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Parliament Hill is the political heart of Canada. Situated on a bluff overlooking the Ottawa River, it is actually a collection of three turn-of-the-century Gothic structures known as the East Block, Centre Block and West Block. The West Block and East Block contain the offices of Members of Parliament. The House of Commons and the Senate are located in the Centre Block, with its soaring Peace Tower.
A branch of the parliamentary system, the Supreme Court is the highest court for all legal matters in Canada. Constructed in the 19th Century, this imposing building is right next to the National Library on Wellington Street. During your tour here, law enthusiasts can get an idea about the proceedings and the working of the court. To add to it, you can even attend a court hearing. Guided tours are available upon request, so call ahead and reserve now!
This unique shopping and restaurant district covers nearly 12 square blocks and offers something for everyone. You'll find trendy stores selling the latest in designer fashions, jewelry and artwork, as well as a variety of excellent restaurants. In the evening, the market is a buzz of activity as party-goers hop from nightclub to nightclub. To experience the true roots of ByWard Market, visit during the weekend when local farmers and artisans ply their wares near the Byward Market Building. The market is closed on Christmas and New Year's Day but is otherwise open during the summer and fall.
Built between 1839 and 1885, this neo-Gothic cathedral situated on Sussex Drive on the edge of the Byward Market is one of the oldest surviving churches in Ottawa. Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica's twin spires and gilded Madonna are easily identifiable from nearby Parliament Hill and the surrounding area. The interior of Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is brightly painted and decorated with carved features, exquisite stained glass windows and hundreds of statues of various religious figures. The church is open daily for guided tours and prayer.
Rideau Hall, which was built in 1838, has been the official residence of the Queen's representative to Canada since 1867. The grounds cover more than 32 hectares (79 acres) and feature a magnificent greenhouse and ornamental gardens. Visitors can take a self-guided tour or book one of the many guided tours. There are a number of events hosted by the Governor General throughout the year.
Built between 1827 and 1832 without the aid of powered machinery, the Rideau Canal is one of Ottawa's oldest landmarks. The canal runs from the Ottawa River near Parliament Hill to Hog's Back Falls on the south end of the city. During the summer months, a wide range of vessels, including tour boats, glide along the waterway. Come winter, the canal is transformed into the "World's Longest Skating Rink" and is a hub of activity during Ottawa's Winterlude festival.
Remic Rapids is a small but beautiful public park-area located along the Ottawa River waterfront. Overlooking the river's Remic Rapids, this is an excellent spot to drop by to enjoy a picnic at one of the benches by the water, and then unwind on the grass with a book, as you listen to the soothing sound of the river gurgling in the background. This park is immensely popular for local artist John Ceprano's Inukshuk sculpture garden, that is located here. Stop here for a breath of fresh air and a walk in the park, and to take a look at the array of small perfectly balanced rock sculptures that resemble human beings.