Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Canadian Celebration

Today I am beginning a series from Canada Day, our national celebration on the first of July. I'm starting with a view of Parliament Hill, taken late in the afternoon a couple of days earlier. Getting onto the Hill on Canada Day requires going through security screening and is much too packed anyway, so my routine tends to involve museum visits and fireworks, but I wanted to start off with this image. The stage was set up by then.

The day itself was hot, humid, and mostly overcast. I stopped at the National War Memorial, where military sentries were on duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Canadian flags were set on the tomb in a similar fashion to how it's done with poppies on Remembrance Day. And wreaths were placed at the foot of the Memorial. This is typical on July 1st, for a good reason. On that date in 1916, soldiers of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment launched an attack at Beaumont-Hamel as part of the Battle of the Somme. In one day's fighting, the regiment suffered 90% casualties in deaths, wounded, and missing. Wreaths are placed here early in the morning of Canada Day each year, commemorating what is still a dark day for Newfoundlanders.

I carried on from here onto Wellington Street. This was as close as I got to the Hill itself.

There were buskers out and about on Canada Day in various places. I caught these two mimes about to start one performance on Wellington Street. Their clothes? Some of you might remember the equivalent to the Ugly Christmas Sweater: the Ugly Christmas Suit, which was in stock in some shops last year. I featured a couple of them in my Christmas posts last December.

I turned east to cross Plaza Bridge en route to my next destination. The Chateau Laurier and the Government Conference Centre are on opposide sides of the street, both dating to 1912- the latter was originally a train station. Coming back this way in the evening after the fireworks, the street was packed, but it was all in all fairly busy throughout the day.

Here we have a view from Plaza Bridge looking north over the Rideau Canal, the Ottawa River, and Gatineau. You can see how humid it was by the simple fact that the Gatineau Hills were nothing more than a faint outline.

This is a view from the pedestrian overpass bridge at the Rideau Centre, looking west. The work you see in the foreground is part of the LRT station work; sometime in November there'll be trains running beneath this portion of the city.

On my way to other destinations, I stopped in Major's Hill Park, which was a busy spot through the day. Two Mounties in full dress uniform were happy to pose for photographs with passersby. I took some myself before moving on.


  1. The church seems huge ! I am surprised to see such old buildings, almost like in Europe !

  2. ...William, it looks like you all had a great day!

  3. Touching photos with flags on tomb and wreaths at memorial.
    I kinda love that ugly Christmas suit :-)

  4. Thank you for the mention of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel on July 1, 1916.

  5. Hello, The Parliament Hill photo is lovely. The memorial for the unknown soldier is wonderful. Have a happy day!

  6. @Francisco: thank you!

    @Gattina: I'm assuming you're referring to the Parliament Buildings, which do have an old world feel.

    @Tom: it was a very busy day.

    @Tamago: they certainly were overdressed for a hot day!

    @Marie: without fail, that battle is always marked on Canada Day.

    @Eileen: thank you.

  7. love the suits. so fashionable. very cool. ( ;

  8. Those Mounties must have been so warm in those suits since it was a really hot day!

  9. It must have been a very exciting day with all the activities and people in the area.

  10. The the Mountie uniforms, but the ugly suits are just that!

  11. A beautiful day to celebrate the great day! So many interesting events going on!

  12. @Beth: they were certainly eye catching suits, but I wouldn't wear them!

    @RedPat: I think it was the hottest day we've had. The humidex made it feel like 47C.

    @Red: it was a lot of fun.

    @Janey: the suits must be ideal for buskers, but there's no way I'd wear them! The Mounties only bring out the red serge for days like this and other occasions. Their working uniform is more utilitarian.

    @Nancy: there was a great deal going on.

  13. Great photos! I love to see how everyone celebrated Canada day.
    Those ugly Christmas suits look like something Don Cherry might wear.

  14. Good photos. Picture posed with a Canadian Mountie on the bucket list

  15. I would imagine that the celebrations in your city are pretty grand.

  16. great photos! I haven't visited Ottawa in a long time and love seeing your photos!

  17. Looks like people enjoyed a fantastic day celebrating Canada Day. Great photos, William

  18. These uniforms are so well-known in the world.

  19. @Jenn: he would!

    @Maywyn: I think at some point or another I've posed with Mounties, but it's been years.

    @Sharon: they were quite busy this year, though the heat probably had an effect on the numbers- certainly on the Hill, where it was less people than last year.

    @Laurie: thank you!

    @Bill: it was quite a day. I took more than a thousand photos, and have been getting them set into posts. Mind you, a lot of those were doubles, and others are ones that I've just stashed away. I'm gradually getting towards the end. One more museum to go!

    @Klara: they definitely are.

  20. Awesome photos for your national holiday event ~ Wonderful tribute to the military ~

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  21. It was hot that day, I remember. I love the photo of the flags on the memorial.

  22. I can't believe that anyone bought those Christmas suits but you've provided proof here.
    You've had some hot weather lately. You're no doubt longing for the return of winter...hang in there.

  23. The National War Memorial is impressive. I always feel very moved around these sites. Enjoyed the photos as always William, and it is very nice that the Mounties willingly pose for tourists. They always look super smart in their red coated uniforms.

  24. Excellent captures for the day William. I can just imagine how much you are not appreciating that hot weather.. how many months until winter 😉

  25. I like the jaunty angle of the one dude's hat!
    My ex-late-FIL was RCMP. Had a colour guard, one was a woman. We didn't think he'd have liked that!

  26. Great photos William! Lots going on in that area.

  27. @Carol: thanks!

    @Jeanie: it was, I think, the hottest day of the summer thus far.

    @Kay: yes, I wondered when I saw them on the racks last year who on earth would buy one.

    @Denise: they must have been hot in the red serge. Usually they're in utility uniforms.

    @Grace: winter shall come, sooner or later!

    @Jennifer: they were quite game for photo ops.

    @Pat: there was a whole lot going on.