As I’m packing my bag and getting ready for our road trip to Cleveland, Ohio this weekend, I figured it was about time I shared some photos from my weekend in Ottawa last month.
I have passed through Ottawa a few times on the way to Montreal and have even been white water rafting on the Ottawa River, but I have actually never properly been to Ottawa—never seen Parliament, never seen the Rideau Canal, nothing. So, my mum and I decided to change that by booking a last second trip to our country’s capital. It also just so happened that same day my boyfriend told me he was getting sent to Ottawa that week for work and not only that, but our hotels ended up being right beside each other.
Anyways, if you want to see what we got up to in Ottawa, carry on reading!
We arrived in Ottawa to a torrential downpour, but luckily the rain held off for the rest of the weekend. Friday evening was pretty low-key—we checked into our hotel, freshened up, then grabbed a drink at the hotel bar before heading to ByWard Market for some food and drinks. Having not seen Jason for about a week, it was so nice to also get to see him once he got off work.
Saturday morning my mum and I got up early for a day of sightseeing. We headed back to ByWard Market to check out the farmer’s market and grab some breakfast which included fresh berries from the farmer’s market and the most delicious baked goods from Moulin De Provence (I am still dreaming about the almond croissant I had).
With food in our bellies, we then headed off to the National Gallery of Canada. I have wanted to visit this art gallery for ages and since my mum loves art just as much as I do, we were both extremely excited to finally visit.
My maman in front of the sculpture Maman by Louise Bourgeois which she created in memory of her mother.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is right across from the gallery and we were able to go inside. There was a service going on so I chose to respect that and not to take any photos, but the interior is so stunning with the stained glass, vaulted ceiling and all the intricate details.
Maman taking on the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica.
Also, how beautiful is the gallery at night?
Despite all the incredible art the gallery has to offer, I think the highlight was definitely the Chris Cran, Sincerely Yours exhibit. My mum and I are usually wary when it comes to contemporary art, but we left the gallery as new Chris Cran fans. Not only is he extremely talented, inventive and Canadian, but he also brings a lot of humour to his work. The Self-Portrait Series is hilarious and the fact that he also kind of looks like Will Ferrell makes them even more funny.
Just Two Maos Down From Some Guy With A Goddamned Tea Cosy On His Head featuring my equally hilarious mum including herself in the piece.
Family from The Self-Portrait Series
We also loved his Stripe Series where the technique leaves his paintings appearing blurry and distorted, but through a camera lens the image becomes much more clear.
Other highlights at the gallery included:
Benjamin West’s The Death of General Wolfe—really cool to finally see this famous painting in person.
Gustav Klimt’s Hope I
Salvador Dali’s Gala and the Angelus of Millet Immediately Preceding the Arrival of the Conic Anamorphoses—I will never get over the amount of detail in his work in contrast to its small scale.
Vincent van Gogh’s Iris
Part of George Segal’s super eerie installation titled The Gas Station.
The White Dress: Masterpiece in Focus which looked at the white muslim dresses that Marie Antoinette popularized and created a lot of scandal when they first appeared.
They also had an amazing tree scultpure by Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei and an exhibit on called Man & Beast of Picasso’s prints, but unfortunately these could not be photographed.
The Garden Court and Water Court were both beautiful parts of the gallery. They were so tranquil and the natural light just added to the overall ambiance.
And here’s a little cheeky outfit of the day because why not:
Tshirt – Zara
Jeans – Urban Outfitters
Shoes – H&M
Sidebag – Zara
Before heading to Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal, we had a little picnic in the beautiful Major Hill’s Park which boosts some incredible views of the city.
Statue of John By who founded Bytown (which later became Ottawa) and supervised the construction of the Rideau Canal.
Speaking of construction, Parliament was getting a bit of a facelift, but it was still beautiful nonetheless.
The Centennial Flame which commemorates Canada’s 100th anniversary as a Confederation.
The locking system the Rideau Canal uses is so fascinating and is still fully functional. Since 2007, the Rideau Canal is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There was so much art throughout the city which I absolutely loved.
Oddish loves Starbucks!
By this time our feet were a little tuckered out, so we headed back to our hotel (we may or may not have stopped at Moulin De Provence again) to relax for a bit until Jason was done work. The three of us then headed back to ByWard Market that evening for Italian food and drinks and it was just overall a great night.
Before we knew it it was Sunday morning and time to head home, but not without squeezing in the Canadian Museum of Nature. We were a little tight for time, so I didn’t take too many pictures and instead just focused on enjoying all the wonderful exhibits at this museum.
The cutest little thing I have ever seen.
And the most aesthetically pleasing thing I have ever seen. That symmetry and colour combination though.
And of course, what’s a trip without at least one cheesy photo?
I had such a great little getaway to Ottawa with my mum—we both fell in love with the city and all it had to offer and I would honestly go back in a heartbeat. The cherry on top was definitely the fact that Jason was also there for work and I’m so happy he was able to join us for dinner Saturday night, as well as the museum Sunday morning.
I now can’t wait for Cleveland this weekend with Jason—fingers crossed we don’t get any rain. Regardless, I’ll be sure to take lots of photos to share on here, so stay tuned!