Please review my Ottawa Itinerary

May 30th, 2011, 04:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,574
Please review my Ottawa Itinerary

I would appreciate it very much if people could critique/review my Ottawa itinerary. I didn't put any sightseeing down for Toronto because the purpose of going to Toronto is to visit relatives and a family grave. We've been to Toronto several times, & if we have free time, we'll probably just stroll around, shop & visit markets.

For Ottawa, I listed sightseeing, museums, etc., but they really are in no particular order. I just want to have everything written down in one place.

I have a few questions: Should we purchase tickets for the play at 1000 Islands Playhouse in advance? Is it worth it to take the 5 hour cruise so that we can tour the Boldt Castle (we don't have a lot of time in Gananonque)? Have I left out anything of importance?

July 23 (Sat) – Drive to Toronto
July 24 (Sunday) – Toronto
July 25 (Monday) – Toronto
July 26 (Tues) - Leave Toronto in the morning (no later than 10AM)
o Drive to Kingston, Ontario – 3 hours from Toronto
o Have lunch in Kingston (old historic town, former capital of Canada)
o Tour Fort Henry – Hours: 10AM – 5PM
• Visit time – 3 hours maximum
o Drive to Ottawa after we see Fort Henry.
o Should be 2 hour drive to Ottawa – will arrive in early evening, hopefully around 7PM.
o OVERNIGHT IN OTTAWA – Stay at McGee’s Inn on Daly St.
July 27 (Wed) – Ottawa
o Changing of the Guard Ceremony outside of Parliament @ 10AM
o Tour of Parliament Buildings
o Museum of Civilization - need at least an afternoon
o Take a walk along Rideau Canal
o Perhaps see a play at Theater Under the Stars in Strathcona Park @ 8PM – The Fan
July 28 (Thurs) – Ottawa
o Byward Market
o National Gallery of Canada (Art Gallery) – need at least two hours
o War Museum
July 29 (Friday) - Ottawa
o Drive to Gatineau Park in Quebec – beautiful scenery & lots of lakes
o Perhaps lunch in Wakefield – cute village with covered bridge
o OR perhaps stay in Ottawa & visit Museum of Nature & take boat cruise on the canal with Paul’s Boat Lines (or boat cruise of Ottawa River).
July 30 (Saturday) – Check out of McGee’s Inn
o Drive to Gananoque – 2 hour drive
o Boat cruise through Thousand Islands – either 2 ½ hour cruise or 5 hour cruise (this one includes tour of Boldt Castle) – Gananoque Boat Line
o See a play at 1000 Islands Playhouse – LEND ME A TENOR – 8PM (might purchase tickets in advance).
July 31 (Sunday) – Drive home – should be 6 hour drive.
o Drive along Thousand Islands Parkway.
o Stop at Skydeck Observation Tower in IvyLea (half way across soaring bridges).

Thanks for everyone's help!
Kwoo is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 09:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Looks fine to me. I would assume the options on the Friday would be weather-related - nice day, do the Gatineau Park, otherwise the museum. Note that you could do the Gatineau Park/Wakefield thing and probably still do a late afternoon/early evening boat cruise.

At the National Gallery this summer is a special exhibition, 'Caravaggio and His Followers', which should be very popular. You will need more than 2 hours if you want to see it as well as a representative chunk of the regular collection. But the gallery is open til 8pm on Thursdays, so the time is there.
ron is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 02:01 PM
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Ron, thanks for the suggestion about going to Gatineau Park & Wakefield, & then a later afternoon or early evening boat cruise. And I appreciate the heads up about the special Caravaggio exhibit.
Kwoo is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 02:21 PM
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I think it looks good. As ron said, be flexible for outdoor activities in case of rain.

I think it's certainly worth trying to do at least 3 major museums as you have planned. Just be aware that most of them could easily take a full day to do in full, so you will have to choose. For the Museum of Civilization, be sure to see the Great Hall, the First Peoples Hall, and the Canada Hall, in that order. For the National Gallery, certainly the Canadian collection and the special Caravaggio exhibition this summer. For the Caravaggio, there will be an extra charge and tickets will be for a certain time, so you might want to plan that in advance. In the War Museum, the main galleries are in chronological order from pre-European times to the present day, and you are led through by the layout of the galleries. There is also a large gallery of military equipment (Lebreton)which you could do quickly if you are running out of time. All of these museums have excellent websites which are worth consulting before you visit to give you some orientation.

As you are staying in Sandy Hill, you might try to fit in a visit to Laurier House, only a few blocks away from your B&B. This historic house was home to two Prime Ministers (two of the greatest to my mind): Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Mackenzie King. King's private rooms are as they were when he died. The study of a third Prime Minister, Lester Pearson, has been rebuilt in the house as well.

When you go to Gatineau Park, don't miss Moorside, the summer home of Mackenzie King. He was somewhat eccentric and on the grounds are a number of "ruins" which he had built from the stones of some famous buildings including the Palace of Westminster. The gardens there are pretty and there is a tea room for light lunches.

There are some decent restaurants in Wakefield, but also in Old Chelsea. One of the very best, and a favourite of mine is just outside Chelsea on rte 105. You might want to consider having dinner there before returning to Ottawa. It's only about 15 to 20 minutes from downtown.

Enjoy your visit.
laverendrye is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,675
Good advice from laverendrye. I wonder what Old Chelsea restaurant he is recommending, perhaps le restaurant Les Fougères? Or le restaurant L'Orée du Bois, but it's not on rte 105?

I've given some thought to your Gananoque question. It is definitely worth visiting Boldt Castle. If you don't have time for the 5 hour tour from Gananoque, maybe on the next day, on your way home, you could visit it from Alexandria Bay, NY, which is a lot closer to the castle than is Gananoque. Uncle Sam's is the main boat line in Alexandria Bay; there may be others.
ron is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 03:38 PM
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As ron pointed out, I left out the name of the restaurant--of course it is Les Fougères!
laverendrye is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 03:38 PM
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Wow!! Thanks Laverendrye for your detailed explanations about the museums, Laurier House, etc. And thanks to Ron, again. If we can get to Gananoque early enough, we should have time for the 5-hour boat cruise; we'll definitely make the effort, but if it doesn't work out, that's a good tip about Alexandria Bay.
Kwoo is offline  
May 31st, 2011, 07:54 PM
Join Date: May 2011
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There is a great brewery in Gatineau I always recommend when going to Ottawa. Great for dinner:
thatsamoray is offline  
Feb 17th, 2013, 02:59 PM
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I would allocate more than 2 hours for the War Museum.
KMacK_ca is offline  

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