Experience the holiday magic in Lowertown

December 21, 2020

With Ottawa being Canada's capital, there's no shortage of fun winter activities you can take part in. In Lowertown, you have the benefit of being within walking distance to a variety of Ottawa events and activities to help you make the most of winter. Please always reference the websites or social media accounts of each attraction or business for more detailed information, as circumstances can change at any time. And consult the visit Ottawa safely page for information on the most recent COVID-19 regulations.

Photo: visitrideaucanal.com

Winterlude is known as one of the biggest and most popular winter events in Canada. The festival that started in 1979 attracts, every year, thousands of tourists from Canada and USA. This year's event is scheduled to take place Friday, February 5, 2021 - Saturday, February 20, 2021. Activities include the annual dragon boat race, ice skating, culture and live music shows along Rideau Canal Skateway, ByWard Market festivities, ice sculpture competitions, and snow activities for children at Jacques-Cartier Park.

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19), the details of the event are subject to change. We strongly recommended that you check with the organizers before making any travel arrangements.

Photo: Ottawa Tourism

Take a festive stroll through Ottawa’s oldest shopping district. The shops in the ByWard Market have a timeless Christmas vibe, with huge windows, elegant boutiques, and cafés. Wander through the scenic hidden cobblestone courtyards with festive lights and public art. You can even pick up one-of-a-kind items in the gift shops at the National Gallery of Canada and the Ottawa School of Art. Feel inspired by the scent of fresh cut pine and spruce from the Christmas tree and wreath vendors outside the main market building. Finish your trip with a Beavertail, one of Ottawa's best known desserts.


Photo: where.ca/ontario

Rideau Hall is a national historic site and has been the official residence of every governor general of Canada since 1867, and their workplace since 1940. While you can take tours of this site year-round, in the winter, you can experience the Rideau Hall skating rink, constructed in 1872. Open from December 11th to March 14th (weather permitting); this historic rink features a heated pavilion and music for your enjoyment. 

This year, due to public health restrictions, skating is available by reservation only. To ensure physical distancing, there is a maximum of 20 visitors allowed per time slot. Please note that the rink may be shared with other groups of visitors.

I hope you're inspired by this list when planning your holiday activities in Ottawa. When you live at 545 Rideau you're never far from experiencing the magic of the holiday season.

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