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No trip to Ottawa is complete without a visit to the National Gallery Of Canada, with its roll call of great paintings by the likes of Matisse, Van Gogh, Mondrian and Klimt. Don’t miss ornate Rideau Street Chapel: originally part of the Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, it was painstakingly relocated, piece by piece to the National Gallery, where it can be explored to the accompaniment of haunting music. Also worth checking out is the nearby Ottawa Art Gallery — free to enter, it’s chock-full of contemporary Canadian art.

ByWard Market, the historic area east of the Parliament Buildings, is packed with bars and restaurants, including the legendary BeaverTails kiosk (the ‘beaver tails’ in question aren’t the real thing, thankfully, but fried pastries dusted in sugar). For real local flavour, however, you need to strike out to Ottawa’s neighbourhoods. Start south, in upmarket The Glebe, where Victorian-era townhouses meet the sports fields of Lansdowne Park and the curve of the Rideau Canal. Dive into a maple and bacon oatmeal bowl at Oat Couture Oatmeal Cafe, then thumb through old tomes over a coffee at Black Squirrel Books & Espresso Bar. Alternatively, join the queue at Kettlemans Bagel, which has been keeping the locals well-fed with freshly baked bagels for nearly three decades. »