There will be a plethora of Instagram-worthy options in Ottawa over the Canada Day long weekend as Canada’s Capital celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation! We’ve gathered a handy list of some of the best Canada Day-themed events, places and things you’ll want to capture. Best of all, most are within Ottawa’s downtown core, where much of the free official festivities take place. And make sure to tag your photos and videos with #MyOttawa and #CanadaDay150 to participate in our Canada 150 contest to win an epic trip to Ottawa!
Cute Canada Cookies
Ottawa bakery Moulin de Provence’s Canada Cookie is a photogenic and popular treat with deep roots. U.S. President Barack Obama purchased two Canada Cookies during his visit to Ottawa in February 2009. Since then, people from around the world flock to the original bakery location in the ByWard Market building, or to the second location on Metcalfe street near Parliament Hill, to purchase what they call an Obama Cookie. Snap one and then eat it on the go, or bring one home in its pretty tin box! Tip: If the Canada Cookie is sold out, consider the Trudeau Cookie which is the same, but has an edible image of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s photo in the middle!
Patriotic Pics at Parliament Hill
Majestic and historic buildings. The Centennial Flame. Dignitaries, royals and famous artists from Canada and around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people in various red and white garb enjoying live entertainment. The photo opportunities are endless at this iconic location – the most popular of the three official Canada Day sites! Tip: If Parliament Hill is too crowded, don’t fret! Revelers will be all over the closed streets of downtown Ottawa and at the other official Canada Day sites: Major’s Hill Park and the Canadian Museum of History.
All Hail Beavertails!
The people who created the delicious beaver tail-shaped pastries called BeaverTails opened their first permanent kiosk in the ByWard Market neighbourhood in 1980, and the Canadian treats have been served there ever since! Try one of the regular flavours such as Cinnamon and Sugar or Maple, or the special Canada 150 flavour: Nanaimo Bar! Tip: Even the napkins are branded for photo perfection!
Don’t miss capturing the largest Canada Day pyrotechnic show ever! This year, the Canada Day pyromusical fireworks show will start around 11:00 p.m. on July 1 and last 20 minutes and 17 seconds (a nod to 2017). Tip: This year’s fireworks are being launched from five different locations and some of the best views will be from the streets and parks that line the Ottawa River, as well as the lawn of the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec.
Marvelous MosaïCanada 150
Stroll along a one-kilometre path and immerse yourself into the magical world of MosaïCanada 150, with over one hundred Canadian-themed sculptures made of living plants! This photogenic and free event is taking place in Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau, Quebec, near the Canadian Museum of History. Tip: Visit while you can because this living exhibit is temporary (June 30-October 15, 2017).
Giant Signs Look Great Online
Giant 3D letter signs make popular photo posts and Ottawa has two this year! Check out the giant OTTAWA sign at Inspiration Village in the ByWard Market neighbourhood as well as the CANADA 150 sign in nearby Majors Hill Park. Tip: Play with the angles and try to get Parliament’s Peace Tower in your photos.
Maple Leaf Motif
After taking your selfie at the OTTAWA sign, don’t miss the gorgeous multi-coloured maple leaf art that adorns the York Street Steps leading up towards Major’s Hill Park. The creation, called Rich Like a Harmony of Colour by Canadian artist Clara Micheau, will be displayed until spring 2018. Tip: Go early! As crowds thicken, the image may get hidden as people walk up the steps.
This year, as on each Canada Day, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds will perform thrilling aerobatic shows and breathtaking fly pasts over Ottawa. The sound reverberates throughout the city as the powerful jets trail red and white smoke. The Snowbirds usually fly over Parliament Hill multiple times in various formations. Tip: Be patient and make sure to snap the ultimate pic as they fly over Centre Block in a beautiful fan-like formation.
Boats Corral on the Rideau Canal
Watch as boaters float up from the Ottawa River through the eight historic and manually-operated Ottawa Locks of the Rideau Canal – a UNESCO World Heritage Site! On Canada Day, you’ll often see Canadian flags decorating the boats or flapping on their masts. Many boats are usually moored along the Canal from Wellington Street almost all the way down to Somerset Street. Tip: Two of the best viewpoints are from the Plaza Bridge and the Mackenzie King Bridge.
We look forward to seeing your favourite Canada Day weekend photos and videos! Don’t forget to tag them with #MyOttawa and #CanadaDay150.
MORE ABOUT CANADA DAY WEEKEND
For full official Canada Day programming details and updates, visit the Canada Day website.
For more on what’s happening in Ottawa over Canada Day weekend, check out our article Extend Your Stay: What To Do Around Canada Day Weekend 2017.
And to know more on what to expect, how to get around the city and how to prepare for your Canada Day visit to Ottawa, consult our Canada Day Packing Guide.
Happy exploring and enjoy your Canada Day 150 in Ottawa!