20170703 – Day 5

We all woke up today with sore throats, probably a result of spending Canada Day in the rain. We decided to visit the Canadian Museum of History and the MosaïCanada exhibit at the Jacques Cartier park beside it.

We caught the express bus to Mackenzie King station, and then a local bus across the bridge to Gatineau.  One thing I notice here is that for most of the transit exchanges there’s only one stop and multiple buses stop there.  So everyone just kinda hangs around the bus stop waiting to see what bus shows up next.  In Vancouver that happens at local stops, but the bus loops tend to have one stop per route.

At the Canadian History Museum we went through their new History Hall exhibit, which covered history extending from tens of thousands of years up until quite recently.  It was interesting learning a lot more about how First Nations were involved in the various colonies and wars leading up to British occupation of French Canada after 1759.  I don’t remember that being covered in any depth in my social studies courses (although a lot of that section of history wasn’t covered very well).

Being from the west coast, I’ve seen Coast Salish First Nations art and I’m very loosely aware of some of their history and ongoing discussions around land title.  It was interesting to learn more about the eastern region and see examples of their art and culture.  I did notice that a lot more artifacts from coastal people in BC were represented compared to other nations, which might be related to eastern people having a longer exposure to Europeans.

We ended up spending a lot longer in the museum than planned, and then walked over to look at the MosaïCanada gardens.  These are forms or sculptures that are made of plants, representing various symbols of Canada.  It was quite impressive, and I’m very glad we were able to see it.  Unfortunately at this hour, the sun was at an awkward angle for photos.

We finished off the day by catching a water taxi across the Ottawa River to the Rideau Canal.  Some really great views of the Library of Parliament (one of my favourite buildings) from the boat.  We were all pretty tired at that point, so after stopping to pick up some cold medicine, we just headed back to the hotel.  We grabbed dinner at a restaurant beside the hotel.