Canada’s Capital city Ottawa was founded in 1825 as Bytown and incorporated as Ottawa in 1855.
Being the capital, it is the seat of Canadian political power and thus very influential. Still, it is undoubtedly more than just capital. This article enlists the top 10 best places to visit in Ottawa.
About the City
Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, is divided by the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal and is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River. It is a multilingual city, with the majority of residents speaking both English and French.
It is also a city loaded with cultures from all over the world, as well as one that is adept at preserving Canada’s culture and legacy.
Many parks and leisure opportunities make Ottawa a very vibrant city. Additionally, it is indeed among the most reasonably priced big cities in Canada. An incredibly safe town is Ottawa.
Ottawa inhabitants love living in a city with high living standards, despite the fact that it is frequently referred to as the “city that fun forgets” in Canada. The living standards are greater than in many other cities, and the water and air are safe to breathe.
Ottawa is a multicultural city with a sizable immigrant population. Even though English and French are the two most common, you’ll hear many more spoken all across the city.
Amazing international cuisine is available at every restaurant in Ottawa! Even if you don’t reside downtown, it’s simple to find Indian curries or Spanish tapas.
The tight-knit community in Ottawa is something that inhabitants take great pride in. Most individuals take care of one another and frequently watch out for strangers crossing the street.
People are engaged in conversation, even at the dog park. People grin and say, “good morning!” to strangers as they pass them while I’m out for my morning jog.
It is not shocking that Ottawa has a higher cost of living than the national average. But it’s only by a slim margin.
However, because dining out and alcohol are also more costly, your earnings might not be enough to cover every expense.
Although dining out and drinking are more expensive than groceries, your income may not be sufficient to cover every expense, so you may not be able to pamper yourself as often as you would want.
Even though Ottawa has a very low jobless rate, many vacancies exist in the government or in specialized fields like engineering.
If you are eligible for one of these jobs, you won’t have much trouble finding one that suits you, but lower-level jobs are undoubtedly more difficult to find.
Among the museums in Ottawa are the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Canada Agriculture Museum. There are also specialty museums that, while not for everyone, are highly intriguing.
The Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Bank of Canada Currency Museum, and the Portrait Gallery of Canada are just a few examples.
Canada’s Cold War Museum is one more museum located about 30 kilometers outside of Ottawa, at Diefenbunker.
On July 1st, Ottawa hosts the largest Canada Day celebration, complete with musical performances, kid-friendly activities, and breathtaking fireworks!
With all these official programming highlights in mind, schedule your celebration of the 155th anniversary of Confederation in Ottawa. Two brand-new locations are hosting the festivities this year.
As residents and visitors of all ages congregate for the celebrations on Canada Day, numerous roads are closed to traffic, and parking is extremely scarce. The event’s organizer, Canadian Heritage, offers advice on the best modes of mobility, including walking, biking, and public transportation.
So this is your guide to cover the best places to visit in Ottawa, to make your vacation here beautiful! Let us take a look at the best of the Ottawa places to know what this city has to offer!
Top 10 Best Places To Visit In Ottawa
It’s a town. However, it is comparatively small and peaceful compared to many other Canadian cities. Considering that it is the capital, it is even odder that it remains so quiet, but Ottawa is more concerned with running the government than attracting visitors or residents.
Here are the best places to visit in Ottawa, when you are there.
1. The Parliament Hill
As the Capital of Canada, Ottawa is the home to the spectacular Parliament hill, which houses the Canadian federal government, it’s called Colline du Parliament in French. It is commonly referred to as The Hill. Until the late 18th and early 19th century, it was a site for a military base.
Still, in 1859 Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa as Canada’s capital and thus began the work of converting the area into a governmental precinct.
Several renovations and expansions, including a deadly fire that broke out in 1916 and destroyed the Centre Block, helped take Parliament Hill’s present form.
A massive amount of $1 billion has been pledged to renovate all of the Precinct’s buildings; the work is expected to be complete by 2028.
One can meditate on Parliament Hill in the summer. For a complimentary yoga class on the grass adjacent to Parliament Hill, carry your mattress, a water container, and sunscreen.
While other instructors scurry among the crowds to assist people as needed, the main instructor leads the practice over loudspeakers. The classes which Lululemon Athletica is hosting.
So do not forget to visit parliament hill and add it to your to attend list as it is one the best places to visit in Ottawa.
