February-March 1998

In February and March of 1998, I finished up my job in Ottawa, for the most part. The weather started getting warmer, and it almost seemed like a different town on those few days when it was warm enough for the restaurants to open their large windows. Click on each photo to see a larger, more detailed version.

Wei Jinsheng signs a copy of his book for me. Wei Jingsheng was imprisoned for years in a Chinese prison for his pro-democtratic political viewpoints. He was released in November of 1997, and on February 12, 1998, he spoke at Carleton University in Ottawa. He also signed a copy of his book, The Courage to Stand Alone. Winterlude dancers.
Snow falling on the Canadian Museum of Nature. Ottawa's Winterlude festival wound down in February. They had a bunch of dancers from Toronto, I believe. There was a huge crowd in front of Parliament, and the event was broadcast live. Too much MTV-ness, too many people, not very exciting.
Winter is almost over in Ottawa, but that doesn't mean we're finished with the snow. It almost seems that these are mammoths are coming alive to romp in the snow in front of the Museum of Nature.
Snowstorm in Montreal. The Royal Oak on St. Patrick's Day. Back in Ottawa, there are plenty of Irish pubs celebrating St. Patrick's Day. The Royal Oak, on Bank Street, is quite popular, regardless of the holiday.
Montreal gets snow at the same time Ottawa does, but more of it. After spending the night at Montreal's Auberge des Juenesse hostel, it was a lot of fun to look for an apartment while wading through these snow drifts.
"Save the Seals" rally. Near the Rideau Canal, a group of people gathered to protest the commercial seal hunting on the Canadian east coast. Chanting, "save the seals," they cheered on their speaker, who had actually been on the ice studying the cute little creatures. She didn't really explain the issue in depth, however, and assumed everyone was familiar with the cause. Looking around, I realized that everyone except for me probably was.
Youth hostels, dorm-like buildings for young people who are backpacking across the country, are usually good deals. Although I haven't stayed here, I glanced at Ottawa's youth hostel, which is in what was formerly a prison — the site of Canada's last execution. Ottawa's youth hostel, formerly a prison. The American Embassy under construction in Ottawa.
The United States managed to get a great location for the new American Embassy in Ottawa. In March it was still very much under construction.