Capitalizing on Canada Day

Now that we live in the US, Canada Day isn’t as much of a big deal for us. Last year, I didParliament Hill, Ottawa put red and white on Athena but we didn’t even have a celebratory drink. I wanted to do Canada Day bucket list style this year so I added it to my 2013 list, and what better place to celebrate the country than in the nation’s capital? Athena and I arrived in Ottawa today and we’re already in love with the place. You should see what we have in store for tomorrow!

We’re staying at Les Suites Ottawa. With the luxury of a “prime” location, we have a Prime Minister in Canada…. I know I’m getting really corny, right?, the comfort of spacious rooms, and quality service, Les Suites was a perfect bucket list accommodation for our four days in Ottawa. Since Athena goes to bed at around 7pm every night, the separate living room makes traveling with a baby easy and the balcony offers a top notch view of the city. It’s walking distance to Parliament Hill too! Get your walking shoes on Athena; we’re going to have a full day tomorrow.

Les Suites, Ottawa

Arriving just in time for dinner, we walked across the street to Lone Star Texas Grill in the ByWard Market. Credited with bringing Fajitas to Canada, Lone Star is renowned for their Chips & Salsa and the best Fajitas in the country. I didn’t even have to look at the menu; it was Fajitas all the way. The huge crowd made we worry that we’d wait all night for a seat and even longer for our meal, but that wasn’t the case at all. The service was spectacular, thanks Ranger, and the timing was nothing short of a miracle. The place was alive with Canadian spirit and it made me really excited for tomorrow.

Lone Star Texas Grill, Ottawa

The Canada Day plan…. 

7:00 – Complimentary Breakfast at the Hotel

9:00 – Changing of the Guard Ceremony

9:30 Flag Raising Ceremony

10:00 – Carillon Concert (The Peace Tower’s 53-Bell Carillon)

12:00-1:30 – Canada Day Noon Show (The Guard and the 21-Gun Salute)

2:00 – Helicopter Ride over Ottawa with Heli-Tremblant Helicopter Tours

4:00 – Various Street Performances (Relax on the lawns of Parliament while strolling buskers and drummers entertain.

5:00 – Find Great Poutine (If you don’t know what this is, you’ll see tomorrow.)

7:30 – Canada Day Evening Show (Watch a variety of performances by Canadian artists.)

10:30 – President’s Choice Canada Day Fireworks

Is it all possible with a 14 month old? I guess we’ll see tomorrow.

Happy Canada Day!

50 thoughts on “Capitalizing on Canada Day

  1. YEP! The Capitol is a magical romantic place! Not easy to get around without a LITTLE French but, still incredible for couples especially!! Neighbouring blog, from just outside Toronto, Ontario, Canada 😉 ENJOY your stay here!!


      • In my own experience when I travelled to visit Ottawa, I found Other parts of the capitol very difficult to get around. I should have been more specific about the town I stayed in while visiting Ottawa, because we weren’t directly staying IN the city. (I cannot even recall the name at the moment). THERE, specifically, is where I found English speaking French Canadians, hard to find 😉
        When I did however, they’re the worlds sweetest and most helpful around! J


  2. I’ll be watching for you on CBC (thankfully, I can still watch Peter Mansbridge every night where I am here in the Excited States) — perhaps you and/or Athena should carry a bucket so we’ll know who you are!! We will be having Arctic char for brunch tomorrow and in the evening tortiere with poutine on the side, all to celebrate. Happy 146th Birthday!!


  3. Happy Canada Day! With everything that has gone on this weekend I had forgotten. It wasn’t long ago I was talking to a friend who had visited Canada and we were discussing the need for a good fix of poutine. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any cheese curds here. People look at you with a blank expression when you ask for cheese curds. Wave a flag for me! I will play some Canadian music and think of home.


    • Cheese curds are more easily found in places where cheese is made b/c they are a fresh by-product of the cheese making process. Also, if there’s any sort of decent cheese shop or deli in your community, you might find them there, or ask for them to be ordered. Alternatively, I’ve used fresh mozzarella, cut up into bits, and used that. Different, but QUITE delicious. Here in the Excited States, I’ve found a lot of restaurants jumping on the poutine bandwagon and doing some weird but (usually) tasty variations. My favourite so far has been Duck Poutine; chips were fried in duck fat, shredded duck on top, duck based gravy, great cheese curds + some haloumi, and chives (I guess the food police were out & wanted to see some veg on the plate 🙂 )


      • We actually asked at a cheese factory and the girl at the counter had no idea what we meant! She obviously just sold the finished product and had not seen how cheese is made. I was rather baffled but purhaps they call it something different here in Aus. I’m sure one day to find a place that knows what I’m talking about. Mozzarella works pretty good but I must admit there is something about curds that make it special. The Duck Poutine sounds rather delicious!


  4. Sounds like a wonderful trip! My fiancé’s birthday is actually on Canada Day! As a fun trip, we plan on celebrating both in Ottawa one day, strange but cool huh? Be sure to take plenty of photos & have a blast!


  5. Hey Lesley! Welcome to my home town! You are going to love it tomorrow. I’m sorry to miss the celebration as I am in Wellington , NZ today.
    But for poutine – best one in town is the 4 cheese one at Elgin st diner! Trust me !


  6. I am a Canadian plopped into the USA almost 18 years ago. Everyone in the family, except myself, now has American citizenship. We still have a lake house in Canada where we usually spend our summers up until this year where work has kept us in the USA.
    My eighteen year old awoke at 6:00 am today to go to work and the first thing out of his mouth was “Happy Canada Day” I find it funny that the kids make a point of celebrating Canada Day in some way every year although they have spent the majority of their life in the USA.
    I guess I will be making a celebratory dinner for tonight to celebrate the occasion.

    Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians and enjoy your celebration!!!!!


    • OH Canada … I love love loved driving that 3hrs to Canada ~~~ a long stretch of nothing that quickly changes into fast driving pace and great places to go … like Stanley park


  7. Happy Canada Day back at you. I was in Ottawa for a wedding once. Too bad you didn’t let us know you were coming, we could have thrown you (and Athena) a party and I could have scheduled the 5 or 6-hour drive to meet you.


  8. Ah, what a great plan to go to Ottawa for Canada day! If you have some time, check out the museum of civilization right across the water in Hull….it’s the best museum in Canada, and you’re only about 5 minutes away 🙂


  9. I hope you enjoy your trip! Looks like you’re going to have a great time! I heading towards the east coast in two weeks. I will stop in Tennessee, Virginia, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. I’ve been to the 9-11 site, but I still want to see Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty (I’ve only seen her from the ferry). I’d also like to visit Independence Hall in Philadelphia (I’ve seen it from afar, but the line is always long).


  10. Some of my favourite teenage memories are long days and nights spent wandering Ottawa’s Canada Day celebrations. It’s been so long since I’ve been back. Thanks so much for reminding me of all those great times! And best of luck taking it all in with a toddler! We didn’t get our little guy out for days that long until after his second birthday, but I think we probably could have been braver.


  11. I like the spots you have gone to. they are a real joy to see through your eyes. Nothing to hard as seeing gets you a first hand look at what others are missing like me. I seem to enjoy what is going on in the world when I only thought that everything was like everywhere else. I found out differently.


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