We in Eastern Canada go a bit crazy in spring. After months of cold, snow and a shortage of sunlight, there is this pent up craving for sunshine, warmth and more hours of daylight. By now most of us come down with a terrible case of Spring Fever. All you need is one of those sunny days – nearing 15 degrees C and the patios at all the bars and restaurants rush to get the tables out.
You can’t beat this time in Ottawa! We rush to whatever patio opens first, or you may catch us sitting in parks or walking along the street, face up to the sunlight, with a huge smile on. No wonder Canada is considered such a happy place!
Here in Ottawa, there is SOO much to see and do once the snow starts to go and the days get longer.
We love our bikes here in Ottawa and have more trails than you can imagine. Explore our page HERE devoted just to Cycling in and around the Capital!!
Gatineau Park has officially opened it’s trails an beaches for the spring ans summer season! The snow has disappeared and the sun is making it’s way through the trees, warming up all of the hiking paths. The trails continue to be a wonderful spectacle as the weather increases, with beautiful lakes and scenic routes.
Parc Omega offers many different options for families, animal lovers, and those who want to be outside all year round! They offer car tours as well as walking tours which allow you to get into nature and see a variety of animals in their natural habitats.
Visit the Arboretum, located on Ottawa’s experimental farm which is home to Canada’s Agriculture and Food museum! Come walk through the park and enjoy the blooming flowers and the warm spring air this season. check out shearing demonstrations, border collies at work, spinning, weaving, felt-making and more at the Sheep Shearing Festival on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21
Yoga on Parliament Hill is back for the spring and summer! Join Lulumon as they present renowned yoga instructors every Wednesday at noon! Just bring your own mat and water, all levels of yogis are welcome for free yoga on the hill!
The annual Canadian Tulip Festival will be happening this May 12 -22. The festival marks that April showers are gone and that May flowers are here to stay, with summer looming around the corner. Be sure not to miss the millions of tulips in bloom along with entertainment and fireworks!
Get on the water at Dow’s Lake. Starting at the beginning of May , canoe, kayaks and paddle boats are now available for rental until the end of the summer.
Camp Fortune is known to Ottawa as ski resort during the winter. However, starting in the spring those giant hills get a makeover and are turned into zip lines and high ropes courses! Leave your skis at home and bring your sneakers for an aerial adventure.
Ottawa Marathon (Race Weekend) on May 27th and 28th, which has become one of the largest marathon events in North America, is a weekend dedicated to road running events, there are multiple different events to suite many different running abilities. From 2k to over 40k the event welcomes all to participate or support runners.
If you are looking for activities and events happening this weekend look no further, listed below is everything happening this weekend May 18 – 21
- Visit several sites downtown as part of the Canadian Tulip Festival, on now to Monday, May 22! This year, visit Commissioners Park to see 250,000 tulips in bloom; the new Garden Promenade, a route that winds throughout Canada’s capital region highlighting the tulip beds; ByWard Tulip Park(ing) in the ByWard Market district for a huge art installation, on-site activation, and shopping deals; and the Lansdowne Park Tulip Gallery for floral exhibitions, art installations, family programming, and more! This weekend, enjoy a Mother’s Day brunch, art workshops, musical performances, and more.
- Shop for fresh produce at the Metcalfe Farmers’ Market and the Carp Farmers’ Market, which are both open on Saturdays!
- Check out one of the many Science Odyssey events happening around the city this weekend, such as bread making and honey bee demonstrations at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, activities promoting Girls Learning Code Day, a Science Odyssey FunFest with fun activities, and much more! The Science Odyssey events run from Friday, May 12 to Sunday, May 21.
- Catch game 4, Friday May 19th to cheer on the Ottawa Senators as they play the Pittsburgh Penguins!
- Ottawa Welcomes the World continues this weekend with tribute to Cuban culture on Friday, May 19; Guyana on Sunday, May 21
- Visit Inspiration Village on York Street in the ByWard Market! This Ottawa2017 installation is an arts hub featuring FREE special exhibits and performing arts events from its opening on Saturday, May 20 until September 4. The site will be open daily from 12:00noon to 8:00pm and is also the location of the newly installed OTTAWA sign.
- On Sunday, May 21, get out and explore Ottawa on your bike, with NOKIA Sunday Bikedays closing over 50 kilometres of roads in Ottawa and Gatineau for cyclists, runners, and pedestrians to enjoy, traffic free! This Sunday, enjoy a special launch event including free activities at Major’s Hill Park and the closure of Confederation Boulevard to create a special loop.
- Enjoy free admission to the National Gallery of Canada as the gallery celebrates International Museums Day on Sunday, May 21!
For more information on these events and others, see the Ottawa Tourism Events page.
Check out what Ottawa 2017 has in store for you in May..
Canada’s Big Year Happens Here
May 2017 Events
May 1 – July 1
Four beautiful and vibrant murals will be created – three in Ottawa
Community Housing neighbourhoods, along with one created by
Inuit youth from Cape Dorset celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation. Part of the Arts, Culture & Heritage Program. Free.
OTTAWA WELCOMES THE WORLD
Embassies and high commissions mark their country’s national
celebrationwith a series of world-class events at Lansdowne.
Cuba, May 19
Guyana, May 21
Serbia, May 22
Africa Day, May 24
Ethiopia, May 28
OTTAWA IN THE WORLD…OF DOCUMENTARIES
A series of Canadian documentaries that feature artistic,
cultural, political and historical issues all sharing a common thread:
the changing landscape and diversity of the City of Ottawa.Part of
the Arts, Culture & Heritage Program. Free (donations accepted)
CAPITAL HISTORY KIOSKS
Starts May 17
Appreciate Ottawa’s rich and diverse history through original artwork, archival and original photos and colour stories in unique mini-kiosks at key intersections and corners throughout the city.Part of the Arts, Culture & Heritage Program. Free
May 20 – September 4
This aesthetic artistic installation of sea containers will be transformed
into an ephemeral entertainment locale featuring special exhibits
and performing arts events showcasing Canadian culture
and Canada’s provinces and territories all summer long. Free
This farm to table experience aboard the Ottawa River Queen will be
prepared by renowned local chef Michael Blackie and feature a
unique 12-course tasting menu that tells the story of taboo and
illegal food and drink across 150 years in Canada. Part of Agri 150. $