Ottawa Tourism

tour times

December 2017

Tour Times is the official newsletter of Ottawa Tourism’s Travel Trade department, providing Travel Trade professionals with important industry information and Ottawa Tourism member updates. 

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What's new?

What's new?

The Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport is doing their part to save the Bees! Last summer, the hotel was compelled to help save our struggling and endangered bee population. They contacted a local beekeeper and got it all started. A tremendous amount of work has gone into this project including planting bee friendly flowers and wildflower cultivation around the property for the bees to pollinate. The Hilton also relocated their property’s herb garden. Now there are many flowering plants right outside the bees front door to pollinate The Hilton Garden Inn currently has 50,000 bees as permanent hotel guests and are now producing honey from the hives.

The Canadian Odyssey

The Canadian Odyssey For 2018, the Canadian Museum of History will offer a new program called The Canadian Odyssey in conjunction with Rabaska Canada – it’s a new package for groups, combining a canoe experience with a visit of the museum. Discover 15,000 of years of stories and explore Canada’s history through the diverse experiences and perspectives of the real people who lived it at the Canadian Museum of History. Then, trace the voyageurs of the late 1700s aboard a traditional Montréal canoe and explore the Ottawa River and its rich historical surroundings. Details:

  • Guided tour of 60 minutes of the Canadian Museum of History, including the Canadian History Hall.
  • Expedition of 90 minutes aboard a Montréal canoe on the Ottawa River, with a costumed interpreter, relating the life of the 18th-century explorers.

Rates for groups of 15 visitors and more. Adults: $39.50 plus tax Children/students (aged 3 to 17): $34.50 plus tax

Parliament Hill Renovations

Parliament Hill Renovations

Renovations will take place from 2018–2030 and the visitor experience will be changed during this period. Tours of The House of Commons will take place in the West Block and tours of the Senate will take place in the Government Conference Centre across from the Château Laurier. These two unique venues have been retrofitted to accommodate the visitor experiences and will be available for the public to view only during the renovations as not traditionally open to the public.

The Sound and Light Show and Changing the Guard will continue to take place in front of Parliament for 2018 but alternate arrangements may take place in following years to accommodate this historical renovation project.

A $130 million-dollar four story underground Parliament Hill Visitor Centre is being built at Ottawa’s most iconic building, in time for the opening of Parliament in the fall of 2018.

Our New Legacy Itinerary

Our New Legacy Itinerary

Day 1

9:00 AM
Start the day with a visit to the National Gallery of Canada where you will be able to explore the new Canadian and Indigenous Galleries! Don’t forget to also stop by the new Global Centre for Pluralism, which is also located on Sussex Drive.

11:00 AM
Enjoy some shopping at the Cadillac Fairview Rideau Centre, located in the heart of downtown Ottawa. After some shopping, you can enjoy lunch in the ByWard Market which offers great food and shopping . We can also encourage you to spend some time exploring Ottawa’s Sparks Street Mall which provides blocks of shopping, souvenirs, jewelers and book stores. Stop by the Métropolitain Brasserie, the Fish Market Restaurant or Lowertown Brewery for lunch!

Tip: You will be able to see and walk around the ‘Stanley Cup Monument’ at the intersection of Sparks and Elgin street, in honour of Lord Stanley.

2:00 PM
The Canadian Museum of History is Ottawa’s most visited museum. The building itself is spectacular, with its curving forms and breath-taking interiors such as the Grand Hall. Be sure to visit the new permanent gallery, the Canadian History Hall, which opened on July 1st, 2017.

6:00 PM
Pick the restaurant to suit your mood at the Casino du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau: Le Baccara (the best in five-diamond dining) or the more casual Banco Buffet.

8:00 PM
The Casino du Lac-Leamy offers slot machines, blackjack, and a variety of poker games, among many other options. If gaming isn’t for you, there is always great entertainment at the Théâtre du Casino, which now offers dinner and show options.

Day 2

9:00 AM
If you enjoy outdoor activities, head north only minutes across the Ottawa River into Gatineau Park, which provides a network of nearly 200 kilometers of trails. Come for a hike during summer or take advantage of our snowshoe rental service and enjoy the beautiful winter scenery. There are heated shelters in the park and the trails are patrolled for safety. Daily passes are available at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre and at the 16 parking lots with direct access to the trails.

12:30 PM
After a great day outside, enjoy lunch at the Brasseurs du Temps.

2:30 PM
Head towards the Lebreton Flats and the Canadian War Museum. On the other side of the museum, you will be able to walk inside and around the Holocaust Monument. Head towards Wellington Street and make sure to stop by the new (and free!) Bank of Canada Museum located at the corner of Wellington and Bank street.

6:00 PM
We can then suggest to have a nice dinner on Elgin Street at Johnny Farina.

7:00 PM
Fancy a musical concert, play or any other artistic event? Then we encourage you to go to the newly renovated National Arts Centre, where many great events are taking place on a daily basis!

Day 3

10:00 AM
Head to our newly renovated Canada Science and Technology Museum, which is reopening on November 17th 2017 after having been closed for 3 years. The Museums has gone through an 8 million dollar renovation!

1:00 PM
Spend time exploring and having lunch in any of Ottawa’s great neighbourhoods. Chinatown, on Somerset West, has a plethora of Asian restaurants and grocery stores to discover. Little Italy / Preston Street is an up-and-coming area that has all kinds of great restaurants, and is near Dows Lake and the Central Experimental Farm. Going north on Preston you will eventually arrive near the Lebreton Flats and the Canadian War Museum. If you are in town next Spring (2018), you will be able to go, walk around and admire the magnificent Chaudière Falls! Located on Algonquin land, the Chaudière Falls site is supposed to reopen to the public next Spring (2018), something which had not happened for many years! This huge legacy project is run by Hydro Ottawa.

3:00 PM
Head to the Canadian Museum of Nature, where you can visit the new and permanent ‘Canada Goose Arctic Gallery’!

6:00 PM
Enjoy dinner at D’Arcy McGee’s, Bier Market or many other great pubs in the area!

8:00 PM
If you wish to hear some of the famous ghost stories of Ottawa and Canada then dare taking a night tour with the Haunted Walk!

Tip: If you are in town in 2018 (launch date of the full service to be announced) and need to use public transportation, make sure to hop on our new Light Rail Train (Confederation Line) which runs through Ottawa’s downtown core.

Ottawa Washroom Map

Ottawa Washroom Map

There’s something new that can help tourists in Ottawa figure out where to go, in a very concrete way. It’s a free map of Ottawa’s central downtown that shows public washrooms together with private washrooms available to the public. The publisher is a new Ottawa company, Ottawa In Depth Walking Tours. The company says the Downtown Ottawa Washroom Map is primarily meant to help tourists and other visitors to Ottawa. The Downtown Ottawa Public Washroom Map is available for free download at:

We're Coming Your Way!

We're Coming Your Way!

Ottawa Tourism will be attending these events during 2017. We hope to see you!

December 4-5, 2017: Destination Ontario Winter Event in Vancouver, BC. December 4, 2017: NITAP in Vancouver BC. December 14-18, 2017: NTA Travel Exchange in San Antonio, Texas.