I grew up in Zimbabwe and moved to Canada to pursue higher education. I lived on the east coast for a number of years after which I moved mainland to complete my Masters of Public Health program. I am now pursuing my dream of becoming a Clinical Psychologist here in Ottawa. Ottawa is a great mix of big city life with Toronto and Montreal a few short hours away. Meanwhile there the outdoor scene is a strong influence in the city with parks spread out around the city, and various outdoor activities available year round (even in -30 degree weather). Ottawa is a city with something for everyone.
Parliament Hill – Ottawa, Ontario
During the course of the year, there are always events at The Hill. From the top of the Peace Tower, you can see the whole city and take in the breathtaking views. The tours inside parliament provide a lot of history regarding the buildings and the history of Canada. Summertime is a great time to visit, the city truly comes alive. There are free yoga classes every Wednesday from July to the end of August in front of the Parliament buildings, which are great for building community especially in front of a place solely for politics. I also love the light shows which are held at various times during the year with Centre Block as the background. The crowds, the lights and sounds all add to the majestic feeling of this building and space.
The museums in the city add to its richness. There are always different exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Nature. Art is a vital part of the city and adds to its vibrancy. In some cases, there is an opportunity to see artists create different pieces of work such as at Art Battles held at the Arts Court. The National Arts Centre provides more musical and dance themed art. Christmas time really allows people to enjoy special shows such as the ballet performing The Nutcracker etc.
There are boundless food choices in the city. If you like something spicy with some variety of meat and veggies wrapped in goodness, there are a number of restaurants around the city that don’t fail to satisfy. My favourite is an Ethiopian restaurant – Blue Nile – on Gladstone and Bank, the people and food are great and the injera never stops coming. Chinatown provides a great variety of Asian foods, from Chinese food to Vietnamese. And to top off all this goodness, dessert bars are plentiful. Stella Luna has THE BEST gelato in the city (maybe the world) and provides full flavours and generous portions.
Catch up on our “Three of my favourite places” series here.