Ottawa is Canada’s capital, in the east of southern Ontario, near the city of Montréal and the U.S. border. Sitting on the Ottawa River, it has at its centre Parliament Hill, with grand Victorian architecture and museums such as the National Gallery of Canada, with noted collections of indigenous and other Canadian art. The park-lined Rideau Canal is filled with boats in summer and ice-skaters in winter.
Canada's gargantuan Gothic Parliament buildings regally anchor the downtown core, an inspiring jumble of pulsing districts around the Rideau Canal. A few days' worth of world-class museums are architecturally inspiring homes to a variety of intriguing collections.
Parks, gardens and wide, open public spaces pay an accessible and year-round homage to all four seasons. Average temperatures are well below 0°C from December to March, but locals celebrate the city's longest-seeming season with a bunch of outdoor pursuits. Many skate to work or school on the frozen canal, while the Winterlude festival sees fantastical ice sculptures. As spring clicks to summer, auspicious tulips cheer the downtown, followed by vibrant fall leaves that line the streets with eye-popping reds and yellows.