When most people hear “Ottawa,” they think of the Parliament buildings and the Rideau Canal, maybe the prestigious University of Ottawa or Carleton University. While yes, our city is the capital of the country and our biggest tourist attraction is the famous Parliament buildings; but there is far more than meets the eye.
Tourists, politicians and even residents who’ve spent their entire lives in the suburbs of Ottawa will most likely never know everything there is to know about the city. I was born and raised there and was constantly on the move from one part of the city to another. Spending a few years even, in the outskirts of the city living in the small surrounding towns; I have seen almost all there is to see about the beauty and the filth of our nation’s capital.
I will not say that the city is a terrible place to live but I will not by far say that it is the best place in Canada to grow up. Like any other city or country, Ottawa has its pros and its cons. Positive aspects, negative aspects, beautiful natural attractions and horrific, violent sights.
Photo by Lucy Sky
View of the Ottawa river from the waterside in Old Ottawa South
The city has many outdoor attractions all around. In the downtown core, there’s Majors Hill, the Parliament Buildings, Nepean’s Point – a lookout on the city scape topped with a statue dedicated to Samuel de Champlain, – the famous Rideau Canal, the ByWard Market and Sparks street – home of the buskers festival.- Throughout the other ends of the city, there are places such as the Arboretum, the Ottawa River, which has a bike path alongside, Dows Lake, various beaches and the bird sanctuary.
The people in the city are generally very kind hearted and friendly. Despite the fact that it is a urban city, the people who populate it mostly share a very small town mentality. I would particularly associate that with the fact that it is a valley. Unlike busy urban cities such as Toronto, Ottawa keeps to its roots.
While it is a beautiful city and if you choose the right area, it is a wonderful place to raise a family, like any other city, it has a grim underside to it.
Some of the loveliest places in the city have the most criminal activities occurring beyond the eye of a passerby. These are however quite apparent to an individual who spends the majority of their time in these areas. The downtown core for example, which also extends into Vanier, can be very dangerous places for someone in the wrong place at the wrong time. Chinatown has an obvious, large amount of prostitutes walking around on most nights and so do both of the aforementioned areas. There are a lot of violent and drug related crimes that happen in areas such as these and a few others scattered around the city, with a higher crime rate.