Home Destination Focus Ottawa


45.42178°N, -75.69119°E

Rideau Canal Skateway
Rideau Canal Skateway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. © Ottawa Tourism

Ottawa, Canada’s Capital, is a city like no other. Situated along the Ottawa River on the border between Ontario and Québec, Ottawa has big-city amenities within its walkable downtown core and yet offers easy access to nature. Ottawa is home to Parliament Hill, national museums, impressive hotels, inventive restaurants, and exciting attractions.

Ottawa is the place where you can connect with Canada’s soul and learn about the country as a whole – it truly is Canada in one city. Learn about Indigenous culture in Canada at the largest indoor collection of totem poles in the world at the Canadian Museum of History; discover the country’s diverse ecology at the Canadian Museum of Nature and in the Canada Goose Arctic Gallery; investigate Canada’s contributions in the fields of science and technology, aviation and space, and agriculture and food at the family of Ingenium museums; or dive deep into Canada’s rich art history at the National Gallery of Canada.

Ottawa is a four-season destination that wows throughout the year. Celebrate winter in Ottawa as the Rideau Canal Skateway, the largest outdoor skating rink in the world, marks its 50th skating season in 2019-2020. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a sight to see in the winter months as visitors glide by with a Beavertail in hand and residents skate to work and school. Winter fun continues with Winterlude, a true sign that Ottawans do not hibernate. Between January 31 and February 17, 2020, find ice carving competitions, snow slides, special promotions at local businesses, concerts, and much more. Looking forward to the spring, Ottawa is in bloom as a million tulips grow in Canada’s Capital Region during the Canadian Tulip Festival. In May, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII and the first gift of tulips from the Dutch Royal Family.

At any time of year, visit the bustling ByWard Market neighbourhood for local produce, independently owned shops, and delicious restaurants. Walk or bike along the Rideau Canal or Ottawa River on over 800 kilometres of multi-use pathways or explore vibrant neighbourhoods like the Glebe, Wellington West, Centretown, or others. City meets nature as Gatineau Park is found just a 15-minute drive from downtown Ottawa, and the Greenbelt hugs the downtown core, host to 1,100 farms within the Ottawa city limits. With a mix of attractions, there’s something for any kind of traveller in Ottawa!

Places and events to visit:

  • The Canada Goose Arctic Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature
  • The family of Ingenium museums
  • The largest outdoor skating rink in the world
  • Winterlude: January 31-February 17, 2020
  • Canadian Tulip Festival
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