In its 27th year, this foodie festival draws close to 30,000 visitors to the Ottawa Convention Centre to sample wines, watch cooking demonstrations, and mingle with Canada’s culinary elite. More than 40 events take place over the course of five days, from sommelier- led wine tastings to “Tasting Alley” — a popular two-hour tour of vintages from around the world.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site built by British military engineer John By and the Royal
Engineers in the 1830s, the Rideau Canal stretches from Ottawa to Kingston, for a total of 125 miles. The engineering marvel meanders through a diversity of landscapes — farmlands, wetlands, lakes, and villages — with a dramatic finale at Parliament Hill’s staircase of eight locks. The canal is beloved by outdoor enthusiasts, who can canoe its waterways and hike the adjacent trails.
The Ottawa Convention Centre is like many of Ottawa’s architectural
revelations — more than just a pretty façade. The LEED Silver– certified center’s distinctive glass face wraps around four floors with 192,000 square feet of function space, giving guests sweeping panoramic views of the Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill, and the rest of Ottawa’s scenic downtown. Between sessions, attendees can stroll along the canal or peruse one of 180 stores at the adjacent Rideau Centre.
The ByWard Market is one of the oldest and largest public markets in Canada and Ottawa’s
most popular tourist attraction, with more than 50,000 visitors streaming through its doors on weekends during the popular summer months. The market is home to more than 108 restaurants, farmers and artisans markets with 260 stands, and many arts, cultural, and educational attractions, including Notre Dame Basilica, Ottawa’s oldest and largest church.
View Maman, Louise Bourgeois’ 30-foot bronze spider sculpture, and 36,000
other pieces of artwork at the National Gallery, an architectural landmark and one of Canada’s oldest cultural institutions. Besides hosting some of the country’s largest collections of native art, the museum is home to the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. The grounds’ sunken gardens, reconstructed 19th-century chapel, and views of Parliament Hill make spectacular settings for off-site events as well.