Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

Ottawa is full of activities for the adventurous traveler, and this city even has a few surprises up its sleeve for newcomers.

Ontario is home to many famous landmarks that define Canadian tourism, such as the mighty Niagara Falls, CN Tower and Algonquin Provincial Park. However, the capital of Ontario in Ottawa should also be on every traveler’s forest list who dies to visit Canada.

This city was originally referred to by the Algonquin people as “Odawa”, which translates to “merchants” because of the extensive trade center in the area. Today, Ottawa is home to the Canadian Parliament along with a vibrant food culture, bright neighborhoods, fun festivals and many tourist attractions that make this city worth visiting, even if it is only a few days.

Are you going to Ottawa? Check out some of these fun and cool activities visitors can do while visiting the capital of Ontario!


8 Take a trip to Parliament Hill

Travelers who are not interested in politics can still visit Parliament Hill and enjoy the elegant architecture. Otherwise, guided tours are offered to explore the lower house of parliament, the Senate of Canada and the East Block. To see Parliament in action, visitors have a chance to take part in debates in the Senate or in the House of Commons. Just check out their annual calendar to see when they debate next!

7 Walk along the Rideau Canal

Also called the Rideau Waterway, the Rideau Canal was originally used as an integrated mode of transportation from Montreal to Kingston (the military stronghold of Upper Canada), at a time when the colonies of Canada and the United States were at war. The Rideau Canal is over 200 km long and stretches from Lake Ontario to the capital of Ottawa. Visitors can enjoy this iconic landmark all year round, whether it is ice skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway or soaking in the sights via the Rideau Canal Cruises.

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6 Learn more about Canadian history at any of Ottawa’s museums

Ottawa is home to seven national museums, which include the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, the Canadian Science & Technology Museum, the Canadian Agriculture & Food Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum and the National Gallery of Canada. Visit museums to learn more about the country’s contribution to a number of human milestones, from Canadarm to the game-changing discovery of insulin.

5 Marvel at Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica was built in 1847 and is the oldest church in Ottawa, beautifully executed by a team of sculptors and artists. The cathedral exudes a Gothic-style architecture, adorned with carefully crafted stained glass windows, a tin roof and two ornate organs. Guided tours are usually offered from mid-May to mid-October, but visitors are not allowed in the church during mass service.

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4 Hiking at The Hog’s Back Park

Hog’s Back Park was built around the 1950s and was the site of many dam projects in the city. Despite being a city park, Hog’s Back Park offers picturesque views of a 60-foot, cascading waterfall that flows along the Rideau Canal. Due to the presence of these artificially constructed waterfalls, this site is popular with experienced kayakers. Alternatively, the park also offers straight and easy trails that everyone can enjoy. Winter is also a great time to visit Hogs Back Park, just to see the waterfalls teeming with snow and small icicles.

3 Enjoy the Tulip Festival at Commissioners Park

Ottawa hardly runs out of things to do for the enthusiastic tourist, and it is partly because of the many festivals the city hosts throughout the year, especially the Tulipan Festival! Since 1953, the Canadian Tulip Festival has been a symbol of friendship between the Dutch and Canadians, specifically after World War II, when Canadian forces liberated the Netherlands. Commissioners Park is a popular place to soak in the places of Ottawa’s tulips that bloom in full bloom in the month of May and are known to grow about 250,000 bulbs! Otherwise, this park is great for a quick walk around town, peacefully overlooking Dow’s Lake.

2 Enjoy some of Ottawa’s wineries

In Ottawa, many vineyards grow and process Frontenac grapes that can survive the harsh winters of Canada. The result is a robust and delicious wine produced in several wineries in Ontario’s capital. Travelers looking for a more elegant and relaxed ride can visit a number of Ottawa wineries scattered throughout the city. For sparkling fruity wines, stop by Orchards Villeneuve, a family-owned winery that grows and harvests soft fruits such as blueberries, peaches and raspberries. Alternatively, travelers living close to downtown Ottawa can easily visit Domaine Perrault Winery and try some of their delicious arrays of white and red wines.

1 Learn to ski at Mount Pakenham

Travelers going to Canada during the cold months will definitely appreciate the beauty of the country during the winter season, especially when it comes to snow sports. Therefore, tourists visiting Ottawa should check out Mount Pakenham to enjoy a full day of skiing. Whether visitors are first-time skiers or experts in falling from rabbit slopes, Mount Pakenham offers ski slopes that are suitable for all skiers. Are you not interested in lacing ski boots? No problem, this family-favorite Ottawa destination also offers snowboarding excursions.

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