A trip to Ottawa covers all of the bases for a good holiday from great museums to fabulous dining experiences

By Mike Cohen

As Canada’s capital, Ottawa is the perfect place to experience some of the country’s best attractions, celebrations and flavors in one welcoming city. With its unique blend of urban and rural beauty, year-round outdoor activities, and vibrant neighbourhoods, the Ottawa region is best explored over three days or more.


Since opening in 2003, the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata has gained notice as a luxury property noted for outstanding dining, incredible entertainment, luxurious accommodations,  inspired green initiatives and world-class golf and fitness facilities.

While in Ottawa we had a chance to visit the hotel,  enjoying a delicious lunch on the patio at Perspectives Restaurant. We spent some quality time at the lovely outdoor saltwater pool and I was in heaven in the jacuzzi. When rain cut our date of leisure in half, we were invited back a few days later to resume the pool experience.

For lunch, I had a nicely prepared club sandwich, grilled chicken breast, cheddar cheese, confit garlic aioli, vine-ripened tomato, bacon, Boston lettuce and Nat’s bakery sourdough. The other members of my party started off with some drinks and each ordered lamb barbacoa tacos- two corn tortillas, lamb shoulder slow-roasted in banana leaf, salsa borracha, pickled cucumber, green olives, fresh cilantro and lime.

Stepĥanie Lapensee and Danika Christie of the sales department and fitness centre manager Vy gave me a nice tour of the property, located in the heart of Canada’s largest technology hub. I got a chance to see some of the impressive guest rooms and reception halls.  

The Brookstreet has 276 rooms and suites spaced across 18 floors. Plans do call for the hotel to eventually build a second tower. There is now 30,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, featuring 25 meeting rooms, including three large ballrooms, an outdoor pavilion and the Newbridge Foyer which boasts floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

There are a number of draws here, starting with the  Marshes Golf course and a pond that converts to a skating rink in the winter months. An 18-hole mini golf course is very popular with families. It is no surprise that the NHL’s Ottawa Senators partnered up with the property. Brookstreet is recognized as the official hotel and resort of the  Senators and Canadian Tire Centre, which also includes the title sponsorship to the   Brookstreet Lounge (located at the ice level).  What this also means is if you happen to stay here during the hockey season, you never know which NHL player you might run into.

I was beyond impressed with the on-site Flex Fitness Club, which has 500 members from the community.  Recognized as the ultimate Ottawa gym and fitness studio, it is equipped with extensive fitness equipment, saltwater pools, hot tubs, fitness classes and personal trainers.  Flex Fitness Studio provides a wellness component for those who wish to stay active during their travels.  Members get the advantage of access to the indoor and outdoor pools. The Au Natural Spa looked mighty fine as well.

Located by the eighth green of The Marshes Golf Club,  the 30-foot seasonal outdoor saltwater pool offers a cabana, plenty of deck space and a 12-person hot tub! We were provided with robes and slippers, some comfortable lounge chairs and umbrellas to guard us from the sun.

As Ottawa’s leading public golf club, the Marshes combines the superior layout with the singular natural beauty of the Ottawa area.  The result is a space that holds the distinction of being home to PGA events, as well as a qualified wildlife sanctuary. It’s this inspired mingling of the stunning sprawl of the natural world with our meticulously manicured course that’s made The Marshes more than a premier Ottawa golf destination. This is also a popular venue for weddings, conferences and to share a delicious meal with friends and family. There are 18 and nine-hole courses, plus the Blackbird Falls mini-putt.

If there is one thing I learned from my visit, it’s that I must go back for there is so much more to discover.

The hotel is located at 525 Legett Drive. For more information log on to https://www.brookstreethotel.comhttps://www.marshesgolfclub.com, or call 1-888-826-2220.


Located on a national heritage site, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is the world’s only working farm in the heart of a capital city. During my frequent trips to Ottawa for family reasons these past two years, I have chosen different venues to visit. This one was perfect during the warmer season as a number of the animals are outside.

The museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to see diverse breeds of farm animals—important to past and present Canadian agriculture—and to learn about the food they eat. In addition to breeds common to Canadian agriculture, such as Holstein dairy cows and Angus beef cows, the museum also has Canadienne and Milking Shorthorn dairy cows and Tamworth pigs. Many other breeds of dairy and beef cattle, pigs, sheep, horses, poultry, goats, rabbits and even honeybees round out the collection.

