Ottawa has an endless list of activities and events throughout the summer which span all ages and interests! The National Gallery, Calypso Water Park, Ottawa River Cruises, Cycling, and music festivals for every genre are just some of the exciting things happening – not to mention all of the great Ottawa2017 events such as La Machine, Inspiration Village, Kontinuum, Sky Lounge, and an Interprovincial Picnic just to name a few!
The Lord Elgin Hotel is in the ideal location, so you can stay and take in all there is to see and do in Ottawa! We would love to add you to the celebration happening in Ottawa, as we have many specials and packages throughout the summer.
Here are some of the activities happening this summer!
At any time of year, Parliament Hill is the iconic landmark to see when in the capital city. Only three blocks from the hotel, Ottawa’s Parliament Buildings are a must see for all visitors. The Parliament Buildings present a fascinating blend of honours and vibrancy. Their vaulted ceilings, marble floors and dramatic lighting create an air of dignity, yet the stone walls are alive with decoration. Saucy faces grin at passers-by, birds and animals almost come to life, and events from our history are retold.
In summertime, you have to take advantage of the fabulous light show called Northern Lights from July 11 to September 16 each night after nightfall. For more information about this colourful event, click here.
Changing of the Guard: July 7 to August 25
The first official march will happen on Friday, July 7th, 2017 at 10 a.m. Marching right outside the door of the Lord Elgin Hotel en route to the Changing of the Guard Ceremony on Parliament Hill, this daily ritual is another must see when you visit Ottawa in the summer time. The Changing of the Guard began as a morning routine on the Hill in 1959, and has turned into an annual tradition. This large-scale production includes a regimental band and pipers. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. each morning, but arrive about 15 minutes early to grab a spot with a great view.
Yoga on Parliament Hill: Every Wednesday
It’s back for the 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!
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal is just a block from the Lord Elgin Hotel and one of the city’s top tourism destination! Snaking and making its way gracefully through Ottawa’s charming downtown core, “the canal” as it’s known locally, is the heart beat of Canada’s Capital in any season. In the warmer months, the canal is a haven for walkers, runners, in-line skaters and cyclists, who stroll along its scenic, rolling green banks.
Calypso Water Park: Open all season
Calypso is Canada’s biggest theme waterpark. There is water fun to be had everywhere on our extensive 100-acre facility with over 35 slides. From toddlers to teens, from party dudes to grandparents, everyone will have their share of fun in this gem of a park. With imaginative management, this $50 million investment has been transformed into a hundred different water adventures to keep you cool and busy. Humongous state-of-the-art slides, a river run, Canada’s largest wave pool, thrilling rides—even a whitewater experience! You won’t have time to be bored.
For Thrill Seekers & the Adventurous
If you love adventure check out the many companies on the Ottawa River – from white water rafting to bungee jumping, there is no shortage of ideas – you may have to stay another week!
Floating downstream, the Ottawa River looks just as majestic as when Champlain viewed it four centuries ago. Come experience a unique perspective of Canada’s Capital City as you, your family and friends raft through exciting rapids and picturesque scenery. Thrill-seekers will love body surfing through the waves and jumping off our secret cliffs, and history buffs will indulge in facts and lore about the Ottawa River Timber Trade. Get wet and wild in the rapids, or partake in a gentle sight-seeing tour. Family fun for ages 5 to 105!
Staying in the hotel? Well, for only $50 per person on any Wednesday or Thursday in July and August, OWL Rafting has provided a round trip shuttle bus (Ottawa – OWL Rafting – Ottawa) for Lord Elgin guest. The shuttle will leave at 7:00 a.m. and return to the hotel around 6:00 p.m. The first shuttle will take place July 5th, book your trip now!
Visit ottawacityrafting for more details!
Not into extreme water activities? No problem!
Get on the water at Dow’s Lake. Canoes, kayaks and paddle boats are now available for rental until the end of the summer.
Great Canadian Bungee: Open all season
Located only 20 minutes from downtown, the GCB was founded on the principles of product excellence with the highest degree of safety possible. GCB’s mission was to open a extremely unique, world-class bungee site. “The ROCK” at Morrison’s Quarry is an amazing site. Tens of thousands of people have sampled GCB’s products – a 200 ft. bungee jump and The RIPRIDE cable slide.
Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival: August 31 – September 4
The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival takes place every year during the long weekend in September. The Festival features balloons in different shapes, colours and sizes from different countries. Some countries that have been represented in the past include Australia, Germany and the United States. It is spectacular to see the styles of balloons. You will see balloons of animals, automobiles, people and anything else you can imagine.
