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  • Question for Canadians

    Guys- Spring break for the kids is next week. I'm thinking of visiting Ottawa.
    Living in central NY (Syracuse area) it looks like a four hour drive for us.
    Went their once with my wife before kids, and think it would be a good place to visit. My one daughter can practice her French. I know there is an aviation museum that will interest my other daughter (wants to go into the Air Force) and myself. Should be things to iterest my son there too.
    I'd like to see the changing of the guard.
    Should be pleny of nice places to eat.

    Any other things of intrest?
    Good place to stay (reasonably priced, 150-200/night US?)
    How is the dollar to Canadian? (should look that up)

    I like the kids to learn things on a vacation. Last year we went to Detroit to visit the Henry Ford and Greenfield village. They all loved it. We've always brought them to museums and the like (mostly technical related, Me).

    Thanks- Sid

  • #2
    I was told you need a passport to cross over, years ago it was not needed.


    • #3
      I live on the West Coast but grew up in Southern Ontario so as a kid went to Ottawa several times.
      Last year I took my family on a long road trip. I wanted to go to the Aviation Museum in Rockcliffe (Ottawa) My family wanted to go to our parliament building again as I had taken them when they were much younger. My two girls are 19 and 21 now.
      We spent 3 days in Ottawa. It was one of the good stops of our 7 week trip.
      Things that my family enjoyed:
      Canadian War Museum. Its really well done. Very interesting for people that don't really like museums. It kept there interest which is usual. We spent most of the day there an only made it to the 1950's
      Gray Line bus tour. Its a continuous loop that allows you to get off and pick you up. We were there in July so not sure when it starts operation.
      Diefenbunker. A 1950 era underground bunker for the Canadian Government. Just way to cool not to see.
      Things we did not get to but should see.
      The Mint. I have been there before.
      Art Museum if you are into it.
      They have a interesting Market. Bytown Market that might just be open Saturday.

      Can't suggest a good place to stay. We stayed at the Ottawa Municipal Campground as we were in our RV. The cool place about that for us was that Gray line the tour bus company has a shuttle they ran from there every day that connected with the bus tour. We had excellent drivers that were very happy to stop at liquor store and mall so we could pick up supplies. We were able to park the RV and not move it for a couple of days.

      A couple of other places within a few hours drive is Trenton which has a very cool Aviation museum that focus on the people and the aircraft. The is a Halifax there.
      Another place worthy of consideration is Old Fort Henry in Kingston. Not sure it it is open this time of year.
      If you in interested in Radio there is a signals museum in Kingston also that
      is supposed to be real cool. Its on the to do list.

      BTW we enjoyed Henry Ford but did not have time to see Greenfield village.

      I do thing the best time to see Ottawa is late September early August. I enjoy the colours, even more now living on the coast.

      If you have any other questions I am please to answer.



      • #4
        Passports are not an issue, we all have them used them last year to get to Detroit.
        Been to Fort Henry couple of years ago. We all enjoyed the fort and Kingston.

        I really liked the Henry Ford and Greenfield Village. Also visited Fairlane and had lunch there. It's closed now fr a 5 year planned renovation.

        Sound like we will be able to find plent to do. I plan on being there three days.
        I dought in that time, we'll exhaust Ottawa.

        Any thing else? Places to eat that shouldn't be missed?
        Places to stay away from?

        Thanks- Sid


        • #5

          I suggest you to go to the Canada Science and Technology Museum

          You can also go to Princess Auto and Busy Bee since you will be near but im not sure everyone will enjoy these one

          Have a nice trip!!


          • #6
            If you have any interest in hand tools, mostly wood working you must try to drop by to Lee Valley. Their head office is there. As is a retail store. They make some very nice innovative tools.
            They also have a great selection of gardening stuff.

            A must see.



            • #7
              The technology museum looks interesting. The kids would like that too.
              Is there a BusyBee in Ottawa? The family can't begrudge me that while I'm there.