Museum programs and exhibitions are related to Canada’s agricultural heritage, food literacy, and the benefits and relationship of agricultural science and technology to Canadians’ everyday lives.

Public programming also includes school programs, summer day camps, interpretive tours, demonstrations, and joint undertakings with community groups and associations. On the day I visited, there were busloads of camps and the kids were having a great time.

Some of the exhibitions were eye-openers to even me. Canola! Seeds of Innovation marks the 50th anniversary of canola as a “made in Canada” crop. This is an immersive and interactive exhibition exploring the ingenuity of Canadian plant researchers, who took on the challenge of creating a healthy vegetable oil from rapeseed, a little-known plant that grew well on the Prairies. Following decades of collaboration and hard work, they succeeded in developing one of Canada’s most important crops: canola. Meanwhile, via documentation and videos, the Healthy Oceans for a Healthy Planet exhibit examines the challenges facing our oceans due to pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing.  Covering over 70 percent of the Earth, oceans help regulate the climate and provide us with food, energy, and livelihoods. Meanwhile, the exhibition From Earth to Us explores how we transform natural resources to meet our needs and wants – and the resulting impact this has on the world around us. Visitors will delve into topics such as mining, materials, metallurgy, energy, climate change, and water resources. Discovery Park is an interactive, outdoor exhibition is accessible throughout spring, summer and fall. Agriculture is a dynamic industry, constantly transformed by human ingenuity and creativity. Stroll through Discovery Park and explore some fascinating agricultural innovations…you may be surprised by what you find!

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to drive a tractor? 

Farming For the Future, our newest exhibition, is waiting for your visit! You can climb aboard a life-sized tractor cab — or enter an immersive, accessible cabin at ground level — to digitally drive a tractor. See if you have what it takes to efficiently plant corn in a sustainable farming operation 

The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is open year-round, from, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. It is open on statutory holidays, except December 25. The museum offers free admission from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Reserve your tickets in advance. It is located at 901 Prince of Wales Drive. Info: https://ingeniumcanada.org/agriculture 


The Ottawa Titans began play in the Frontier League in 2022. They play out of the state-of-the-art Ottawa Stadium. This is minor-league professional baseball. The schedule begins in May and continues through early September. It is a wonderful outing for the entire family, even someone who might not even be a baseball fan. The franchise officials work so hard to offer a fun game day experience. I really enjoyed my night out there, especially coming from Montreal. Our professional baseball team the Expos left 19 years ago. Go to www.ottawatitans.com


There are so many wonderful choices for dining out. From my most recent trip, here is my culinary report.

STARLING: The historic York on William (YOW) building, which encompasses Starling Restaurant & Bar and Apothecary Cocktail Lounge, represents a must visit The latter are part of a  multiple-dining concepts featuring a rooftop terrace and street-level patio and located in one of the oldest buildings in Ottawa, dating back to 1875. Early occupants included an undertaker, a baker, and a wholesaler, uses which reflects the diverse commercial activity of the ByWard Market in the 19th Century. 

Starling is Ottawa’s new concept which elevates any night out with hand-crafted cocktails and a refreshing, modern menu that draws inspiration from bold flavors and fresh ingredients. Here you step into an inviting and stylish atmosphere, built for creating an incredible experience.

The 12,000-square-foot building was purchased in 2020 for $5 million. Co-owner John Borsten’s business partners in this venture are Pat Charbonneau and Ian Darveshali. It is spread over four levels, with Apothecary, YOW and Starling each catering to different audiences under the same roof and able to serve 500 diners at a time.  The seasonal patios are big draws: one at street level can seat 50 while the rooftop has room for 60. Capacity for both can be increased for cocktail receptions.

We were delighted to get a coveted rooftop table with a panoramic view of the market and were especially fortunate to have head chef Paolo  DiBello visit us on a number of occasions that evening.  The menu here changes seasonally. We found the ambiance, service and food all impeccable and we can’t wait to return for another visit. We will have to try Apothecary and down the line.

Apothecary is described as “a nod to medicinal cures of which bitters, tonics and spirits all play a role. Here they believe in using real botanicals, house-made syrups and tinctures, to heal the body, mind and soul.”

