The big heat seems to be over and winter will be here soon enough… So on Saturday, I took my camera and went downtown for long walk. Despite its “boring” reputation, Ottawa is actually a really nice city.
I first went on Parliament Hill. Fun place to hang out, there’s always something happening: deposed politicians trying to network, busy Members of Parliament, demonstrators, tourists trying to take a perfect picture…
On the right side of the centre block of Parliament building and its massive Peace Tower are the Rideau Canal’s locks. On June 28, 2007, The UNESCO added the Rideau Canal to the World Heritage List (Canadian pride and a couple of signs added along the Canal). Right in front of the locks, across the river, is the province of Quebec. The steel bridge is the Royal Alexandra Interprovincial Bridge, extremely busy at rush hours since a lot of people in Gatineau (Quebec) work in Ottawa.
One of my favorite place in Ottawa is the Byward market, nearby Parliament Hill. The market building is open year-round, and open-air stalls are operated in the warmer months (translation : May to October – blizzard and fruits don’t mix well). The market building is home to a bunch of ethnic restaurants (Chinese, Lebanese, Japanese, Italian, French…).
I then walked towards the business district, on the other side of the Rideau Canal. Streets were empty and quiet – for once… From MacKenzie Bridge to busy Elgin Street, from Elgin to Bank Street, from Bank to Somerset.
Chinatown. Canadian multiculturalism : posting board with ads in every language, Chinese churches and multilingual services, Tamil movies and Spanish tacos stalls, kids playing hide and seek and parents calling them in Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and eventually in English.
Somerset aka the flammable district. Two days earlier, a 5-storey building burned to the ground. The building was being smashed down while former residents were sifting through the remains for personal possessions.
I picked up a couple of Coconut Bread and a Coke at the Kowloon market and drove home.
The sunset is much earlier now… I drove by The Parliament and the river and looked at the sky.