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 everyone 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 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. 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 to 11pm every night from early December until early January, you can catch the free light show scatter across the building while illuminating the city with stunning bright colours. What better way to get your inner child 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 the iconic waterway 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 is undeniably part of what makes Ottawa one of Canada’s most festive cities.
Ottawa is known for its heritage buildings, unique architecture, and iconic streetscapes that look even better during the snowy season. Just take a stroll down Wellington Street or through the outdoor Sparks Street Mall, hot cocoa in hand, to see for yourself! Combined with the aforementioned Rideau Canal Skateway, local attractions like the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, and all sorts of fun local arts and special programming, this is a modern city with old-world charm that is very much alive even during the most frigid time of the year.
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. Shopfronts aplenty filled with colourful lights and displays, plenty of great sightseeing options (Rockcliffe Park in the wintertime is especially gorgeous), and a wonderful nightlife scene with plenty of activities make this a part of Canada that remains ever vibrant and exciting. During the holiday season, the magic is amplified with local celebrations, live music, special decorative theming, and much more!
Easy to Explore
Whether on foot, by bus or car, or via the sleek new LRT, Ottawa doesn’t hold back in terms of ways you can explore. Wander at your leisure from station to station via OC Transpo, sometimes not even needing to head out into the snow, to enjoy everything from gift shopping to planning your next holiday bash.
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. To learn more about available places to call home in Canada’s Capital, get in touch with us today!