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City Culture Meets The Great Outdoors in Ottawa, Canada

Featuring: Jantine Van Kregten

Director of Communications , Ottawa Tourism

Get to know the capitol of Canada from a destination expert's point of view.

When you visit Canada's capitol city, you'll find history, arts, and urban culture plus four seasons of outdoor fun. Rediscover Canada recently spoke with Jantine Van Kregten, of Ottawa Tourism, to find out what she loves best about her home city. Get inspired to hop in the car and head to Ottawa with Jantine's hand-picked recommendations.

#1 Sip a Craft Beer

What activity are you most excited about getting back to this summer?

Local Brewery Hopping

Enjoying a craft beer on a local patio! Tavern on the Hill has an amazing view of Parliament, and there's also Tooth and Nail and Beyond the Pale. Local tour operator Brew Donkey offers a variety of tours, along with some of the most knowledgeable and personable staff and a sweet converted school bus to ride in.

#2 Explore Historic Neighbourhoods

Where do you take people to show them the authentic side of Ottawa?

ByWard Market

ByWard Market is the oldest neighbourhood in Ottawa. There are over 600 businesses that call this district home, so there is no shortage of things to discover here. The National Gallery of Canada is a great spot for visitors to explore and Chateau Lafayette is a watering hole that dates back to 1849!

"ByWard Market offers the perfect blend of historic and contemporary experiences, so there's something for everyone." Jantine Van Kregten, Ottawa Tourism

#3 Get to Know Ottawa

Which three words best describe Ottawa?

Capitol, Canadiana, & Outdoors

'Capitol,' because there is always so much going on that revolves around the Canadian Parliament and government institutions in the area. 'Canadiana,' because of the many museums that feature multi-cultural events and exhibits on English, French, and Indigenous heritage, like the National Arts Centre.

And 'Outdoors,' because we're a four season destination. In the cold weather, there is iceskating on the Rideau Canal, and in the warm weather, there is kayaking, biking, hiking, and paddle boarding.

"If you’re looking to entrench yourself in Canadian heritage, culture, and arts, Ottawa is the #1 place for that." Jantine Van Kregten, Ottawa Tourism

#4 Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

What activity is in your own backyard but also on your bucket list?

White Water Rafting

For expert and intermediate rafters, there are advanced rapids 90 minutes away from downtown Ottawa. However, beginners can try out the more timid rapids that run right next to the Ottawa cityscape. Ottawa City Rafting offers a full-service rafting package for anybody that needs equipment, a guide to show them the ropes, and a ride back to their car!

#5 Meet Friendly Locals

What is your favorite neighbourhood to take people?

Wellington West

You’ll find some of the most genuine and generous people in Wellington West. It’s extremely walkable and tourist-friendly. Thyme & Again is a local catering company, but they also have a retail location here. Make sure to try the whole wheat cheddar and chive scones! Sheila Whyte is their owner, she has a huge heart and is a huge advocate for the tourism industry.

Follow Thyme & Again on Instagram!
Rediscover Ottawa, Ontario Map

More Local Tips

Getting Here

Driving Distances

Get here from these nearby cities:

  • Montréal, QB 191 kilometers
  • Toronto, ON 404 kilometers
  • Syracuse, NY 314 kilometers
  • Burlington, VT 347 kilometers
  • See more . . .

Family Campfires

Visit Saunders Farm

Enjoy the wide open space at Saunders Farm, where they offer family campfire packages with s'mores and hot dogs, or wine and charcuterie boards for couples.

Pay it Forward

Try A Local Bakery

Not only does Bread By Us make some of the most amazing sourdough around, they also offer a "pay it forward" program that allows you to donate your change to another patron that may be in need.

What Is A Destination Organization?

A destination organization is responsible for promoting a community as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work.

Get Involved

We are looking for destination marketers who want to share the hidden gems and off-the-beaten path things to do in their hometowns.

About the Contributor

Jantine Van Kregten

Director of Communications

About The Contributor

As Director of Communications of Ottawa Tourism, Jantine is deeply passionate about the city of Ottawa and all it has to offer its locals and visitors.