Friday, September 04, 2009

Ottawa and kitties...

I live about an hour east of Ottawa, and like to go "into town" a few times a month. This week I took my camera, and the weather was spectacular. Growing up in Toronto (where I lived half my life and which I would happily never visit again were it not for friends and family), I was indoctrinated with anti-Ottawa propaganda: "it's boring, it's frigid, it's full of overpaid civil servants, blah blah blah!" While it's true it can be frigid, it's not that bad compared to the rest of Canada, and the spring, summer and fall are generally lovely (this summer being a huge exception! Rain, rain and more rain. My 40+ tomato plants have all succumbed to late blight.) Snow and cold don't bother me much, because I like to snowshoe and cross-country ski and get outside all year long.

And yes, there are lots of "shrivelled serpents" (and a lot of hot air blowing from politicians), but some of them actually do good work and heck, I'm married to one of them! As for boring, I've yet to see it. I'm extraordinarily fond of Ottawa and I adore the museums, the architecture, the National Gallery, the Ottawa River, the Rideau Canal (where you can skate in winter!) the Mexican food at Ahora restaurant, the sushi at Genji, the Byward Market... the list goes on and on. And unlike in Toronto, I don't feel like I'm putting my life in the hands of hordes maniacal drivers every time I get behind the wheel. People are still reasonably polite to one another here.

Here are our Parliament buildings, with the usual throng of tourists out front. The Peace Tower has a carillon and I enjoy listening to Dr. Andrea McCrady (an American import!) play. The bells were cast and tuned where my mother was born: Croydon, England (well, technically she was born at home in Purley, but her birth certificate states "Croydon.")

Parliament buidlings, Ottawa.

The Rideau Canal, with Parliament in the background.

A view of the Ottawa River. That's the Supreme Court of Canada on the left. Hubby actually appeared there as a lawyer back when he worked for the Department of Justice.

That's Quebec on the right, Ontario on the left. Gordon works in a building just behind the tall ones on the right.

Back on Parliament Hill, a Mountie from the RCMP Musical Ride is doing tourist duty!

And one of my very favourite buildings...

The Library of Parliament. It's exquisite.

Meanwhile, stop by for lunchtime yoga on the Hill! I would be willing to bet all I own that Prime Minister Harper has never joined in. And please don't make me imagine him in Spandex. My retinas would implode.

The Quebec side of the river. The cool building is the Museum of Civilization.

And here is my VERY FAVOURITE thing in Ottawa: the feral Cat Sanctuary on Parliament Hill.

I think this one is Brownie. Evidently he is the big kahuna of the colony and likes to steal food from the other kitties. He's clearly not suffering from malnourishment! :)

This is Ti-gris, a lovely, affectionate feline.

Ti-gris hangs out with Brunette, who has a benign cyst on her face. Don't worry, she gets excellent veterinary care, as do the rest of the cats (who are all spayed or neutered.) The volunteer feeding the cats told me Brunette is about 18 years old.

Before the volunteer arrived, some squirrels were helping themselves to cat kibble. Raccoons and groundhogs also visit to help themselves, but apparently there is relative harmony amongst them all.

The volunteer, one of several who care for the cats, feeds the felines some deliciously stinky canned food. They also got fresh water and had their bowls cleaned. In winter, the kitties get warm water and more frequent visits. Their buildings are well-insulated with straw bedding. Kudos to the people who love and care for these cats! The creatures are obviously healthy and adored.

The kitties get busy enjoying their lunch. Visit their blog for more great pictures and stories.

Thus concludes your free tour of Ottawa, and remember, you get what you pay for!


  1. I love that feral cat colony. I took an American friend there a few years back. Just amazing. They are taken such good care of!! Love it.

  2. Anonymous11:06 pm

    Is this the time to tell you that my single tomato plant yielded 34 tomatoes this year? Unbelievable! Apparently it liked the heat!

  3. Oooooh love the kitties...

  4. Anonymous1:53 pm

    yes, love the kitties!! so nice that they have a warm bed and fresh food and water!! kuddos to the volunteers!!I think I need to volunteer at our local animal shelter in the cat room. I never get sick of playing with cats or petting them.

    Oh and Ottawa is a beautiful city.

    Jill from NY

  5. I've been thinking of Ottawa a lot lately, and as always, when something is on your mind, it pops up all around. Thanks for the tour! It was free and I still liked it! :o)

  6. Beautiful pics of Ottawa under cloudless skies. I agree, the library is a work of art as is so much of that old architecture. And so close to home.

    Also loved the kitties, natch. We used to have a Ti-gris as well. Her son was named Tsi-tsi which confounded the vets.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!