With its strategic location near the Canada–United States border and proximity to the bustling city of Montréal, Ottawa attracts visitors from far and wide. The city is a tourism hotspot, with its wealth of outdoor activities and cultural attractions.
The UNESCO-listed Rideau Canal, covering a stretch of over 200 kilometres, is the epicentre of both winter and summer activities in Ottawa. A popular spot for boating, canoeing and kayaking in the summer, this waterway turns into a winter wonderland in the colder months, when local authorities transform it into a massive skating rink. Come summer and you’ll find a plethora of things to do at this 19th-century canal – cycling along woodland paths, paddling on calm waters or picnicking on its banks. The Canadian Tulip Festival in May is also a popular event to attend in Ottawa.
The capital city of Canada is burgeoning with historical monuments, architectural masterpieces and beautiful museums. Stroll through Parliament Hill to visit the National Gallery of Canada, which houses a grand collection of European, Canadian and indigenous art. At Canadian War Museum, you’ll get a peek into the military history of the country, with cannons, tanks and other war-related displays.
From rafting on class III, IV and V rapids to tubing on calmly flowing waters, the Ottawa River offers a bevy of outdoor activities in or near the city. Dow’s Lake has rental pedal boats, canoes and kayaks while Fitzroy Provincial Park has hiking paths, swimming spots and cross-country skiing trails to enjoy.