So you’ve seen the Peace Tower and the Sparks Street Mall. Think you know everything about the nation’s capital? Think again. Secret™ Ottawa takes you behind the scenes of the official tourist sites — Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, the National Gallery of Canada — and into the places only locals know. Any guidebook will tell you about tours of the House of Commons: Secret™ Ottawa points you to the restaurants where Cabinet ministers do lunch, and shows you the bunker where John Diefenbaker planned to hide from Cold War missiles.
Any guidebook will point you to the National War Memorial: Secret™ Ottawa takes you to Elvis Lives Lane, and the statue Mackenzie King put up to honour his dead roommate.Any guidebook will describe the city’s historic sites: Secret™ Ottawa invites you to visit Canada’s only Cordon Bleu cooking school, a bog carpeted with Arctic wildflowers, and the stables where the horses of the Musical Ride learn their trade.
Any guidebook will list the big chain bookstores: Secret™ Ottawa shows you where to buy the cast-off tomes of the Rockcliffe elite, indulge in a poetry reading, or find landmarks brought to offbeat life by local fantasy author Charles de Lint.
And any other guidebook will tell you Ottawa is a bureaucrat’s town: Secret™ Ottawa uncovers the passionate heart beneath the pencil-pushing facade. You’ll learn about outlet shops for lingerie and candles, dim wine cellars awash in live jazz, and the best park benches for moonlit romance.
Secret™ Ottawa shows you how to dig under the government-approved surface to find the city other tourists — and many residents — miss.
Laura Byrne Paquet has lived in Ottawa since 1983. Her articles have appeared in more than 40 publications, including Ottawa City Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and National Geographic Traveler.
Published: November 2000
Dimensions: 5 x 7 in.