother is here, in front of which King used to place a red rose daily. You'll also find a copy of the program Abraham Lincoln held on the night of his assassination, plus copies of his death mask and hands. Lester B. Pearson's library has also been re-created and contains the Nobel Peace Prize medal he won for his role in the 1956 Arab-Israeli dispute.
National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Drive, 990-1985
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays till 8 p.m.
Admission charged. Permanent Collection: Free.
Special exhibits: Admission charged. Children under 12: Free, but timed ticket required. Call ahead for group rates.
Guided tours of permanent collection are free, 11 - 2 daily. Audio guides also available.
This striking granite and glass museum overlooking the Ottawa River is home to 45,000 works by Canadian and international artists, with some 1,200 works on display at any given time. The museum appeals to a range of tastes and makes itself accessible to all ages through lectures, workshops, tours and concerts. Library with more than 200,000 books, periodicals and catalogues, as well as 350,000 photographs and 180,000 slides. Self-serve cafeteria. Sit-down cafe offering light lunches and pastries.
On Parliament Hill, a bluff jutting into the Ottawa River
613/992-4793 for tours
Late May-Labour Day 9am to 8pm (to 5pm the rest of the year). Free tours of the East Block historic offices given daily July-Labor Day 10am-6pm. In summer, tours leave as often as every 10 min., but check at the Info-tent behind the West Block for the current schedule. In cooler months, tours depart at the front of the Center Block No tours New Year's Day, Canada Day (July 1), Christmas Day Free tours (English and French) of the grounds and 4 rooms each of the Center and East Blocks given dailyThe last tour excludes the Peace Tower
The Parliament buildings, with their steeply pitched copper roofs, dormers, and towers, are truly impressive, especially on first sighting from river or road. In 1860, Prince Edward (later Edward VII) laid the cornerstone for the buildings, which were finished in time to host the inaugural session of the first Parliament of the new Dominion of Canada in 1867. Entering through the south gate off Wellington Street, you'll pass the Centennial Flame, lit by Lester Pearson on New Year's Eve 1966 to mark the passing of 100 years since that historic event.
The Buildings: Parliament is composed of three g building blocks:
1. Center Block, straight ahead, and the flanking
2. West Block
3. East Block.
East and West Block contain the House of Commons and the Senate. You can attend sessions of the House of Commons to observe the 295 elected members debating in the green chamber with tall stained-glass windows. Parliament is usually in recess from late June to early September and occasionally between September and June, including the Easter and Christmas holidays. Otherwise, the House usually sits Monday 11am to 6:30pm, Tuesday and Thursday 10am to 6:30pm, Wednesday 2 to 8pm, and Friday 10am to 4pm. The 104 appointed members of the Senate sit in a red chamber with murals depicting Canadians fighting in World War I.
The 302-foot campanile dominating the Center Block's facade is the Peace Tower. It houses a 53-bell carillon, a huge clock, an observation deck, and the Memorial Chamber, commemorating Canada's war dead.A 16-sided dome, supported outside by flying buttresses and paneled inside with Canadian white pine, features a marble statue of the young Queen Victoria and splendid carvings: gorgons, crests, masks, and hundreds of rosettes. The West Block, containing parliamentary offices, is closed to the public, but you can visit the East Block, housing offices of prime ministers, governors-general, and the Privy Council. Four historic rooms are on view: the original governor-general's office, restored to the period of Lord Dufferin (1872 to 1878); the offices of Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Georges-Etienne Cartier (the principal Fathers of Confederation); and the Privy Council Chamber with anteroom.
Changing Of The Guard
Late June to late August, a colorful half-hour ceremony is held daily on the Parliament Hill lawn (weather permitting). The parade of 125 soldiers in busbies and scarlet assembles at Cartier Square Drill Hall (by the canal at Laurier Avenue) at 9:30am and marches up Elgin Street to reach the hill at 10am. On arrival on the hill, the Ceremonial Guard splits, one division of the old guard positioned on the west side of the Parliament Hill lawn and two divisions of the new guard, or "duties," on the east side.
