Ottawa Tourism

tour times

Spring 2016

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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A hallowed hall

A hallowed hall

Rideau Hall is the residence of Canada’s Governor General–the Queen’s representative in Canada. Over the years, many visiting dignitaries have planted a commemorative tree on the grounds of Rideau Hall, including Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, the Emperor of Japan and more. One romantic note: the tree planted by John F. Kennedy and the tree planted by Jacqueline Kennedy “kiss” above one of the walkways near the residence, their leaves entwined! Watch for small plaques at the base of each “celebrity” tree explaining who planted it and when. Visiting the grounds is free, year-round. Guided tours of the State Rooms are also free of charge but reservations are required.

Destination planner’s guide

Destination planner’s guide

The 2016 Destination Planner’s Guide is packed full of useful information and tips to help you plan and run memorable tours to Canada’s capital. We’ve compiled the best of everything this city has to offer to make planning your trip to Ottawa a whole lot easier. CLICK HERE and take a look at our sample itineraries on p.14 -19 to get some ideas, or flip through the listings starting on p. 21 for detailed information about our hotels, attractions and more.

New in 2016

New in 2016


  • A new  hotel property called Alt Hotel Ottawa opens on Slater St. in downtown Ottawa in spring 2016.
  • The first Andaz branded hotel in Canada, the 200-room Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market luxury boutique hotel on Dalhousie Street in the ByWard Market has an early summer 2016 opening.
  • The Holiday Inn Ottawa East (formerly the Chimo Hotel) recently opened after the completion of a $12 million renovation including all new bedroom furniture and bathrooms, new carpets and colour scheme, and a fully renovated restaurant.


The CF Rideau Centre shopping centre, directly attached to Shaw Centre and the Westin Ottawa, is completing a $360 million refurbishment and a massive new addition, which will house high-end retailers including Nordstrom, Cartier, Kate Spade New York, Simons and many others. Completion is planned for August 2016.

NAC box office

During the exciting renovations of the National Arts Centre entranceway on Elgin Street, the venue has opened a Satellite Box Office, Welcome Centre and Donors’ Circle at 54 Elgin Street (at Queen), just across the street from the NAC. Click here!

Nordik spa

North America’s largest day spa adds a new treatment. Discover Banyä, in their Borëa area, a new building starring a Russian sauna, a relaxation and meditation area, as well as an exfoliation and yoga room. Click here!

Bricks-and-mortar Brew Donkey

Brew Donkey offers a craft brewery tour service and has joined forces with Maker House Company Ltd., a new social enterprise selling handcrafted furniture and homewares from over 70 local artisans. The Wellington St. West location will offer a one-stop shop where visitors can come in, book a tour, buy brewery merchandise, and talk about the local beer scene. Expanded tour schedule includes Thursday, Friday and Saturday tours year-round.

Christopher Plummerin Ottawa this summer

Famed Canadian actor Christopher Plummer will perform his Shakespeare and Music program for two nights (July 8 and 9) at the Dominion-Chalmers United Church as part of the Music and Beyond Festival. Click here!

New in 2017

New in 2017


The Ottawa Art Gallery will reopen as part of the Arts Court Redevelopment in the heart of downtown. It will include an all-new gallery plus a 21-storey mixed use tower that will include a new 120-room Hôtel Le Germain.


  • The Canadian Museum of History will open its all-new 40,000 sq ft. Canadian History Hall in 2017. This new signature gallery will tell the story of Canada and its people from the dawn of human habitation to the present day.
  • A completely transformed Canada Science and Technology Museum is expected to re-open on November 17, 2017. An $80 million refurbishment will fill the Museum with all new exhibitions and interactive experiences.
  • New Bank of Canada Museum will open on Wellington Street in 2017, showcasing all that’s marvelous about money.
  • New Canadian Gallery will open at the National Gallery of Canada.
  • New Arctic Gallery will open at the Canadian Museum of Nature.
Ottawa 2017

Ottawa 2017

Canada turns 150 years old in 2017, and Ottawa will be THE place to celebrate. Planning is well underway for a full year of blockbuster events, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and all-out celebrations, including annual festivals and favourites plus big, bold and immersive temporary and permanent happenings. Learn more by watching our Ottawa 2017 legacy video – Click to view. For more information on the 2017 celebrations visit or Click here.

VIA Rail

VIA Rail

Convenient, comfortable and affordable, Canada’s passenger train service – VIA Rail – is a great travel choice that offers numerous daily departures to Ottawa from all major cities in southern Ontario and southern Quebec. Ottawa’s Central Station is just minutes east of downtown, and a satellite VIA Rail station is located to the west of the city at Fallowfield-Barrhaven.

Come join us!

Come join us!

Ottawa Tourism is planning two upcoming fams this summer: Ottawa Summer FAM (June 27 – 30) and Ottawa Student Tour Operator FAM (August 9 – 11). To learn more and register your interest in participating, please contact Kelly Dean, Travel Trade Sales Manager – Canada & USA, Student at [email protected]

At the museums

At the museums

Canadian Museum of History

Gold Rush!

El Dorado in British Columbia Travel back to 1858 and relive the tumultuous days of gold’s discovery in British Columbia’s Fraser Canyon. April 8, 2016 – January 15, 2017

Horse Power

Exquisite craftsmanship combines with the romance of bygone days in this sumptuous exhibition of 18 horse-drawn sleighs and carriages. April 24, 2016 – April 17, 2017

Napoleon and Paris

Discover the complex relationship between a legendary man and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. June 16, 2016 –January 8, 2017

Hockey in Canada – More than just a game

This exhibition will celebrate the passion Canadians have for the sport and give visitors the opportunity to see treasured artifacts from the history of hockey, discover the impact of the game on popular culture and communities, and allow them to relive memorable moments. March 4 – October 9, 2017

Canadian Museum of Nature

Ultimate Dinosaurs Meet T-Rex’s bigger, badder cousin in an exhibition that highlights large dinosaurs of the southern hemisphere and be introduced to 20 new and exotic breeds. June 11 – September 5, 2016

National Gallery of Canada

Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842)

Considered the most important female painter of her time, she was forced to leave France in the wake of the French Revolution, bringing new inspiration to the portrait genre as she visited the great capitals of Europe. June 10 – September 11, 1016

ByTown Museum Forged In Fire: The Building and Burning of Parliament

Marking the 100th anniversary of the fire that destroyed Canada’s first Parliament Buildings, the exhibition traces the history of what was once known as Barrack Hill and its evolution over almost 200 years. Until October 31, 2016

Canada Aviation and Space Museum Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek with The Starfleet Academy Experience, a first-of-its-kind interactive exhibition with Ottawa as the first stop on a multi-city North American tour. May 13 – September 5, 2016

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We're coming your way!

We're coming your way!

Watch for members of Ottawa Tourism’s travel trade team at these upcoming events! Hope to see you soon.