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Ottawa - Canada's Capital and Exciting Travel Destination

In preparation for my trip to Ottawa next weekend, I researched and reached out to Ottawa Tourism. Ottawa, Canada's capital, is a popular destination and has many activities, destinations, and events.

Get a general overview of all the things I could see and do in Ottawa. Nighttime panorama of Ottawa, with the Canadian Museum of Civilization at the front


In this article:

Some basic information about Ottawa. What is the size of the city?

What is the best way to get around Ottawa?

Ottawa, Canada's capital, has been a key player in Canada's history.

Most important attractions, museums, and galleries in Ottawa.

Ottawa's festivals and other special events.

How about restaurants and entertainment/nightlife areas in Ottawa?

We would love to give you an overview of all the performing arts available in Ottawa.

What are some shopping options in Ottawa?

What are the outdoor, recreation, and sports opportunities around Ottawa?

What are the options for accommodations in Ottawa?

What are the most important events and news stories in Ottawa in 2021?

  • Music and Beyond

  • 613flea

  • Capital Ukrainian Festival

  • Canadian Stone Carving Festival

  • Caribe Ottawa Caribbean Carnival

  • Capital Ribfest Ottawa

  • Ottawa Chamberfest

  • Gatineau Beerfest

  • Sheltered in Place

  • Twist Fibre Festival

  • Casino Lac Leamy Sound of Light

  • Russell Agricultural Fair

  • Queens in Egypt

  • TD Ottawa Jazz Festival

  • Curd Festival

  • Ottawa RedBLACKS

  • 2021 CKC Sprint National Championships

  • Capital Pride

  • Ottawa Kosher BBQ Festival

  • Rideau Lakes 50 and 50

  • Heating up the Capital: Ottawa Hot Sauce Expo

  • Trillium Championships Show

  • Escapade Music Festival

  • Rembrandt at Amsterdam: Creativity, Competition

  • Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival

  • Ottawa ComicCon

  • Fibrefest

  • Canada Army Run

  • Asinabka Film and Media Arts Festival

  • Festival Franco-Ontarien

  • Carp Fair

  • Harvest



some basic information about Ottawa. What is the size of the city?

Ottawa is Canada's capital and fourth-largest city. The region is home to approximately 1.2 million people, with Gatineau, a neighboring town in Quebec. Ottawa is in eastern Ontario. It's about four hours drive northeast of Toronto, two hours west of Montreal, and one hour north of New York State.

Ottawa has four seasons. There are the warmest temperatures and often high humidity in July and August. Then there is temperate autumn with beautiful fall colors—a cold and snowy winter, And finally, there's a wet season.




What is the best way to get around Ottawa?

Direct flights to Ottawa are available from many major Canadian cities and several U.S. cities, including New York, Washington, and Chicago. Ottawa is a significant stop on the VIA Rail Windsor-Quebec City Corridor. The city is also connected by bus service to other Canadian cities.

Highway 416 is a major highway that links Ottawa to Highway 401. The city is connected by Highway 417, and Autoroutes 5, 50, and 148 runs along the Quebec side.


Ottawa, Canada's capital, has been a key player in Canada's history.

The Canadian Heritage, and the experiences offered in Ottawa.

The Rideau Canal was built between 1826-1832 by Lt. Colonel John By of Royal Engineers, and thousands, mainly Irish laborers, are the beginning of Ottawa's story. The Canal runs 202km (126 miles) from eastern Ontario to the St. Lawrence River. It was constructed to provide a supply line for Americans in case of attack but never used for military purposes. The 49 locks still function in the same manner as when they were initially constructed. The Rideau Canal, Canada's nominee for UNESCO World Heritage Site status, 2007 marks the 175th Anniversary of its construction.

In 1857, Queen Victoria declared that Ottawa would become the capital of Canada. The magnificent Parliament Buildings were built shortly after and are a must-see attraction in Ottawa. Ottawa, as the capital, is home to 24 Sussex Drive, the residence of the prime minister and not open to the public. Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor-General with guided tours of the home and gardens, and many high commissions and embassies of governments around the globe.

Laurier House is home to Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William Lyn Mackenzie King. Also, don't miss the Mackenzie King Estate, which is King's summer home at Gatineau Park, Mackenzie King Estate.




most important attractions, museums, and galleries in Ottawa.

The impressive Canadian War Museum was the latest addition to Canada's museum scene. It opened in May 2005 at a beautiful location near the Ottawa River. Gatineau's Canadian Museum of Civilization is Canada's most visited museum. The National Gallery of Canada has the most extensive Canadian art collection and includes American and European masters. The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Canada Aviation Museum, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canada Agriculture Museum, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada, and the Canadian Museum of Nature - are other cultural facilities. These institutions took benefits of a massive renovation completed in 2009.

The Bytown Museum - tells the story of Ottawa's early days and includes the construction of the Rideau Canal. Billings Estate Museum traces the history and life of a prominent family. And the Diefenbunker is Canada's Cold War Museum. This underground bunker, four stories high, was built between 1959 and 1961 to provide refuge for the Canadian military and political elite.

2006 marks the 150th Anniversary of The Canadian Museum of Civilization. At the beginning, established as part of Canada's Geological Survey in May 1856, a young museum grew to become the National Museum of Canada and later the National Museum of Man. in 1986 renamed the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Three years later, it moved into the magnificent Gatineau buildings and continuing to offer informative and entertaining exhibits for a broad range of interests.



We would love to hear from you about Ottawa's festivals and other special events.

Ottawa's festival scene is vibrant all year. Winterlude is the year's first festival taking place over three weekends in February. The Irish community celebrates Irish Week in March. In March and April, the maple syrup season is celebrated with a variety of festivals and events.

The Canadian Tulip Festival celebrates May with three weeks of celebrations of Ottawa's favorite flower. Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa in a room designated Dutch soil. The Dutch royal family fled to Ottawa during World War II. Canadians played an important role in liberating the Netherlands. After the war, the royal family returned to Canada and sent thousands of tulip bulbs as a gesture of friendship, respect, and appreciation. The bulbs have been following suit every year, and 3,000,000 tulips now bloom in Canada's Capital Region.

The Ottawa Race Weekend in May will feature Canada's largest marathon. Festivals abound in the summer months: Doors Open Ottawa showcases heritage buildings; the Nortel Ottawa Dragon Boat Race Festival Festival; Cisco Systems Ottawa Bluesfest Festival (Canada's biggest); the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival(the world's greatest); the Sound of Light fireworks Festival; Ottawa Busker Festival, Ottawa GreekFest; CKCU Ottawa Folk Festival and the Central Canada Exhibition.

Two free summer activities are offered on Parliament Hill: the 10:00 a.m Changing of the Guard ceremony and the evening Sound and Light Show.

The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival colors the sky in the fall, and the La Vendemmia Harvest Festival delights visitors' palates. The Ottawa International Animation Festival features artists from all over the globe, while the Ottawa International Writers Festival hosts lively discussions. Fall Rhapsody celebrates autumn's beautiful colors.

Christmas Lights Across Canada is a program that lights up the capital for the holidays.



How about restaurants and entertainment/nightlife areas in Ottawa?

There are many entertainment options available in Ottawa. One of Ottawa's oldest neighborhoods, the ByWard Market also serves as an entertainment district. It offers over 100 food- and drink choices in a mere four-block area. You can find fine dining, casual dining, a cozy bistro, or a romantic cafe in "the Market".