Ottawa has an endless list of activities and events throughout the summer which span all ages and interests! The National Gallery, the Museums (History, Nature, War, Aviation and Science & Tech), Calypso Water Park, Ottawa River Cruises, Cycling, and music festivals (virtual) for every genre are just some of the exciting things happening!! And let’s now forget Ottawa’s newest attraction… InterZIP!
This summer, the Lord Elgin Hotel has enhanced our BOOK DIRECT offer to up to 20% off on select dates.
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.
For some great ideas, have a look at this page put together by Ottawa Tourism!!
Here are some of the activities happening this summer!
Nothing like being in the Nation’s Capital for the big Birthday Bash!!
Join us for the celebrations of Canada’s 156th Birthday. For more details, please visit our CANADA DAY INFO PAGE here
Changing of the Guard
In 2023, the Changing of the Guard ceremony was replaced with Canada on the March (a music-only version of the Changing of the Guard ceremony), which will run daily (weather permitting) at 10 a.m. between June 28 and August 25, 2023!
Bring your camera to capture colorful photos of soldiers in scarlet uniforms and bearskin hats, as they carry out precise drills to the music of a military band on Parliament Hill.
Daily from late June to late August, the impressive—and free—Changing of the Guard ceremony draws crowds to downtown Ottawa. If you arrive on the lawn of Parliament Hill by 9:45 a.m., you can hear an audio presentation in English and French that explains the symbolism, history, and proceedings of the ceremony. Then listen—in the distance, you’ll hear soldiers and their band parading from the Cartier Square Drill Hall and along Elgin Street – right in front of the Lord Elgin Hotel!!
With military precision, they’ll arrive on the Hill at precisely 10:00 a.m. Then, the Band of the Ceremonial Guard will provide music while the Guards are inspected and the Old Guard becomes the New Guard. The ceremony, modeled on one in London, England, dates back to 1959.
The Ceremonial Guard may cancel the ceremony due to inclement weather or precluding special events.
Ottawa is an incredibly bike-friendly destination. Check out our Cycling Page HERE for more information!
At any time of year, Parliament Hill is an iconic landmark to see when in the capital city. Only three blocks from the hotel, Ottawa’s Parliament Buildings is a must-see for all visitors. The Parliament Buildings present a fascinating blend of honors 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 the summertime, you have to take advantage of the fabulous light show called Northern Lights each night after nightfall. For more information about this colorful event, click here.
Join us weekly at Grill 41 in the Lord Elgin Hotel for live Jazz, from 9pm to midnight!! During the Jazz Festival (June 23rd to June 30th), there is a jam session each night in Grill 41 starting at 10pm. Some of the amazing artists featured this year include Feist, Herbie Hancock, Melody Gardot, Buddy Guy, John Scofield, Angelique Francis and so many more!
Housed in one of Canada’s most iconic public buildings, the National Gallery of Canada is among the world’s most respected art institutions. As part of its ongoing evolution, and in response to the changing expectations of museumgoers, the Gallery recently renewed its entire narrative on Canadian and Indigenous art, sharing a new and compelling story of artistic production in this country, from time immemorial to the present day. For more details about the Exhibitions and Galleries, visit their website HERE.
The Canadian Museum of History is Canada’s most visited museum for good reason – it’s home to the world’s largest indoor collection of totem poles, the largest exhibition about Canadian history, and it highlights the achievements of Indigenous Peoples in the First Peoples Hall. The gorgeous undulated building also houses the Canadian Children’s Museum, where kids can travel the world and explore other cultures through interactive elements, including a variety of toys and games. Complete your visit with a 3D movie in the CINÉ+ theatre!
Tanks, jet fighters, artillery and art are just some of the impressive items that represent Canada’s war history at the Canadian War Museum. The building’s architecture is based on the theme of regeneration, with energy-efficient features like a green roof, and symbolism like the morse code windows that spell out “Lest We Forget”. In November, the museum hosts special Remembrance events and activities. At exactly 11:00 a.m. on November 11 each year, a beam of sunlight shines through a single window into Memorial Hall to perfectly frame the headstone from the grave of Canada’s Unknown Soldier. A moving experience!
