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Although Ottawa remains a government town, the growth of the high-tech sector in recent years has given the city, its restaurants, shops, and hotels a modern flavor. The city has festivals, parks, bicycle paths, jogging trails, and the world's longest skating rink, on a 7.8-km (4.6-mile) stretch of the Rideau Canal.
Some of the city’s top sites include the Parliament Buildings,
the National Arts Centre, home to a fine orchestra plus English and French theater and dance performances, Sparks Street Pedestrian Mall, a shopping and dining strip, and Byward Market, where you can browse through food shops that date back a century, check out unique crafts, or munch on one of Ottawa's famous "beavertail" pastries. There are also two notable museums—the National Gallery of Canada, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.