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Old 05-13-2013, 07:19 PM   #1
Sagginit
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budget help needed for Ottawa

hi Canadian Dissers

i'm going to Ottawa in 3 weeks for 5 days. it is a bit last minute but something came up for my boyfriend and since he has to go for 3 days we are making a vacation out of it. i am driving in from the states but will park the car at the hotel. i would appreciate any budget advice you can give or general advice on where to start. we found a good hotel with kitchenette, so can anyone recommend good foodstores? we will be downtown the entire time.

also are there any discounts for museums? i saw one we want to go to is advertised as $25 a person! i am a fanatical vacation planner (thus disboards as a hangout) and am a bit freaked out i have so little time to plan it out.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:57 PM   #2
ellen82
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Hi,

Not sure what you are looking for in terms of budgeting...

But here are some tips. You can get a museum pass that will save you some money but its 8 museums at 45 each...you could be cheaper on just going to individual museums depending on how MANY you want to see. Here is the pass http://www.museumspassport.ca/

However, the Museum of Civ & the War Museum is $20 for the two. The Museum of Civ is the most popular museum in the city, followed by the art gallery http://www.civilization.ca/plan-your...admission-fees . Here is the art gallery: www.gallery.ca

Our Parliament buildings are stunning and a visit is free and a must. A walk around the grounds is also really beautiful: http://www.parl.gc.ca/visitors/planning-e.asp

Another interesting thing to do is the Haunted Walks: http://www.hauntedwalk.com/ottawatours.php as we have a lot of interesting history!

In terms of food...since you are American, you will find our prices WAY more expensive. I would say you want to save money then you could pack a cooler as many Canadians do cross the border to grocery shop. Here is a link of food that you could bring in: http://www.beaware.gc.ca/english/brirape.shtml#a1

Otherwise...there are no "cheap" grocery stores downtown. There is a Metro across from the LCBO (Liquor store). BTW you can only buy liquor in the LCBO in Ontario.

If you want cheap beer or wine, I would suggest that you cross into Quebec (just across the river from Ottawa-not far ) your hotel would give you directions to the nearest SAQ. Actually the SAQ depot which is right by the Museum of Civ is dirt cheap (for Canadian prices) http://www.saq.com/webapp/wcs/stores...002&regionId=7 Do not worry, they speak english.

You could also hit up the Byward market for fresh produce that would also save you some money and its a great place to walk around. Be sure to get a beavertail! http://www.byward-market.com/

For restaurants-good food-Elgin and the Byward market is where you will find many.

Another fun thing to do is to go on a river cruise. There is either the canal version or the river. You can walk up the canal so I would recommend taking the river cruise-much more to see http://www.paulsboatcruises.com/ottawa_riv.htm

Some good walks:
Around the Byward Market and up Sussex
Around the Parliament Buildings, past Chateau Laurier and through Major Hills Park
By the canal
Down Elgin St
Walk up sparks street to the end, through the garden of provinces, down the paths to Mill Street brew pub (ask your hotel for directions) that is also a very lovely walk
Walking around the river path behind the Parliament Buildings and up past the canal locks.

If you want any further suggestions, feel free to ask
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellen82 View Post
Hi,



In terms of food...since you are American, you will find our prices WAY more expensive. I would say you want to save money then you could pack a cooler as many Canadians do cross the border to grocery shop. Here is a link of food that you could bring in: http://www.beaware.gc.ca/english/brirape.shtml#a1

Otherwise...there are no "cheap" grocery stores downtown. There is a Metro across from the LCBO (Liquor store). BTW you can only buy liquor in the LCBO in Ontario.

If you want cheap beer or wine, I would suggest that you cross into Quebec (just across the river from Ottawa-not far ) your hotel would give you directions to the nearest SAQ. Actually the SAQ depot which is right by the Museum of Civ is dirt cheap (for Canadian prices) http://www.saq.com/webapp/wcs/stores...002&regionId=7 Do not worry, they speak english.
thank you for all the fantastic tips! we are from NYC (im right outside it and boyfriend lives in it) so in terms of food prices we pay much higher prices than average america on a regular basis. ill check out that list of what i can bring in. normally i hit trader joes before a road trip but im concerned about what i can bring in with me.

i do speak french so i will definitely be ok in quebec, thanks for the tip. depending on when we get there i may take a trip over there for a few bottles of wine for the week.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:08 PM   #4
ellen82
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Ahh OK Then yes, the downtown grocery stores would not be so bad for you. The Metro next to the LCBO is OK. There is a loblaws up the street that has great variety. It depends how much you love wine...the wine is cheaper at the SAQ but the variety, ratings, assistance, displays etc are better at the LCBO.

