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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Wow – what an amazing view from that suite – truly spectacular! You are were so lucky, it’s definitely worth being a member!
Katie, We do love when our hotel loyalty pays off. An amazing spot for the celebrations. Linda
Wonderful photos! We haven’t been Ottawa in years but might have to return based on your images. (Love those Marriott perks!)
Thanks! We get back to Ottawa quite often. But this was the best spot yet! This Marriott perk was spectacular. Linda
Love Ottawa, your post reminded me I need to go back. Such fantastic views from your room, will have to stay at the Westin. The Tin House is new to me, missed it on my visit so adding it to my list.
Debra, We were glad we decided to head to Ottawa again this year for Canada Day. Always a great celebration. Always add a few new discoveries on each trip. Linda
A room with a view is always for the win! When it gives you a 270d, how couldn’t that be so awesome! Happy Canada day! It is one of the places I’d really love to visit, and oh, my cousin and her family lives there! Upon checking it on the map, it’s too far from the Philippines hahaha but from Germany is quite acceptable! Anyway, fireworks show is extra amazing!
Cathy, When we walked out on that patio, we were so delighted. Never wanted to leave that view. Hope you get to visit one day. Linda
That was the perfect view for sure! I love fireworks so much that I would have been completely entranced. It looks like everywhere you stepped on your balcony had a lovely view. I don’t know how you would want to leave. Who cares about not being able to see the tv from the bed. Why would you watch that with the views you had?
Kathleen, We really did not want to leave the balcony. There was action all around us day and night. We did not even put the tv on! Linda
That is so great that you had a room at the top of the hotel. The views were great. I like adriondack chairs. I haven’t been to Ottawa, but my aunt owns a house up that way. Maybe one day.
Holly, There is so much to see and do in Ottawa. And Canada Day is a great time to visit. Hope you get up to visit your aunt. Linda
The views from above are just amazing. It actually looks like a couple of different cities. Is it like that also when you look from below resp. streetlevel? Very inviting.
Renata, It was great to have the view in all directions. The street view of Parliament Hill is quite stunning too. You can get the right perspective. And great to see the city from the water too. Linda
I don’t hear much about Ottawa but it looks like a great city to explore from your pictures. And, it seems Canada Day is the perfect time to visit with all the activities and fireworks. That spider is definitely unique!
Sherianne, We do love to visit Ottawa when we can. A different Canadian city that where we live in Toronto. If you visit, Canada Day is the perfect time. Linda
I would love to plan a weekend trip to Ottawa soon. Your photos and recommendations are making me want to visit this place now only.
Kalyan, I am glad that this blog post has caused you to want to visit Ottawa. You will find so much to see and do. Linda
Oh my! What an amazing view! And perfect spot to enjoy the fireworks! You guys were lucky. It is truly the right spot for this kind of event.
Carmen, We were so delighted when we saw the patio and the view. It was a great treat for sure! Linda
I was in Ottowa a few years ago on Canada Day and have seen the celebrations at the Parliament myself! I didn’t plan it that way, just happened to be there but it was amazing. You were so lucky to have a room with a view, you managed to avoid the crowds and get a few from a vantage point. Westin Ottawa seems to have the perfect rooms with terraces to be able to do that, lucky you with you Marriott Bonvoy membership!
Media, We were delighted with our Marriott Bonvoy upgrade at the Westin Ottawa. It was such a great surprise when we saw the patio. And the view. One we will never forget. Linda
Westin Ottawa certainly did you right! I bet that hotel was packed that weekend too! I’ve not previously been a Westin fan (from personal experience) but you just changed my mind about giving them a second chance. Love that funny attention to detail, to give you the heads up that you wouldn’t be able to watch TV from your bed. Hilarious considering the amazing view you had. And sadly they probably did have previous complaints from guests about the TV. Oy, people sometimes. 😀
Vanessa, We were delighted with our upgraded suite – especially on a busy weekend. We definitely did not need tv with the great view we had. Linda
Now that’s a view! Awesome to say the least. I’ve never been to that part of Canada but certainly willing if I get a room like that at the Westin 🙂 Great capture with the fireworks! I know it’s not easy to shoot something like that at night.
Adonis, It was a great spot for fireworks. One of us shot video and the other stills. So we got the shots in all their splendour. So we can remember this great view over and over again. Hope you get to visit Ottawa. There is so much to see and do. Linda
Wow! Your Ottawa visit looks amazing! When we were there, it was literally only for about three hours, and then we had to be on our way, so we didn’t see very much — mostly just took some photos of the parliament building. You sure lucked out with a room on the top of the hotel with an incredible view!
Tami, I hope you get back to visit Ottawa on another visit. Canada Day is a great time to visit. But there is a lot to see and do in Canada’s capital city. Linda
Thanks for story! You will find so much to see and do!!
Andrei, I am glad this post showed you more about Ottawa. Linda
Canada has always been on my list and it’s just a matter of timing that I should go. Although packed with people I think it’s nice to experience this kind of celebration. We don’t have this back home but we have huge festivals too. And lots of eating. I would love to go out in the evening with friends to watch that fireworks display.
Trisha, I hope you get to visit Canada one day. Ottawa for Canada Day is always a great way to see us Canadians celebrating. Linda