Moving right along the tour of our favourite Canadian hot spots with Judith & Charles we are taking you (and their fall/winter 2016 collection) to Ottawa. Even though we could spend our entire time in Montréal, Canada has so much to offer you never have to worry about enough places to see and do while you are visiting. Ottawa is Canada’s capital so naturally the jewels of this countries history, old and new, can be found right here. Alongside amazing galleries and museums you have a wide selection of amazing restaurants and bars, beautiful hotels and possibly one of the only big centres in Canada that is fully and truly bilingual. When you walk down the street in Ottawa you can hear equal parts English and French without a fault. The last time I visited I was in my early 20’s (if not younger, funny enough, we were on a tour with the City of Calgary showcasing the best that WE have to offer… a sightly updated version of that will be coming very soon), interested in completely different things and with a lot less time to explore, so when we came driving in (a 2 hour car ride from Montreal and 4 hour trip from Toronto) we were mesmerized at the amazing architecture and the beautiful river valley. Ottawa was our shortest visit, it’s also a place that we don’t frequent as often as others so everything we saw was new, exciting and definitely not long enough.
WHAT TO DO: TROPICAL GREENHOUSE at the Central Experimental Farm, friendsofthefarm.ca
it took us a while to figure out where the greenhouse actually stood within the premises of the farm, there wasn’t anyone around to ask and the internet wasn’t very much help either. i’ll make this one easy for you: when you come down on Prince of Whales drive (heading south), take your immediate right at the traffic circle toward National Capital Commision Scenic Driveway, then you will make a right on Maple Drive, you will see the greenhouse on your left hand side. Bring a fan, it’s steamy in there. The greenhouse has been recently renovated and the plant collection broadened. I LOVE vintage greenhouses like this one and have been obsessing over gardens ever since I saw ‘The Gardener’s Garden’, a collection of text and images of beautiful gardens from all around the world. This one in Ottawa was moved to the Farm in 1938. It’s open to the public Mon-Fri 9am-4pm & Sun 10am-4pm (closed on Saturdays) and admission is free!
NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA, gallery.ca
The museums in this city are a sight to see without even having to see the collections. The National Gallery is the most prestigious place for an artist to have a showing and we were proud to see a very familiar name on the outside banners, Calgary artist Chris Cran, whose show in on until September 5th. No bias here when I say his work is one of the best. Contemporary Art at it’s finest. Make sure you walk around both inside and outside and admire the work of architect Moshe Safdie and over 250,000 square feet of granite used on the structure. The Gallery shop also has an inspiring selection of books and gifts you can browse and purchase.
CANADIAN MUSEUM OF HISTORY, historymuseum.ca
One of Canada’s oldest museums, the building is also one of the more impressive ones in the city, I love the layout, the views of Parliament hill from across the river and the collections at the Museum itself. This is THE place to come and learn about Canadian history as well as always changing exhibits about the history of the world. I am also coining it with a new name, Canada’s Getty Centre, for obvious reasons.
PARLIAMENT HILL, canada.ca
This will be your Ottawa walking tour, all of Wellington Street looks like it was plucked and transported directly from Europe, quite a contrast to all the modern architecture of the surrounding museums, also amazing to see. My three favorites are the Parliament Building, House of Commons and the Supreme Court of Canada.
WHERE TO EAT: You can tell a great city by it’s food scene and Ottawa clearly knows where it’s at. There are many amazing eateries in and around Bayward Market itself like The Grand and Sidedoor, but if you are up to venture outside of city centre there are many others to be discovered as well. Pick your favourite cuisine and Ottawa has it, not to mention it’s proximity to the coast and the always available seafood options, after all, as a capital city it has to have representation from all corners of the country. You will find some of our notable picks below:
THE GRAND PIZZERIA, thegrandpizzeria.com
SUPPLY & DEMAND, supplyanddemandfoods.ca
WHERE TO SHOP: THE MODERN SHOP, themodernshop.ca
Located in Ottawa’s historic Byward Market it will surely be one of your first stops here. Beautiful selection of light fixtures, furniture and small home accessories, it’s a perfect place to start your next decor project. You can shop in-store and online.
find Judith & Charles online at judithandcharles.com & shop their Ottawa location at RIDEAU CENTRE (50 Rideau Street). Follow #JudithandCharlesCITY on Instagram and Twitter as we make our way across Canada! xoxo