Starling brings you contemporary dishes from timeless classics to personal recipes with a fondness for locality—designed to be loved by one or shared by many.   Their mixologists can serve up a broad range of tasty concoctions, either mixed, stirred or shaken and inspired by local ingredients and international techniques.

Starling is named after a highly social bird that likes to travel in large flocks. That is why you will see decorative bird cages in the restaurant. It was in fact  Sofia Santiso Borsten who created the Starling concept and oversaw the design.     Even the doors they inherited were restored and now serve as a privacy wall for a table near the bar. The same goes for the original lamps, which were repainted.  Of course, the wallpaper features colourful birds.  

We enjoyed a fabulous meal, starting off with some scarlet tanagers from the bar, three ounces of excellence: Dillon’s strawberry gin, brut, apple simple syrup, lemon and strawberries. I also tried the Anthony, a tasty drink minus alcohol containing orange juice, lime, ginger simple and chili peppers.

Following a thorough study of the menu, we began with 12 oysters. They were of good size and did not last long on the serving plate. We then shared some terrific burrata toast, olive oil fried true loaf sourdough, local heirloom tomatoes, fresh burrata and Aurelius fig balsamic.

For the main courses, we chose two absolute winners. The pan-seared six-ounce west coast sable fish was beyond extraordinary. It was served with mint, pea and fine herb risotto. This is a fish we have always enjoyed, yet it is so rare to find on an east coast restaurant menu. It was moist and literally melted in our mouths. The 14-ounce rib eye, medium rare, with loaded mashed potatoes on the side, was another excellent choice. Paolo cooked it to perfection and the Bordelaise Larry sauce was just right to add more flavor.

When it came for dessert we shared the ever-so-rich chocolate mousse, which included brown butter streusel, brunoise mango and strawberry.

Indeed this was a meal fit for a king and rooftop terrace we look forward to experiencing again and trying some of the other delicious-looking items we had to pass on.

Starling is located at 54 York Street in the Byward Market. Hours of operation are  4 pm to 11 pm Tuesday and Wednesday,  11 am to midnight Thursday and Friday and  9 am to midnight Saturday and Sunday. You can call  613.421.0820   or log on to  www.starlingottawa.ca.

MÉTROPOLITAIN BRASSERIE: Last summer I made my first visit to the Métropolitain Brasserie in Ottawa, conveniently located next to the Byward Market at 700 Sussex. That is just steps away from Parliament Hill, 

Home to Ottawa’s largest oyster bar, the restaurant is open seven days a week, serving lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends. When we planned our return summer trip to the Nation’s Capital, this was the first dining establishment on our list.  It was a beautiful evening to once again experience their spacious patio, which is completely covered by a tent-like structure and umbrellas. This way, in the case of rain, the spot usually remains open. The patio can accommodate 125 people while the capacity inside is 300.

The Brasserie presents a  Hill Hour every day from 4 pm to 7 pm for discounted oysters and shrimp, and every Thursday for Buck a Shuck. There is an award-winning wine list and this is considered a prime place for a large event or a romantic dinner for two, adding that certain Parisian flavor.

We started off the evening with some drinks and then took a good hard look at all of the options available among the appetizers.   The small size seafood tower was more than enough for three of us to share. It contained shrimp, oysters, mussels, snow crab, cod croquettes, scallop Crudo and ceviche. Wow, this was a meal unto itself and we savored every morsel. There is a larger platter for four available. 

The burrato toast for two was another treat for the three of us to share. It includes sunflower seed and beetroot pesto, avocado, fried sourdough, sprouts and chili oil.

There is a nice selection of main courses.   I remembered The Duck Confit from my last visit,  an item I do not see available at too many restaurants I frequent. It was superbly prepared, with crispy skin and served with warm potatoes, red cabbage citrus slaw, duck fat fingerling, orange curry sauce and basil.   As for the others, they opted for the fish of the day, some perfectly seared scallops and an order of lamb chops.

While we were quite full, it was pretty hard to resist the dessert menu. We agreed to share the flourless chocolate cake, with caramel sauce and raspberry preserves. It literally melted in my mouth. 

Other items on the menu include burgers bouillabaisse, steak,  spiced impossible meatballs, veal paillard, fish & chips, impossible Italian sausage spaghetti, roasted Arctic char, lobster ravioli, seared walleye, tagliatelle, halibut, mussels and frites,  poutine, baked oysters, albacore tuna tartare and beef tartare, calamari, charcuterie and cheese board, soups and salads, sandwiches and omelets.

