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Is this doable during a short visit?

Toronto
Level Contributor
21 posts
3 reviews
Is this doable during a short visit?

We will be in Ottawa on a Monday in August. We can stay until late at night, but won't be able to arrive until at least 10am.

We are interested in visiting the following:

Parliament Building(s)

Peace Tower

National War Memorial

Diefenbunker

From the GC Parliament website, I see that tickets are first come, first serve. Generally speaking, would any tickets be left available by 11am?

On the Diefenbunker website, it says to reserve tickets in advance. Can this generally be done the same day? Because if we ended up with Parliament tickets, we'd need to plan around it.

Is this too much to try to do in one day? I don't think any of these are really time intensive, but it is hard to plan.

Any advise would be appreciated.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
15,284 posts
842 reviews
1. Re: Is this doable during a short visit?

Do you have a car?

Toronto
Level Contributor
21 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Is this doable during a short visit?

Yes, we will be driving.

SE Ontario
Level Contributor
26,556 posts
15 reviews
3. Re: Is this doable during a short visit?

The Diefenbunker is not in downtown Ottawa but in the nearby suburb of Carp on the west side of Ottawa. If you're coming from Toronto or from the, you might be best to go there first (or last - depending on your timing). Everything else is in walking distance from each other in the core of the city.

https://goo.gl/maps/I5aPB

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
15,284 posts
842 reviews
4. Re: Is this doable during a short visit?

It will make for a long day, but doable as long as the lines do not get out of hand...

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
10,431 posts
140 reviews
5. Re: Is this doable during a short visit?

I would suggest you skip the Defenbunker site as it's at least 30 minutes out of town in Carp which would mean taking at least 3 hours if not 4 out of your limited time available.

Toronto
Level Contributor
21 posts
3 reviews
6. Re: Is this doable during a short visit?

Hmm. We will be heading west from Brossard, QC.

My map program says it is 2 - 2.5 hrs from Brossard to Parliment Hill. Then 30 mins from Parliment Hill to the Diefenbunker.

My little spy really wants to see the diefenbunker, so I want to try to fit it in.

I can only imagine what traffic will be like from Brossard.... Even if we leave at 7am I figure we will hit traffic.

Do you think any tickets would be left for the Parliment bldgs? Do they give a choice of what is available, or do you get what you get?

it really sucks that you can't reserve tickets ahead of time.... You would think it would make it more efficient and better for security.

I'm going to see if there is a way we can get to Ottawa the night before, but in the meantime, I appreciate the advise.

Edited: 30 July 2015, 20:44
SE Ontario
Level Contributor
26,556 posts
15 reviews
7. Re: Is this doable during a short visit?

Can't help on the tours. My advice would be to go directly to the ticket area and get your tickets for whatever time is available. While waiting, you can head over to the war memorial, which is just around the cornr on Elgin St. - a 5 - 10 minute walk. It won't take long to look at that. Consider walking over to the Canal and then along Sussex to see some other memorials along there. You can also do your own self-guided tours of the Parliament Hill area. And the Peace Tower is right there.

After you've done that, head out to the Diefenbunker. Tickets close at 3:30.

You'll have to decide, based on the tour ticket hour, whether to forgo the Diefenbunker or to just do your own self-guided tour of Parliament Hill without going in to the buildings. Which has priority in your mind?

remember - Ottawa isn't that far from Toronto - no reason you couldn't go back another time.

Edited: 30 July 2015, 21:02
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3,833 posts
151 reviews
8. Re: Is this doable during a short visit?

It could be worse!

I wanted to visit the Bundestag in Berlin - you have to make a request months in advance for a tour, and you get a time to be there. We went to the rooftop cafe for lunch before our tour and missed the timing by 1 (one!) minute, and were refused entry to see the rest of the building!

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
1,292 posts
27 reviews
9. Re: Is this doable during a short visit?

When you are calculating the time required to get to the Diefenbunker from Parliament Hill, don't forget to factor in at least 15-20 minutes to return to the parking lot or garage, as there is no public parking directly adjacent to the Hill.

Toronto
Level Contributor
21 posts
3 reviews
10. Re: Is this doable during a short visit?

Thanks -- I tried to post a reply the other day, but hit the wrong button somewhere and deleted what I wrote.

Yes, Nick, your situation was terrible! I don't even know how I'd react if that happened to me!

And agreed, Ottawa is not that far from Toronto, just realistically, we don't get a chance to head east that often. If we do it is to see family in Montreal, and they suck up the whole trip. I am still trying to get DH to leave Montreal early and spend a night in Ottawa.

One big reason I'd like to spend a little time in our Nations Capital is that DS is fascinated by anything spy related and most of the kids entertainment is based on what he sees about American culture -- the White House, CIA, FBI -- so I'd like him to see some Canadian Landmarks of importance. Also, we are hoping to fit a stop in at DC when we drive to Florida later this year, so I'd like him to see the Canadian stuff first, and this will probably be our only chance this year.

So, based on his age and interest level, I'd rather do a self guided Parliament tour if needed and hopefully get up the Peace Tower (I am having trouble understanding if this is a different ticket than the Parliament Tour -- does anybody know?) and then head to the Diefenbunker.

Is 2 hours enough to tour the Diefenbunker? The website says 1 hour, but we tend to enjoy things like that slowly.