Is a festival really a festival if it doesn’t have a mascot… or family of mythical mascots? These cute, furry creatures are called Ice Hogs. They are some sort of mythical creature family that loves everything to do with the cold and winter and they hibernate in the summer months because they hate the heat. Of course, I snapped a pic of my fam with these cuddly little creatures, but here is a sneaky shot over the shoulder of tourists doing their thing.
This past weekend marked the opening of Winterlude, Ottawa’s annual winter carnival. The two week event showcases everything the city has to offer during the coldest months and how Canadian’s embrace Old Man Winter with open arms.
Here’s my new friend @littlemissottawa doing what she does best. If you want to know about anything that goes on in this town, give her a follow.
To mark the opening of the event, Ottawa Tourism hosted an Instagram meetup for local Instagrammers… of which I am one, and you’re welcome to follow me here. And since the vast majority of you reading this don’t live here, we left the Tourism office at 1pm and the temp was -31 degrees celcius. Try to tell me we’re not a dedicated group. Also joining us for the day were two HUGE Instagram superstars, Australian travel phogographer Lauren Bath; and Kael (aka @punkodelish) of Ottawa, and now Toronto. Here’s Lauren capturing Kael as she enjoys some tasty treats on the Canal skateway.
That’s right, the gloves still come off at -31 Celcius; These are some touch ladies.
We spent the afternoon walking along the Rideau Canal as thousands of people skated past, marvelled at the amazing display of ice sculptures in the Ice Crystal Garden, watched lumberjack demonstrations, drank maple tea and ate maple toffee, and listened to some fantastic live traditional Irish music.
Since I don’t get out as much as I’d like to shoot, I’m going to spread the images I captured over the next couple of weeks, but I hope to get back out with my family a couple times before it ends.
A short drive outside of Ottawa will bring you to a countryside town called Manotick. It’s a cute little riverside town that favours tourists and foodies alike with its craft shops and delicious restaurants.
A couple of weeks ago, we made the trip out on a warm and sunny Sunday to visit Watson’s Mill. It’s a gorgeous old stone building dating back to 1860 (as the sign above the entryway will tell you) that sits right on the river’s edge. It was once a thriving seed mill, but now it stands as a reminder of how the area established itself. I’m sure if I had my pick of the litter in terms of places I’d like to live in this country, Manotick would be right up near the top of my list.
Here is a short photo tour of the mill… I hope you enjoy!
As I mentioned previously, I was Ottawa Tourism’s tour guide last week as I took their Instagram followers to some of my favorite spots around the city. I can’t thank them enough for allowing me to participate in their #MyOttawa project, and I am grateful for the opportunity. There really is SO much to love about this city and I feel like I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.
The other surprise I received from this experience was learning that the image below was selected as their Instagram image of the week, garnering the highest number of likes on their account. I’m so thrilled, but more importantly, I’m so happy that people enjoyed the tour. This image was taken while on the move, as I cycled through my favorite spot along the Rideau Canal.
So, if you find yourself in the Nation’s Capital sometime, I encourage you to visity Ottawa Tourism’s micro site myottawa.ottawatourism.ca, to help you plan your stay. Of course, you can always ask to meet up with me and let me show you around, but I think my new friends at Ottawa Tourism may be the experts.
And, if you’re interested, here’s a recap of the other images I posted on their Instagram feed for the week…