Two great languages. A center for Canadian heritage and culture. A buzzing market area. Any number of festivals and events. Hundreds of parks, museums, galleries, shops and restaurants. It all adds up to a capital city! Stand in the middle of Ottawa and you’re at the spiritual heart of Canada. Not only is it the country’s capital, but it is also central to the country’s soul and the meeting point of its various cultures. Expect to hear French, spoken with a Canadian accent, often – especially if you’re eating out in one of the restaurants, bistros or cafés that line the buzzing Byward Market area, famous also for its bars, shops, stores and English-style pubs. Ottawa’s diversity continues with the range of excellent museums – like the impressive National Gallery and the Museum of Civilisation – and galleries, and a World Heritage listed waterway. The Rideau Canal, with its waterside walks and canoeing facilities, turns into the world’s largest ice rink in wintertime. The Federal Parliament Buildings and Parliament Hill are photogenic at any time of the year and the capital’s festivals range from February’s Winterlude to a glorious spring Tulip Festival.
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