Another summer of mostly staying close to home means lots of walks around the city. Golden hour walks around downtown Ottawa are the best when the light changes, the weather cools down a bit and people are chilling in the park and on patios. My favourite places are along Wellington Street, Major’s Hill Park, around the National Gallery of Canada and the Byward Market, down along the Rideau Canal close to the NAC and of course the Ottawa Locks by the Chateau Laurier. Here are some snapshots of summer evenings in Ottawa.
The National Gallery of Canada has reopened after the most recent pandemic lockdown with a new exhibition of Rembrandt and a lofty new vision for its future that aims to connect to more diverse voices and audiences through critical conversations in art. In this vain they have taken what was slated to be a pretty standard Rembrandt exhibition and infused it with Black and Indigenous voices and artists that broaden the scope of the exhibition to reflect on the time period that Rembrandt lived in and how it connects to colonization and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The exhibition runs until September 6th so there are still a few more weeks to see it!
With most things still closed in Ottawa this spring due to the pandemic I tried to enjoy spending time outside, which for me means photographing all the flowers. So here are some shots of spring in Ottawa.
Since I’ve been unable to travel for over a year I’ve enjoyed exploring my own city. Even though I’ve lived in Ottawa my whole life there are areas of the city I’ve never explored and new things that I’ve discovered. One of the fun things I’ve been doing is seeking out public art around the city. Unity by Yasaman Mehrsa is a recent installation on the steps down to the Rideau Canal in between the National Arts Centre and the new Senate of Canada building. This beautiful artwork has a lovely message too. The houses represent humans and the pathways represent nature, but together they symbolize unity. Ottawa has so much to offer and there is so much to explore in this wonderful city, especially at times like these. Now that the weather is getting warmer I can’t wait to get back out exploring.
Now more than ever it’s important to support your local arts institutions. Covid-19 has had a major impact on the tourist industry and the arts. When the National Gallery of Canada reopened in July I visited and it was so nice to be back at one of my favourite places. With limited capacity and mandatory mask wearing I felt very safe visiting. During normal times I find it easy to visit the NGC without crowds and now it’s even less busy. If you have the chance please go out and support your local arts institutions (as long as you feel safe doing so and don’t have any symptoms of course). Also be sure to check the National Gallery of Canada’s website for up-to-date information about opening hours and regulations. Continue reading for some photos of the beautiful empty gallery spaces.
Àbadakone|Continuous Fire|Feu continuel at the National Gallery of Canada had ended after an amazing (an extended run thanks to Covid). This amazing exhibition featuring the work of more than 70 international contemporary Indigenous artists from 16 countires is one of those exhibitions that makes the National Gallery of Canada a special institution. Even though this exhibition is over I wanted to share some images of it.
** Due to the Covid-19 pandemic it is important to maintain social distancing when out in public and avoid congregating in groups. Please visit the flowers responsibly this season **
Springtime in Ottawa is one of the best seasons when all the flowers start to bloom and it finally feels like winter is over. It may take a bit of time for it to finally happen and there may be a number of rainy and cold days but when the sun comes out Ottawa shines. The annual Canadian Tulip Festival is the star of the spring season in Ottawa with thousands of tulips blooming through out the city.
Alice is a newly opened vegan restaurant in Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood. This is just one of the most recent new openings in the area that’s making Little Italy the new foodie neighbourhood of Ottawa. Alice does an eight course blind tasting menu that changes seasonally. We visited a few weeks after they opened to try the inaugural menu.
August is probably the best month in Ottawa to buy all your fruits and veg at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market. Literally everything in season and there is so much choice it can be hard to decide what to buy. Sunday mornings from 9am-3pm in Aberdeen Square at Lansdowne Park is where my favourite market in Ottawa takes place.