2. Canadian Museum of Nature
Designed by Architect David Ewart and completed in the year 1912, The Canadian museum of nature, formerly known as the National Museum of Natural Sciences, is Canada’s Natural Science and history museum in Ottawa.
The diversity of Canada is well represented in the museum; You get a chance to witness five floors full of galleries that exhibit the country’s history, geology, and climate.
The use of interactive displays helps all people of all ages to enjoy the experience. You get to observe not only dinosaurs and many reptiles but also get to enjoy the bird gallery.
Get ready to see a real blue whale skeleton in the water gallery! But this is not all; you get to see an Earth gallery that has thousands of minerals and rocks.
To make the entire experience even more interesting, the museum also has a 3D movie planned for you!
3. Canadian Museum of History
The museum is located in Gatineau, Quebec, directly across the Ottawa river from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario.
The Museum was formerly called the Canadian Museum of Civilization; it is not only the leading museum of human history in Canada but also one of the oldest public institutions in the country.
The Canadian Museum of history draws an average of 1.2 million visitors annually, making it the most visited museum in the country.
The museum’s main aim is to not ‘enhance Canadians’ knowledge about Canadian history but also enhance their awareness of world history and culture.
Architect Douglas Cardinal designed the museum; the building was designed in a way to demonstrate the features of the country’s landscape.
It also has a children’s museum to attract children and make them understand the country’s history in a fun way! But, perhaps the best part of the museum is CINE+, the movie theatre, which presents the past in the form of a picture, thus making the entire experience enjoyable for the visitors.
4. National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada was established in the year 1880 by architect Moshe Safdie, the building is spread over 46,621 square miles, and 12,400 square miles of space is used exclusively for art galleries, making the museum one of the largest in North America.
The gallery offers a very interactive tour and talks to all its visitors – whether you are alone or are in a group, the gallery has arrangements for all! This gallery is one of the best places to visit in Ottawa.
The museum has as many as 93,000 works that belong to European, American, Asian, Canadian, and indigenous Canadian artists.
The gallery also conducts several traveling exhibitions, apart from displaying the work for its permanent collection.
There are concerts and shows both at night and during the day. A number of programming streams are available at the recently renovated National Arts Centre, which is situated at 1 Elgin St.
These include the NAC Orchestra, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Dance, as well as NAC Presents, which features both well-known and up-and-coming Canadian artists.
The institution, which provides artist training, kid and teen programs, and instructor resources in communities all across Canada, is at the frontline of youth and education programs.
5. Canadian War Museum
The Canadian war museum was established in the year 1942, it was designed by architect Raymond Moriyama and is located in Ottawa, Ontario, and aims to cover the military past of the country from the first record instance of death due to armed violence to the latest conflicts which grappled the country.
The great part of the museum, however, is touching testimonials and the artworks which reveal the human cost of war, helping Canadians realize the sacrifices that people in the armed forces have made for the safety of Canadians and Canada.
This is one of the best places to visit in Ottawa in order to pay tribute to the brave Canadian soldiers.
The museum also supports initiatives such as the ‘Lest We Forget Project,’ wherein the students get to attend libraries and archives and learn about the happenings of world war I and world war 2, which will help the children understand the sacrifices and the bravery of the soldiers.
6. Canada Aviation and Space Museum
The Canadian aviation and space museum was established in 1964 and aimed to represent the country’s aviation history. This museum is one of the best places to visit in Ottawa.
The museum has several civil and military aircraft in its collection from the pioneer era before the first world war till the present day.
The museum also has the space shuttle Endeavour’s Canadarm, the space shuttle Canadian built a robotic arm. Several interactive activities and guided tours are planned for visitors to make the entire session fun and interactive.
7. Château Laurier
Are you wondering where to stay while in Ottawa? Well, it has to be the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, the hotel that houses as many as 429 guest rooms is located in downtown Ottawa.
The hotel is situated above the Rideau Canal; it opened on 12th June 1912.
It was designed by architects Bradford Gilbert, Ross and Macfarlane; it was designated as a national historic site in 1980. The hotel has an inbuilt indoor pool and elegant dining options to keep the guests entertained.
8. Byward Market
The Byward Market is, without a day, the biggest attraction of Ottawa; it is comparable to the Seattle Public market though smaller, it is still as stunning as the Seattle market!
