Ottawa day 1

2011/09/16

Short drive from Montreal this morning, got a room, then spent the day being a tourist.

First stop: the Canadian War Museum.  It was pretty interesting and I could easily have spent a whole afternoon there.  They have a good collection of tanks and some rather odd vehicles for various countries.  A few pictures:

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Next I went to the Currency Museum, which is free.  It was pretty fascinating, actually – I took my time in this one.  They have a great collection and it renewed my interest in coin and banknote collecting.

Here’s a couple of historic units of trade I had always wondered about, mostly thanks to reading the Asterix books.  The first is a Talent, and the round ones are Sestertii.

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Early Canada had a lot of competing currency issuers.  Many of them had to perpetrate some hacks or do outright illegal things in the interest of practicality or to get around overbearing regulations imposed from overseas.  Witness the $4, $6 and $7 bills: (click for full size to read the legend)

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And here’s the largest legal banknote ever issued in Canada: $50,000, legal only for exchange between banks (ie not publically available).

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I then went and walked around the Parliament buildings a bit:

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It’s a very, very nice building.  I really like it – fantastic stone work.  There are several other very nice, large stone buildings in the area too.

And here’s the Rideau Canal:

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By this time all the tourist attractions were closed and I was hungry, so on the recommendation of a co-worker I ate at Chez Lucien, which is just around the corner from where he used to live in Bytown.  It’s a small place but popular, and was super crowded.  I had the Lucien Burger, which has bacon and cream cheese on it.  It was pretty tasty – that’s actually a good combination.

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