Ottawa Tourism

tour times

Spring 2018

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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4 Ottawa Winter Activities You Don’t Want to Miss!

4 Ottawa Winter Activities You Don’t Want to Miss!

Ottawa ranked #7 in this list of cities with the highest quality of life in the world, according to Deutsche Bank and Numbeo. The criteria included: purchasing power, safety, health care, cost of living, property price to income ratio, traffic commute time, pollution, and climate.

When planning winter tour programs for groups of FIT’s, don’t miss these four great activities in Ottawa!

  1. Rideau Canal – Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site – freezes over in the winter months, to become the world’s largest skating rink. Stretching over 7.8 kilometres (4.8 miles), the Rideau Canal Skateway allows skaters of all ages and skill levels to make their way from Ottawa’s downtown core to Dows Lake and back again. Along the way, you’ll find heated change huts to put your skates on or just warm up for a bit. Additionally, vendors along the way offer comforting items such as Ottawa’s famous Beavertails, pastries, poutine, hot soup, hot chocolate and more. Skates can be rented on site through Capital Skates
  2. Winterlude: At Crystal Garden in Confederation Park, you can admire beautiful ice sculptures created by carvers from around the world. Also, Winterlude’s Snowflake Kingdom is a family favourite as children (and adults!) enjoy the giant snow and ice slides. Throughout the festival, you’ll find great free events taking place on the Rideau Canal Skateway and in Ottawa’s downtown core. One of the most unique events is the Ice Dragon Boat Festival, a weekend event where dragon boats race down the frozen Skateway. Cheer them on! About 600,000 people take part in Winterlude each year.
  3. Snowshoeing is a quintessential Canadian winter activity! Just a 20-minute drive from Ottawa’s downtown core, you’ll find the luscious and expansive Gatineau Park. At the park’s Visitor Centre in Chelsea, Quebec, you can rent a pair of snowshoes for an hour, a day or even overnight. Gatineau Park offers 60 kilometres (37.3 miles) of snowshoeing trails that vary in skill level. Never been snowshoeing before? Opt to head out onto the beginner-friendly Sugarbush trail, which is located just beside the Visitor Centre. Take in the beautiful scenery as you go! If your clients are interested in a guided walk with a Naturalist? Group tours can be arranged through Friends of Gatineau Park
  4. After all of that outdoor winter fun, you’ll no doubt be in the mood to warm up. Just around the corner from Gatineau Park’s Visitor Centre, you’ll find Nordik Spa-Nature, the largest outdoor spa in North America. Here, you can enjoy Nordik’s Thermal Baths and Saunas. In this Scandinavian-inspired experience, make your way from hot tubs as well as saunas and steam rooms to cold pools and rest areas.
What’s new in Ottawa?

What’s new in Ottawa?

  • C’est Bon Cooking and Escape Bicycle Tours and Rental have partnered together! Join the all new Bike & Bites Tours, a 3-hour guided bike and walking culinary tour of Ottawa.

    Experience the sights, scenes, smells and tastes of Ottawa in this fun and unique tour! The combined bike and food tour will take you to some of Ottawa’s major attractions.

    This tour includes 1.5-hour sightseeing bike tour + 1.5 hours guided walking tour with tastings at the farmers market and 3-4 eateries in the area.
    For information on Times, prices and availability, see here

  • Meet Faya, Your Ottawa Tourism Assistant. A new and interactive approach to exploring Ottawa’s museums, cultural sites and attractions for both Ottawa residents and visitors alike –Faya invites people to explore nearby sites, like a museum, and challenges you to complete a series of actions all while using Facebook Messenger. All you have to do is find Faya on the Ottawa Tourism Assistant Facebook, send her a message and share your location for directions to the nearest playlist. Simply take a photo or video of yourself completing the action – say for example, taking a selfie with a dinosaur – and send it back to her for verification. If you successfully complete three actions from the playlist, you’ll unlock a special badge! The goal is to see how many you can collect.
  • Opening mid April 2018, Le Germain Hotel Ottawa, offers an unforgettable stay. Enjoy the exceptional service and world-class comforts that are the signature of Le Germain Hotels across Canada—perfectly positioned amidst some of the finest attractions, services and conveniences our nation’s capital has to offer.
  • Ottawa Art Gallery announces that the much-anticipated Ottawa Art Gallery will officially open on Saturday, April 28.
  • New! Au feel de l’eau locations! Au feel de l’eau, the company that offers electric boat “water taxi” rides across the Ottawa River each summer, has announced that it will add a third stop at Richmond Landing in summer 2018 in addition to the Bytown Museum/Ottawa Locks and the Canadian Museum of History. Richmond Landing is on the south shore of the Ottawa River, near Victoria Island / Aboriginal Experiences. It is just a short walk along the recreational pathway from there to the Mill Street Brewpub, the Canadian War Museum, and the Chaudière Falls. See the map here!
  • The Canadian Museum of Nature’s new Summer 2018 exhibition will be Brain: The Inside Story, a travelling exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History. This fascinating show explores the most complex organ in the human body; how it has evolved and is evolving, how it works, and how it makes us human. Through dynamic exhibits, hands-on visual, auditory and digital components; vivid brain-scan imaging, and imaginative art, visitors will gain a new perspective into their own cerebrum. In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum is collaborating with the Ontario Brain Institute as knowledge sponsor to develop programming on weekends and throughout the summer, as well as a special lecture series. This exhibit will run from May 18-September 3rd, 2018.
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 FallowfieldBarrhaven.

We're coming your way!

We're coming your way!

Ottawa Tourism will be attending these events during 2018. We hope to see you!

April 3-6 Toronto Sales Blitz Toronto, ON; April 17-19 RTO Summit East New York, NY; April 24-26 Mexico Marketplace “Focus Canada” Mexico; May 13th CITAP AGM Halifax NS; May 12-1 Rendez-vous Canada (RVC) Halifax, NS;

Explore our new Ottawa’s own video series. Discover the makers, artists and entrepreneurs whose talents help shape Ottawa’s evolving identity.