As Canada’s Capital City, you might think that Ottawa is a buttoned-up hub of government, lacking in the way character. You’d be wrong. This city has some quirk!
10. The only free museum in the city is the Currency Museum. Go figure.
9. A large statue of French explorer Samuel de Champlain sits atop Nepean Point, overlooking the city. He’s holding a navigational instrument called an Astrolabe. Unfortunately, the sculptor had no idea what it was and thus Champlain holds it out-streched before him, upside down. Le sigh.
8. After the annual Tulip Festival, all 3 million bulbs are dug up and kept in cold storage until the next year.
7. Many people believe that Château Laurier (the most posh hotel in town) is haunted. The man who commissioned the hotel’s construction, Charles Melville Hays, died aboard the Titanic on his way to the grand opening. His ghost is said to haunt the Château to this day.
6. There is a glaring lack of security around the locks of Rideau Canal – something you’d never see in the US.
5. In the winter, Rideau Canal freezes over and becomes a new commute route as professionals skate from the suburbs to downtown. Its also becomes the world’s longest skating rink.
4. Restaurants, by Canadian law, can’t serve alcohol before 11am. That means no mimosas with your early brunch folks!
3. In Rockcliffe Park, Ottawa’s most exclusive neighborhood, there is a house made of copper and glass. It belongs to British entrepreneur and founder of Corel software, Michael Cowpland. He’s a modest guy.
2. ”Obama” cookies are sold at the Moulin de Provence bakery in Byward Market. Named because he bought a few for the First Family, the cookies are actually in the shape of a maple leaf and say ‘Canada’ on them.
1. Parliament Hill is home to a colony of ferrel cats. Really. A committee of employees makes sure they’re fed daily.