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Q: What’s red and white and red and white and red and white?
A: Canada Day in Ottawa.

Another first for me, as I headed up to Ottawa for the day yesterday to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Here in Montreal, Canada Day is sort of lame, usually overshadowed by the moving day tradition, and the much more high-profile jazz fest. So, needless to say, I was not prepared at the overwhelming display of patriotism in our nation’s capital.

When I woke up in the morning, I’d briefly considered wearing a red t-shirt, but quickly dismissed the idea as cheesy. As it turns out, I would’ve been underdressed compared to the people draped in flags, wearing hats with umbrellas on them, faces painted, you name it.

Feeling very much like a tourist in my own country, I set out with some friends to celebrate in style. Drinks at the absolutely mobbed Byward Market, free concerts on the Hill, a quick stop at the Ottawa Jazz Fest, and a barbecue to cap it all off. I had to drive home before the fireworks, but it was a nice day on the whole.

Still, I think I’ve seen enough maple leaf flags to last me a good long time.


Number of people wearing those cheesy umbrella hats? Loads, though we stopped counting at 47.

Canada Day madness in the Market area

Canada Day madness in the Market area

Free concerts on the Hill

Free concerts on the Hill

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