Back From Ottawa

I just returned from a week in Ottawa, Ontario yesterday– I was in Ottawa last week for a work-related Finance Symposium. Ottawa is Canada’s capital and the seat of our current government.

I stayed at the Lord Elgin hotel and these first three pictures are of the view of downtown Ottawa from my room.

This is the Federal Government’s Conference Centre where our symposium was held.

After the symposium finished each day, I took advantage of the time and did some sightseeing.

This is the original Bank of Canada building, built in 1938 – view from the back of the building.

This is the same building from the front.

The Bank of Canada building was expanded in 1979 and the original granite building was preserved by being partially enclosing it the new glass courtyard flanked by two glass towers. This building is a statement in contrast between old and the new–history and present day.

The Bank of Canada also houses the Currency Museum.

This is a piece that is called “What’s it Worth” by a Canadian artist, Marc Adornats that was hanging in the Currency Museum.

What’s it Worth: $1200 in Canadian bank notes on canvas. The obvious question is the value of this piece. It is made of $1200 worth of Canadian bank notes that have been shredded into tiny pieces and glued to a canvas in the shape of the stars and stripes. So what’s it worth? And to whom? Adornats’ piece questions not only the value of art, but the value of paper currency and the ever fluctuating value of the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar. His work examines how war, trade policy, and leadership affect confidence in one of the world’s strongest currencies–the US dollar.”

I found this piece very intriguing given the current value of the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar–currently very close to par.

This three ton piece of limestone was used as money on Yap, one of the Caroline Islands in the South Pacific – Yap stones range in size from 10 centimetres to 3.5 metres in diameter. They were quarried on an island 400 kilometres from Yap and brought back by canoe or raft. The hole enabled the stone to be carried on a pole supported by several men.

The previous three photos are of the inside of the Bank of Canada. In the winter this must be an absolutely wonderful building to work in. Ottawa can be so brutally cold in the winter. Inside this building it must seem like a tropical oasis in contrast to the freezing wind and snow outside.

Ottawa is full of historic old buildings. I love this picture. The contrast of the new and old architecture is striking.

This is the part of the Parliament Buildings that is referred to as Centre Block.

This photo is of the Library of Parliament. This is the only part of the original Parliament Buildings still standing. This building was inaugurated in 1876 and survived the fire of 1916 which destroyed the original Centre Block.
The back of the Parliament buildings are home to magnificent sculptures and a wonderful view. This is a view from the back of the Parliament buildings looking over the Ottawa river at Quebec which is just across the river.

This is the walkway that circles the grounds of Parliament.

Another view from the walkway surrounding Parliament Hill.

I rode the elevator to the top of the Peace Tower in the Parliament buildings. This is a view from the observation area, just below the clock. Take a look at the outside of the Parliament buildings again and you will see just how high up the tower the clock is located.

This is a statue of Queen Elizabeth II, our current queen. This statue is one of many statues on the grounds of Parliament.

Behind this fence is the cat sanctuary. Legend has it the cats housed on Parliament Hill are descendants of the felines that were originally set loose on Parliament Hill to get rid of all the mice.

Parliament Hill has been home to stray cats for decades. However, it is only since the 1970’s that volunteers have paid special attention to these animals: creating the “cat sanctuary”, maintaining its infrastructure and ensuring that the animals (cats, raccoons, groundhogs, squirrels, pigeons, chickadees and sparrows) are fed on a daily basis. The juxtaposition of the formality, pomp and ceremony of the Parliament Buildings and the modest cat sanctuary reflects the important Canadian values of openness and compassion.”

The “cat houses” that provide shelter from the weather for the cats who live on the Hill.
One of the residents that benefits from the care provided by the volunteer known as, The Cat Man.

Two of the wild cats that call Parliament Hill home. This was a very sunny day and these felines were taking advantage of the heat and warm pavement.

This is a giant spider sculpture outside the National Gallery of Canada. Although this spider is a permanent fixture, I thought it was very fitting for the month of October–very Halloween like.

These two pictures are of pumpkins for sale in the ByWard Market Square. This is an area where farmers and artisans come into the centre of the city to sell fresh produce, flowers, and crafts.
I will leave you with a picture of the colourful fall foliage on Parliament Hill. The trees are just starting to turn beautiful shades of gold and red.

Although I enjoyed my trip to Ottawa, it feels good to be home!

14 thoughts on “Back From Ottawa

  1. Oh Thank you. I have never been to Canada so I did enjoy my walk around Ottawa with you and your camera. I really love the idea of the palms inside the bank in the middle of winter.The Autumn colours are lovely too.The pumkin stall looks great as a photo.
    Great post!

  2. What a lovely virtual trip around Ottawa. I have had many visit there as a child..and adult as I grew up in Montreal and Ottawa was one of those places that we tended to visit. I remember the cat sanctuary and I’m glad to see it’s still there!…love the squirrel too…he likes to live dangerously, eating amongst the cats!!!!

  3. Wow what a fantastic trip you’ve taken us on. While I’ve not yet traveled to Canada, I do hope to one day . . . now I’ve got a good start on places I might want to add to my itinerary *s*

  4. Looks like you were greatly rewarded after sitting in meetings all day…nice evenings to sightsee. Love the new/old bank building. The library is fantastic, I would like to go to Ottawa just to see the the library. Thanks for sharing your great photos and info.


  5. I am glad that you packed your camera for the trip as what a wonderful photo montage of your various tours while you were gone. Looks like a city park right near the hotel?

    I recognized that huge limestone circle piece as being a form of currency but could not have told you from where exactly. One of those bits of information stashed in the deepest recesses of the mind, I guess.

    The Parliament House reminds me of one the castles in England but I suppose that was by design. How interesting to look at both new and old architecture in juxtaposition. I can see where you got plenty of walking in visiting all these sites. Looks like the weather was cooperative during your stay as well.

    And as a cat lover, I love the story about the cats and their being tended in the sanctuary as they are along with other furry friends.

  6. Norma, thank you so much for the beautiful tour of Ottawa. My DH has been there a few times and always talked about the historic buildings. It looks like a wonderful city to visit.

  7. Thank you for the wonderful tour of Ottawa, Canada is on my list of places I’m going to visit, and I loved seeing your pictures of a beautiful city.

  8. What wonderful photos! I was thinking as I looked at them that it would be nice to go to Ottawa some day.
    I love the Yap–I looked at the picture and thought that someone had made a sculpture of a giant bagel.

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