This was the perfect evening, with great food, excellent service from our waiter Kelsey and an ambiance that you just can’t beat.

Weekend brunch is available from 10 am to 2 pm Saturdays, Sundays and select holidays.  

The restaurant is co-owned by John Borsten and Sarah Chown, with Mike Poliquin as chef de cuisine. Hours of operation are 11:30 am to 11 pm Monday to Wednesday, 11:30 am to midnight Thursday and Friday, 10 am to midnight Saturday and 10 am to 11 pm Sunday Take-out and delivery service is in place each day from 11:30 am to 9 pm. For more details log on to www.metropolitainbrasserie.com or call  613-562-1160.

LAVENDER GRILL AND LOUNGE: Lavender Grill and Lounge opened in the Byward Market in the summer of 2022, the vision of owner Reza Khakbaz

Lavender, of course, is a light shade of purple or violet. It applies particularly to the color of the flower of the same name. Khakbaz and his team have certainly taken advantage of the connection, from the décor to the coloring of some of the drinks like my blackberry smash tea mocktail, a combination of blackberry and Earl Grey tea,

There are 100 seats inside the restaurant and a nice terrace which can accommodate 20. That is where we sat. The menu contains a touch of Dubai and Iran,  two countries where Khakbaz has lived. But make no mistake, the items to choose from are all very familiar from steaks to pasta.

Khakbaz has lived in Dubai since 2001 and now commutes back and forth. He obtained permanent residency in Canada in 2017 and from that point on he set about seeking a good business opportunity. Ottawa and the trendy Byward Market appeared to be calling his name. In the past, he was a partner in a pizzeria and a coffee shop. This represents his first full foray into restaurants and he has hit the ground running.

“When I moved to Canada in 2014, I lived in Ottawa for nearly four years,” said Khakbaz.  “During that time, I found the ByWard Market area to be a popular destination where people spent time and money. Beyond its popularity, I also had a personal connection to Ottawa as it was the first point of entry for me and my family to Canada.”

How did Khakbaz come up with the Lavender theme and integrate it into so much of the menu and the restaurant design? “As a businessperson who has had the opportunity to travel worldwide and live in Dubai for many years, I noticed that lots of special restaurants gradually opened their branches there,” he responded. “Considering this, I believe the theme I have in mind can work for the area. Of course, we faced several challenges and various changes during the process. I would like to thank my manager Hano.   He has been a great asset, as he significantly helped us in finding the best theme and menu for Lavender.

Hano was there to give us a warm welcome when we arrived. When a chef brought out one of our items, I asked Hon for his name.  “At Lavender Grill, we really rely on teamwork,” he responded. “All of our food and menu are results of the teamwork with direct supervision of myself, using my culinary experience in fine dining restaurants. So  all dishes come from  the Lavender Kitchen Team.”

What are the most popular menu items with clients?  Hano lists  Lavender gnocchi, Lavender ravioli, rib eye steak, grilled salmon and salmon tartare. As for the drinks,   there are the  Lavender Gin and Tonic, Lavender Mocktail,  Sunset Boulevard, Lavender Royale and Kiwi Breeze

Business, says Hano, has been solid. “We are a fast-growing business,” he maintains. “It’s been six back-to-back months that we are breaking our sales records.”  

We began our meal by sharing two bowls of delicious and piping-hot carrot soup among the three of us.  That was followed by a bruschetta, which had a sturdy crust and was firm enough to hold the diced tomato and red onion toppings. We also split the salmon tartare, sushi-grade salmon with chopped shallots, chives, parsley, dill, capers, a  splash of chardonnay,  soya sauce, grainy mustard, tabasco, lemon and lime zest,

While I quenched my thirst with a mocktail (yep I am a safe driver), the two others enjoyed some Lavender royales, containing Saint Germain,  London Dry,  Crème de Violette and Prosecco.

For the main course, I went for the chicken parmesan, tenderized chicken breaded and fried, topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella. It was served with tomato pasta on the side. The portion was so plentiful that I brought back enough to eat for lunch the following day.

As for the others, they sampled the Lavender ravioli and the filet mignon.  The four cheese ravioli was tossed in creamy Lavender sauce and mushrooms, with onions and garlic and topped with Lavender crumbs. The eight-ounce filet mignon was served with a side of vegetables and a garden salad.  For dessert, we shared the chocolate explosion -chocolate cake, topped with chocolate sauce and blackberries.

