My friend, former Large Firm Partner now Small Firm Partner, called today with the announcement that he would be spending some time over Christmas in Ottawa.
He appeared quite excited about the idea and asked me as a former resident of the NCR, that's National Capital Region, what I would do in Ottawa over Christmas.
After a moment's pause I replied: "Not go".
Ottawa is brutal in the winter, a bracing combination of cold and too much precipitation generally combined with high winds, plus December is often "Ice Storm Season" . The only real attraction, skating on the Rideau Canal, is not even a mortal lock because while Global warming has done little to make the overall climate in Ottawa better it has screwed up the opportunity for the canal to freeze over enough to guarantee that your pastoral evening skate doesn't end up in a freezing drowning.
The restaurants are decent I suppose, I have fond memories of the pizza at The Colonade and good Italian in any number of spots most of which are probably closed. The culture is hard to find outside of the National Gallery and the Museum of Science and Man and the only good live theatre in town is closed - that would be the House of Commons.
Sports wise I loathe the Senators, plus they don't even play their games in Ottawa their rink is in the suburbs 40k from Downtown.
So my initial advice stands, go for four days in September but Christmas in Ottawa is just a bad idea.