Ottawa Attractions: View of the Rideau Canal, Parliament Buildings and National Arts Centre. Photo courtesy of jpctalbot
An exciting mix of local and national attractions are scattered throughout the city. The majority of these tourist attractions are found in the downtown area.
These include “can’t miss” sites such as:
- Parliament Hill – the seat of our country’s government. It is a symbol of democracy for Canadians and is designated as a national historic site.
- Byward Market – one of Canada’s oldest and largest indoor/outdoor public markets
- National Gallery of Canada – collection of works of art, both historic and contemporary (the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography is also found here)
- Rideau Hall – largest official residence and workplace of the Governor General. Tours to the public are offered here.
- Royal Canadian Mint – the agency which produces Canada’s coins, it is also the facility that produces hand-crafted collector and commemorative coins, gold bullion coins, medals and medallions
- Central Experimental Farm – a working farm in the heart of Ottawa, established as the central research station for the federal Department of Agriculture. It is a 400-hectare National Historic Site. The Canada Agriculture Museum is also found there, along with beautiful ornamental gardens that are maintained by volunteers.
- Laurier House – commemorates two of Canada’s most notable Prime Ministers. It was the residence of Sir Wilfrid Laurier (he’s on our five-dollar bill) and the Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King (he’s pictured on the fifty-dollar bill)
- Rideau Canal – The 123 mile waterway becomes the world’s longest skating rink in the winter. During the summer, it is a boater’s paradise. The waterway links the lakes and rivers between Ottawa and Kingston.
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police Rockcliffe Stables, Ottawa – The headquarters of the RCMP Musical Ride offers behind-the-scenes action at their Rockcliffe Stables. There, you can meet the horses, tour the stables, riding school, tack room, farrier station, see the carriages used in royal escorts and browse through the Mountie Shop.