Byward market would be fun to shop in as they have some great cheese shops. You can never go wrong with wine and cheese

No worries about french in Hull. You can say a few words but they usually can tell if you are anglophone and will switch back to english most of the time

Check out the link for things you are bringing from traders joe. The rule is essentially if its packaged, is native to north america or not too exotic..they usually dont care. Many Canadians go grocery shopping in the US. Again, the link will outline what you can bring in.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:46 PM   #5
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I'll add a few ideas...
-the Aviation museum has the Star Wars special event going on right now. It opened May 10, the event has been touring North America to great reviews. Tickets can be reserved online, here's the link: http://www.aviation.technomuses.ca/visit_us/. They have an active airport and you can see vintage planes being flown if you're lucky.
-the Rideau canal opens next weekend and is a UN heritage site. There are many cruises available, check out the kiosks at Wellington and Sussex, or walk along the paths (free!) and enjoy the water! The Ottawa locks are absolutely amazing when you considered they were built almost 200 years ago...they are behind/beside the Chateau Laurier.
-if the Sens are still in the playoffs, Elgin Street becomes Sens Mile. Grab a seat in a pub and enjoy the atmosphere of a hockey crazy city!
-the byward market is a great place to wander through and I love their restaurants...yet to find one I don't like lol!
-if you want to try going off the beaten track and into the country, check out the town of Merrickville. It is about 45 mins from downtown Ottawa but you'll feel like you're in a different city all together! I'm biased...I live near here, but it is a very popular tourist attraction in the summer. There are unique and quaint little shops, great spots to eat (my favourite is the Yellow Canoe) and you could even make it part of your trip home, as it is not far off hwy 416.
Enjoy your trip! We head to NYC in March and I'm a bit overwhelmed by the options . Much too much to see and do in a couple of days!
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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Ohhhh, now I read the thread and understand.

Based on the title, I thought you meant Stephen Harper needed our help with the country's budget!
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:04 AM   #7
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Two restaurants that I find that a rip in the Byward market is Hard Rock cafe and Tuckers Marketplace.

There are plenty of good smaller ones but those two and also kinda the keg are the ones for "tourists" and I find them a bit of a rip IMO.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower View Post
Ohhhh, now I read the thread and understand.

Based on the title, I thought you meant Stephen Harper needed our help with the country's budget!
LOL! i totally missed that when i picked the title, but i have faith in the DIS board budgeters that if they were running the governments they would be able to pick a tight budget..... and disney trips would be a right to all

so far i have a few things on the list as must dos:

-rideau canal, most likely renting bikes for a ride
-parliament buildings, maybe just looking at from outside depending on time
-aviation museum for star wars, you have convinced me its worth the price
-another museum, most likely art one for me
-byward market

my boyfriend is also has this romantic idea of a picnic as he says there are massive lawns near the canal and parliament area.

i will definitely bring in some packaged food groceries based off of what i read on the grocery thread.

thanks everyone!
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagginit View Post
LOL! i totally missed that when i picked the title, but i have faith in the DIS board budgeters that if they were running the governments they would be able to pick a tight budget..... and disney trips would be a right to all

so far i have a few things on the list as must dos:

-rideau canal, most likely renting bikes for a ride
-parliament buildings, maybe just looking at from outside depending on time
-aviation museum for star wars, you have convinced me its worth the price
-another museum, most likely art one for me
-byward market

my boyfriend is also has this romantic idea of a picnic as he says there are massive lawns near the canal and parliament area.

i will definitely bring in some packaged food groceries based off of what i read on the grocery thread.

thanks everyone!
Glad I convinced you about the Star Wars exhibit, we may be going when you're here
I'm not sure if they'll let you picnic on Parliament, security has been a lot tighter since 9/11, but there are lovely grounds along the canal. You can try the area near the University of Ottawa campus which would be accessed by Colonel By Drive, or Patterson Creak which you would access from Queen Qlizabeth Drive. Both have bike paths along the canal which you can use, just know that people run and walk on these paths too
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NCL Sun, New Year's, 2011
Land trips to all Canadian provinces, most of the eastern US, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Egypt, Columbia, Puerto Rico and a few others I can't remember as a child!
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
ellen82
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You could picnic on Parliament Hill if you wanted to since the front lawn is open to many things. Trust me-they even do yoga every wednesday for a massive crowd.

HOWEVER, its uber crowded so I would suggest the BEST place to picnic is Major Hills park. You will get a view of the art gallery and Parliament Hill.

Parliament Hill is gorgeous on the inside. I would recommend a tour. It only takes an hour and across the street you can book tickets for free
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