New to Ottawa? Or just wondering how to make the most of this holiday season? Well, you’re in luck because Ottawa is one of Canada’s most festive cities during this time of year! From winter festivals, to light shows, to quaint Christmas markets and more – there’s something for anyone to enjoy and get into the holiday spirit. Just don’t forget to bundle up before heading out!

The Christmas Markets

This city is teeming with cool, artisan markets that come alive during the Christmas season. The Byward market is the largest one in Canada and the most popular in the city thanks to its central location and quaint, charming displays. Here you’ll find all kinds of different vendors, shops and boutiques to explore. Whether it’s the Byward or elsewhere, take a stroll through any of the markets in the city to immerse yourself in the magic of the season.

Parliament Christmas Light Show

Every year, the stunning parliament building in downtown Ottawa gets lit up with a dazzling display of lights. From approximately 5-11pm every night from early December through till early January, you can catch the free light show scatter across the building while illuminating the city with stunning, colourful splashes of light. What better way to get your inner kid excited for the season?


Sure, it may be cold enough outside to freeze water instantly, but that won’t stop Canadians from venturing out for a good time! If you love festivals, don’t miss out on Winterlude – the annual winter festival that’s held in the city for a few weeks in February. Here you’ll find fun activities for the entire family, including ice sculptures, igloos, live music and entertainment, and of course, the Rideau Canal Skateway which transforms into the largest skating rink in the world during the winter.

The Invigorating Buzz

During this time of year, there’s always such a flurry of activity and exciting buzz around the city. No matter where you are – downtown, the mall, or just meandering through the city streets, the combination of colourful lights, decorations, music and energy are undeniably part of what makes Ottawa one of Canada’s most festive cities.

It’s Magical To Look At

Whether you’re taking in the view from your cozy apartment or braving the cold to explore the festivities, Ottawa is simply a beautiful and magical city to witness and enjoy during the winter.

Don’t let the cold weather prevent you from experiencing the magic of Ottawa during the winter season. There’s so much to see, do, eat, drink and explore here! So make sure to get off the couch and into your warm coat and boots to make the most of the holiday season in the most festive city in Canada.


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