Summer Fun in Ottawa, Ontario


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s vibrant capital, transforms into a lively playground during the summer months. With its unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, the city offers a plethora of activities that cater to all interests. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or someone looking to enjoy the city’s culinary delights, Ottawa has something for everyone. Here are some of the top fun things to do in Ottawa this summer.

1. Explore the Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit. In the summer, the canal is bustling with activity. Rent a kayak, paddleboard, or even a paddleboat and explore the waterway at your own pace. For those who prefer to stay on land, the canal’s pathways are perfect for cycling, jogging, or a leisurely walk. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy the scenic views along the way.

2. Visit Parliament Hill

No trip to Ottawa is complete without a visit to Parliament Hill. During the summer, the Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place daily, offering a glimpse into Canadian traditions. The grounds also host the nightly Sound and Light Show, a spectacular display that tells Canada’s story through music and lights projected onto the Parliament Buildings.

3. Enjoy the Outdoors at Gatineau Park

Just a short drive from downtown Ottawa, Gatineau Park is a haven for nature lovers. With over 361 square kilometers of wilderness, the park offers endless opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife spotting. Lac Philippe is a popular spot for swimming and canoeing, while the park’s numerous trails cater to both casual walkers and avid hikers.

4. Discover ByWard Market

ByWard Market is one of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets. In the summer, it comes alive with outdoor vendors selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. Explore the eclectic mix of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. Don’t miss the chance to sample a BeaverTail, a local pastry that’s a must-try for visitors.

5. Take a Boat Cruise on the Ottawa River

Seeing Ottawa from the water provides a unique perspective of the city’s landmarks. Various boat tours are available, ranging from historical sightseeing cruises to relaxing dinner cruises. The views of the Parliament Buildings, the Museum of History, and Rideau Falls from the river are simply breathtaking.

6. Experience Summer Festivals

Ottawa hosts a variety of festivals throughout the summer that cater to all interests. The RBC Bluesfest is one of the largest music festivals in Canada and it on now, featuring international and local artists.

7. Visit the National Gallery of Canada

Escape the summer heat and immerse yourself in art at the National Gallery of Canada. The gallery features an extensive collection of Canadian and Indigenous art, as well as works from renowned international artists. The iconic spider sculpture, Maman, located outside the gallery, is a popular photo spot.

8. Relax at Dow’s Lake

Dow’s Lake is a picturesque spot perfect for a day of relaxation. Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboat and explore the tranquil waters. The surrounding parkland is ideal for a picnic, and there are several cafes and restaurants nearby where you can enjoy a meal with a view.

Ottawa, with its diverse range of activities and beautiful summer weather, is an ideal destination for a summer getaway. Whether you’re exploring its historic sites, enjoying its natural beauty, or indulging in its culinary scene, you’re sure to create lasting memories in Canada’s charming capital.

Written By: Susie Laewen

Posted in News