Ottawa has a lot to brag about. It’s the capital of Canada. Home of the country’s stately Parliament Buildings. Inventor of the deliciously iconic BeaverTail. And harbourer of the world’s largest skating rink. And yet, ever the typical Canadian, it manages to remain humble in its grandeur.
The ultimate Ottawa landmark, the 202-kilometre Rideau Canal has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ever the chameleon, it adapts to each of Canada’s seasons for your pleasure. In the fall, bike along the historic waterway lined with trees bursting with vibrant yellows, reds and oranges. In the winter, strap on your skates and glide along the world’s largest skating rink. And in the spring and summer, ride its calm waters in a canoe.
Canadian stereotypes seem to converge on Ottawa, and the city embraces them all. So have a pint at one of the charming breweries lending the city the reputation of craft beer capital. Tuck into an iconic BeaverTail, a deep-fried pastry that resembles the tail of Canada’s furry symbol. Or spot an actual beaver, a moose or a bear at Gatineau Park, where you can have a go at snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snow biking in the winter. In the summer, tumble down the rapids of the mighty Ottawa River, one of the top whitewater rafting spots in the world.
Landlubbers, stroll up to the Parliament Buildings perched atop a hill for a free guided tour of the Gothic-style structures, then take a short walk to ByWard Market, one of Canada’s oldest and largest farmers’ markets and a hot spot for the city’s best pubs and restaurants.
Culture and Festivals
Ottawa abounds with so many museums and galleries. Soak up the culture at the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian War Museum, or the Canadian Museum of History, the country’s most visited museum. Or immerse yourself in its medley of festivals: celebrate the snowy season among fantastical ice sculptures at Winterlude; stop and smell the flowers at the blooming Canadian Tulip Festival; groove to the rhythms of the world’s most renowned musicians at the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival. Yes, no matter when you visit, Ottawa hits all the right notes.
Reserve a flight to Ottawa with Air Transat and discover for yourself what this wonderful city really has to offer.