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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

Join the Party on Parliament Hill


57753 sm© Ontario Tourism

Come celebrate Canada’s 144 birthday in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who will be visiting Ottawa on the first stop of their Royal Tour of Canada. In a previous article we highlighted some suggested activities for the royal couple to experience on their Ottawa visit. While their official itinerary is a closely guarded secret, we can update you on confirmed activities that hundreds of thousands of people will partake in this Canada Day. The stages on Parliament Hill are already being set up for this spectacular July 1st celebration.

9:00am – 11:00am

In the morning, at 9:00am, take in a truly unique musical experience; hear the 53-bell Peace Tower carillon concert. At 9:30am, witness the traditional flag-raising ceremony, and Changing the Guard, a stirring military drill, follows at 10:00am.

Noon Show
12:00pm – 1:30pm

The Noon Show will include the traditional and exciting fly-past of CF-18 fighter jets and the Snowbirds Demonstration Team. Come join in the fun with a host of great Canadian talent:

Afternoon Pipes and Drums on the Lawns

2:30pm and 3:30pm, Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa
3:00pm and 4:00pm, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada

Evening Show
7:00pm – 10:00pm

Rebecca Makonnen and Jian Ghomeshi will be the MCs of this big evening show, with performances by Canadian artists:

10:00pm (approx.) at Jacques-Cartier Park (Gatineau)

The best views of this thunderous pyrotechnics show are from Jacques-Cartier Park and the Canadian Museum of Civilization (both in Gatineau), as well as Major’s Hill Park (in Ottawa) and along the Ottawa River.

What Else Is Happening On Canada Day?

Check out the full line up of Canada Day events at venues across the region.

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Summer Exhibitions


Check out what’s happening at our national museums and galleries this summer.

National Gallery of CanadaNational Gallery of Canada

June 17 September 11, Ottawa’s National Gallery of Canada presents Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome, an ambitious exhibition on the genius of the great Caravaggio and the impact he had on his contemporaries. The exhibition brings 60 works of this genius to Canada for the first time, and marks the 400th anniversary of his death.

June 23 October 2. See Hidden Treasures at Bytown Museum. This exhibition presents 41 exceptional artifacts from the Bytown Museum’s significant historic collection, and showcases the quality of its permanent holdings.

May 20 – October 10. Japan: Tradition. Innovation at the Canadian Museum of Civilization is an exploration of the astonishing ways in which Japan’s cutting-edge technology and design are rooted in the traditions of the past. In the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, we see once again the resilient, enterprising spirit that has moved Japan beyond darkness before.

June 3 – November 6, the Canadian Museum of Nature showcases Extreme Mammals. This exhibit explores the surprising and often extraordinary world of extinct and living mammals. Find out what makes a mammal “extreme”. Learn why some species died out while others thrived. And discover what you have in common with all other mammals.

May 26 – November 13 at the Canadian War Museum. From the battlefield to rehabilitation, War and Medicine explores the uneasy and evolving relationship between warfare and the medical profession.

From May 12. Be part of the Living in Space adventure, a new permanent exhibition at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. Learn how to adapt to the rigours of daily life in space for months at a time on board the International Space Station (ISS). Discover how astronauts in the weightless environment work, entertain themselves and tackle such basics as personal hygiene, eating and sleeping among the stars.

Let’s Talk Energy: Engaging Ideas for Canada’s Future is a national multi-year program (June 2011 – June 2017) exploring Canada’s energy production and consumption and the implications of greening the country’s energy network. Visit the energy exhibitions at the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation’s three national museums to learn more:

June 9, 2011 – June 2017
Energy: Power to Choose
Canada Science and Technology Museum
Produce your own electricity with the Museum’s human hamster wheel. Interact with a map of Canada that identifies locations where energy is produced and where distribution of major sources of energy takes place. You’ll be shocked to discover that one producer of energy is the Museum’s electric eel.

