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Ottawa is the exciting capital of Canada famous for its intriguing cultural roots and beautiful waterways. The dramatic seasons and urban-rural landscape here coincide to provide compelling reasons for people to visit each year.
Located in Ontario, not far from Montréal and the US border, Ottawa is built around the rivers and canals that form an important part of its infrastructure. Omnipresent throughout the region is an enticing mix of cultures that have shaped its landmarks and customs. Influences from the indigenous Anishinàbeg Algonquin people and the French, English, Scottish, and Irish settlers can all be found in Ottawas art, food, language, and architecture. The metropolis sits across the Ottawa River from Gatineau, a city situated in Québec. Why not explore the various ways you can reach the province over the water? The shores of Québec are now accessible by bridge, boat, or cable! Yes, Ottawa boasts the first interprovincial zipline! This highly recommended attraction departs from Chaudière Island and offers every brave flyer a dramatic view of Ottawa’s Parliament Hill. The Rideau Canal is another scenic Ottawan waterway that provides an unexpected and fun surprise. In Spring and Summer, you can cruise or paddle up this UNESCO World Heritage Site and enjoy the sights of the city. In Winter the canal turns into the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink, and it’s best appreciated with your skates on. This amazing canal, also known as the Rideau Waterway, divides the central part of the city. To the north is a district called Lower Town, home to the National Gallery of Canada, Notre Dame Basilica, and Byward Market. All three are popular venues with tourists and the latter offers great options for dining and nightlife. Head south to discover the more stylish neighbourhood of Upper Town to see the iconic Bank of Canada building and to undertake some great shopping. Finally, if you choose your date to visit Ottawa wisely, you will be able to experience one of the citys’ brilliant festivals. From Winter’s Winterlude to the Canadian Tulip Festival in May - check out Ottawa’s annual event calendar for an array of fantastic events held in the city each year.
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