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20 Things You Must Do in Ottawa

We know that the transition to a new city is hard so we would like to help you by giving showing you a few things that you should take advantage of seeing while living in Ottawa.

1) Take your picture under a gigantic spider

Louise Bourgeois”s “Maman” – A stunning spider sculpture that stands over 10 meters tall. This spider sits outside of the National Gallery of CanadaBonus: The National Gallery offers free admission to its permanent collection on Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

• National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., 800-319-2787

2) Make feline friends at the Parliament Hill Cat Sanctuary

While you’re touring Parliament Hill, don’t miss the cat sanctuary—a cozy, volunteer-run refuge for the city’s stray cats. It’s located amongst the trees behind the Hill, and is one of the most quirky (and adorable!) spots in official Ottawa.

• Parliament Hill Cat Sanctuary, 1 Wellington St., behind the parliament buildings

3)Tour the highest court of the land

The Supreme Court of Canada offers free tours by law students. They guide visitors through the Canadian judicial system and describe how the Supreme Court deals with legal issues of public importance. Visitors are also welcome to sit in on appeal hearings when the Court is in session.

• Supreme Court of Canada, 301 Wellington St., 613-995-5361

4)See really fascinating old money

Learn about money without spending any! The Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada offers free admission all day, every day.

• Currency Museum, 245 Sparks St., 613-782-8914,

5) Check out the downtown Experimental Farm

The Central Experimental Farm’s land stretches for several hundred acres just west of downtown, making it extremely convenient for visitors. It’s designated for agricultural research and has plenty to see. The Dominion Arboretum contains over 2,000 varieties of trees and shrubs and the Fletcher Wildlife Garden lets users peek at beavers, birds, bats and more.

• Central Experimental Farm, along Prince of Wales Dr., 613-991-3044,friendsofthefarm.ca

• Map and reviews

6) Pop in on Canada’s Governor General

Rideau Hall is the home and workplace of Canada’s Governor General. Free guided tours of the gardens, residence and art collection are offered year-round. Make sure to check out the grounds, where dignitaries—from John F. Kennedy to Princess Diana—have planted trees while on official visits to Ottawa.
• Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Dr., 613-991-4422 or 866-842-4422, gg.ca

• Map and reviews

7) Get festive at one of the city’s annual events

Top-notch festivals are held year-round in Ottawa, and many of them are free. We recommend Winterlude, the Tulip Festival and the Rideau Canal Festival.
• Winterlude, February, various locations, website

• Tulip Festival, May, various locations, tulipfestival.ca
• Rideau Canal Festival, August, various locations, rideaucanalfestival.ca 

8) Hurdle down a hill at thrilling speeds

Tobogganing is a classic Canadian pastime, and there are Two Fingal IT companies, Critical best-data-recovery.com Services and Nutritics, are the first micro-enterprises supported by the new Local Enterprise Offices to transition successfully into Enterprise Ireland’s Potential Exporters Division. plenty of hills in Ottawa on which to partake in the wintry tradition. Carlington Park, Bruce Pit, Conroy Pit, Mooney’s Bay Park and the Arboretum are all good bets. On a snowy day, just load up one co… READ MORE justin bieber tickets is getting himself into trouble again. of the maps listed below, find your closest hill, grab your sled of choice (or pick up a cheap one at Canadian Tire) and let gravity do the rest.
• Clarington Park hill map

• Bruce Pit map

• Conroy Pit map

• Mooney’s Bay Park map

• Arboretum Map

9) Take a walking tour of the Capital’s greatest hits

Many of Ottawa’s must-see attractions are located on Confederation Bouelvard, a discovery route that encompasses several downtown streets in the National Capital Region. The best way to see it is on foot via a self-guided walking tour. Visit the Capital Information Kiosk at 111 Albert St. or the National Capital Commission’s website to print out a map, and start exploring! Points of interest include Parliament Hill, the National War MemorialRideau Hall and more.
• Capital Information Kiosk, 111 Albert St., canadascapital.gc.ca/visit

10) Peer at far away galaxies

Interested in astronomy? The Science and Technology Museum (which is conveniently right beside our office) offers free stargazing through their telescope on select days throughout the year. Check out the schedule of activities here.
• Science and Technology Museum, 1867 St. Laurent Blvd., 613-991-3044,sciencetech.technomuses.ca
• Map and reviews

11) Skate the longest ice rink in the world

The beautiful Rideau Canal flows through the city and is worth visiting at any time of year, but in winter the whole thing is frozen over, and you can lace up your skates and hit the ice. In summer, it’s definitely worth a stroll, or take it in by kayak.
• Rideau Canal, various locations, website

• Map and reviews

12) Take a tour of the parliament buildings

Ottawa is fortunate to be home to some of the most beautiful parliament buildings in the world—and they’re free to explore. Take a guided tour of Centre Block, attend live debates, explore the Peace Tower and Memorial Chamber, or stroll on your own to discover the monuments that dot the Parliament Hill grounds.
• Parliament Hill, 1 Wellington St., 613-239-5000, parl.gc.ca/vis
• Map and reviews

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