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Canada Day in Ottawa Demonstrates Bad Planning – Bad for Tourists and Locals Alike

Now tell me this. Does it make sense to spend millions of dollars trying to attract tourists to visit Ottawa to help celebrate Canada 150 during Canada Day, and then after their long trip you ask then to wait 5 hours in line for entertainment on the Hill? If you’re a local, does 5 hours sound like a great sell to you?

In my view, compared to other Canada Days, this one was overly centralized on entertainment on the Hill, For me, the best Canada Day since I have been in Ottawa from the 1980’s was when the Queen visited Ottawa a few years ago. There was lots of security for the Queen, but lots of organized activities outside of the Hill.

I always avoid the Hill during Canada Day. I like watching the many diverse street musicians, buskers, and other artists who represent our cultural vitality as Canadians, and some artists who make a trip here to perform.

When the Queen had visited Ottawa, other activities included skatboarders foing amazing stunts near Rideau Centre and Loblaws was barbequing some great hamburgers near the old train station.

This Canada Day in Ottawa was way bigger crowds with little more going on ouside the Hill but more crowds, mostly crappy Chip Wagons and a small Hare Krisha group performing in the ByWard Market.

That’s why in my view, and especially after the hoopla, his Canada Day in Ottawa really sucked.

Canada Day should have been sufficiently decentralized like a large downtown street festival planned with the City of Ottawa, and the City of Gatineau, with local artists and other creatively planned events including inviting food vendors stationed throughout downtown that reflect Canada’s cultural diversity – and not line-ups of casually planned chip wagons alongside bars simply trying to reap commercial benefits of huge crowds.

In my view, this Canada Day fell far short of its potential in the celebration of our nationhood and national identity, and felt moreso like propaganda stunt.

My main feeling of being in huge frustrated crowds with almost no entertainment in sight (except for one busker I saw on Sparks Street MALL) and the typical offerings of bad food along Sparks Sttreet alongside greasy Chip Wagons and terrible management of buses by OC Transpo is why didn’t I stay home this Canada Day?

Canada Day this year was arguably little more than a big selfie for the new Trudeau government on CBC TV and failed otherwise for tourists and locals alike.

Canada Day this year gets a failing grade of F – from me compared to all other years that I have loved Canada Day in the city.

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