Questions about Ottawa

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Sep 6th, 2005, 10:36 AM
  #1
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Questions about Ottawa

I have a chance to spend a few days in Ottawa at the end of October (spouse is attending conference there), but am hedging because of the price of airfare.
< Does anyone know of an inexpensive way to get from Chicago to Ottawa? Fly into nearby city, for example?
< Current info about the Lord Elgin hotel?
< Top few things to see or do in downtown Ottawa?

thanks for input!
Geo.
georocheleau is offline  
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Sep 6th, 2005, 10:58 AM
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I'm not sure what you consider inexpensive, but you certainly should be able to get a direct return flight from Chicago to Ottawa for under C$500 ($US400). You might well be able to get a consolidator fare for considerably less. The only nearby city that it would make sense to fly to is Montreal, and the fares should be about the same.

The Lord Elgin is an older hotel (1940's), which was completely renovated in the past year or so. It's very centrally located and a fine place to stay, across from Confederation Park and close to the Rideau Canal.

The top things would be:

1. Parliament Hill and the Parliament Buildings

2. Museum of Civilization

3. Canadian War Museum

4. Byward Market

5. National Gallery

There's lots more which you can find on these websites:

http://www.ottawatourism.ca/forms/index.asp?intSite=1

http://www.capcan.ca/index_e.asp?bhcp=1

http://ottawa.ca/visitors/index_en.html


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Sep 6th, 2005, 12:09 PM
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To Laverendrye: Thanks for the suggestions.

Are you still (I read one of your earlier posts) recommending Signatures, among your top choices for restaurants? Am planning to extend our stay through Friday to celebrate our 37th anniversary and am looking for someplace really special for dinner.
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Sep 6th, 2005, 06:16 PM
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Yes indeed. I can't think of a better place for a special occasion. The service and food are superb, although expensive by Ottawa standards.
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Sep 6th, 2005, 07:03 PM
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I will only comment on the Lord Elgin part. I was planning to go to Ottawa and sought out lodging answers. I ultimately searched/found aerial photos on the web to assist in this perplexing array of choices where I had never been. From the aerials I rejected the Lord Elgin and its neighbors because they are in amongst all the high rises. (Which is emotionally oppressive in my mind?) While there I visited this area and the Lord Elgin. In person I agreed with my from home assessment. Stand alone it is nice. But it seems dwarfed and oppressed in the concrete jungle. Just a thought if you have a choice. (Explore Byward Market side - search for aerials) If you have no option then I am sure you will find it quite satisfactory.
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Sep 6th, 2005, 08:00 PM
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I live in Ottawa, and I don't need aerial photos. As I mentioned in a previous post, the Lord Elgin on Elgin Street faces a lovely park (Confederation Park), the National Arts Centre, and the Provincial Court House.

Across Laurier Street on the south side is the First Baptist Church. Across Slater on the north is a government office building, perhaps 12 storeys high.

It is only on the west side, the rear of the hotel, that you will find high office towers.

There are hotels in Ottawa hemmed in by office towers, such as the Sheraton, Marriott, Crown Plaza and Delta, but I don't think that sobolik's opinion on the Lord Elgin would be universally shared.

If you really must have a hotel with no high buildings around it, there's always the Chateau Laurier, but you'll pay more than the Lord Elgin for the privilege.
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Sep 6th, 2005, 09:38 PM
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When travelling, I usually spend little time at hotel so the surroundings are not important to me.
I usually stay at the Crowne Plaza with a room facing upriver.

A high floor room at the Westin with a facing the National War Memorial would be the best place - it faces an open square with views of the parliament buildings.

You can catch a glimpse of the view at
http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin...XX&H=250&W=491
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Sep 9th, 2005, 04:15 PM
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Hi, I was in Ottawa from Sept3-7 and I flew in from Chicago! United had a pretty reasonable deal (comparatively) $230 rt incl taxes.
The Elgin is ideally situated. I didn't stay there but walked past it almost everyday.
I stayed at the Bostonian(abt 80 CAD/night) which is about 10 minutes south-west of the Elgin.
The Byward Market has great places to eat - I loved the Balck Tomato.

If you like to bike, it's great in Ottawa. Definitely the best biking city I've been to.

They have a great Pompeii exhibit in the Museum of Civilization right now. Also, I'd put the National gallery ahead of the War Museum, but thats just me.

Ottawa is a beuatiful, beautiful city. I'll write up a trip report this weekend.

Hope you have fun.
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Sep 11th, 2005, 03:12 AM
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ssachida has some good observations about Ottawa.

It is indeed a great place for biking, with trails in every direction, including long trails along the Ottawa and Rideau rivers and the Rideau Canal. There is also a huge network of bike trails on the Quebec side of the river, including Gatineau Park. For visitors, there are several convenient places to rent bikes, including one just outside the Chateau Laurier.

The National Gallery is indeed one of the top Ottawa attractions, and should not be missed. I mentioned the War Museum because of its new and spectacular building and exhibits (many travel guides will still make reference to the old stone building beside the NG). Unfortunately, the big Leonardo/Michelangelo Renaissance exhibition ended last weekend, but there is still much to see in the permanent collections.

The Pompeii exhibition at the Museum of Civilization is very good, but once again, it closes tomorrow. The permanent halls there however are must sees.

The Byward Market is filled with restaurants, bars and shops, and the Black Tomato is quite good. I would also recommend Domus right next to it.

I'll look forward to your trip report ssachida.
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Sep 13th, 2005, 07:06 AM
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Hi,

Two very good choices on restaurants. Signatures is very upscale and very good - also very expensive. Black Tomato is more casual but very good.

If you are looking for other options - you might consider Beckta. Fantastic and creative food, great service - pricey - but worth it. If I had one choice in Ottawa - that's where I'd go.
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Sep 14th, 2005, 05:25 PM
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My trip report is finally done. I don't know if it'll help you, but its at:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...9&tid=34677616

I hop you enjoy Ottawa too
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