Celebrate Canada Day In Ottawa
At the last minute, we planned a trip before our big Nordic country cruise. We were treated to the greatest view of Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Canada Day. Our upgraded hotel suite on the top floor of the Westin Ottawa had a wrap around balcony. With Parliament Hill laid out in front of us, we saw the vista light up with colour over the Canada Day celebrations. The first stop was in Ottawa for Canada Day. We flew from there to Boston for July 4th festivities. And then headed up the Maine coast for a week.
We have visited Ottawa for Canada Day before. But this trip gave us views that will forever remain with us.
A Room With A View
For our visit to Ottawa for Canada Day, we wanted to be right in the heart of the action. The Westin Ottawa was steps from Parliament Hill and the action of the Byward Market. We knew this would be a great base.
We booked a room with a Parliament Hill view and as a Marriott Bonvoy Elite member hoped for an upgrade to a high floor. When our suite room was assigned, we were cautioned by the Front Office Manager Jonathon that we would not be able to watch tv from the bed. But we soon did not care at all!
When we got in the elevator, we realized that our room on the 24th floor was at the top of the hotel. We walked into the room and out onto the balcony that wrapped around giving us a 270° view of Ottawa. In front of us was the Rideau River, with Parliament Hill right behind that. To one side was the stately Fairmont Chateau Laurier. And from the back side of the patio we could see the Ottawa River and over the Byward Market.
This was the greatest spot for views of Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Canada Day that we could have asked for! And when the sun went down and the city sparkled, we could not resist a patio view to end our day.
Canada Day Celebrations In Ottawa
Our room looked out over Major’s Hill Park. We saw the stage set up. At the Ottawa City Hall, the TD Jazz Festival was still in full swing. And bands played Parliament Hill, while a bagpipe player took over one of the closed off street corners. All through our Canada Day stay we heard music every time we enjoyed the view from the patio.
A highlight of the opening ceremonies on Parliament Hill was two flyovers by the CF Snowbird jets. We spotted them as they marshalled on the horizon. Then watched as they flew in formation and performed acrobatic dances over the crowds.
A walk around Parliament Hill showed us the big stage set up for concerts and speeches. People were dressed up in red and white. And people decorated their faces with tattoos to get into the holiday spirit. When we walked to Major’s Hill Park, we found crowds and family fun.
The crowds on the street grew through the day and into the night. From our patio perch, we saw the streets fill with a red throng right up to Parliament Hill.
It was very hot that weekend, so we certainly enjoyed time watching the festivities and great views of Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Canada Day from our patio with a drink in hand!
Parliament Hill Bathed In Fireworks Colour
We have watched fireworks in cities all around the world. We actually booked a boat cruise to enjoy the Canada Day fireworks in Ottawa. But after we saw our patio view, we knew we could not pass up that view for fireworks. The head hotel concierge Phil was dressed for the Canada Day celebrations. We knew he would find a great home for our boat tickets.
As Marriott Elite members, we were delighted to be invited to the Canada Day fireworks show in the high banquet room. We stopped in for a drink. With windows on three sides, this would have been a great spot to see the fireworks. But our room was 2 floors higher with no windows to reflect the glows. So we took a few guests that we met up to our patio for the show.
We settled in with our glasses of wine and were entertained. Water levels from spring thaws were still very high in Ottawa. So the fireworks were lit from the water behind the Chateau Laurier this year and not from a barge behind Parliament Hill.
We oohed and aahed as the fireworks lit the sky. The thunder of the booms were felt on the patio. And when the finale came, we cheered with all the people that filled the streets around Parliament Hill.
It was the most amazing fireworks show with views of Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Canada Day! In fact, the show was so stunning that when we got to Boston for July 4th, we did not feel compelled to head out for fireworks at all.
Wandering Around Ottawa
We have visited Ottawa on numerous occasions. One of our children (Kris) did his university schooling in Ottawa. We found so much to see and do in Ottawa. So we did not feel compelled to compete with the crowds that we in town for the holiday. But we did enjoy some time as we explored in the area with Kris who was also a part-time city guide.
Kris took us to see the Tin House. A tin-smith clad the exterior of his house in tin to advertise his trade. We delighted in the interesting art used on utility boxes in Ottawa. As usual, we were on the lookout for interesting street art.
Right below our window was the Cenotaph and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. During the Canada Day celebrations, this was a key point for guards and marching bands. But the next day, the crowds were mostly gone.
Major’s Hill Park gave us a great view of the Parliament Buildings from the water. A short stroll from there brought us to the National Gallery. We were always amused to see the giant spider statue in the courtyard. On our travels, we saw versions of this Louise Bourgeois’s “Maman” statue when we visited the outdoor statue garden in New Orleans, outside the National Gallery in Washington DC and as far away as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain. We even made it inside the Notre Dame Cathedral for a quick visit on this trip.
Our stay right in downtown gave us the perfect base to wander on our short stop in Ottawa for Canada Day.
The Perfect Spot To See Parliament Hill In Ottawa for Canada Day
We were glad to to re-visit Ottawa for Canada Day. When we booked a boat tour ticket to enjoy the fireworks show, we were excited. But once we saw our amazing hotel patio views over ParliamentHill in Ottawa for Canada Day, we were beyond delighted. We may never have to see a fireworks show again!
Have you seen colourful views of ParliamentHill in Ottawa for Canada Day? What is your favourite way to celebration national holidays?
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