A dedicated traveller, teacher, dreamer, and lover with an unquenchable thirst for expedition. I've got two calloused feet that take me anywhere and everywhere I need to be.
It’s doubtful that few people living outside the British Commonwealth could even name the capital of Canada. No, it’s not Toronto.
Toronto’s smaller, cleaner, friendlier, more appealing brother, living to the northeast actually holds that title. Welcome to Ottawa.
Like all capital cities, it’s got a well manicured facade, but step two blocks past the East Block from Parliament Hill and it’s seedy and youthful underbelly is quickly exposed. Don’t let the eight inch mohawks or the screaming addicts deter you though. Oddly enough, the mix of capital charm, and grime seems to work.
Ottawa does a fine job of mixing its bureaucratic stagnancy with a potent music scene and spices it up with a substantial French influence. A city of water and ample green space. A city of concrete ministries and gothic revival. A city of accessible museums and galleries, and overpriced public transit. A city trying to stay local and sustainable, Ottawa is tax dollars working at its finest. (Use your discretion to read into the level of sarcasm on that last line).
As a visitor, it is easy to fall into a local lifestyle. Ottawa’s pockets, the neighbourhoods, the festivals, the bike lanes, the bakeries, organic food stores and the indie dive bars are all screaming to be discovered. By 5pm the paper-pushing bureaucrats have exited en masse to the suburbs and the streets are yours and yours alone. Given the chance, it’s easy to see that Ottawa is a small town at heart, and above all else, a very liveable city….if you can handle the winters.
See: The Rideau Canal
Feel: Green grass
Smell: The Byward Market
Hear: Sketchy buskers
Don’t plan on going just yet?
Read: An Ottawa Album: Glimpses Into The Way We Were (Marion Van de Wetering)