Are you moving to Ottawa or visiting for the first time? The Capital of Canada has plenty to offer those looking for cultural sites, fantastic dining, and evening entertainment. The city is a fantastic place for families, young professionals, and students alike. Dive in to our list of things to do in this southern Ontario city.
1. Visit Parliament Hill. The home of Canada’s government, the neo-gothic structure is a stunning sight.
2. Skate along the Rideau Canal. You’ll have to visit during winter for this one, but it’s a long-standing tradition that’s not to be missed.
3. Take a stroll through the National Gallery of Canada to see some incredible pieces by Canadian and international artists.
4. For those seeking a spooky experience, visit the supposedly haunted Bytown Museum.
5. If politics is your game, check out Rideau Hall — historic residence of the Governor General.
6. Keeping in the historic vein, plan a trip to the 19th century Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica.
7. Take in the natural beauty of Rideau Falls.
8. All the world’s a stage? See the latest play at the National Art Centre.
9. Pay your respects at the National War Memorial.
10. Tour the oldest wood-framed house in Ottawa at the Billings Estate Museum.
11. Experience delectable French cuisine at the Black Cat Bistro.
12. Learn more about Canada’s military efforts at the Canadian War Museum.
13. Pick up some fresh produce and treats at the ByWard Market.
14. Treat your ears to the Ottawa Jazz Festival in the summer.
15. Spend a day on the beach at Gatineau Park.
16. Go for a bike ride along 31 km pathway that runs beside the historic Ottawa River.
17. Stop by the Old Ottawa Jail — a former jail turned present-day hostel, the Old Ottawa Jail is said to be haunted with the spirits of its earliest “guests”.
18. Head out for a night of tacos and tequila at El Camino.
19. Don’t miss the Winterlude festival in February and make this most of the season.
20. Gather a group of friends — if you dare — and try to make it out of one of Jigsaw’s locked rooms.
Ottawa is a vibrant city with activities for every interest. Explore the historic communities and take in the incredible cultural life our capital city has to offer. Its setting in southern Ontario means that it is a beautiful place in every season and has exciting things to do no matter the time of the year.