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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

A Christmas carol for the modern age

 

As December 25 fast approaches, you may enjoy this “Christmas card to the internet” written and performed by our Director of Digital Marketing, Nick Iannitti, and a very photogenic cat.

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New Year’s Eve in Ottawa

 

National Arts CentreEnjoy dinner at Le Café within the National Arts Centre before catching the Blue Man Group this New Year's Eve!Are you spending New Year’s Eve in Ottawa this year? Check below for some options to ring in 2012 in style!

At the National Arts Centre, you can spend New Year’s Eve with the Blue Man Group, followed by a post-show party in the lobby. Tickets range from $55 to $135 before taxes and charges. To really splurge, sign up for the pre-show dinner at Le Café. It’s a 3-course meal with coffee, tea, and live music for $69.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity). NOTE: Dinner tickets are only available upon purchase of show tickets.

Across the Rideau Canal from the National Arts Centre, you can celebrate the arrival of 2012 at the sexy Ottawa Convention Centre. Called Dancing in the Stars, tickets are $159 per person and include a 4-course gourment dinner with wine, champagne toast at midnight, the soul funk disco sounds of the Hammerhead and two trips available to be won.

The brand new CE Centre near the Ottawa International Airport is marking New Year’s Eve with a gala event called Timeless 2012. $50 for the party, $125 for gourmet dinner and party.

If you really want to maximize the glitz factor, consider dinner and a show at the Casino du Lac-Leamy where you can groove to the funky beats of rhythm ‘n’ blues at the Esquire Show Bar revue. Starting at 8pm, tickets are $211.22 per person (which includes tax but not service and gratuities) .

In Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood — also known as Preston Street — the Sala San Marco is dishing up a gourmet, black-tie optional evening for its guests. Tickets are $150 for adults, $95 for children 12 and under. The event has sold out for the last two years and features a 40-foot midnight buffet table, party favours, a photo booth and a 12-piece band!

In the Kanata neighbourhood, you can welcome in 2012 at the contemporary Brookstreet, with a five-course dining experience with live music, from $99.95 per person.

If you just want to dance your way into the new year, consider Zaphod Beeblebrox in the ByWard Market neighbourhood. A $10 cover fee gets you in to hear some great music and maybe try a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster to celebrate!

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Winterlude is just around the corner!

 

Skating on the Rideau CanalThe snow has started to fall in Ottawa and thoughts are turning to Christmas, the holidays and the whole winter season!

This winter marks the 42nd season of organized ice skating on the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway. The Canal snakes 7.8 km (4.8 miles) through downtown Ottawa— kids skate to school, people skate to work! It’s the equivalent in size to 90 Olympic-sized ice rinks, giving it the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink.

It takes several consecutive days of -15° Celsius (-5° Fahrenheit) or colder temperatures to ensure that the ice is at least a foot thick. That’s when the National Capital Commission deems it safe enough to open to the public — usually in late December or early January.

Skating on the Rideau Canal is the centrepiece activity of Winterlude, the capital region’s annual celebration of all things winter. The event takes place February 3 to 20, 2012.

Most activities are held on the weekends— learn-to-skate clinics, a hockey tournament, a winter triathlon, children’s entertainment—but the ice sculptures, skating on the Rideau Canal and the Snowflake Kingdom children’s snow playground are offered during the week as well (except Tuesday and Wednesday for Snowflake Kingdom). Best of all, most activities are free!

Foodies will love Taste of Winterlude, which runs from January 26 through February 20. Some of the capital’s best local restaurants create unique culinary events—wine and food pairings, chef demonstrations, walkabout winter feasts and more.

Book your visit to Ottawa with the Winterlude Rendezvous for Two package or the Winterlude Family Getaway! And don’t forget, participating Ottawa-area hotels are offering Third Night Free for travel until March 31, 2012.

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Ottawa on video

 

We’ve come across a couple great Ottawa-themed videos in the past few days that we wanted to share. The first is an ode to Ottawa by local rapper The Joynt called Capcity:

 

And this one is great, too — featuring a couple of young Ottawa soccer players showing off their impressive skills in front of some of the region’s most popular attractions.

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Stars of the City shine at annual celebration of customer service excellence

 

Over 400 tourism industry insiders gathered last night at the Algonquin College School of Hospitality & Tourism to celebrate the achievements of front-line staff during the 16th annual Ottawa Tourism Stars of the City Recognition Evening.

A total of 1,052 nominations were received from residents and visitors to the region over the past year, nominating front-line staff from 89 businesses for their real-life examples of excellence in customer service. Everyone who is nominated as a Star of the City received a gold “star” lapel pin, a symbol of customer service excellence here in Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region.

An independent panel of judges comprised of industry leaders decided among 22 finalists to award the ultimate “Star of the City 2011” as well as winners in the following 8 categories.

