A blend of French and English, Canada’s capital city is home to one million people and is the second-largest city in Ontario. It’s also a spirited, cosmopolitan place that celebrates Canada’s achievements and culture with grand heritage buildings, more than 25 museums, a non-stop roster of festivals, and some shopping and delightful dining.
Tour the imposing chambers and hallowed halls of the Parliament Buildings. Admire beautiful antiques at Rideau Hall, the residence of the Governor General of Canada. Witness the colorful Changing of the Guard. Visit the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum both considered cultural and architectural wonders. And indulge your passion for the arts at the National Arts Centre and National Gallery of Canada. Amid all this history and culture, take time to cruise, stroll or cycle along the Rideau Canal, a spectacular focal point of the city.
Festivals and events are year-round affairs in Ottawa. Come winter, the canal is transformed into the world’s longest skating rink and also becomes the site of Ottawa’s annual Winterlude festival. Admire a city awash with brilliant color during the Canadian Tulip Festival. And scat, be-bop and swing at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival or dig the blues at the Ottawa Blues Festival.
When you’re not at attractions or festivals, the cobblestone courtyards of the ByWard Market will please. It’s one of Canada’s oldest and largest markets with an eclectic collection of boutiques, fruit, vegetable and flower vendors, restaurants and nightlife. Or hike the National Capital Greenbelt the green corridor that surrounds Ottawa. It offers a 165 kilometres of trails that invite you to explore farmland, forest, marshes and bogs. And if you want outdoor adventure that cranks up the adrenaline quotient, whitewater rafting is just 90 minutes away.
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