Ottawa: Parliament Hill

Library of Parliament

Tues­day, I got up at the crack of 8:10 to go stand in line for Par­lia­ment Hill tour tick­ets. I assumed the office would open at 8:30, but it turned out to be 9 o’clock. I was glad I got there ear­ly, though, when I saw how very long the line had got­ten behind me. Kath­leen joined me with my cam­era and watch before the office opened.

We did the 9:50 AM tour, which was short­er and less inter­est­ing than the one we took spon­ta­neous­ly in sum­mer 2012. (As my uncle Marc point­ed out lat­er, though, that was before the events of 2014 — the active shoot­er inci­dent on the Hill.) We chose to check out the Peace Tow­er too, because we missed out on it in 2012, and seri­ous­ly, who wouldn’t? We got some amaz­ing views of Ottawa from on high. (Also we stumped the page with a ques­tion about what the engraved por­tic­ullis above the door to the ele­va­tor sig­ni­fied. It wasn’t in his book, and the con­sta­ble said he’d nev­er even noticed it before.)

Back on the main lev­el, we were just in time for the dai­ly Turn­ing of the Page cer­e­mo­ny in the Memo­r­i­al Chapel. It was appar­ent­ly the first time the con­sta­ble had per­formed the cer­e­mo­ny. I thought he did very well. When the Turn­ing of the Page was com­plete, we entered the Chapel, and read some of the names in each of the memo­r­i­al books.

We were too ear­ly to join the line for Ques­tion Peri­od, so we posed at the Cana­da 150 sign on the grounds, then found a Provençal-themed restau­rant and had lunch.

Back at Par­lia­ment, we re-entered Cen­tre Block, went through secu­ri­ty again, then head­ed up to the line for the View­ing Gallery. Through anoth­er round of secu­ri­ty, where we sur­ren­dered our phones, our coats, and my cam­era (thus, no pho­tos), and then into the seats in the gallery.

Then, as Kath­leen put it, we watched the sausage being made. The oppo­si­tion pressed the gov­ern­ment for answers, and the gov­ern­ment snarked, redi­rect­ed, and hit the talk­ing points. As you do.

After that, we got the car out of the hotel’s park­ing lot, and braved the rush-hour traf­fic on the 417 to get to a restau­rant in near­by Glouces­ter. We had sup­per with a smat­ter­ing of More­aus (More­aux?): Marc and Veron­i­ca, Jor­dan and his girl­friend Tara, Stephanie and her hus­band Corey, Chad and his fiancé Kather­ine. We filled up, then did some quick Wal­mart shop­ping (yogurt, OJ, cheese — you know, break­fast neces­si­ties) and head­ed back to the hotel.

Jack­ham­mers again, but they stopped at 9:45. I checked Ottawa’s noise bylaw, and con­struc­tion noise is sup­posed to stop at 10 PM.

Step count: 7229.

Series: Ottawa Trip 2017

The entire series: Ottawa: Sun­day; Ottawa: By Water; Ottawa: Par­lia­ment Hill; Cana­di­an Avi­a­tion Muse­um / Rideau Hall; Muse­um-a-palooza; Nation­al Gallery; The Week­end.