Hi folks im heading to Ottawa /Ontario on March 17 for two weeks! Can any of you guys direct me what there is to do/see at this time of year? I'll be based in Otttawa for the two weeks (staying with some relatives).
Will snow/ice still be around by then? Possibility of skiing? Ive never done it b4 but would love to?
Just to quickly answer your question about snow: there will probably still be some snow on the ground then, although we have been having seasonably high temperatures in southern Quebec and Ontario, and if they continue, there might not be much natural snow left on the slopes. Most mountains make snow so they can cash in on the spring skiing season, so you may not have a problem. Mountains usually end their ski season in April.
Two weeks in Ottawa? Two days is probably long enough to see the sights. It's a great city, but...
In Ottawa, try:
- Parliament (free guided tours!)
- The War Museum (if you like that kind of thing)
- Skating on the Rideau Canal
- ByWard Market
Then maybe venture out to:
- Montreal (of course!)
- Quebec City
- Toronto (if you have to...)
- Niagara Falls
These would probably each be a little longer than day-trips, but a day or two apiece should do it. As for skiing - like Katie says, the centres are usually open till mid-April. It has been pretty warm here the last week, but snow's in the forecast for tomorrow and for some reason we usually get great, big snowstorms in March. Plus snow-making machines will do their best to keep the slopes skiiable for as long as possible.
It should be good skiing, though - probably much warmer that January or February.
I will ditto the ByWard Market! I spent so many saturdays browsing the shops (mostly food oriented) and eating out. There is a pub/bar my friends and I used to go to a lot called Minglewoods on Dalhousie street. They had the best mixed drinks I've ever tasted and I really mean EVER (not even in Montreal!).
Driving over to Gatineau's Museum of Civilization (http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/cmce.asp) is a worthy trip if you're into that sort of thing. They have some interesting exhibitions as well as some wine tasting (pretty cool if you ask me!). It's right across the bridge and you can probably take a bus there too.
Another place to visit is the Sparks street area. Definitely stop by D'arcy McGee's (on Sparks) for a true Irish pub feel, good food, and the best Chocolate Lava Cake in the world! Basically it's a little chocolate cake with oozing chocolate hidden in the centre. Such an amazing thing to eat!
I'll agree with Tina on the length of stay in Ottawa. It's not the biggest city ever, and can be seen in a few days at the most. If you want to be leisurely about it, a week is more than enough. Check out other cities like the ones Tina suggested. You won't regret it!
* Toronto (if you have to...)
Nice. I go away for a couple of weeks, and this starts to happen. Good thing I am back now to police the Toronto hatred from the other Canadians.
As for Ottawa, in addition to what has been suggested:
- Casino Hull across the river
- The Gatineaus (mountains across the border in Quebec). They also provide the closest skiing opportunities, though the skiing North of Montreal is better
- Canada Science & Technology Museum is fun for a half day, especially if you like aviation and space
- National Art Gallery - I'm surprised no one else has mentioned this. The building is impressive just on it's own, and the art inside is very interesting.
- I also enjoyed the Canadian Museum of Caricature at 395 Wellington
Sorry, Greg! It's kind of... a Montreal thing. Glad to have you back in uniform, though!
The National Gallery is really nice - and free! Right next to the War Museum. Which is not free, but pretty cheap and very interesting.