Ottawa, Canada’s beautiful capital, offers a multitude of activities for every age in every season. It is particularly renowned for its natural beauty, many parks and waterways, the Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau Rivers.
The Rideau Canal, recently named a World Heritage Site, flows right through the middle of Ottawa and is used by boats in the summer. During the winter the canal becomes the world’s longest skating rink and home to WinterludeCa festival that extends over three weekends in February. Bike paths run alongside the canal, by the Rideau and Ottawa Rivers and throughout the National Capital area for walkers and joggers to enjoy as well.
What city can boast a working farm within the heart of the city? Ottawa can. In fact, Canada is the only country to have a working farm in the heart of its capital. The Central Experimental Farm, established in 1886, is a national historic site and a centre for agricultural research. During the summer, its beautiful gardens are open to the public. Year-round, its barns, with all kinds of farm animals, delight young visitors.
If you’re a nature lover, Ottawa is the place for you. The Gatineau Hills, a 15-minute drive from the downtown core is part of the National Capital Commission and a protected wilderness area measuring 361 square kilometres. Enjoy outdoor activities in the Gatineau Hills every season. You will find down-hill skiing and a network of extensive cross-country ski trails that allow skiers to explore the natural beauty of its forests.
These same trails become walking and hiking paths in the spring and summer. Fall Rhapsody in the Gatineau Hills celebrates the trees change of colour from green to vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. Golfing, fishing and many other outdoor sports are minutes from Ottawa.
There is no lack of culture in the National Capital. Here you will find 12 national museums that focus on Canadian art, nature, science and technology, aviation, photography and civilization and more. The National Arts Centre is a world-class venue for theatre, musical performances and dance.
Ottawa should really be called “festival city.” It has become a cultural hub for all types of musical, cultural, sports and children’s festivals. The very popular Tulip Festival starts the ball rolling in the spring and from there on through to the fall you can attend a festival every weekend. Musical festivals include those with a focus on the blues, folk or jazz. Ottawa’s Chamber Music Festival has become the largest in the world.
Ottawa’s Byward Market is a popular destination for tourists and famous for its colourful farmers= market and extensive choice of restaurants, pubs and shops. Throughout the summer and fall, open-air stalls offer jewelry, crafts, and clothing.
A look at some of the natural, cultural and geographic highlights of Ottawa and the activities it offers is meant to give you an insight into the type of city it is. It’s an active city, a technological centre, Canada=s capital and is reputed to be among the world’s most desirable cities to call home.
Ottawa Schools, Colleges and Universities
Elementary and Secondary education is offered in public, Catholic and private school systems. Ottawa offers college level education with Algonquin and Le Cite Collegiale. Two universities include Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. Ottawa is also home to the Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute.