Breathtaking Winter Celebrations in the Canadian Capital of Ottawa

By Aunrag Ahluwalia

 

Ottawa – Canada’s capital is situated in the eastern province of Ontario with around 2 million population it is considered to be one of Canada’s most thriving cities. Like many other Canadian cities Ottawa attracts millions of visitors every year to its sporting events including hockey, baseball, football and horseracing. Aside from sports Ottawa can offer visitors the opportunity to view many natural heritage sites, historical monuments and other famous landmarks.

The history of Ottawa dates back to the late 1700’s when its first European community made a good living by transporting white pine timber from Ottawa Valley to Montreal, this immediately contributed to Ottawa’s growth resulting from a mass immigration of Irish workers. Visiting Ottawa is great any time of year, the summers are exceptionally warm with very little rainfall and in the winter months there can be very significant snowfalls – in fact every year snow is the main guest at Ottawa winter festival known as Winterlude. This festival held in February attracts over one million visitors a year to its ice-sculptures and outdoor skating rink held on the Rideau Canal.

Sightseeing

One of Ottawa’s most visited districts is Parliament hill situated in the Downtown district of Ottawa – here you can expect to see some very fine gothic art architecture dating back to 1860. The parliamentary area houses the Library of Parliament, peace tower and the house of commons, various statues including Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II, monuments and memorial grounds including centennial flame and Canadian Police Memoriam, Canada Day celebrations as well as new Years eve and Christmas light shows and displays attract millions of locals and holiday makers to Parliament Hill.

Also situated within walking distance of Parliament Hill is the Notre Damn Basilica which is a stunning gothic cathedral constructed in 1885 and the Royal Canadian Mint is worth a visit – the mint was opened in 1908 to produce Canadian and French currency. Today it no longer prints money however it gives a great insight into the business with a guided tour. And you won’t want to bypass Ottawa’s 0most famous and oldest landmark – Rideau Canal which was completed in 1832. During the winter season the canal freezes over with snow and ice and becomes a source of entertainment as the longest ice-skating rink in world. The annual Winterlude festival is also held on the canal.

Getting to Ottawa

Travelling to Ottawa by plane with take around 9 hours from London Gatwick with Flyglobespan.com. Visitors will arrive at Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Ottawa which is situated 6 miles south of Downtown Ottawa. In order to be allowed entry into Canada you must hold a current valid passport, fill out a visa waiver form or apply to the Canadian Embassy for a visa if you are not a British or EU citizen.