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OTTAWA, Ontario

What’s Happening in 2014: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Tire National Skating ChampionshipsSkate Canada will celebrate the centennial from January 9-15 with activities throughout the city. Another reason to be inOttawa this year is because of a second important, albeit sad centennial. As we discuss at No. 16 on the list (see Halifax/Pier 21 below), 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. Ottawa has always been an important place for Canadians to gather on Remembrance Day, and November 11, 2014 will be especially meaningful.
Why You Should Go: As the nation’s capital, Ottawa features no shortage of hustle and bustle. From politics to tulip and blues festivals, outstanding restaurants and the wonderful chaos of Byward Market, visitors will be spoiled for choice. But in 2014, skating is the name of the game in Ottawa. Even if you’re unable to make it to the skating championships (or an NHL Senators game, for that matter), there’s no shortage of ice that you call your own. If there’s one thing every Canadian should do at least once in his or her life, it’s head over to the Rideau Canal (across the street from Byward Market, and Parliament Hill is just a short walk north) and celebrate one of Canada’s greatest pastimes. The Rideau Canal — the largest skating rink in the world — is almost always teeming with people of all ages having a great time.
Vacay.ca Deputy Editor Rod Charles says: ”Ottawa has done an exceptional job of mixing art and good food with politics and raw carefree fun. In one day you can go for a skate on the canal, grab a nice lunch at Byward Market, and then scoot over to Parliament Hill for a visit or tour. If visiting Ottawa — especially for Remembrance Day ceremonies — make sure you visit the National War Memorial at Elgin and Wellington, where you will see an impressive tribute to our servicemen and women, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Another important stop is the Canadian War Museum.”