September 16/18 – Part 2 – Ottawa, Ontario to Magog Quebec – Balanced Stones Art in Remic Falls Park

Remic Falls Park is located just West of downtown Ottawa and was the scene this year for a Balance Rock art installation. Eerily stunning creations on a beautiful backdrop. A lone paddle boarder enjoyed trying to best the small rapids.



September 16/18 – Part 1 – Ottawa, Ontario to Magog Quebec – along Sussex Drive

Before leaving the downtown area of Ottawa, we decided to take a spin up to Sussex Drive to see what we could see of the Prime Minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Drive and Governor General residence at Rideau Hall. The morning was warm, but we enjoyed not having the heat of the day on us as we walked along this row of stately old homes.

As to 24 Sussex, the view though the trees was mostly obscured, except for this glimpse of the residence…


…and these of the views the house must have across the Ottawa River.


Not many glimpses and Justin and Sophie were not out jogging, so after chatting with the gate keeper at Rideau Hall, we drove on………


September 15/18 – (Part 5) – in Ottawa – National Gallery of Canada

The feature view is as seen from the grounds of the Houses of Parliament. The National Gallery of Canada was established by Governor General John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll in 1880. The current building, designed by Moshe Safdie was opened in 1988 and is Canada’s premier art gallery. Construction costs amounted to $122,000,000 CA.

We enjoyed the beauty of the building……….

…as well as the many varied art pieces on display, including these exquisite Inuit carvings on bone and ivory…

…and the whimsical spider “Maman” sculpture in bronze, stainless steel and marble in the entrance forecourt. It is among the world’s largest at 30 feet high and 33 feet wide and was created by Ottawa artist Louise Bourgeois.


But, mostly, we enjoyed our iced coffees and our time spent in the air-conditioned climate inside the gallery.

The gallery is located at 380 Sussex Drive and adult admission is $15. It is open varied hours at different times of the season, so best to check the website

September 15/18 (Part 4) – Gatineau – Mosaiculture 2018

Our neighbours, Colleen and René told us about this display, after their 2017  trip across Canada. Their photos looked fabulous, but I do not think we actually grasped the scope of the display until we saw the 2018 version.

Mosaiculture was created in 2000 and is an international competition to create giant topiary displays covered with annual bedding plants. The competition first came to Canada when it appeared in Montreal in 2013. It came to Gatineau for Canada’s 150th birthday party in 2017, attracting 1,300,000 visitors and was reprised this year at the same location.

As the day promised to be hot and sticky and the Mosaiculture grounds were out under the hot sun, we opted to go before Noon. After our walk along Wellington Street and the Rideau Canal, we then sauntered across the Alexandra bridge to Hull/Gatineau. The walk was pleasant enough and not too far for us to manage from Parliament Hill. The display grounds were largely obscured from view until the $20 general entrance admission has been paid.

How do we best describe the display? Picture the Rose Bowl parade, only on static display. Large life-sized sculptures of iconic Canadian scenes were everywhere and we will let the photos speak for themselves.

3 ships representing Jacques Cartier’s 3 voyages.


Scenes from Canada’s North and its indigenous cultures were front and center…


Homage was also paid to the Chinese culture,


…a salute to agriculture…




…Anne of Green Gables train and station…



…the Paul Henderson’s Golden Goal from the 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series …


…those who opened up Canada through exploration…



We wrapped up our visit by taking in a First Nations round dance display.


All in all a very worthwhile visit, but time to head for the A/C…….

Flower Power

Who can but look at brightly coloured flowers,

without feeling there must be higher powers,

that placed them here for a week or but an hour,

to cause a smile and make our lives much less sour.

Thought they slowly fade and drop from bright green stems,

their varied hues and colours create such gems,

dour moods are swept away from our  minds to cleanse,

and help us look at life through much brighter lens.








September 15/18 (Part 3) – Rideau Canal and Locks (Rideau Waterway), Ottawa

Between the Chateau Laurier Hotel and Parliament Hill, exists a set of locks that are but a small portion of the Rideau Waterway, a 202 km long system of canals and lakes that connect Ottawa and the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River at Kingston.

The system, built in 1832, is the oldest continually operated canal system in North America  and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007. Originally opened as a precaution, in case of war with the U.S. and used commercially for many years, it mainly serves pleasure boats today. The locks are run by Parks Canada and opened in mid May and closed in mid October.

The locks in Ottawa are hand cranked, which seemed to baffle one European tourist who wondered why they were not motorized. We watched a pleasure boat make the transit of the first few locks down to the Ottawa River. Costs for using these locks are $8.80/lineal foot (50% discount for canoes and kayaks) for the season.


September 15/18 (Part 2) – in Ottawa – Canadian History Museum

While we did not visit this Museum on this trip, we have been here before, in 2005, when it was called the Museum of Civilization. It is actually in Hull, across the Ottawa River from the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

If you are near the river or the Alexandra Bridge, you can not miss this striking structure, opened in 1989 at a cost of $340,000,000 (budget was $80,000,000). The structure was designed by Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal, who uses flowing lines to turn his vision into reality.


Check the website for more details on Opening times and admissions.