Two downtowns, a day full of discoveries!
Canada’s National Capital Region boasts two downtowns within a 10-minute walk! Here, you can discover lots of local surprises, museums, restaurants and patios, markets and much more. So lace up your most comfortable shoes and get ready to conquer both sides of the Ottawa River.
The museum of a thousand wonders
Start your journey by discovering some of the country’s most beautiful visual arts treasures at the National Gallery of Canada, one of Canada’s oldest museums. There, you can admire world-class works and the country’s finest collection of European art. Explore the Canadian and Indigenous art halls, discover the new Canadian Photography Institute and take a break in the Great Hall to enjoy the view and the majestic glass pyramid ceiling.
You don’t need to be an expert to appreciate the best of what the museum has to offer. Even your kids will have fun! The museum makes art more accessible for children by offering free activities for families and workshops for everyone.
ByWard Market, a historic site
Once you’ve finished visiting the museum, come walk around one of Canada’s largest and oldest public markets. Established in 1826 by Lt.-Col. John By, Ottawa’s ByWard Market is known today for its street art and trendy stores. The market is brimming with food stands, boutiques, galleries and places to enjoy refreshments.
I challenge anyone who goes there to return home without having tasted a BeaverTail at the permanent stand! 😋
Heading toward our second downtown
Were you able to discover the soul of Ottawa’s downtown? It’s now time to head toward the heart of Gatineau—Old Hull, for those in the know. Cross the majestic Ottawa River by walking over the Alexandra Bridge. You’ll have a stunning view of both sides of the river.
If you feel like it, stop at the Canadian Museum of History on the other side to check out the country’s most-visited museum. Otherwise, continue along the Culture Trail. Along your path, you can admire several pieces of urban art, stop at one of the many restaurants and bars, and drop into some local businesses.
Get your fill of Canadian finds
As you walk along the Culture Trail, stop in at Habitude Design and be charmed by this gorgeous boutique. There, you will discover a range of 100% Canadian goods, from housewares to baby items, personal care products, unique clothes and treasures for your furry friend. It’s a guaranteed favourite for everyone who ventures in!
You’ll never go thirsty at SOIF Bar à Vin
Take Montcalm Street and walk along the Ruisseau de la Brasserie toward SOIF Bar à Vin! Here, everything revolves around the very best of the vine. You’ll be offered authentic, natural wines, specially chosen by Véronique Rivest, the first woman to have reached the podium at the World’s Best Sommelier competition.
You’ll enjoy a wine list that changes weekly, as well as an award-winning kitchen: ideal for a happy hour with friends, a full meal or a night out in good company.
Would you like to develop your knowledge of wine? Be on the lookout: SOIF Bar à Vin also offers workshops, including ones led by Véronique, such as Dégustation 101 (Wine Tasting 101) and Bulles! Bulles! Bulles! (Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles!).
Continue exploring and head out for an adventure on the Chemins d’eau tourist route for a culture-filled weekend!