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Best Weekend Getaways from Toronto: Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City

SubscribeFiled Under: Canada, Photo Essay,by Bhakti

Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Parliament Hill, Ottawa

“The nearer the better!”

“Friends in need are the friends indeed”

“Love triangle”

“Three Stooges”

For me, all these phrases define Ontarian’s all-time-and-all-seasons favorite trio destinations which I call “M-O-Q“, i.e. Modish Montreal, Orderly Ottawa and Queenly Quebec!

I call these places “Friends in Need” because they really are that! Either it be a long weekend or just a regular 2-day weekend, exciting plans can always be made out of trips to Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec, and you will never get disappointed with what they have to offer!

Many a times it happens that we forget to look for what is close to us and keep searching for faraway destinations. And then we miss the secret treasures hidden next to us. Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec are some of those neighboring travelling attractions. Three cities blended in three distinct flavors and each showcasing its interesting character; they are the perfect choices for the last minute vacation plans.

Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Entrance of Parliament building from inside

Entrance of Parliament building from inside

Canadian Capital city, Ottawa, is located at a driving distance of 450 km from Toronto, which takes around four and half hours. Patriotic, organised and disciplined Ottawa has its own peculiar sense. It focuses on knowledge, information and insight along with fun and relaxation. I think its a responsible city perfectly suitable for acting as The Capital.

It’s a city of museums, gallerias and historic sites. One can find all kinds of museums from agriculture to aviation, natives to wars and nature to space. It has got a unique national touch to everything and most importantly it has Canada’s parliamentary hill, the House of Canada’s national government.

We visited Ottawa in January. So you can imagine how “cool” our weekend must have been! And being located a bit north east of Toronto, winter in Ottawa is more harsh and snowy than it is in Toronto. In our two-day holiday we visited Parliament Hill, Rideau Canal and Canadian Museum of History and Civilization.

Parliament Hill is conveniently located at city center. We took a complimentary guided-tour of the Parliament House where one can see the legislative building from the inside and rough sketch the big picture of how routine activities are undertaken and where Canada’s (our) future plans are discussed! The Parliament House is divided into different sections from the inside. For me, the three major attractions in Parliament House were The Assembly Hall, The Old Library that was saved during the last fire because of its strong metal doors and The Clock Tower, which is the highest point of the structure.

Ottawa Parliament House Assembly Hall

Ottawa Parliament House Assembly Hall

Very old Library in Parliament building!

Very old Library in Parliament building!

Rideau Canal which is Ontario province’s first UNESCO World Heritage site is a well known landmark of Ottawa. The exciting fact about this canal is during winter it freezes entirely and one can actually walk or skate on this shiny pathway. But unfortunately our trip was little early to experience this adventure. It was not yet ready for the ice walking. But next time for sure!

The best out of the three places that we visited was the Canadian Museum of Civilization and History. I have never enjoyed museums so much before. It’s a huge building depicting the great journey of Canadian history from before European settlement to today’s modern culture. I think the niche of this museum are the “sets” they have built to create the feel of different eras and the giant and tallest ever wooden monumental sculptures, made from large tree trunks called “Totem Poles”.

Stay tuned for Montreal Magic!

Till then enjoy the photo tour of Ottawa!

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View from highest point on Parliament Hill

View from highest point on Parliament Hill

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Parliament Hill Library

Parliament Hill Library

Night @ Ottawa

Night @ Ottawa

 

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Canadian Museum of History and Civilization

Canadian Museum of History and Civilization

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Different sets built at museum to create the feel of an old era.

Different sets built at museum to create the feel of an old era.

"Totem" - Wooden sculpture made from giant tree trunk

“Totem” – Wooden sculpture made from giant tree trunk

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"Traditional Hospitals"- Different sets built at museum to create the feel of an old era.

“Traditional Hospitals”- Different sets built at museum to create the feel of an old era.

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They are not real! - Different sets built at museum to create the feel of an old era.

They are not real! – Different sets built at museum to create the feel of an old era.

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