Ottawa was just chosen by MoneySense as one of Canada’s best cities to live in, in fact we were ranked number one! MoneySense points out that “Ottawa is a safe and affordable city that hasn’t been caught up in the real estate frenzy that’s afflicted B.C. and much of the Golden Horseshoe. It offers great access to health care and boasts a thriving cultural scene.”

One of the great things about living in the capital is that there are some really wonderful cultural events going on in Ottawa and just over the bridge in Gatineau right now because of the Canada 150 celebrations.  I went to one of them today: MosaiCanada. It was held in the Jacques Cartier Park, which is just across the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, just a few minutes from downtown Ottawa.

The event was free, and we were able to find free 2 hour parking nearby. There are 150 sculptures on display, representing different aspects of Canada, and it’s one of the prettiest venues you could ever imagine, next to the Ottawa River and with spectacular views of Parliament Hill.

The special thing about the sculptures, though, is that they are made out of  plants!  Here’s a sample of these stunning creations: starting with my favourite, a musk oxen. That “fur” is all made of grasses! (There was an entire herd at the foot of the Inukshuk and they were all equally realistic and incredible.)


The bison were pretty fabulous too – there were several of them, and the ground beneath them was planted with grasses and prairie wild flowers. Behind them, a herd of galloping wild horses. Gorgeous!


What could be more Canadian than an Inukshuk and a polar bear? You can see how big the Inukshuk is by looking at the size of the tourist in the bottom left corner.


Bill Reid’s iconic Killer Whale sculpture was replicated in plants and it was incredible: we figure that someone must have to trim this sculpture every day to keep the details so crisp.



This pair of horses were made out of driftwood — aren’t they amazing?



This Chinese dragon, a gift from Beijing, was spectacular! (Jaw-dropping from the look of the woman in the photo!)


The whole thing was incredibly beautiful! Honestly, it was one of the most amazing displays I’ve ever seen, and it made me very proud to live in Ottawa and be able to see these amazing, creative works.

The display will be open daily until October: details here. Whatever you do, don’t miss this one – it’s worth a special trip to Ottawa just to see them. While we were wandering around, we overheard several people talk about how they’ve been to amazing gardens all over the world and had never seen anything as spectacular as this.




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