Feeling the pull? Many Canadians are—the pull that is towards Ottawa to help wish Canada a happy 150th birthday. If this trip is marked on your summer vacation calendar and you’re headed to the nation’s capital by plane, train or automobile, here are some must-dos in Ottawa this July.
By Astrid Van Den Broek
GET HIGH. Head up into the sky during the month of July and eat dinner 150 feet up in the air at the Sky Lounge. The meal features delectable Canadian food and wine, and you can either opt for the cocktail and appetizer-only portion and come back down or stay up and enjoy an entire meal up in the clouds. It’s part of the Ignite 150 program of 17 stunts happening around the capital, though this one is reserved for 16 years-plus attendees (and must be 19 to drink) so maybe make this a parents-only night out. ottawa2017.ca/events/signature-events/sky-lounge/
GO BOUTIQUE. In hotels that is. Staying at one such as Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market not only puts you in walking distance of Parliament Hill but you can enjoy many Canadian products right in the hotel, from the Purple Urchin local soaps found in the rooms to the ketchup chip-rimmed Caesars served in the rooftop lounge. ottawa.andaz.hyatt.com
WATCH THE FIGHTS. In this case, a large public theatre production that takes place at the end of July. La Machine is the battle between the Long Ma, a 12-metre high part dragon-horse metal and wood creature crossing paths with the Spider, a 5.7-metre high equally impressive creature. lamachine.fr/en/
TURN ON THE LIGHTS. Done your Parliament Buildings tour? (A must-see for Canada’s 150th—whether you are going for the first time or you haven’t been since your Grade 8 class trip.) Stick around for the light show that’s sure to dazzle. From July 11 to September 16, Ottawa offers its Northern Lights sound and light show on the hill. Set against the buildings, the 30-minute show takes you through a sound and light show of Canada’s history.
APPRECIATE THE WORK. Ottawa is home to many museums—so take your pick of what you’d like to see. However, consider the fact that the National Gallery of Canada unveils Canada’s Masterpieces: Our Stories. In the newly transformed Canadian and Indigenous Galleries is a new 45,000 square foot gallery, which is home to Canadian artworks. gallery.ca
APPRECIATE THE WORK, PART II: Do you really love museums? Cash in on one of the many deals the capital is offering including the Family Discovery Getaway. Included in this package are admission tickets to the National Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Museum of History and Bytown Museum. ottawatourism.ca/attraction-packages/family-discovery/
DIG IN. Do you and your clan consider yourselves to be a family of foodies? If so, Agri 150 might be for you. The program, initiated by the sustainable food organization Just Food, features some 20 different one-day outdoor events involving food and drink—including the Secret Eats tour, a Bootleg Boat Cruise (where you can learn about taboo drinks and food throughout Canada’s history), a farm technology tour, a “Wine and Words” tour and more. ottawa2017.ca/events/signature-events/agri-150/