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Monday, July 19, 2010
The capital of Canada is home to many of our national treasures, but also has many distractions including fab shopping, great restaurants and plenty of attractions for those who love art and history.
Where to Stay
A few steps from Parliament Hill, the historic Fairmont Chateau Laurier is proudly 98 years old this year. This venerable hotel features traditional-styled spacious suites and plenty of amenities, including an Art Deco indoor swimming pool. Guests can wander into the Reading Room to see original photographs by Karsh (who lived and had his studio at the hotel) including the famous portrait of Sir Winston Churchill.
What to Do
Find your bearings with a bike ride along the Rideau Canal – dedicated bike paths lead you to neighbourhoods such as The Glebe and Little Italy. Back in the downtown, Sparks Street can provide options for a wardrobe infusion from stylish Trustfund or Poised. Fashionista-friendly Dalhousie Street is home to on-trend boutiques such as Workshop, Victoire and Milk Shop featuring local designers, accessories and jewellery.
Take time to wander the Byward Market, with its wide array of local producers selling seasonal fruits, vegetables, flowers as well as fresh fish, charcuterie and baked goods. Museum-lovers will appreciate the National War Museum or Museum of Nature, while art lovers should head to the National Gallery of Canada for its contemporary exhibit Pop Life, showcasing contemporary artists Andy Warhol, Tracy Emin, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons.
Where to Eat
Chef John Taylor of Domus is a forerunner with his devotion to local and seasonal ingredients – definitely save room for the strawberry shortcake before the Ontario strawberries disappear. Murray Street aka Gastro alley has four other offerings: Spanish resto Navarro, Aboriginal bistro Sweetgrass, Canadiana comfort food at Murray Street and The French Baker for buttery croissants, bread and pastries. And the best kept secret of the city – La Terrasse at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, an outdoor dining patio with spectacular views of Parliament Hill and the Museum of Civilization.