Lavender Grill and Lounge is located at 47 Clarence Street.  Opening hours are 5 pm to midnight Wednesday to Friday and 11:30 am to midnight Saturday and Sunday.   For more information call 613-569-6605 or log on to www.lavendergrill.com

MARZITELLI’S MONTREAL CONNECTION:   When I first started visiting Ottawa on a semi-regular basis a few years ago, filing restaurant stories, a former colleague from The Suburban Newspaper Christopher Michaud reached out. The  West Island Pierrefonds native was now in the nation’s capital and operating a supper club called Marzitelli and named after his Italian mother.

On my most recent trip to Ottawa, I went to visit with Chris and take advantage of the ever-so-popular Marzitelli Sunday brunch. We sat on the beautiful rooftop terrace, overlooking hopping Elgin Street. Chris’s charming wife Fei helps manage the place and on this day his niece Caleigh was my server. Fei also handles the bar and provides great renditions of classic cocktails and specializes in custom house favourites. Ask about her Amaretto Sour or Fei’s Negroni!

The breakfast was top-notch. Chris recommended I try their Galette au Saumon Fumé: two sunny-side-up eggs, accompanied by a potato galette topped with Norwegian smoked salmon, wafer-thin red onion, sour cream & capers. On the side, you can have some crispy roasted potatoes or a garden salad, garnished with fruit. A Galette is a rustic French tart, but the Marzitelli version looks and tastes a lot more like a latke. “I worked at Chenoy’s on Boulevard St. Jean when I was a student at John Rennie High School,” Chris told me. “I made plenty of latkes in those days.”

I also ordered a clubhouse wrap to take back with me for lunch, marinated chicken breast, roasted peppers, onions, bacon and mozzarella. It was delicious, especially after putting it in the microwave oven for 30 seconds.

Chris left Montreal in 2013 to pursue his love for music and cooking, landing in Toronto. Initially, he built websites and came up with a concept for online orders and deliveries for restaurants, preceding Uber and the other apps. He did that for three years until he decided to open a bar on Yonge Street. When the venue started attracting lineups for its drinks, music and pasta, a neighbouring restaurant took notice and proposed a merger. That arrangement lasted two years before Chris was on the move again, this time to the popular Ontario summer vacation spot of Wasaga Beach where he set up some food kiosks. He returned to Toronto in 2018 and established his first Marzitelli. This was a small operation, but business evolved nicely until the COVID-19 pandemic turned everything into pieces. By the fall of 2020, Chris and his wife decided that another fresh start was necessary and this time it would be Ottawa.  His new version of Marzitelli materialized at some prime real estate at Elgin. The second-floor dining room and lounge can accommodate 220 people, plus 40 on the seasonal terrace. Facing east, it has the distinct advantage of an early morning sun and afternoon shade, for the perfect ambiance and maximum comfort.

Of course, Michaud had arrived in Ottawa with COVID protocols still in place. Patience was required, but with a lot of hard work, Marzitelli has already gained a good following here, featuring performances by some of the city’s best musicians. The dinner menu is noted for excellent pasta dishes, all made from scratch and from the Marzitelli family recipe book, as well as French classics, pizzas, burgers, steak, shrimp, whiskey maple braised salmon, fish tacos, a poke bowl and more.

Chris’s late dad was a musician and his mom was a cook.  On the stage sits Chris’s baby grand piano and it isn’t uncommon to see him come out of the kitchen after dinner service to enjoy a few cocktails with the guests while playing well-known hits. Often, guests are also entertained by one of his many musical friends invited as performers.  In fact, his house band is called the Men From Marz and performs about once a month. It includes Chris and NDG musician Dimo James Papadimitrios.  

​Marzitelli is located at 350 Elgin Street. Hours of operation are 4 pm to 10 pm Wednesday, 11 am to 10 pm Thursday, 11 am to 1 am Friday and Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm Sunday. For more information call 613-870-1377, e-mail; info@marzitelli.ca, or log on to www.marzitelli.ca.

AL’S DINER: My friend Jack has been telling me about Al’s Diner in Ottawa for some time now, a popular spot on Clyde Street that serves breakfast and a whole lot of other menu items all day long. Now that is my kind of place, so it was indeed time to explore.

