Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ottawa, Ontario

On the 6th of October we are off to Ottawa to visit Jason, Teri’s oldest sister’s boy. Jason is in the armed service and has been transferred up to Ottawa. No photos by request.

On the 7th we visited the Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal and Locks.

Parliament Hill

The planning and construction of the buildings, monuments and landscapes of Parliament Hill began in 1859. The Hill is home to Canada’s federal government and, today, welcomes close to one and a half million visitors each year.

The Center Block

The Centre Block is home of the Senate, the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament. Rebuilt after the fire of 1916 to be larger and more fuctional, while providing almost 50 percent more floor space. It was opened in 1920. The Senate Chamber is located in the east half of the Centre Block, and the House of Commons Chamber is in the West half. There are 105 Senators and 308 elected members of Parliament representing all Canadians across this country.



The Centennial Flame

Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson ignited the Centennial Flame at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 1967, to commemorate Canada’s 100th anniversary of Confederation.



The Peace Tower

The Peace Tower was built from 1919 to 1927 and dedicated to the more than 65,000 Canadian soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War. Standing 92.2 metres ( 302 feet, 6 inches) tall, it contains the Memorial Camber, a commemoration to those who died in military service for Canada.




The East Block and the West Block

The East and West blocks were initially built to house all of the ministries and federal public servants. However, the country expanded so rapidly that, by 1883, the government had already outgrown this space. The space required for senators and members of Parliament, as well as their staffs, spread from the Centre Block to the East and West blocks, and further. The ministries in turn expanded to offices found all over Canada’s Capital Region and beyond.


PA072719 The Library of Parliament.

Constructed between 1859 and 1876, the Library is one the the most extraordinary examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Canada. A major restoration to rehabilitate, conserve and upgrade the Library was carried out from 2002 to 2006.


The Victoria Bell

Shortly after striking midnight on the morning of February 4, 1916, the Victoria Bell came crashing down into the inferno which had engulfed the Centre Block. All of the Centre Block was destroyed, with the exception of the Library of Parliament, saved in part by its heavy iron fire doors. The Victoria Bell was later recovered from the ruins and put on display. Restored in spring 2001, the bell is now mounted on an angle to symbolize the position it was in when it came crashing down.


Queen Victoria ( 1819-1901) Reigned 1837-1901

In 1857, a permanent capital for the province was needed, and Ottawa was chosen. Ten years later, Queen Vitoria signed the British North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada, a self-governing nation within the British Empire, established through peaceful accord and negotiation.


Queen Elizabeth II (1926- ) Reigning 1952 – Present

Queen Elizabeth II in 1982 signed the Constitution Act to complete Canada’s peaceful transition to full national independence.The Act also contains the renamed British North America Act to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This monument of Queen Elizabeth II is a gift by the RCMP in 1977, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of her reign,


The Ottawa River behind Parliament Hill

A view of Quebec.


The Rideau Canal and the Ottawa Locks

The Rideau Canal is a chain of beautiful lakes, rivers and canal cuts winding 202 km from Kingston, at the head of Lake Ontario, to Ottawa.

Parks Canada in maintaining and operating the Rideau to provide a navigable channel and preserve and present the canal’s natural and historic features.

The Ottawa Locks portion of the canal provides a pleasant transition from rural Ontario to the urban setting of the Nation’s Capital, ending in the majestic staircase of eight locks at the foot of Parliament Hill

History of the Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal was conceived in the wake of the War of 1812. It was to be a war-time supply route providing a secure water route for troops and supplies from Montreal to reach the settlements of Upper Canada and the strategic naval dockyards at Kingston. Opened in 1832, the Rideau Canal was one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century. Today, the log rafts, barges and steamers have given way to pleasure boats, while roads provide easy access to lockstations by land.


Lockmasters and their staff continue the tradition of hand-operating the locks at most of the 24 lockstations on the Canal. The Locks can accommodate boats up to 27.4 m (90 ft.) in length and 7.9 m (26 ft.) in width. the navigation season extends from Victoria Day weekend in May to mid-October.





It takes 1 and a half hours to go through the 8 locks to the Ottawa River.


Locks 1 through 8 with the Chateau Laurier in the background.


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