I visited Ottawa this past weekend. I had heard good things about the city for the past few years but somehow always missed it on my trips to visit our northern neighbors. The drive to Ottawa was great. Much like driving to Montreal, you get to go through the 1,000 islands (yes, that’s where the salad dressing originated!) And the crossing into Canada takes you over a couple of fantastic suspension bridges. Who doesn’t love that?!
I was staying near the capital region while there and I have to admit the architecture was phenomenal. Of course, it was interesting to note that unlike Montreal, Ottawa was almost completely French architecture. If you were wondering, Montreal is a mix of English and French. You can tell the two types apart by the way the stone is cut for the buildings. Some of the buildings in Montreal actually contain a bit of English and a bit of French architecture, but that has nothing to do with Ottawa…
Anyway, the city had a fantastic canal path not unlike our own here in NY. Restaurants, houses, and even a lacrosse stadium sat along the canal making for an interesting walk. They even had a skate park, and I totally would have watched kids longer if I didn’t start to feel some disapproving stares from the one parent there.
Of course, there was a lot of great food. I may have chuckled a bit when one of the high-end restaurants boasted that their fish was caught fresh out of Lake Erie. I have seen some beautiful parts of that lake, but I’ve seen some pretty gross parts too. The most memorable edible was probably at a video game/nerd bar called The Blurry Pixel. They had made a couple deserts that were Mario Bros. themed. It was all very cute.
The people were extremely friendly in Ottawa too. At House of Targ, a barade in the city, I chatted a bit with a couple guys who were from the area. They warned me against the pierogis, but I didn’t listen and ate them anyway! I am incredibly stubborn, and they were totally wrong. The pierogis were handmade and supremely delicious. The barcade itself was also pretty baller. They had a bunch of arcade games, and a wall of pinball machines. Some of my favorites were the Dr. Who, The Who, and Game of Thrones machines. House of Targ also had a stage with live music which was pretty fun. Most of the time I’m against live music, but these guys weren’t bad, although if I’m being honest, I would have rather been there this weekend to see the ska band playing.
All-in-all, Ottawa was another beautiful Canadian city. I will certainly make an effort to revisit when I can.