Since Ottawa is my permanent home base, I thought I would periodically include posts about the city and events within the city throughout my usual travel-related blog posts. Without further ado, here are several more things to see and do in Ottawa!
Find Take One here.
For visitors to Ottawa, the Canal is probably near the top of their lists, regardless of the season. In winter, the Canal is transformed into the world’s longest naturally-frozen skating rink. The downside is a mild winter can keep the Canal closed due to risky conditions. In summer, you can kayak or canoe along from Dow’s Lake to where the Canal meets downtown.
An annual winter festival, this event typically runs from the last few days of January to the middle of February. You can check out giant ice sculptures which decorate various parks and corners throughout Ottawa and Gatineau, or you can make your way to Snowflake Kingdom – a large ice playground in Gatineau, Quebec. Just like with the Canal, however, warm weather is this event’s enemy.
Changing of the Guard
Every morning during the summer months, you can head over to Parliament Hill to see the ceremonial Changing of the Guard at 10:00 am. Amusingly, I still have not seen the actual Changing of the Guard since moving here. The one day I managed to go last summer ended up being the final, overly grand Changing, so it was different.
Yoga on the Hill
Every summer there is a free yoga class at Parliament Hill. This class is roughly an hour, and happens every Wednesday at noon. I suggest you get there at least 15 minutes early, as this is a very popular event. Don’t forget, it’s also a Bring Your Own Yoga Mat event.
Apparently I have misplaced the original photo I took of it last summer, so here’s a link to it on my Instagam.
Northern Lights (show on Parliament)
Starting last summer and running until 2019, there is a nightly light show on the Parliament’s centre block building. It runs from July to September, and best of all it’s free!
I saw it a few times last summer, and was moved by it each time. The visually stunning bilingual show depicts Canadian history and heritage and showcases important milestones in an educational and interesting way.
This past summer was my first-ever outdoor movie event and I absolutely loved it. Over the course of the summer, movies were hosted for free on giant inflatable screens in parks throughout Ottawa. Brit, her boyfriend Spencer, and I caught a screening of Les Misérables. The movie was excellent, and sitting on a blanket on a hill slope under the stars couldn’t be beat. Before the movie began we also had a great time with an impromptu (and unflattering?) photo shoot!
I have plenty more Ottawa posts coming to you soon, so stay tuned!