Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, is known for its beautiful architecture, historic landmarks, and numerous museums. However, there is much more to this city than meets the eye. From cozy cafes and hidden bookstores to beautiful parks and gardens, Ottawa has plenty of hidden gems waiting to be explored. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best local spots you need to visit while in Ottawa.
The Ottawa Farmers’ Market
The Ottawa Farmers’ Market is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves fresh produce, handmade crafts, and delicious food. This market is located at Lansdowne Park, just south of the Rideau Canal. The market is open every Sunday from May to October, and it’s a great place to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, artisanal bread, homemade jams, and much more. In addition to food, you’ll also find vendors selling handmade jewelry, pottery, and other crafts.
Mosaika Sound and Light Show
The Mosaika Sound and Light Show is a spectacular multimedia presentation that takes place on Parliament Hill. The show features stunning 3D animations, vibrant light projections, and a gripping soundtrack that tells the story of Canada’s history. The show is free and runs every evening from July to September.
The ByWard Market
The ByWard Market is one of Ottawa’s oldest and most iconic neighborhoods. It’s a bustling area filled with street performers, restaurants, and shops selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. The market is open every day, and it’s a great place to pick up souvenirs, try some local cuisine, or simply soak up the atmosphere.
The Rideau Canal Skateway
The Rideau Canal Skateway is the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink. It’s open from January to March, and it’s a must-visit destination for anyone who loves winter sports. The skateway is 7.8 kilometers long and runs from downtown Ottawa to Dows Lake. Along the way, you’ll find heated rest areas, snack stands, and plenty of stunning views of the city.
The National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is one of Ottawa’s most famous landmarks. It’s home to an extensive collection of Canadian and international art, including works by renowned artists such as Tom Thomson, Emily Carr, and the Group of Seven. The gallery is open every day, and admission is free on Thursdays.
The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum
The Diefenbunker is a fascinating museum that takes you back in time to the height of the Cold War. It’s located just outside of Ottawa, and it’s housed in a four-story underground bunker that was built to protect the Canadian government in the event of a nuclear attack. The museum features exhibits on the history of the Cold War, as well as interactive displays and artifacts from the era.
The Arboretum is a beautiful park located on the grounds of the Central Experimental Farm. It’s a great place to take a stroll, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the scenery. The park features a wide variety of trees and plants, as well as several walking paths and benches.
The Ottawa Little Theatre
The Ottawa Little Theatre is a community theater that has been entertaining audiences for over 100 years. It’s located in the heart of Ottawa, and it’s a great place to catch a play or a musical. The theater features a cozy atmosphere and a talented cast of local actors.
Baker Street Cafe
Baker Street Cafe is a charming little cafe located in the heart of downtown Ottawa. It serves up delicious coffee, pastries, and sandwiches, and it’s a great place to relax and people-watch. The cafe has a cozy atmosphere, and it’s a popular spot among locals and visitors alike.
Vanier Sugar Shack
The Vanier Sugar Shack is a unique attraction located just outside of Ottawa. It’s a traditional sugar shack that produces maple syrup in the springtime. Visitors can take a guided tour of the sugar bush, watch the syrup-making process, and sample some delicious maple products. The sugar shack also hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year, including pancake breakfasts and maple taffy on snow.
Ottawa is a city full of surprises, and these hidden gems are just a few examples of the many unique and interesting places waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, be sure to check out these local spots for a truly authentic Ottawa experience. From the bustling ByWard Market to the serene beauty of the Arboretum, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and dynamic city. So, the next time you find yourself in Ottawa, take a break from the usual tourist hotspots and explore some of these hidden gems – you won’t be disappointed!