I have lived in Ottawa for all of my 21 years, and I am very proud to say so. Our beautiful city is filled with culture, kind people, great restaurants and security. There are tons of things to do and see. It’s perfect for raising a family, yet also has a fun night life. Might I say best of both worlds?
These are a few of my favourite things:
The Skating- The Rideau Canal is downtown Ottawa beginning just steps away from the Parliament Buildings and extending to Dows Lake. It is the biggest skating rink in the WORLD, at 7.8 kilometres. People from all over the planet love to visit this World Heritage Site.
I myself am a bit embarrassed to say that I am a horrible skater, or perhaps just a horrible “stopper”. However, I have never passed up an opportunity to explore the Canal. It is unbelievable exercise, and a perfect way to get some fresh air. There are many places to rest along the way, or grab a cinnamon beavertail and a steaming hot chocolate. So thank you Ottawa for the Rideau Canal.. and your delicious beavertails.
The Hockey- Okay okay, it is a little stereotypical of a Canadian to boost about their hockey team, but Ottawa loves their Senators. We are a true hockey city. During the lockout period, I didn’t go one day without hearing something about Gary Bettman or the NHL league itself.
With the NHL back, you can feel the rising energy in the city. Every home game so far has been sold out, and the away games are being watched intensely in every pub, restaurant and bar. I can’t wait to cheer the Sens on all the way into the playoffs.
Oh and PS- ALFIE! ALFIE! ALFIE!
The Valley- First off, I would like to give a shout out to the Byward Market. Filled with great shopping (Rideau Centre), unique restaurants (The Grand) and beautiful hotels (The Lord Elgin). Nevertheless we can’t forget about the city’s wonderful neighbour, the Ottawa Valley.
My heart belongs in the valley, where our short summer brings us fresh lakes to swim, boat, fish and more! My favourite moments of all are being in Calabogie, sitting by the campfire, roasting a hot dog and looking up at the star-filled sky.
During the winter, we can escape from the busy city and head to the hill. Pakenham first comes to mind, the place where I learned to ski. (I should also mention Pakenham has one of the greatest ice cream shops, Scoops.) If you’re lucky enough to know someone from the valley, whether it be Renfrew or Perth or Arnprior, you probably recognize that awesome valley twang. Puts a smile on my face just thinking about it!
All-in-all, there is so much about Ottawa to love. If you haven’t been, it is very much worth a visit.