"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

August 3, 2012

Aug. 2 - Ottawa, ON

Parliament Hill
Downtown Dock

Ottawa is the capital of Canada, it was chosen by Queen Victoria as the permanent capital in 1857. At that time Canada was made up of Lower Canada (now Quebec) and Upper Canada (now Ontario) and was known as the Province of Canada. Ottawa was chosen because of its central location and it was a secure distance from the American border.

We had breakfast at Starbucks so we could check our emails and update the blog. Then we walked over to Parliament Hill to get tickets for a tour of the Parliament Building and watch The Guard Mount Ceremony (changing of the guard). The ceremony is held each morning at ten on the lawns of Parliament Hill. The old guard march in from Parliament Hill and the new guard comes up the street, across the Rideau Canal. It was very impressive and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

We took a tour of the Central Block, which is home to the Senate, House of Commons and the Library of Parliament. It was rebuilt in the 1920s after being completely destroyed in a fire in 1916. Because of its design it looks much older. The tour was informative and the building was very impressive. It's kind of a weird coincidence, we toured our capital in Washington DC exactly a year ago today.

We spent a few hours on the boat relaxing this afternoon, then explored the area a little more. After dinner onboard we walked back to ByWard Market for dessert. As we were walking down Sussex Ave. we could hear music coming from the park, we caught the end of a bag pipe and drum concert. There seems to be something going on somewhere in town all the time. So much fun.

The Parliament Building
The Peace Tower - The Peace Tower was named in commemoration of Canada’s commitment to peace. The 302.5’ tower contains an observation area and the Carillon, a series of 53 bells weighing 10 lb. to 22,244 lb.
The old guard marching in
The new guard on the lawn
The Library of Parliament opened in 1876 and was the only parliament building to survive the 1916 fire.
One of the ornate details on the Parliament building
View from the Peace Tower looking south towards the Rideau Canal. Our boat is just below the last large tree and before the bridge.
View from the Peace Tower looking down the Ottawa River
The start of the Guard Mount Ceremony 
video

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