The ceremony includes the inspection of dress and weapons of both groups. The colors are then marched before the troops and saluted, and the guards compliment each other by presenting arms. Throughout, sergeant-majors bellow unintelligible commands that prompt the synchronized stomp and clatter of boots and weapons. Finally, the outgoing guard commander gives the key to the guard room to the incoming guard commander, signifying that the process has been completed. The relieved unit marches back down Wellington Street to the beat of their drums and the skirl of bagpipes.
Sound & Light Show
For details, contact the National Capital Commission at tel. 613/239-5000.
For years, May to August, Canada's history has unfolded in a dazzling half-hour display of sound and light against the dramatic backdrop of the Parliament buildings. Weather permitting, two performances are given per night, one in English, the other in French. There's bleacher seating for the free show.
The Ottawa Senators (Hockey)
20min from downtown, bus #183.
one of the youngest teams in the National Hockey League ( their predecessors won a string of Stanley Cups earlier in this century) and currently play at the new 18,500-capacity Corel Center, 1000 Palladium Drive, Kanata (1-800-444-SENS)
Tickets :call Ticketmaster 613/755-1166.
The Ottawa Lynx
a farm team (minor league) of the Montr√©al Expos, play at the Ottawa Stadium, Coventry Rd The season runs from mid-April to late September.
Ottawa Intrepid play at Lansdowne Park
1015 Bank (bus #7 or #1) or the Terry Fox Stadium
Riverside Drive (bus #96).
Tickets :call Ticketmaster 613/755-1166.
Casino de Hull
1 boulevard du Casino
Daily 11AM - 3AM
At the Casino de Hull, a world-class gaming facility, visitors can try their luck at the gaming tables and slot machines.
The Ottawa River
Canada's second longest at over 700 miles, curves around the northern edge of city. The compact downtown area, where most major attractions are clustered within walking distance, is south of the river.
The Rideau Canal
The Rideau Canal, sweeping past the National Arts Center, divides the downtown area in two segments known as: Center Town and Lower Town.
Parliament Hill, the Supreme Court, and the National Museum of Natural Sciences. In
on the east side of the canal, are the National Gallery of Canada, the Byward Market (a vibrant center for restaurants and nightlife), and along Sussex Drive (which follows the Ottawa River's course), the Canadian War Museum, the Royal Canadian Mint, and the Prime Minister's residence, diplomat's row, and Rockcliffe Park.
North across the river, in Qu√©bec, reached by the Macdonald-Cartier and Alexandra bridges from the east end of town and the Portage and Chaudi√®re bridges from the west end. At the end of the Alexandra Bridge stands the Museum of Civilization, and nearby are some of the city's best French restaurants and the most lively nightlife action (which continues until 2am). North and east of Hull stretch the Gatineau Hills and ski country.
Frontenac Provincial Park
Near Sydenham about 45 miles from Ottawa, is a wilderness park with more than (113 miles of hiking trails that explore such areas as Moulton Gorge, the Arkon Lake bogs, and the Connor-Daly mine.
Port Hope, Presqu'ile Provincial Park & Trenton
This 2,000-acre area of marsh and woodland offers excellent camping and a mile-long beach. Flocks of migratory birds from the Atlantic and the Mississippi flyways arrive for the major bird-watching weekends held in spring and fall. The visitor center is open Victoria Day to Labor Day.
Driving from Ottawa, take Route 16 south to 401 west, bringing you to the old lakefront town of Port Hope, where antiques stores line the main street. It's at the mouth of the Ganaraska River.
40 miles east of Port Hope lies Trenton, the starting point for the Trent-Severn Canal, a 239-mile-long waterway traveling northeast via 44 locks to Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. It's also the western entrance to the Loyalist Parkway (Route 33), leading to Quinte's Isle.Halfway between Port Hope and Trenton on Route 401 is Brighton, the gateway town to Presqu'√ģle Provincial Park.
