Parliament Hill, Ottawa
There has been a webcam aimed at Parliament Hill since 1995 (Find out more in this article from the CBC)! This webcam, mounted on the Birks Building on Sparks Street in Ottawa, shows views of Centre Block, the impressive Peace Tower, and the Centennial Flame (at the centre bottom of the screen) in the grounds of the Parliament Buildings. The flame has been burning since Centennial Year (1967).
The webcam requires refreshing of the page, but it’s a great view of the beautiful building that was rebuilt in 1917 following a massive fire. The original buildings were opened in 1866, a year before confederation, but the only original building to be saved from fire was the spectacular, round Parliamentary Library.
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
The Royal Ontario Museum (or ROM) was created by an act of provincial legislature in 1912 and opened in 1914. The province’s premier museum came to encompass five separate Royal Ontario museums (focussed on archaeology, palaeontology, mineralogy, zoology, and geology). The museum has expanded several times, most recently with the eye-catching Micheal Lee-Chin Crystal in 2007, the metal and glass glacier-like extension clearly seen in the webcam view above. The museum seeks to be a centre for social as well as cultural activities — it’s Friday Night Live events are a great example of the museum working to become a centre for Toronto nightlife!
With it’s distinctive horseshoe shape and sheer volume of tumbling white water, it’s hard to top the Canadian side of Niagara Falls when it comes to finding a scene of natural beauty that clearly says “Canada”. It’s a top tourist destination with hotels, casinos, restaurants and attractions that brings in a great deal of money to the region, but the falls are also vitally important to Ontario’s energy production. Power plants on the Canadian side have been generating hydroelectricity since 1893 and now generate almost 2 million kilowatts of electricity across a series of plants! It might just be one of the reasons we Canadians tend to refer to electricity as “hydro” e.g. “The hydro bill was pretty high this month,” “The hydro is out,” etc.
Much of military activity during the War 1812 took place in the Niagara region. Queenston Heights, the first major battle of the war between the British (and Canadian) forces and the American forces, took place on October 13, 1812. American forces crossed the Niagara River but were fought back by British and Canadian forces, although they suffered the loss of one of their leaders, Isaac Brock. Brock has been memorialised by the Brock Monument, a tall tower that looks out over the large public park at Queenston Heights. (This was a replacement tower after the original was seriously damaged by an explosion in 1840.)
The crucial involvement of First Nations Grand River warriors in recapturing Queenston Heights has also been commemorated with a Heritage Minute.
Of course, as the webcam view of the Niagara River demonstrates, it’s a very peaceful scene today. Queenston Heights is now a beautiful place to spend a summer day and the tower offers great views of the dramatic landscape, including the Niagara River and the escarpment. The whole region is a beautiful area for a summer’s drive past wineries, orchards, and, of course, the falls.
Algonquin Park is the oldest provincial park in Canada. It it over 7600 kilometres squared in size and is home to over 2000 lakes! It’s a favourite destination for hiking, canoeing, and camping. I’ve gone swimming in just one of those lakes with family and it was lovely (and cold!). Algonquin Park is certainly representative of some of the major ideas about Canada — forests, lakes, outdoor activities, and being close to nature. The webcam, situated by the Visitor’s Centre, gives a beautiful quality image and shows of the beauty of the park across the four seasons.