Ottawa

Canadian Parliament

After the War Museum, I finally got a chance to tour Parliament! While the tour is free, it can be tough to get tickets. So, I suggest arriving as soon as the ticket office opens!

As a political science student, I really enjoyed studying Parliament and the structure of Canada’s legislature. I learned a lot, and it caused a lot of critical thinking about the various systems and pros and cons of each.

Blocs of Parliament

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The Centennial Flame outside of Parliament, which commemorates Canada’s 100th anniversary as a Confederation.

 

Video of the inside of the library, which is the only standing part of the original Parliament after a 1916 fire burned the rest of the building.

At the top of the Peace Tower, which is a 306.5 foot clock tower situated in the center of the Centre Block of the Canadian Parliament buildings.

Video of the three Parliament blocks from outside of Centre Block.

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Ottawa

Supreme Court of Canada

Wednesday started with yet another attempt at a Parliament tour… I arrived at 9:10 AM, and they were booked until 5:30! I got a ticket and decided to do a few other activities on my to-do list for the day.

First, I went to the Supreme Court of Canada. They have three levels: the trial courts, the Federal Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. The SCC also offers free tours (check on the dates and times because some require a reservation) which was great. The Court was in session, so we were not able to view the chambers. The public gallery was also full, so we couldn’t watch the case directly, but we were able to watch it from the lobby. We learned a lot about the history of the SCC, its creation in 1875, and how it functions today. I will write more about social and political differences between the US and Canada later on! Stay tuned for the Parliament post, too!

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After, I decided to walk aimlessly around and explore this part of the city. I found a place to have lunch, stopped into a LASIK clinic for a consultation (whoops, impulse decision anyone?), and then found myself suddenly near the Ottawa Locks! This was beautiful, and I took a few moments to just be mindful by the water before I headed to my next stop….the Canadian War Museum, one of Ottawa’s highlights!