Journey into Canada’s world of air and space at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The expansive, hangar-like building is home to the most extensive aviation collection in the country and covers everything from the humble beginnings of flight to the sophisticated aerospace industry we know today, plus Canada’s role in outer space. Try flight simulators, sit in cockpits, or take a real flight in a helicopter or vintage biplane!
Just a few blocks south of the hotel is this amazing museum filled with the wonders of nature. Their new and popular exhibit Under the Canopy is there now until January 7, 2024 (Buy your tickets in advance). Also until March 18th, 2024, you can see Wolves – Shape-shifters in a Changing World!
June 23 to June 30th, 2023. The Ottawa International Jazz Festival is the premier music event to take place in downtown Ottawa and we are proud to be on the doorstep of this fabulous festival (takes part in Confederation Park and Festival Plaza at City Hall). This year features incredible headliners like Feist, Herbie Hancock, Melody Gardot, Buddy Guy, John Scofield, Angelique Francis and so many more!
June 22 to 25, 2023. Recognized as North America’s largest dragon boating festival, the four-day celebration offers free admission to concerts, amusement attractions, sports demonstrations, a variety of artisans, exhibitors, delicious culinary treats, a children’s area, and non-stop racing.
BACK AGAIN!!!!! From the end of June to the end of August, this is one of Ottawa’s famous tourist attractions and we are lucky to have them walk by our hotel every day – 7 days a week, en route to Parliament Hill and back… how cool is that!!!
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.
From their new base in Ottawa, located on Dows Lake, a popular recreation area on the fringes of downtown Ottawa. It’s just a 7-minute taxi ride (or 20 minutes by bike) between the base and the city center. By boat, it will take 45 minutes to head north and reach the section of canal that runs through the center of Ottawa city – after which you can go no further. Heading south, you can quite easily reach Long Island (from where you can discover Manotick), and back again, on a 3-night short break. 7 nights will allow you to complete a return journey as far as Merrickville. Or, on a 7nt one-way to our base in Smith Falls, you can combine Canada’s capital with the open waters of Big Rideau Lake, which are a little further south of Smiths Falls.
Buckle up for the ultimate tour of Ottawa that takes you from the streets to the water in one awesome ride. This all-in-one tour takes you to 75 different attractions and sites around the city.
Take a relaxing tour up and down the Ottawa River on a Hawaiian-style Floating Tiki Bar with you and a bunch of your Peeps! Whether it’s just chilln’ with friends, taking a romantic cruise, or coordinating a larger Tour/Corporate/School Group for a Tropical Ottawa Escape, Palapa Tours is one of the coolest ways to get out on the water!
At C’est Bon Ottawa, they believe in the precious gift of food, which is at the heart of each of their cooking classes and food tours. They offer hands-on, in-person, or virtual cooking classes; guided, gourmet walking tours; private à la carte cooking events; team building activities, and so much more.
Parc Oméga, located in Montebello, Quebec (just a 45-minute drive from downtown Ottawa) is a magical place where you can discover Canadian wildlife such as moose, elk, bison, wolves and bears, all within their natural environment. During your self-drive safari through the park, you’ll get to see wild animals as well as feed friendly ones along the way! Parc Oméga also offers programming related to Canadian history, early pioneer life and Indigenous culture.
More Than a Music Festival July 4 – 17, 2023
Music and Beyond are 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.
July 6 to 16, 2023
Celebrating over 25 years, this festival just gets bigger and better each year! This year’s RBC Bluesfest will take place July 6th to 16thth at Lebreton Flats. Just like always, this year’s lineup has something for everyone: Alan Doyle, Mumford and Sons, Shania Twain, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Tegan & Sara, Foo Fighters are just a few of the big names that highlight this year’s festival.
From August 2-19 at 6pm (Wednesdays & Saturdays): Five international fireworks designers create amazing displays that light up the Ottawa/Gatineau’s sky during 5 nights filled with lights, music, and entertainment. See performances from Spain, the United States, Germany China, and the grand finale!!!
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. Check out our Calypso Package on our Special Offers page here.
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!
Check out our ADVENTURE PAGE here for those that like to stay active while visiting our beautiful city!!