From Toronto, Ottawa is a 4 hour drive on the highway. In the spring, come for the tulips, and in the summer, come for the cooler sunshine. Unlike Washington DC, the atmosphere is far more relaxed, and you can't really notice a heavy security presence. You can walk into Parliament Hill without going through extensive body searches or checks. Canada's government is still very accessible to the public.
The Ottawa River flows into the St. Lawrence River after a 1270km journey along the Ontario-Quebec border.
Unlike the Americans, Canada charges hefty admission fees for its national-level museums. The War Museum has a good collection, especially the vehicles at the end of the tour.
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