Parliament HIll Ottawa

Ottawa ready to spring into action

Parliament HIll Ottawa

Parliament Hill looms like a frozen castle seen from across the Ottawa River. The Gothic-style buildings are seen here from the Museum of Civilization. (Julia Pelish/

Photo by Julia Pelish Visuals Editor

Don’t be fooled by the snow and ice you see on the Ottawa River in this photo. Spring weather has arrived in the nation’s capital, as I discovered this week.

As an American, I have always been struck by Ottawa‘s beauty — and how so few people view it as a destination. It has all the elements of a terrific place to visit: History, great nightlife in the Byward Market and along Elgin Street, some fantastic restaurants, neighbourhoods like Hintonburg that are worth leaving downtown to see, popular annual events like the Bluesfest and Tulip Festival, attractive landmarks like the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, unique offerings such as the Rideau Canal skating rink and the Changing of the Guard ceremonies, and safe streets at night.

I am always impressed when I visit Canada’s capital and my recent stay was no different. In fact, I explored a part of the Capital Region that I hadn’t seen before, driving across the river to Gatineau, Quebec.

In this photo, the Parliament buildings glisten from atop the Hill as the first buds fight to break through on the trees and the river begins to push the ice apart. The rear of Parliament Hill can be seen from the Museum of Civilization. Visitors to the Ottawa area can also enjoy a much closer view of the country’s legislature, with free tours of Parliament’s Centre Block offered daily.

Soon, the streets will be filled with patio dining, music and laughter. If you’re in Ottawa this spring, or travelling anywhere in Canada, be sure to share your photos and travel stories with the world!


Do you want to be a Photo of the Week winner? Simply email your submission to (images should be sent as high-resolution JPEGs) and your travel photo could get chosen and publicized — and you could win a great travel prize!


A photographer who has worked in the largest media markets in Canada and the U.S., Julia’s travel photos and videos have been featured prominently in the Toronto Star and been exhibited in galleries in Toronto, New York and Vancouver. Her new line of photo jewelry was inspired by her travels. Even though she is an American, one of her favourite travel experiences was spending Canada Day 2000 on Parliament Hill, joining in a parade with then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien and others. Julia is’s Visuals Editor. See her work at

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