I want to thank all the Insiders who took the time to answer all my questions about Ottawa. All your recommendations were very valuable.
We arrived at the Montreal Airport with a little over 2 hours to go through immigration, then catch the shuttle to the Dorval train station. Our flight was on time; however, I was worried when I saw all the people going through immigration. We slowly worked our way through all the lines and because we had noted we had nuts with us, we had to go through additional screening. Our nuts were in a trail mix and when I asked the agent if I should have declared them, she told us definitely because if one of the dogs had smelled the nuts and we hadn't declared them, we would have been fined at a cost of $1800 or so! Despite having the additional screening, we were outside the terminal waiting for the shuttle in about 30 minutes. The shuttle took about 5 minutes to reach the Dorval Station. The agent was extremely helpful, checked our bags, and told us we even had time to visit a nearby shopping center while we were waiting. We decided just to relax and wait for the train. (Several Insiders recommended traveling First Class and I know we would have enjoyed it; however, I purchased the Escape Economy fares well in advance and both of our tickets were less than 1 First Class ticket.) The 1 1/2 hour trip sped by. We arrived at the Ottawa station which is in an industrial area outside of town, but it was a short ride by taxi into town.
We arrived at the Delta Ottawa where we stayed on points for 2 nights and were warmly greeted by Annie, the desk agent. She checked us in and provided us with a map, even marking some of the sites she recommended. She explained the concierge hours (which we had missed), but said she would send us a dessert. We were impressed when our dessert arrived.
The next morning we headed to Parliament Hill and spent several hours walking around.
The Peace Tower, part of the Centre Block, will close next summer for 10-15 years for renovations so we were glad we had the opportunity to see it while it was open. We took the tour 2 days later and were thrilled when we found out that the elevator which had been closed for maintenance was open and we could go up in the bell tower. The largest of the bells in the carillon weighs 22,244 lbs. and the smallest weighs 10 lbs.
This picture was taken through a window just below the clock face.
Seeing the interior of the Library of Parliament was also a highlight of the tour. The Library was constructed between 1859 and 1876. The Library was saved in 1916 when the Centre Block was destroyed by fire.
A view of Parliament Hill from the river. We enjoyed a 90-minute cruise on the Ottawa River.
Following major flooding in the area, the Rideau Falls were magnificent.
After spending 2 nights at the Delta Hotel, we moved just around the corner to the Ottawa Marriott where I introduced myself to Trisha, an employee erc and yogib had dealt with in previous stays. We appreciated all the help we received from Ann, one of the concierge lounge hostesses. She made sure we knew about the tulip that had been developed in honor of the 150th birthday. I described the tulip as looking like peppermint.
We enjoyed our first beavertails at the original Beavertail Stand found in the Byward Market, an area we really enjoyed browsing through.
The flower stalls were colorful.
We enjoyed lunch and a cookie at a French bakery and restaurant in the Byward Market.
We also enjoyed visiting the National Gallery of Canada on Thursday evening when admission is free. A walk along the Rideau Canal along the locks on a cool summer evening was enjoyable. We also enjoyed visiting the Supreme Court and the Royal Canadian Mint during DOORS OPEN OTTAWA 2017, a 2-day event during which over 150 buildings offer free admission. We briefly visited the Canadian Museum of History, but ran out of time to tour the entire building.
After 4 days in the capital city of Ottawa, we were ready to return to Montreal where we would spend 4 days. Stay tuned for more reviews of our trip.