Ottawa Invites a Nostalgic Visit to Victorian Era
"Ottawa may be the most underappreciated national capital ..., even though on most counts it's an urban standard against which many North American cities might well gauge themselves. .... The miles of tidy late-Victorian brick houses serving as shops, restaurants, and homes are real characteristics of the city. The Gothic spires and towers of Parliament Hill look like the grand estate of an overachieving Scottish laird, with the voluptuous Gatineau Hills as a backdrop. Cutting a swath through Ottawa is the Rideau Canal, a magnet for houseboats and cabin cruisers and a scene out of a Dutch painting in winter, when the citizenry takes to the ice on sleighs and skates."
Americans and Canadians Share a History
"Ottawa and Washington, as different as they may be on many levels, are similar in at least two respects. The first is that each is located on a seam in the fabric of its nation. Ottawa is directly across the river from a province (Quebec) that has threatened to secede from the country; Washington is directly across the river from a state (Virginia) that did secede. The second similarity is that both were outposts selected as the capital over more obvious sites. Washington was chosen over New York and Philadelphia; Ottawa was selected, in 1857 by Queen Victoria, over Montreal and Toronto.