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Canada Day seeking insights for 1 great day!

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Toronto
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Canada Day seeking insights for 1 great day!

This forum is fantastic. Your inights are great and I am hoping for a bit of direction too.

My niece from Edmonton is visiting me in Toronto for her 16th birthday. I thought I would surprise her with a 1 night trip to Ottawa -- arrving on Canada Day and leaving on July 2nd.

We are staying at the Albert at Bay Hotel on July 1st. I was hoping -- please advice -- that we could see amazing fireworks and avoid the crowds by taking a Rideau Canal dinner/fireworks cruise. Open to all kinds of other suggestion. I love Ottawa but have never been on Canada Day and my niece has never been at all.

I hoping to give her a Canada Day that she can brag about when she goes back to Edmonton -- without costing her aunt a small fortune!

Thank you for any advice or guidance you could provide.

Bonnie

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Canada Day seeking insights for 1 great day!

Hi Summer272,

Welcome to the OTTAWA (Canada’s Capital City Region) TRAVEL FORUM

And I see you are NEW to the TA FORUMS… so a BIG Welcome Aboard as well !!

There are lots of past topics on Canada Day… and rather than rehash a whole lot of what is already out there… I’ll mention that the FORUMS are also searchable… just type any keyword(s) into the SEARCH BOX that is found at the top of the Directory… I used – Canada Day – and here is the results (note they are listed by RELEVANCE, if you want you can reorganize the list by DATE, so the newest stuff is at the top)

TA – OTTAWA FORUM SEARCH (Canada Day) = http://www.tripadvisor.ca/SearchForums?scope=2&ff=181&geo=155004&q=canada+day&returnTo=__2F__&sub-search.x=14&sub-search.y=5

(NOTE - You'll have to cut & paste the URL above into your Web Browser, as unfortunately TA doesn't always allow such long URLs to be hyperlinked)

The fireworks go off on the Ottawa River… although floating along on the Rideau Canal “sounds” like a good idea, if you look at a map you’d see that you’d actually be heading south and away from the city’s main touristy area, and where ALL things happen on Canada Day. As I haven’t done the boat cruise on Canada Day, I can’t really comment on how good it is… but I can’t see how it could be all that great considering that you’d be sailing away… and the “city” and its larger buildings would no doubt block a lot of any view of the fireworks (knowing also that the canal lies lower than the street)

If you want to do a cruise, then you might want to look at one of the ones that cruise on the Ottawa River itself (although to be honest… don’t know if any run during the Canada Day Fireworks… know that a lot of streets and even some of the Bridges are closed on Canada Day at that time for safety reasons).

River Cruises are run both by companies on the Ontario side and the Gatineau side… Capital Cruises = www.capitalcruises.ca being one of the more known ones. (Paul’s also runs cruises on the Ottawa River, in addition to the ones they run on the intown portion of the Rideau Canal = http://www.paulsboatcruises.com/about.htm )

After you’ve read up some, come back and ask some more Questions.

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Edited: 01 April 2012, 13:41
Toronto
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2. Re: Canada Day seeking insights for 1 great day!

Thank you very much! I will do a search and read up. Really glad to have your comments on the cruise. Had no clue -- we would end up going away from the action.

Appreciate this.

Bonnie

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Canada Day seeking insights for 1 great day!

I'd suggest taking her to the Prime Minister's residence and/or the Governor General's residence. To see the outside of the PM's is unique as is the GG's. OK, not as exciting as the fireworks, but part of the Ottawa experience, and certainly unique - and likely something she has seen on TV news. Don't forget the National Gallery with it's spider sculpture outside; another Ottawa landmark, also on Sussex Drive. Enjoy!

Ottawa, Canada
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13,856 posts
48 reviews
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4. Re: Canada Day seeking insights for 1 great day!

Hi Summer272,

NOTE - The Prime Minister's Residence & Grounds (24 Sussex) IS NOT OPEN to the public...

The GG's (Government House / Rideau Hall) is. There are tours of both Government House and the Grounds (although the Grounds are also OPEN to the public and be enjoyed without a tour as well)

For more info see the relative website...

GG of Canada = http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=94

A visit to one of our National Museums as suggested by 3CANADIANBEARS is also a very good idea when in the National Capital... the National Gallery - Museum of Civilization - War Museum - Aviation & Space Museum - Museum of Nature - Science & Technology - Agriculture - and Cold War (Diefenbunker) the latter one... outside of town in the village of Carp... are all great choices... (there are a couple of others, but these are the main ones)... something for just about anyone's specific interests.

Hope this is helpful,

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Edited: 01 April 2012, 15:47
Toronto
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5. Re: Canada Day seeking insights for 1 great day!

Thank you -- I was thinking exactly that about the Prime Minister's residence. Great for her to see actually see something she has only seen on TV.

Excited for her to see Ottawa with me for the first time! Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. Very helpful to me!

Bonnie

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
13,856 posts
48 reviews
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6. Re: Canada Day seeking insights for 1 great day!

Hi Summer272,

You are very welcome... glad to help.

Do check back here from time to time to see if any other topics are ongoing about Canada Day...

The NCC (National Capital Commission) are the folks responsible for throwing Canada's Biggest Birthday Bash... and as a "government organization" sadly they are notorious for being S-L-O-W on getting their info out to the public on such things...

Right now their focus is the Juno's (being held here in Ottawa tonight)... But after the Canadian Tulip Festival (ends Victoria Day) then they begin updating their Canada Day Website... you can keep an eye on it too... (it is in the Celebrate! Section)

NCC = http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/

Cheers!

Wine-4-2

Edited: 01 April 2012, 17:10
Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Canada Day seeking insights for 1 great day!

THE place to be on Canada Day is on Parliament Hill for the noon day show. You should plan to be on the hill about 10:30 to ensure you get on. Once it is full, they stop allowing more people on. Bring a blanket, drinks, an umbrella for the sun or good sun hats and sunscreen, and be ready to enjoy. You can refill your water on the hill and there are porta-potties there as well, just in case. Being there for the music, the crowds, the 21 gun salute and the flyover- there is nothing else like it. The evening show is geared towards young people with logs of music but also lots of drinking. Since you only need to walk back to your hotel, it wouldn't be so bad dealing with the crowds who are trying to get buses out of the downtown later. However, from the Hill, you don't get the best view of the fireworks. The fireworks are best seen from some point close to or overlooking the river (but not on the bridges).

8. Re: Canada Day seeking insights for 1 great day!

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