If you are wondering what to do on a lazy weekend, you can always go to the Byward Market!
You can roam around the Byward outdoor market and enjoy the sightseeing; the market surely offers a lot. The market has everything that you want, the delicious food, craft beers, salons, dance bars, you name it, and you have it.
ByWard Market is one of Canada’s oldest farmers’ markets and is a great place to get some snacks. Choose a beavertail (choose your toppings or go for the classic cinnamon and sugar flavor) or locally grown fruits and vegetables.
9. Rideau Canal
Rideau Canal was designed by John By in the year 1832 and is unofficially also referred to as the Rideau waterways it connects the capital city to Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River at Kingston; parks Canada operates the canal.
The channel is the oldest continuously operated canal, and in the year 2007, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage site. Begin your Rideau Canal sightseeing by visiting the Bytown museum.
Bytown Museum which will help you be acquainted with the history of Ottawa from when the canal was constructed to the city’s emergence as the capital.
You can always enjoy boating by the channel in the evening and enjoy the view. This is one of the best places to visit in Ottawa.
But perhaps the best part of the canal is the Rideau Canal skateway, where you get a chance to skate on the world’s largest skating rink.
As recorded by the Guinness book of world records, the canal receives frozen between early January and early March every year, so plan your visit accordingly.
You can take the cruises to learn more about the magnificent Rideau Canal, which runs from Dow’s Lake to the Ottawa River. Be astonished by the wealth and heritage landmarks that the cruise will provide!
You will learn about Ottawa’s history on your sail in a very unique way! You will have the chance to learn about thirty locations that have shaped the city’s history, from Dow’s Lake to the Chateau Laurier.
There will also be a number of entertaining and frequently startling facts shared. The University of Ottawa campus, the German and Armenian embassies, the Trans-Canada Highway, the Pretoria Bridge, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and other historical landmarks will also be covered.
A few examples include the St. Patrick Statue, Canal Ritz, Lansdowne Park, TD Place Stadium, TD Place Arena, Bank Street Bridge, Dow’s Lake, Commissioners Park, and Dominion Arboretum.
Ice skating on the Rideau Canal, the largest naturally frozen ice rink in the world that stretches over 7.8 kilometers, is one of the wintertime activities in Ottawa that youngsters will love the most.
The Rideau Canal Skateway is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, from early January to early March. Since admission is free, you can use your money to buy hot chocolate and a beavertail when your kids are done skating and are exhausted.
10. Peace Tower
Peace tower is a significant feature of the parliament hill and is one of the prime tourist destinations to visit when in Ottawa.
It is not just a clock tower with 53 bells, this structure has a history that is worth knowing. The tower is gifted to Canada by the United Kingdom in 1927 for remembering the brave Canadian soldiers of World War 1.
There are 4 clocks, one each on the faces of the tower. Its hours and minutes hands is run by the electric motor which is in the tower.
The city and capital of Canada, Ottawa, is situated in southeast Ontario. When Canada became a nation within the British Commonwealth in 1867, Ottawa was still designated as the country’s capital, a title it had held since 1857.
French architect Jacques Gréber was invited in by British prime minister William L. Mackenzie King in 1937 to start the renovation of the national capital area.
It was intended to “beautify” Ottawa and upgrade its features to match a capital city’s more closely. Ontario, Canada’s Knoxdale-Merivale Ward includes the neighborhood of Ottawa Skyline. From the early 1950s until the 1970s, the majority of the homes were constructed.
The largest employer in Ottawa is the federal government. The technology industry also contributes significantly to employment; the capital region is home to several telecommunications, software, defense and security, biotechnology, and wireless businesses.
The Bank of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Supreme Court of Canada, and the Queen’s Printer are all located there because it is the country’s capital and when it comes to best places to visit in Ottawa, this city wont disappoint you!
One of Ottawa’s many fascinating children’s museums, the Canadian Science and Technology Museum, is sure to delight your kids.
Numerous interactive exhibits inspire kids to explore and experiment while learning about Canada’s inventive heritage. Like Toronto, Ottawa has a vibrant cultural scene, and you can go sightseeing there. It has a wide variety of eateries, celebrations, and customs that might be fun to explore.
Ottawa is thus more than just Canada’s Capital. The stunning capital city has a lot to offer and entertains one and all. Do not miss this city and what it has to offer and especially the above mentioned best places to visit in Ottawa.