              • #8


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tslbogger

                  I suggest you to go to the Canada Science and Technology Museum


                  There are a number of locomotives indoors on display, In the same way that the speed and power of a pro hockey game up close thrills just as much every time, I don't think i'll ever get used to just how massive those engines are.

                  There is also a magnificent triple expansion engine there.

                  Ottawa is a small city - you should have a lot of choice in that price range. I would recommend staying right downtown, there are lots of nice walks to be had, the canal, parliament buildings etc. If you stay downtown you can walk to breakfast for fresh bagels out of the wood fired oven in the byward market

                  you might even be able to get into the Chateau Laurier on a weekend package in that range - that is the best location and a cool trip back in time.



                  • #10
                    Question for Canadians

                    I grew up in the Ottawa area,but left there back in the sixties and have only been back there a couple times, just driving through. I'm sure that you will find plenty to keep you occupied for much longer than three days. With the Can. $ slightly higher than the U.S. it will be a little more expensive, especially the gas prices, they are rediculous probably in the $1.35 per liter range. Be sure to fill up before crossing the border. I live in Port Colborne, On. accross the border from Buffalo, but I always go through the U.S. when I visit my mom in Cornwall. Better driving and gas is a more realistic price. Have a great time in Ottawa.


                    • #11
                      The exchange rate? Well, your gonna need about a billion USD to buy an icecream cone as the USD is now totaly worthless.

                      Sorry, Could'nt resist after years of hearing that joke from americans about the CND, even when we where up to 0.95. Its at 1 CAD = 1.04 USD now
                      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


                      • #12
                        We have visited Ottawa several times and enjoyed it each time.

                        Here is a link to Ottawa travel


                        The Canadian Museum of Civilization is very interesting. See the locks on the Rideau Canal next to the Chateau Laurier and the Byward Market. My wife thinks she remembers an agriculture museum or station which has a collection of antique farm machinery but she doesn't remember the name.

                        Have a great time.
                        Errol Groff

                        New England Model Engineering Society

                        YouTube channel:


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sid pileski
                          I'd like to see the changing of the guard.
                          Sorry, you have to go to London England for that.

                          Should be pleny of nice places to eat.
                          The kids may like "The Works" high end hamburger joint. Parents as well.

                          Any other things of intrest?
                          Mountain Equipment Coop is on the same street as "The Works" if you're into hiking and camping. Then go to the Gatineau hills if the weather is nice.
                          If you want to buy anything at MEC, you have to become a member but it's only $5 for lifetime.
                          Last edited by MotorradMike; 04-15-2011, 06:50 PM.

                          My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."


                          • #14
                            I live in Gatineau, literally across the river from Ottawa. In fact we do most of our shopping there.
                            The Changing of the Guard ceremony only takes place during the summer tourist season.
                            Ottawa is a SMALL city? Depends upon how you measure a city. Population a little under 800,000, but the area is 1500 square miles! If you include Gatineau in the metroplolitain area, then that is a little more than the size of Delaware.
                            As well as Busy Bee, you really should visit Lee Valley Tools; the store is a real "people place."
                            As well as the Aviation Museum, War Museum, Museum of Science and Technology, the Museum of Nature and the Museum of Civilization are both worth a look; they are real "people places" too. Incidentally, the Museum of Civilization is actually across the river in Gatineau.
                            A tour of the Parliament buildings is really worthwhile-they are quite a pile of rock!
                            I cant recommend a hotel since I live here and hardly use them.
                            If you have any questions, you can always PM me.
                            Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec


                            • #15
                              Highly recommend Visiting "Busy Bee", "Princess Auto", And "Lee Valley Tools". All the places will give you their current catalogs to take home, Lee Valley has i think at least three ,,,,,,,,Interesting bedside readers!!!

                              For the past few years i,ve heard what could be a "Fable" about a guy in the Ottawa area who is a "Lathe Collector" and has aquired quite a collection of numerous sizes.
                              Anyone here from that area know of this guy?

                              That would be an interesting visit if it,s true.