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: June 26 to August 25
The firs official march with 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
Update: Closed for the next two weeks due to Canada Day Celebration!
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!
Canada Day: July 1
For specific events in Ottawa 2017, please visit our Celebrate Canada Day page.
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.
Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival: June 22 – June 25
Founded in 1993, The Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival marks the start of summer with a three day celebration. The festival offers free admission to concerts, amusement attractions, sports demonstrations, a variety of artisans, exhibitors, delicious culinary treats, and non-stop racing. This year’s concert line up includes The Sheepdogs, Said The Whale, Dear Rouge, Half Moon Run and many more.
TD Ottawa Jazz Festival: June 22 – July 2
It is back again in Confederation Park, just across from the Lord Elgin Hotel. Yet again, they have an unbelievable line up including Joss Stone, Feist, Serena Ryder, Kenny Rogers and many more artists. I know we’re going, how about you?
Music and Beyond: More Than a Music Festival July 4 – 17
Music and Beyond is dedicated to enhancing the enjoyment of classical music and the arts in general in the Ottawa region by providing excellent concerts; broadening the audience base; fostering greater appreciation, understanding, and support for all forms of classical music.
RBCOttawa Bluesfest: July 6 – 16
This festival just gets bigger and better each year! The seven stages of Bluesfest will rock with the likes of 50 Cent, P!nk, LCD Soundsystem, Flume, Muse, Sam Roberts Band, Tom Petty and The Heatbreakers and so much more. Make sure you get your tickets!
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 June 23 – 25!
— 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.
— Discover the Arctic at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The Canada Goose Arctic Gallery is now open!
— Ongoing in the Glebe neighbourhood is Canadian Eats, with participating restaurants capturing the Canadian experience through food and drink from now until July 1, 2017.
— Enjoy a weekend of biking at the Global Relay Canadian Road Championships Saturday, June 24 through Wednesday, June 28.
— Celebrate Aboriginal culture at the Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival at Vincent Massey Park, now until Sunday, June 25, which includes a Pow Wow, live performances, food, and much more!
— Through Sunday, June 25, check out the excitement at the Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival! At Mooney’s Bay Park, enjoy races, activities, free concerts and more!
— The TD Ottawa Jazz Festival is in town now through July 2! Enjoy performances at venues across Ottawa, including Serena Ryder on Friday, June 23 in Confederation Park. Don’t forget to come to the Lord Elgin after for Late Night Jam Sessions at 10:30 p.m.
— Cheer on the Ottawa REDBLACKS this Friday, June 23 at Lansdowne as they take on the Calgary Stampeders!
— Visit Lansdowne for Ottawa Welcomes the World: Slovenia, this Friday, June 23 and Ottawa Welcomes the World: Korea on Sunday, June 25. These Ottawa 2017 events are free!
— Head to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride Centre from Friday, June 23 to Sunday, June 25 to check out the RCMP Musical Ride Sunset Ceremonies!
— On Sunday, June 25 slurp up delicious oysters at the Bytowne Oyster Festival at the Whalesbone’s Kent Street location.
Visit Sparks Street to check out displays with personal stories from Canadians originating everywhere from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. My Canada Project launches on Canada Multiculturalism Day (Tuesday, June 27) and wraps up on Friday, June 30.
For more information on these events and others, see the Ottawa Tourism Events page.