Rideau Canal in Spring, Summer & Fall
RentABike Vélocation - Day 1 (9:00 am)2 Rideau Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 8X5, Canada | (613) 241-4140Stroll down to the east arch of the Plaza Bridge over the Rideau Canal (adjacent to the Government Conference Centre and across from the Fairmont Château Laurier) and be fitted with a bicycle from RentaBike. Not only will they offer you wheels, but a helmet, lock and maps.
RentABike - http://www.rentabike.ca/rentabike/en/files/index.php
Cycling in Ottawa - http://bit.ly/dHRHkU
Bytown Museum (10:30 am)1 Canal Lane, Ottawa, ON K1P1L1, Canada | (613) 234-4570Walk across Wellington Street and down to the Bytown Museum. This museum features Ottawa’s early history, including the building of the Rideau Canal. It is also housed in the old Commissariat Building (1827), originally a storehouse for supplies while the Canal was being built. Be sure to also take a good look at the majestic eight locks that connect the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa River.
D'Arcy McGee's Irish Pub (12:00 am)44 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5A8, Canada | (613) 230-4433Stop for lunch at D’Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub — home of the beer cocktail and a terrific seasonal menu.
Lady Dive Amphibus (1:30 pm)Coin Sparks Et Elgin, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R2, Canada | (613) 524-2221Take a tour of the city with Lady Dive or Gray Line. Both of these companies offer Hop-On, Hop-Off services to major tourist attractions and their pick-up points are only steps away from D’Arcy McGee’s on Elgin Street.
Lady Dive Amphibus - http://bit.ly/omBLrE
Gray Line tour (1:30 pm)Take a tour of the city with Lady Dive or Gray Line. Both of these companies offer Hop-On, Hop-Off services to major tourist attractions and their pick-up points are only steps away from D’Arcy McGee’s on Elgin Street.
Grand City Tour - http://bit.ly/qbZrqT
Le Café (6:00 pm)National Arts Centre (NAC), 53 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5W1, Canada | (613) 594-5127Enjoy a fabulous dinner at Le Café, located inside the National Arts Centre. Chef Michael Blackie features the best in contemporary Canadian Cuisine and internationally-inspired dishes, as well as a varied selection of Canadian wines. The restaurant also features a beautiful view of – you guessed it – the Rideau Canal.
National Arts Centre (8:00 pm)53 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5W1, Canada | (613) 947-7000The National Arts Centre hosts over 600 musical, theatrical or dance performances on four stages every year. Reservations are recommended.
Dows Lake - Day 2 (9:00 am)1001 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5K7, Canada | (613) 232-1001Head to Dows Lake. Here you can rent paddleboats, canoes, kayaks and more to explore the Rideau Canal and surrounding area. Nature lovers will enjoy a walk in the adjacent Arboretum of the Central Experimental Farm, which features many unique species of trees.
Tip: Visitors in the city in May will enjoy the many tulips at and near this location, including at nearby Commissionner’s Park – part of the Tulip Route of the Canadian Tulip Festival.
Royal Oak Restaurant (Canal Oak) (12:00 am)221 Echo Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 1N2, Canada | (613) 234-3700Head to the Royal Oak Pub (Canal) where you can watch the workings of the Pretoria Lift Bridge in the summer months.
Rideau Centre (2:00 pm)50 Rideau Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, ON K1N 9J7, Canada | (613) 236-6565Head back to central downtown for a little retail therapy. The Rideau Centre is Ottawa’s premier downtown shopping centre and boasts almost 200 stores on three levels, and is open seven days a week, including most holidays.
Zoe's Lounge (4:00 pm)1 Rideau Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada | (613) 241-1414Stop in for afternoon tea at Zoe’s Lounge in the venerable Fairmont Château Laurier.
Parliament Hill (5:30 pm)Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | (613) 992-4793Parliament Hill is just west on Wellington Street, and offers evening tours from mid-May through early September. Tours are free of charge and last from 20 to 60 minutes depending on Parliamentary activities. Note that security screening, similar to at an airport, is conducted on all visitors entering Parliament.
Dark: From July through to mid-September, experience the Sound %26 Light Show on Parliament — the story of Canada as told through music, spectacular lighting effects and stunning giant image projections on the Parliament Buildings. The free, outdoor, bilingual show illuminates Parliament Hill twice nightly after dark.
ByWard Market - Day 3 (10:00 am)298 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 1B4, Canada | (613) 562-3325Start your day by making a stop in the ByWard Market. In this vibrant area you can enjoy all kinds of eats (including your morning coffee and some great pastries or bagels), stroll through Ottawa’s largest Farmers’ Market, shop at any number of unique boutiques, delis or specialty stores, and generally soak in the atmosphere of the city.
Noon: There are more than 50 great ByWard Marketing dining options sure to please every palate and every budget, ranging from pubs, to 4 diamond restaurants, to creative chef-owned establishments.
Tip: There are a number of historic cobblestone courtyards in the ByWard Market district as well as unique public art and retail art galleries.
Boat Cruise (2:00 pm)2 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 8X5, Canada | (613) 235-8409Head to the water for a boat cruise on either the Rideau Canal itself (provided by Paul’s Boat Lines) or at the base of the Rideau Canal locks on the Ottawa River (provided by Capital Cruises). Both cruises provide commentary on highlights and history in at least two languages. It’s a beautiful way to see the city and learn more about Ottawa and the Rideau Canal.
Paul’s Boat Lines - http://bit.ly/nyzW3y
Capital Cruises - http://bit.ly/nM88cD
Alternately: The Rideau Canal extends 202 kilometres to Kingston, Ontario. Those with access to a car may want to explore the Rideau Heritage Route including its many unique experiences, small towns and other features.
Tip: Early August brings the Rideau Canal Festival, an environmentally-friendly event presents four days featuring fantastic flotillas, an environmental fair, Colonel By Day celebrations, a giant bicycle parade, a canoe rendezvous (bring yours!), a heritage village, garden tours, family activities and more – all at sites along the beautiful and historic UNESCO World-Heritage Rideau Canal in the heart of Ottawa.
Rideau Canal - http://bit.ly/r5ETRQ
Rideau Canal Festival - http://bit.ly/qkXA3U
Haunted Walk (Evening)73 Clarence Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 5P5, Canada | (613) 232-0344Finish your three-day tour with a Haunted Walk. Lantern light illuminates the way for your tour guide (complete with black robe) to reveal Ottawa's darker past and include visits with ghosts, graveyards, hangings, and haunts.
- total distance: 7 miles (11 km)