Canada Day in Ottawa, Eh!

15
SPONSORED LINKS END OF SPONSORED LINKS

I should have paid more attention to the clues. The official beginning of summer, the giant flags displayed on government buildings, the many aisles at the Dollar Store dedicated to “Canadian pride” products, the mountain of fireworks at Walmart with the “NO SMOKING!!!” sign beside… Yet, somehow, July 1st and Canada Day took me by surprise.

June went by fast and the last week of the month went by even faster. On Thursday night, I finally got the message—“Canada’s birthday, mommy, happy birthday… I made a flag, red, and white, and red, and oh… white, and… is it my birthday? Oh no, Canada’s birthday. But why? Oh look, balloons! Red, and white and…” Yes, this is a normal car ride with Mark who, this time, was all hyped up after the daycare’s Canada Day party.

It had been a while since our last Canada Day in the national capital, aka the “we are the centre of the world once a year” city. The past three years, we were in France. When we last partied in Ottawa, in 2012, I was pregnant with Mark.

On Friday morning, we headed downtown with Mark to check out the day’s festivities. We didn’t have a plan and just wandered around Parliament Hill, Major’s Hill Park, the Byward Market and Sparks Street—the usual places, but with twenty time more people. It’s best to embrace the day and go with the flow because of the crowd, the closed streets and the various impromptu events that take place here and there. I was too lazy to queue to get free stuff from sponsors—free coffee, free ice cream, free samples, etc. but we did score the accessory of the year, a plastic moose hat with antlers. And of course, we were given Canadian flags and pins.

We saw the Canadian Forces Snowbirds and heard Justin Trudeau, our new Prime Minister, and David Johnston, the Governor General, addressing the crowd. As usual, I appreciated the fact that despite various terror attacks around the world (including in Ottawa) in the past few years, we were still free to party in the heart of the national capital around various sensitive landmarks like the Parliament, the Senate and the many government buildings. This means a lot to me. The streets belong to the people, as so do landmarks symbolizing our democracy.

In the evening, we attempted to go back downtown for another look but most streets were closed because of the festivities and upcoming fireworks. We saw a major thunderstorm approaching, so we turned around and ended up on Bate Island, on the Ottawa River, where we watch lightening and thunder with a few fishermen (??!).

Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa

In front of the Parliament, where I realize I'm not that tall. Mark had a better view, perched on my shoulders!

In front of the Parliament, where I realize I’m not that tall. Mark had a better view, perched on my shoulders!

He owes me a back massage.

He owes me a back massage

Okay, technically not made in Canada. Finished in Canada, though.

Okay, technically not made in Canada. Finished in Canada, though.

He owes me a scalp massage too

He owes me a scalp massage too

Killjoys...

Killjoys…

Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa

The free accessory we all had this year, moose hat with antlers

The free accessory we all had this year, moose hat with antlers

And Feng scored free ice cream

And Feng scored free ice cream

Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa

The Snowbirds

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds

The Snowbirds

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds

Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa

Canada Day in Ottawa

In front of CBC's corporate headquarters

In front of CBC’s corporate headquarters

Moose head

Moose head

Busker on Sparks Street

Busker on Sparks Street

Fishermen on Bate Island right before the storm

Fishermen on Bate Island right before the storm

Watching the storm coming on Bate Island

Watching the storm coming on Bate Island

Watching the storm coming on Bate Island

Watching the storm coming on Bate Island

Watching the storm coming on Bate Island

Watching the storm coming on Bate Island

Watching the storm coming on Bate Island

Watching the storm coming on Bate Island

Mark's picture in the car, waiting for the storm to end

Mark’s picture in the car, waiting for the storm to end

Share.

About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

15 Comments

  1. Storm in summer? I love Air Show by the National Air Force! love love love. The event seems fun with a lot to see!
    Anyway, if think you’re not tall, I think I’ll see nothing if I am around the crowd in front of parliament building =))

    • problem is, Canadians are super tall! I’m fairly tall, 1.70 metres, so in Asia I’m fine 😉

      We get many severe thunderstorms over the summer because the weather is hot and humid (like, 35C).

  2. I love reading these daily slices of life.

    Your little Canadian is so cute! Lucky him to have an elevated view.

    I have never seen a symbol for street entertainers before. No juggling allowed!

    I’m sorry to tell you this, but it seems like none of you know how to wear the moose antlers…

    • We suck at moose antler wearing. I agree 😆 You made me laugh, thank you for this 😉

      Ottawa loves banning weird stuff. For example, technically, you cannot enjoy parks and playground from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. There are no doors, but there is a sign. I find it absolutely stupid, especially in suburbia (it’s not like anything is going on…) and over the summer where these parks can be a fun place to relax right after sunset. Mind you, I don’t think it’s enforced. I often see couples chatting or kids playing past 9 p.m.

  3. Love the pictures, and seeing more of you as well 😉
    Mark is so adorable with his Canada T-shirt, he looks so much like you on that first picture of him as well 🙂
    We just hid at home this year.. It was nice to spend the day just the two of us together. Plus, there isn’t that much going on here. There is a concert and some fireworks, but it’s not like there was any FOMO on our end.

  4. On Canada Day I woke up singing (very loud) the first bars of the national anthem to which I received a very annoying eye roll from hubby (or was it me the annoying one?). To be fair, I do the same thing for Bastille Day (though the lyrics are much less family friendly and not a proud moment in world history, in my opinion).

Leave A Reply