Province/Territory: Ontario

Canada's National Capital

  • 1.2 million population
  • 4th largest urban area in Canada
  • 08 million tourists visit each year

Ottawa is Canada’s capital, a dynamic showcase city of more than one million people. Located in Ontario at the Quebec border, it’s a place where you’ll hear English and French spoken in the streets; where you can discover Canada’s proud heritage at impressive national sites and famous landmarks, including the Rideau Canal (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Parliament Hill and national attractions. It’s a city steeped in culture, with world-class museums and galleries displaying stunning national collections and special exhibitions from Canada and around the world.

Urban adventures

  • Meet a Mountie, and take a guided tour of Canada's stately Parliament Buildings in one of several languages.
  • Enjoy souvenir shopping and visit top quality stores specializing in art, interior design, clothing and much more.
  • Explore vibrant neighbourhoods of the city on guided tours such as Gray Line Ottawa Double Decker, Lady Dive Amphibus, Capital Cruises, Paul’s Boat Lines, RentABike, C’est Bon Epicurean Adventures, Haunted Walks or Ottawa Walking Tours.
  • On warm summer nights, relax on the lawns of Parliament Hill and watch the stunning sound and light show, Mosaika.

Arts & Culture

  • Enjoy live performances and outstanding art shows at the National Arts Centre.
  • Visit the National Gallery of Canada to see the outstanding collection of Canadian art - from the Indigenous collection to the Group of Seven to the most exciting young contemporary artists at work now.
  • Gain a new understanding of man's relationship with conflict at the stunning Canadian War Museum.
  • Stroll or walk over the bridge or take a short walk-on ferry ride to Gatineau, Ottawa's neighbouring city, to visit the fascinating Canadian Museum of History.

Food & Drink

  • Take a cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute and learn from the world's best chefs.
  • Enjoy fine dining at dozens of outstanding restaurants.
  • Treat yourself to high tea at the venerable Fairmont Château Laurier.
  • Stock up on picnic supplies at ByWard Market where the local farmers showcase their very best. Then head for Major's Hill Park to munch, overlooking some of Ottawa's most beautiful architectural landmarks.

Outdoor adventure

  • Shoot whitewater rapids with RiverRun Rafting, Wilderness Tours, or OWL Rafting. They are all located just outside Ottawa or simply take a boat tour viewing Ottawa's historic landmarks.
  • In the winter, skate on the frozen Rideau Canal, the world’s largest skating rink.
  • In the summer, canoe or kayak along the Rideau Canal.
  • Grab your bike and cruise the parkways on Sundays when they are open only for cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Spend a sunny afternoon at Gatineau Park, enjoying the beaches and the hiking and cycling trails.

Events & Festivals

Weather

  • Warm summer weather extends from late-May until late September. • Winter, from December until April, brings cold weather - often below 0°C and with snow.
  • Spring stretches from late March until early June, and brings milder temperatures.
  • Fall, from late-September to November, brings cooler but comfortable weather.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
Quick facts

Area: 2,779 km² 
Largest City: Ottawa
Total Population:1,100,000 
Official Languages: English & French 

When to go
  • Ottawa is a vibrant city year-round. Warm summers is always a favourite time of year to visit with all attractions, numerous outdoor activities and outdoor terraces open for service.
  • Fall brings spectacular foliage displays and multiple farmers' markets throughout the city.
  • Winterlude celebration, in early-mid February, is a great time to also take part in cross-county skiing, skating on the Rideau Canal and snowshoeing.
  • In spring there are fewer crowds and shorter line-ups as well as over 200,000 tulips in bloom to admire.
  • Ottawa is a four season destination and finds lots of ways to celebrate with a variety of festivals & events.
Getting Here
Getting around
  • Find information on getting around Ottawa.
  • An easily walkable city, Ottawa makes touring attractions simple without need of a car.
  • Convenient bike rentals are available in the Byward Market.