OTTAWA TOURISM’S 2011 STAR OF THE CITY

Grand Prize Sponsored by the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association

Paul Norris – Lord Elgin Hotel

Paul Norris’s story: On a cold February night, a local restaurant was hosting a student group for dinner. When it came time for them to move on for skating on the Rideau Canal, the tour guide and teachers left a student behind. After spending time trying to reach the tour company, the student let the restaurant staff know that the group was staying at the Lord Elgin Hotel. When Paul was contacted at the hotel, he offered to go to the Canal and find the group. In spite of the cold weather, snowy conditions, hundreds of tourists and darkness of night, Paul found the group and called the restaurant to inform them of their location. The student was quickly reunited with his group.

WHAT’S LOST IS FOUND Sponsored by: Rideau Centre

Paul Norris – Lord Elgin Hotel

See above.

ABOVE & BEYOND Sponsored by: Algonquin College, School of Hospitality & Tourism

Christopher Ward – Lord Elgin Hotel

After a canoe trip on the Ottawa River took an unexpected turn with the guests spending 20 minutes in the water before being rescued by one of the other canoes, the guests returned to the Lord Elgin Hotel. Christopher organized to have their wet clothes washed and dried and contacted the Australian Foreign Affairs department in Australia to find out how the guest could replace their damaged passports. He arranged for the memory card from the cameras to be copied to a DVD as the camera was beyond repair. The next day, Christopher came to the Lord Elgin on his own time to take the guests on a walking tour of Ottawa to show them sights they had missed on their tour.

STARS WITH HEART Sponsored by: Carleton University Conference Services

Kristine Thomas – Minto Hospitality Group

Kristine made a guest’s family Christmas very memorable. A long-stay guest at the Minto Furnished Suites was unable to accommodate her 12 family members in her one-bedroom suite for dinner. Kristine arranged for a suite to accommodate all of them complete with a Christmas tree, garland, wreaths and decorations that she brought from home. Kristine personally bought a dog stocking and treats for the daughter’s new puppy.

GOOD CITIZEN Sponsored by: Ottawa Citizen

Anthony Vitanza – Ottawa International Airport Authority

Anthony joined the Infoguide program at the Ottawa International Airport Authority in 2003 when he was still a student. Despite the fact that he was their youngest volunteer, his gregarious nature and exuberance endeared him to the entire team. These same traits have also made him popular with passengers at the airport. Anthony has been nominated several times as a Star of the City and the airport has received numerous letters of praise. From staying late after his shift, to fixing someone’s car, to tracking down a lost item, Anthony doesn’t think twice before going the extra mile. One passenger said: “Too often we complain about service received from public institutions and organizations, and so it gives me the greatest pleasure to offer my compliments and commendations to your airport and this young man for service above and beyond the call of duty.”

GO THE EXTRA MILE Sponsored by: Ottawa International Airport Authority

Patrick Douville – The Westin Ottawa

This guest’s flight was cancelled and they were re-routed to their final destination – Ottawa. Due to the changes with their flights, their baggage containing their prescription medication and clothes didn’t make it to Ottawa with them. Patrick made countless phone calls to the airline and received different information about the whereabouts of the baggage each time. Finally the guests learned that the bags were at the airport but the airline wasn’t sure where. After Patrick’s shift he went to the airport to look for the bags. At first he was told the bags weren’t there but Patrick insisted that they check one more time. Surprisingly his persistence paid off and the bags were found. He then took the time to drive the bags back to the Westin and deliver them to the guests.

HOST(ESS) WITH THE MOST(EST) Sponsored by: Downtown Rideau BIA

Meme Guerrini – Hilton Garden Inn – Ottawa International Airport

This guest had been transferred to Ottawa for work. Meme helped the guest find local real estate websites, went to the local corner store on her break and picked up real estate magazines and bought the guest a big piece of chocolate cake to help with the stress of being far from family. This guest had spent more time at the Hilton Garden Inn – Ottawa International Airport than at home recently as she transitioned to a new job. When her family joined her for a weekend in Ottawa, Meme sent them a cheese and fruit tray and coupons for free breakfasts for the weekend.

EVENING STAR Sponsored by: Casino du Lac-Leamy

Christopher Ward – Lord Elgin Hotel

One of Christopher’s 38 nominations summed up his standard of service with the following:

“From the time we checked in to when we left four days later, he provided us with such welcoming and gracious guidance that we felt we had a personal concierge.”

STAR PROPERTY Sponsored by: Ottawa Hotels of the Westmont Hospitality Group

Casino du Lac-Leamy

Customers from Ottawa and beyond continue to rave about the professionalism, friendliness and the initiative taken by the staff to please each and every guest.

Category winners received a beautiful award along with a $250 Shop Card courtesy of Rideau Centre. The overall 2011 Star of the City receives another $250 Shop Card from Rideau Centre and an all-inclusive trip for two to the sunny south courtesy of the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association. 

 

Paul Norris of the Lord Elgin HotelPaul Norris of the Lord Elgin Hotel, Ottawa Tourism's 2011 Star of the City! CREDIT: Teckles Photography
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