June 16, 2011 – June 2017
Green Skies Ahead

Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Take a tour of the innovative carbon-friendly technology that will shape commercial aviation over the next 50 years. See some of the futuristic energy-efficient aircraft designs on the drawing table today and decide if they are science or science-fiction.

July 1, 2011 – June 2017
Energy Park: Nature at Work
Canada Agriculture Museum
See renewable energy in action. Take a stroll through this outdoor park and try your hand at “harvesting” energy. See if you can beat the wind and pump water faster than a windmill!

Book your stay in Ottawa through Ottawa Tourism’s website – check out the Third Night Half Price option for even better value!

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Living in Space


Ever wonder how astronauts live on the International Space Station?

A must see this summer and a great new addition to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum is Living in Space, created by the Canadian Space Agency and on display as a new permanent exhibition.

Canada Aviation and Space MuseumLiving in Space exhibitionThe exhibit features great hands-on interactive activities for the kids including a computerized game that lets you assemble a space meal. Place your hand on an astronaut’s hand print surrounding a giant rotating globe to learn more about them and other fun facts from space. Find out how able you would be at working in a weightless environment. Check out the various objects, replicas and components used daily by astronauts during a mission.

Fun for the family and kids of all ages.

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Ottawa Race Weekend and Great Glebe Garage Sale


Two great options for visitors this weekend.

On Saturday, May 28, the famous Great Glebe Garage Sale takes place. An entire neighbourhood, known as the Glebe, holds a garage sale at the same time. The area stretches roughly south of Highway 417 (known as the Queensway — check out an earlier post on “Do you Speak Ottawan?“), west and north of the Rideau Canal and east of Bronson Avenue.

If you’re a true bargain hunter, you’ll arrive early — it’s not unusual to see people roaming at 6am! — but there are bargains to be had throughout the day. Your best bet is to take public transit as the streets get very congested with cars looking for parking spots. Remember, too, that Bank Street — the main thoroughfare — is under construction but that the businesses along it are open and some are offering special deals. Happy bargain hunting!

Ottawa Race WeekendIt's a fun, festival atmosphere at the Ottawa Race Weekend. Photo credit: Victah Sailo

Later that day and on Sunday, May 29, you’ll want to check out Ottawa Race Weekend. It’s Canada’s largest running event, attracting about 40,000 people in its various events. On Saturday afternoon at 4:00, there’s the family-friendly 2K race, leaving from Elgin Street and Laurier Avenue West. At 5:00pm, it’s the 5K and at 6:30pm, it’s the 10K, leaving from roughly the same location. Check out the course maps for details for all races.

On Sunday, it’s the wheelchair marathon at 6:55am, the marathon at 7:00am, and the half-marathon at 9:00am. At 8:00am, children will run the last segment of the “Y Ottawa Kids Marathon” — where they ran one-kilometre distances in the preceding weeks to eventually run a total of 42.2km.

If you’ve never heard the sound of thousands of shoes slappin’ the pavement, it’s quite something. Go on out and cheer on the runners — they certainly appreciate it!

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Savour Ottawa Field House adds pizzazz to Parkdale Market


The Savour Ottawa Field House is an innovative new offering at the Parkdale Market, the “other” public market administered by the City of Ottawa (which is also responsible for the larger ByWard Market downtown).

Ten area farmers, all of whom are verified members of the Savour Ottawa initiative to promote local foods, have banded together to cooperatively sell their products four days a week from a small “store” at the Parkdale Market in the Wellington West neighbourhood just west of downtown.

From Thursday to Sunday, 8am to 5pm, the farmers will take turns staffing the 300-square-foot location (with additional outdoor space). The rest of the Parkdale Market operates 7 days a week, from dawn till dusk.

Products on offer so far include eggs, honey, maple products, apples, cheese, vegetables, beef, lamb, red deer and wild boar!

This is an exciting new initiative, and one that Savour Ottawa and the City of Ottawa are hoping could be a model for future developments both in Ottawa and potentially throughout the country.

The Field House was officially launched on Friday, May 13, when this video was created. Enjoy!


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