Serpent Mounds Park
Located in Keene, which you can reach by driving north from Port Hope on Highway 28. The park has 120 campsites and offers swimming and self-guided nature trails. The name comes from the Indian burial mounds it contains: one shaped like a snake
visitor center on the waterway on Hunter Street East.
Farther north on Route 28 is, at the center of the Kawartha Lakes: the series of lakes connected by the Trent-Severn Waterway from Trent to Georgian Bay. Here you can watch the boats moving through the locks and being lifted 62 feet from one water level to another.
Petroglyphs Provincial Park
Continuing northeast on Route 28 from Peterborough, you'll come to Stony Lake. At its eastern end, on Northey's Bay Road near the town of Stonyridge
Open from second Friday in May to Canadian Thanksgiving; daily 10-5.
Although the hiking trails, two lakes, and forests are appealing, the petroglyphs themselves: hundreds of symbolic shapes and figures: are what attract visitors. It is believed that these images were carved by an Algonquin-speaking people between 1,100 and 6,500 years ago. About 300 distinct carvings have been identified alongside 600 indecipherable figures. Members of the Ojibwa Anishinabe Nation still revere this as a sacred site.
The Thousand Islands
The St. Lawrence River was the main route into the heart of Upper Canada from the 17th to the mid-19th century, traveled first by explorers, fur traders, and missionaries and later by settlers en route to Ontario and the plains west. The river is a magnificent sight, especially where it flows around the outcroppings and pine-covered islets of the Thousand Islands region; in some stretches it's over 19km (12 miles) wide.
St. Lawrence Islands National Park (The Thousand Islands)
2 County Rd. 5, Mallorytown
Canada's smallest national park encompasses a 50-mile stretch of the St. Lawrence, from Kingston to Brockville. The visitor center and headquarters are on the mainland, where you'll find a picnic area, beach, and nature trail. Access to the park's island facilities is via boat only.
Upper Canada Village
About 31 miles east of Brockville along Route 2, just east of Morrisburg
To get from Ottawa to this region, take Route 16/416 south to 401 west, which connects the towns, parks, and townships from Brockville to Port Hope
Admission charged. children under 6 are free, and families get a 10% discount.
May to Canadian Thanksgiving, daily 9:30 - 5.
This is Ontario's effort to preserve its pre-Dominion past: a riverfront museum village representing frontier life in the 1860s. Some 40 brick-and-stone structures and interiors have been accurately restored using hand-forged nails and wooden pegs. They appear as if still inhabited, because they are occupied by costumed bilingual docents who perform the chores and crafts of the time (sewing quilts, milling lumber, fashioning tinware, conducting church services) and answering questions. A waterwheel -powered woolen mill, blacksmith's shop, bake shop, and lumber mill are a few of the authentic replicas of life in another time. "True Canadian" draft horses draw both tour wagons and the barge on the carp-filled canal cutting through from the river to a small lake behind the village.
National Arts Center
53 Elgin St., at Confederation Square
Canadian and international musical, dance, and theater artists: including the resident National Arts Center (NAC) Orchestra perform at this elaborate center. The building, created by architect Fred Lebensold, is made of three interlocking hexagons beside the Rideau Canal, its terraces giving excellent views of Parliament Hill and the Ottawa River.
There are three auditoriums:
the European-style Opera, seating 2,300
the 950-seat Theatre, with its innovative apron stage
and the 350-seat Studio, employed for experimental works.
The National Arts Center Orchestra
Guided tours are available.
Performs in seven or eight main concert series per year. The center also offers classic and modern drama in English and French. For reservations, call Ticketmaster at 613/ 755-1111 or visit the NAC box office Monday to Saturday noon to 9pm and Sunday and holidays when performances are scheduled noon to curtain time.
NAC Marketing and Communications Department
Box 1534, Station B, Ottawa, ON K1P 5W1
Offers a free monthly Calendar of NAC Events.
Great Canadian Theatre Company
910 Gladstone Ave.
presents contemporary drama and comedy with Canadian themes September to May.