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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

Ottawa 2017

Let’s Go Ottawa

Olympic Torch Relay visits Ottawa and region


On Saturday, the Olympic Torch Relay visited Ottawa, after spending Friday night in neighbouring Gatineau, Québec. The torch crossed into Ontario over the Alexandra Bridge. And who was waiting to run the torch up to the statue of Samuel de Champlain at Nepean Point? None other than Bryan Murray, general manager of the Ottawa Senators. Here he is waiting for his big moment:

As Mr. Murray scaled the hill, we circled around to the front of the National Gallery of Canada and the iconic 9m bronze spider sculpture known as Maman. There we witnessed another “passing of the torch” moment:

The torch ran off past the Royal Canadian Mint (where they’re busy making the medals for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games), 24 Sussex Drive (where the Prime Minister’s wife and children were waiting to greet it), Rideau Hall, Rockcliffe Park and Vanier neighbourhoods, then to the ByWard Market district.

We caught another glimpse just before the torch passed the original BeaverTails stand in the Market, on its way to Ottawa City Hall, through more neighbourhoods, before ending up at a huge party on Parliament Hill at 7:00pm.

We had to miss the Parliament Hill celebration, complete with fireworks and the launch of the Christmas Lights Across Canada program, as we were attending our Ottawa Tourism Christmas party that night!

DSCN4374Bryan Murray, general manager of the Ottawa Senators, waits for his chance to carry the flame!

DSCN4388Passing the torch under Maman outside the National Gallery of Canada.

DSCN4400The torch proceeds down William Street in the ByWard Market, just before passing in front of the original BeaverTails location.

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Got something to celebrate? Take a Celebration Vacation!


It could be your birthday, maybe an anniversary — heck, maybe it’s just Friday — but we’ve all got something to celebrate. And now, with Ottawa Tourism’s new Celebration Vacation package, you can celebrate it in style in Ottawa!

The package includes two nights’ accommodation for two people at a selection of hotels, a Rideau Centre Savings Directory, and dinner for two at Le Cordon Bleu Bistro @ Signatures (with a Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection Cookbook thrown in for good measure!).

You can also choose admission to one or more of these great attractions:


To book, call 1-888-OTTAWA-8 (1-888-688-2928) or visit

Let the celebrations begin!

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Top 10 lists love Ottawa restaurants


Three recent “Top 10 New Restaurants in Canada” lists have prominently featured Ottawa’s restaurant.

Perhaps the highest-profile list comes from Air Canada’s inflight magazine, enRoute. Their prestigious list, published in their November issue, is the Bible for many foodie travellers. Not one but two Ottawa restaurants were cited, in positions #4 and #5.

Atelier, known for its outrageous cooking techniques (liquid nitrogen, solar ovens, sous-vide, anti-griddles), was #4. Located just east of Preston Street in Little Italy, in an unmarked building, Atelier is part entertainment, part decadent culinary experience. The 12-course blind tasting menu presents a surprise at every turn, but is paired with knowledgeable servers, an accessible wine list and an infectious sense of fun.

Murray Street is on the list at #5. Located on a block of the eponymous ByWard Market street that’s becoming known as “Gastro Alley” because of the concentration of great chef-owned restaurants there — to wit, John Taylor at Domus Café, Navarra by René Rodriguez, Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro — Murray Street is known for its charcuterie. Chef and co-owner Steve Mitton smokes his ham in-house, and makes his own terrines, pâtés, rillettes and more! At lunch, try the pulled pork sandwich. For dinner, share a mixed charcuterie plate (meats, cheeses, chutneys, pickles and more await!) before indulging in locally sourced pork, duck, beef or even veggie options. In summer, enjoy the secluded back patio, a true delight!

Next came Michele Sponagle’s Canada’s Top 10 New Restaurants list, published by the Canadian Tourism Commission. Here, Ottawa came in #1 and #2.

Atelier once again headed the list while Play Food and Wine was #2. Play is owned by Stephen Beckta, who opened Beckta in 2003 to rave reviews. Play is the more casual, fun-loving cousin to Beckta. Set in a two-floor space across the street from the U.S. Embassy in the ByWard Market district, Play offers small plates of lovingly prepared food — the better to share with friends. The constantly changing wine list offers dozens by the glass and award-winning local brew Beau’s Lug Tread Lagered Ale is on tap. Sit at the upstairs kitchen bar to see the food as it’s prepared in a small-but-efficient open kitchen.

Finally, WHERE magazines recently announced their Best New Restaurants in Canada 2009 list. Waving the Ottawa flag was The Grand Pizzeria and Bar, which opened in a beautiful brick heritage building in the bustling ByWard Market neighbourhood in May 2009. Known for their authentic Neapolitan pizzas — and great pasta, too — The Grand is a great addition to the scene. In summer, it has the largest outdoor patio in Ottawa, overlooking a prime busking spot in the Market. In winter, its cosy atmosphere and delicious bites will keep you coming back.

Stay tuned for even more culinary achievements from the talented chefs of Ottawa!

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Christmas carolling in the ByWard Market


byward-market-snowmen-and-horse-drawn-sleigh-credit-ottawa-tourismStarting this weekend and extending until December 20, the ByWard Market BIA offers free horse-drawn carriage rides through the neighbourhood. What’s more, they provide song sheets and encourage everyone aboard to sing Christmas carols during the tour!

It’s a great way to get in the spirit of the holidays. The rides are offered between 1:00 and 4:00pm on both Saturdays and Sundays. They depart from the Moulin de Provence bakery on York Street between ByWard and William.

You can also listen to local choirs sing Christmas carols at the corner of George Street and ByWard between noon and 4:00pm on those days as well — throw a few coins in the hat!

And finally, bring the kids to see Santa on the second floor of ByWard Market Square on Fridays from 1:00 to 4:00pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Ho Ho Ho!

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Alight at Night at Upper Canada Village


Looking for a great day trip idea from Ottawa? Alight at Night began at Upper Canada Village this past weekend in Morrisburg (about a one-hour drive south of Ottawa). Except for Dec. 24-25, the event runs until January 3, 2010.

Alight at Night decorates this recreated 1830s Ontario village with a quarter-million lights, showcasing their heritage barns, schoolhouse, tavern, church, and more. Horse-drawn wagon rides are available, there’s a 30-foot decorated tree and new this year there’s a sound and light show every night.

Check it out!

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