9 GATE­WAY

Canadian Geographic - - CON­TENTS - BY FATE EM A SAY AN I those

Cel­e­brat­ing Canada in Ottawa, Get up, stand up, Hal­ibur­ton, Van­cou­ver’s Trump Ho­tel & Tower and On our radar

IF YOU HAVEN’T been to Par­lia­ment Hill since your eighth-grade civics trip, you’re in for an ad­ven­ture this year as the an­nual Canada Day party gets am­pli­fied for the coun­try’s sesqui­cen­ten­nial, which, by July 1, you should be able to say five times fast. Here’s a lo­cal’s wis­dom on nav­i­gat­ing the big bash.

To go to the Hill or not to go to

the Hill? If you’re ven­tur­ing to the heart of the party, take tran­sit and be pre­pared to wait as crammed OC Transpo ar­tic­u­lated buses pass you by. Your ride will even­tu­ally come; to pass the time you can play Six De­grees of Tony Cle­ment, which will last about 45 sec­onds be­cause if you work in cer­tain sec­tors — me­dia, arts or pol­i­tics, say — Ottawa can feel like a small town where ev­ery­one goes to the same par­ties. Ex­cept on Canada Day, that is. This time it’s a party with 500,000 of your sweaty besties — and their dogs. But if that’s not your cup of Tim­mie’s, you can al­ways at­tend the smaller com­mu­nity cel­e­bra­tions in the ’burbs (check ot­tawa2017.ca/ civic-events for more in­for­ma­tion). They have pet­ting zoos, bear­able porta-pot­ties and that dis­tinct fear-of-miss­ing-out feel­ing one gets when the big­gest party in town is so close, yet so far away.

The view from Ne­pean Point Ah, Ne­pean Point. It’s known for its panoramic view of Par­lia­ment Hill and as a cap­i­tal make-out spot. Head to the point, lo­cated be­hind the Na­tional Gallery, to get an amaz­ing view of the fire­works re­flect­ing off the Ottawa River. Or, head south of the Hill to Con­fed­er­a­tion Park to catch a few wisps and high-fly­ing sparks. If you have a friend who lives in one of the many high-rises in Cen­tre­town, you may enjoy a bal­cony or rooftop view, or you can sim­ply linger along Welling­ton or Rideau streets and crane your neck. This is the day where the side­walks don’t roll up at 5 p.m. and ev­ery­one has shed the pal­lor and malaise of long win­ters. The geeky, the tenured and the tru­ant come to­gether to beam with civic pride. In a place known as a hub of pub­lic pol­icy and the nexus of four lay­ers of gov­ern­ment ( three, plus the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Com­mis­sion), this is say­ing some­thing.

Street food for the faint of heart (and stom­ach) One Beaver­tail per life­time is plenty, in my hum­ble opinion. How­ever, I can think of about 900,000 peo­ple who might dis­agree with me. There is a rea­son that they serve th­ese on the Rideau Canal ev­ery win­ter. This flat­tened dough­nut will give you much needed blub­ber and en­ergy, and you can pick one up on Canada Day. It will hold you through hours of heart­land rock on the Hill (“Hel­l­loooooo Ot­tawaaaaaaa­aah!”) and al­low you to ex­cel at the galumph­ing splayed arms and knees move­ment that seems to dom­i­nate on this par­tic­u­lar day. Some peo­ple re­fer to this as “danc­ing.”

Be pre­pared You can whinge about the weather and feel like a true lo­cal. That’s be­cause it can go from burn­ing hot to mas­sive rain down­pours on Canada Day. Bring those touristy pocket rain­coats or a back­pack with gear — and don’t for­get to be ready for sun. Many have re­moved a tem­po­rary tat­too only to re­veal a maple-leaf out­lined sun­burn which, while pa­tri­otic, is still painful. Per­haps this is what author, colum­nist and pro­fes­sional crank An­drew Co­hen was re­fer­ring to when he called Canada Day a time of “crush­ing ba­nal­ity, a re­nun­ci­a­tion of the past ... and a mis­read­ing of his­tory, laden with po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness and his­tor­i­cal ig­no­rance.” Sheesh. I think he could use a Beaver­tail.

Go with it The tacky Cana­di­ana is out in full force on Canada Day be­cause it’s a long week­end and it’s sum­mer and ev­ery­one is feel­ing those warm vibes and for­get­ting that we’re the coun­try that pro­duced Nick­el­back. And that’s on a good year. This be­ing the big birth­day — lordy, lordy, look who’s 150 — ex­pect even more sight­ings of Maple Leaf boxer shorts worn as out­er­wear, or peo­ple busting out into group sin­ga­longs of “Bye Bye Mon Cow­boy.” I mean, it could be worse. Imag­ine a stage pro­duc­tion of The Full Moun­tie or a trib­ute piece called 50 Shades of Herb Gray. In com­par­i­son, that makes the big party seem not too shabby. So go with it: head to the Hill, rock out and get down for the Do­min­ion!

For Canada Day 2017 in Ottawa, ex­pect some 500,000 peo­ple on Par­lia­ment Hill ( above), and plenty of Cana­di­ana ( bot­tom).

Great van­tage points are at a pre­mium dur­ing Canada Day in Ottawa, such as the Rideau Canal locks ( above) and Par­lia­ment Hill for fire­works ( top).

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