CityFolk Festival: September 14 – 17
Organized by the same folks that have made Bluesfest a huge success in Ottawa, this festival has an amazing line-up!! The event will be held at Landsdown Park Ottawa Cityfolk Festival will offer performances for world renowned artists. Stay tuned for their line-up!
Gatineau Park: Open all season
The park has officially opened it’s trails an beaches for the season! The trails continue to be a wonderful spectacle as the weather increases, with beautiful lakes and scenic routes.
Parc Omega: Open all season
This park offers many different options for families, animal lovers, and those who want to be outside all year round! Whether its a car tours or a walking tours, you’ll be see a variety of animals in their natural habitats.
Camp Fortune: Open all season
Known to Ottawa as ski resort during the winter, however, these giant hills just got a makeover and have turned into zip lines and high ropes courses! Leave your skis at home and bring your sneakers for an aerial adventure.
If you are looking for activities and events happening this weekend look no further, listed below is everything happening this weekend August 18 – 20!
— Visit Inspirational Village on York Street in the ByWard Market! This Ottawa2017 installation is an arts hub featuring FREE special exhibits and performing arts events open until September 4. The site will be open daily from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. and is also the location of the newly installed OTTAWA sign.
— Visit the National Gallery of Canada to check out their brand new, permanent, 45,000 square-foot re-imagined Canadian and Indigenous Galleries! From now until September 4, 2017
— Visit the grounds of the Canadian Museum of Nature to check out Populace, an outdoor, ceramic art installation celebrating Canada’s roots. The outdoor exhibition opens Saturday, June 17 and continues to September 4.
— Next week is your last chance to bring the kids to Story Time at Rideau Hall, Fridays and Saturdays this summer until August 26.
— Catch one of the final performances the Changing of the Guard ceremony, daily on Parliament Hill at 10 a.m. (weather permitting) wrapping up on Thursday, August 24.
— Head to Parliament Hill to catch Northern Lights, the sound and light show. The free, bilingual show runs nightly until September 16. The show begins at 9:30pm in August, and 9:00pm in September. It’s an 8 minute walk from the Lord Elgin!
— Last Saturday, the Casino du Lac-Leamy Sound of Light show begins, with firework displays. Viewing locations include at the Canadian Museum of History, Nepean Point, and at the Bytown Museum all within walking distance from the Lord Elgin Hotel.
— Get active this weekend! Walk through MosaïCanada150 to see the beautiful horticultural sculptures (on until October 15) at Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau, Québec, or bike along scenic, car-free parkways on Sunday morning at NOKIA Sunday Bikedays (Sundays until September 3). Both FREE!
— It’s the first weekend of the Cirque du Soleil show, VOLTA, continuing to Sunday, August 27 at Zibi in Gatineau Québec. This performance is sure to be spectacular!
— See the “Ultimate” in Canadian frisbee at the Canadian Ultimate Championships from Sunday, August 13 to Sunday, August 20 just south of Ottawa in Greely.
— Celebrate Greek culture at Ottawa GreekFest, now through Sunday, August 20 at the Hellenic Meeting and Reception Centre with music, dances, cuisine, and more! Admission is FREE!
— On Parliament Hill, practice your “sun-set salutations” Mondays in August with Parliament Hill Sunset Yoga at 8:00 p.m. – 8:50 p.m. until the end of August!
— Head to the plaza in front of the Capital Information Kiosk located at 90 Wellington Street across from Parliament Hill to check out the virtual reality kioskand exhibit! Strap on VR goggles and check out 5 unique views of the Parliament Buildings, daily until Monday, September 4. FREE!
— Get your curd on at the Albert Curd Festival, now until Sunday, August 20! Enjoy the squeakiest of cheese curds with lots of fun activities for the whole family.
— Visit the Vankleek Hill Fair from Thursday, August 17 until Sunday, August 20, for derbies, a parade, midway, and more!
— In Osgoode, enjoy family fun and lots of classic fair activities at the Capital Fair! On from Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27. Admission is FREE!
— On Saturday, August 19, catch the grand finale of the Casino du Lac-Leamy Sound of Light with a fireworks show created around the theme of dreams! Paid viewing locations include the Canadian Museum of History, Nepean Point, and the Bytown Museum.
— Learn about honey bees and their impact on our ecosystem with fun, family-friendly activities at the Queen Bee Party at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum on Saturday, August 19. Participation is FREE with museum admission!
— Celebrate gardens in Ottawa with the Garden Promenade’s Garden Photo Fest on Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20. Get involved with workshops, exhibitions, and more!
— On Monday, August 21, Guns N’ Roses rocks the capital at the Ottawa 2017 event YOWTTAWA at Lansdowne! Enjoy an ALL CANADIAN tailgate party before the performance.
For more information on these events and others, see the Ottawa Tourism Events page.