The place opens at 6 am Monday to Saturday and 7 am on Sundays, remaining open for dinner Tuesday to Friday. Besides an array of breakfast items, the regular menu consists of items like pizza, wings, burgers, salads, fish and much more. They offer quick pick-up and delivery and you can order online at www.alsdiner.ca

There are 110 seats inside and 35 on the patio.   Owner Al Ayoub told me that before the pandemic, the place was averaging about $1,000 a week in orders via Uber, Skip and Door Dash. That quadrupled during the lockdown and has remained constant since.

Al’s parents ran a greasy spoon in this spot called Skyline Restaurant from 1970 to 1975 and then rented out until 1990. At that time Al stepped in, moving on from his profession in sales, gutting the place and rebranding it as Al’s with its present format. “During the pandemic, I repainted the place and made some cosmetic changes,” Al noted. “We also provide catering for sports teams, parties, office events and more.”

The place attracts a lot of regulars. “Those people are here five days a week,” Al said, motioning towards some clients. “We have a great following of regulars, young and old. Kids that were coming in with their parents, are now coming in with their own children, which is great to see.”

Al can also count on the support of his wife Anita, who works as a server and operates the place when he’s not on duty.

I was there for breakfast, of course, comfortably seated on the patio on a warm weekday summer morning.  A lot of restaurants stop this service towards lunch hour, but not Al’s. “You need to have a really good grill to provide breakfast all day,” Al explained. “I am glad I invested in one.”

 Looking at the menu, it was hard to make a choice, but I settled on three slices of golden-brown cinnamon raisin French toast, with sides of crispy home fries, bacon and rye toast with my standard cup of decaf coffee. I also ordered a chicken sandwich to take back with me for lunch. It was delicious.

There are a variety of Al’s breakfast specials. They all come with a choice of home fries, baked beans or tomato slices, as well as toast and coffee. From eggs and omelets to pancakes, waffles and smoked salmon bagels the choices are endless.  I look forward to coming back for lunch and dinner and sampling something among the fish n’ chips, smoked meat club, wraps, hot beef dip, burgers, pizza, chicken wings, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, shepherd’s pie or veggie spring rolls.

Al’s is located at 834 Clyde Avenue. Opening hours at 6 am to 3 pm Mondays, 6 am to 7:30 pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 6 am to 8 pm Thursdays and Fridays, 6 am to 3 pm Saturdays and 7 am to 3 pm Sundays. This is a licensed restaurant that serves alcohol. For more information call 613-761-74988 or log on to www.alsdiner.ca


Ottawa has several lovely beaches minutes from the city center.  Our favorite is at Britannia Bay, located on the Ottawa River. It is great for swimming, picnics or just watching the sailboats go by on a beautiful summer day. Key amenities include washrooms, change rooms and outdoor showers; free parking; a canteen; picnic tables and barbecue pits; and play structures and fields. Lifeguards are on duty daily between noon and 7 pm during the summer season. Volleyball net rentals are available for $14.50 per hour or $49.50 per day


A new option for visitors to Ottawa launched this summer: the Visit Ottawa Pass is available for adults and children as either a one-day or three-day pass, offering admission to the Canadian Museum of History; Canadian War Museum; Haunted Walk of Ottawa; National Gallery of Canada; the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum; Royal Canadian Mint; and Gray Line Ottawa in summer months (in winter months, Cobblestone Tours takes over). Passes are good for 24 (or 72) hours after their first use. Watch for full details at visitottawapass.ca 


The restoration of Centre Block on Parliament Hill, which started in 2019, continues. A trompe l’oeil has been installed on Centre Block and will expand as masonry work continues through 2023 and beyond, allowing visitors to get a sense of what the building looks like behind the tarps. In the meantime, free guided tours of an architecturally impressive “temporary” House of Commons in West Block and a “temporary” Senate chamber in the former train station next to the Rideau Canal are available year-round. visit.parl.ca


Ottawa Walking Tours now offers a food/art/history tour called the Centretown Neighbourhood Experience. Tours depart from Minto Park on Elgin Street every Saturday afternoon at 2:30 pm until September 30, 2023. ottawawalkingtours.com/our-tours/the-centretown-neighbourhood-experience-food-art-history-tour

For more details on what to do and see in Ottawa log on to  www.ottawatourism.ca.