Canada’s capital city is a vibrant city, made up of many different cultures. The fourth largest city in Canada, Ottawa is unique in that it is a largely bilingual city, as it borders the province of Quebec.
It began its history has a lumber town called Bytown, then grew into a larger city with the construction of the Rideau Canal. The Rideau Canal is now UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the great winter activities to experience in Ottawa. Skate along the world’s largest skating rink, for free! Skates are available to rent and there are plenty of vendors on the ice if you get hungry or thirsty. Just be sure to check the ice conditions before you go out.
There’s plenty more to do in Ottawa than ice skating! Ottawa is home to many historic sites and museums. This includes many national museums, including the Canadian Aviation Museum, one of the top ten aviation museums worldwide, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and many, many more.
Fun winter activities include cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking, all of which can be accommodated in Gateau Park. Winter camping is also available in Gateau Park, with yurts and cabins reachable via ski and snowshoe trails.
Ottawa has a thriving nightlife scene, much of which is focused in the ByWard Market. This is also where you’ll find many of Ottawa’s great places to eat. There are many restaurants heavily influenced by food from all over the world, and a few that specialize in food invented in Canada! Beavertails are a local specialty and can be made with all kinds of different toppings. Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Byward Market all offer wonderful restaurants. You’ll also find fun gastropubs, fine dining, and cafes which focus on maintaining strong ties with local producers to create seasonal menus influenced by what is available.
There are lots of great places to stay in Ottawa. Luxury hotels, boutique inns, and bed and breakfasts are all available downtown so that you never have to be far away from the action in downtown Ottawa. It isn’t difficult to find a great hotel in easy walking distance of all of Ottawa’s fantastic attractions. Enjoy hotels with great amenities like fantastic views, spacious amenities, indoor pools, saunas, and fantastic service.
Ottawa has so many great things to offer and winter is the perfect time to visit. It has many of the best winter activities either within the city or within a short drive, including ice skating, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and downhill skiing, snowboarding and tubing. It is also a wonderful cultural center, filled with museums and historical sites just waiting to be discovered. Just an hour from the New York State border, there’s no reason not to visit this beautiful, vibrant city!