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2014-2015Ottawa Visitor Guide

View our Ottawa Visitor Guide online to plan your stay in Canada’s Capital region.

2014-2015 Ottawa Visitor Guide
 

Let’s Go Ottawa

Fall colours on display, Hallowe’en around the corner!

 

Glebe-street-autumn-credit-Ottawa-ToursimFall colours in Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood. I love the autumn! Crisp clear days, great produce at local farmers’ markets and beautiful fall colours!

I happened to be walking in the Glebe neighbourhood this morning on my way to a meeting. I was amazed at the orange, red and yellow colours shown in a group of three trees hanging over a residential street — gorgeous! The photo from my BlackBerry really doesn’t do it justice.

Of course, October also means Hallowe’en and nobody does Hallowe’en better than Saunders Farm. This family-friendly farm is located southwest of Ottawa in the small town of… (wait for it!)… Munster!

Barn-of-Terror-at-Saunders-Farm-credit-Ottawa-TourismThere's still lots to see at Saunders Farm if the Barn of Terror is too scary for you! The farm offers a variety of experiences, from daytime fun that includes hedge mazes, wagon rides through the pumpkin patch, farm animals, a playful pirate ship and a delicious bakery.

At night, though, Saunders really comes to life (or is it life after death???). Not recommended for kids under 10 (or those with a weak constitution!), you can explore the Barn of Terror, take a Haunted Hayride or cheer on the Gathering of the Ghouls!

It’s easy to spend a few hours strolling the grounds. You never know what you might encounter.

And check out Thursday Fright Nights at the Canadian Museum of Nature throughout October! Take a Haunted Tour of the 100-year-old museum building with Haunted Walk of Ottawa (which have a whole series of creepy tours planned throughout the year — with a special focus on October!), and catch a screening of The Shining in the museum’s high-definition theatre! There’s even live music at the on-site Nature Café!

Happy hauntings!

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Win a 3-night getaway to Ottawa!

 

scotiabank-place-credit-ottawa-senators-hockey-clubScotiabank Place, home of the Ottawa Senators. The winner will receive two tickets to attend a game! (Credit: Ottawa Senators Hockey Club)Feelin’ lucky? Test your skill with the fun new online matching game on Ottawa Tourism’s website.

Find the 10 sets of matching Ottawa photos before the time runs out and then submit your name and contact info to be eligible to win a three-night getaway for two to Ottawa.

And what a getaway!

The trip includes 3 nights at the Novotel Ottawa Hotel (including breakfast), two $100 gift cards courtesy of Rideau Centre, an Ottawa Shopping Magazine, a Rideau Centre Savings Directory, couples Flaming Hot Oil Massage courtesy of Holtz Spa, 2 tickets to an Ottawa Senators hockey game, dinner for 2 (exclusive of alcohol / taxes / gratuities) courtesy of Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa, $50 in slot machines promotional credits, courtesy of Casino du Lac-Leamy, and complimentary admission for two to the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian War Museum. The approximate retail value of the package is $1,500.

Contest closes November 15 — good luck!

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Ottawa Gets its Festivals Badge

 

festeventcity2010

In Ottawa, we love our Festivals. Whatever the season, Ottawans are always willing to break the routine and head out to celebrate — and that won’t ever change.

But it’s always nice to get noticed.

So you can imagine how tickled we were when The International Festivals and Event Association (IFEA) decided to pin a very nice badge to our lapel: recognition as a 2010 IFEA World Festival and Event City.

Specifically, the award honours Ottawa’s continued commitment to fostering an extremely positive environment in which unique and creative events can blossom. IFEA president Steven Wood Schmader explains it best, in the following quote, courtesy of the IFEA official site:

“The IFEA is pleased to recognize and fly the flag of those cities and markets who have worked, through concerted efforts, to provide an environment conducive to successful festivals and events,” said IFEA president Steven Wood Schmader during the presentations. “Through this award, the IFEA hopes to create a dialogue between events and cities around the world, at a time when each needs to be supporting the other more than ever. The quality of all the entries paints a bright picture for our industry and those cities recognized with this award are helping to build a strong foundation and example that we hope all cities, globally, will work to emulate.”

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When do the leaves turn colour in Ottawa?

 

Our Visitor Services people at Ottawa Tourism often get asked this question.

Arboretum at the Central Experimental FarmThe Arboretum at the Central Experimental Farm (located near the Canada Agriculture Museum and Dows Lake) is a riot of colour each fall in Ottawa.It’s fair to say that usually the peak of fall colours in our area usually comes around Thanskgiving weekend — that’s CANADIAN Thanksgiving (for our American readers!), which is the second Monday of October — however, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate!

So here are a few tools you can use to keep up-to-date on the progress of the fabulous fall colours:

Ontario Parks maintains a website that shows how the leaves are doing in the various provincial parks throughout Ontario. Click on the Ottawa area on the map in the upper left of the page and you’ll get a listing of various parks in eastern Ontario with an estimate of the percentage of leaves that have already changed.

For Gatineau Park (just 15 minutes north of downtown Ottawa, in the province of Québec), there’s great information on the National Capital Commission’s website.

There are activities planned over the first three October weekends in Gatineau Park as part of the Fall Rhapsody program, that are certain to please.

Now get out there and enjoy the leaves!

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Flashmobs – An Ottawa Tradition?

 

This past Saturday afternoon, folks out for a stroll or sipping an afternoon beer on the ByWard Market’s picturesque William St. were treated to the following impromptu performance of the pivotal final dance number from Napoleon Dynamite, set to Jamiroquai’s Canned Heat:

The flashmob, organized by a collection of both trained and novice dancers, took place outside the market’s popular Sugar Mountain candy store, and as you can see in the video below, drew a sizable crowd of spectators. But if you think this kind of thing is new in Ottawa, you may be surprised to know that after a bit of searching on Youtube, I discovered that the Capital is developing quite a burgeoning pedigree when it comes to spur-of-the-moment public group numbers. For history’s sake, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a few of the YouTube examples I found kicking around.

This one left more than a few bypassers tightening up their coat collars for warmth. Jump to around 1:16 to get a bit of a laugh from a young witness:

And our popular Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest was home to a impromptu staff-organized performance to AC/DC:

Sure, we may just be getting our feet wet when compared to until we’re quite ready to compete with video below, but I know that the good people of Ottawa are up for a challenge. Keep ‘em coming!

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