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Home : Travel Stories   : Quebec, Canada
"From New York, travellers took a canoe up the Hudson River to the Mohawk River and on to the Richlieu River which flows into the St. Lawrence. They then had to paddle hard, up-stream, past Montreal and into the Ottawa River and up to the point overlooked, now, by the Library of Parliament."
- Peter Grace

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Canada

Beautiful Quebec
by Peter Grace, Wakefield, Quebec, Canada
August, 1999

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Quebec

From Wakefield, in summer, you can take the steam train to Hull('ull in French). This provides a very pretty ride along the Gatineau River. From the station in 'ull there is a bus into Ottawa, the capital of Canada. In 1830, a canal was built from the point which is now Ottawa to Kingston at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. British masons were brought over to do the stone work on the locks and docks. Those masons also built stone warehouses in the area of Ottawa know as the ByWard market which is the centre of Ottawa's night life and where there are many sidewalk cafes. There are several attractive yards between the warehouses and away from the road. Ask Rob at Carman Trails about the sights to see in Ottawa. In his student days he pulled a rickshaw around all those old buildings.

While you are in Ottawa the Parliament Buildings are a must to visit. They are a superb blend of Scots and French architecture. The interior of the Library of Parliament is lined with Canadian white pine. That is the oldest part of the complex. Outdoors, behind the library is a terrace with an excellent view of the Ottawa River which was part of the transcontinental highway before railways.

From New York, travellers took a canoe up the Hudson River to the Mohawk River and on to the Richlieu River which flows into the St. Lawrence. They then had to paddle hard, up-stream, past Montreal and into the Ottawa River and up to the point overlooked, now, by the Library of Parliament. There they would have had to portage past the Chaudiere Falls and then on up to a portage at Mattawa from where they took the Mattawa River into Lake Huron and on to Lake Superior. The name Ottawa actually comes from an aboriginal band that lived in what is now Michigan. In the Indian Wars(provoked by Europeans) the Iroquois killed off most of the local native people, the Algonquins. So, the fur traders asked the Ottawa band to deliver beaver pelts to Montreal and thus the river became known as the Ottawa River.

There are several fine museums in Ottawa/Hull and I recommend the Grand Hall of the Museum of Civilization. It is devoted to the First Nations and has superb native artefacts from across Canada. For a less formal view of Canada's First Nations visit Victoria Island where a group of determined aboriginals have set up their own Embassy to Canada! When you can find anyone at home, they will tell you that the Algonquin People own Parliament Hill and most of the Ottawa Valley! If the Ambassador is not present the view from the Embassy is worth the walk.

What do I think is first class in Ottawa?

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