Ottawa | Great Lakes Guide

Ottawa, Canada’s capital city as chosen by Queen Victoria in 1857, is located on the border of Ontario and Quebec, making it a bilingual city. It is in the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people. Ottawa takes its name from the Odawa First Nations peoples and the Ottawa River was historically used as a network for trade between First Nations peoples. Étienne Brûlé was the first European to explore the Ottawa River in the early 1600s, closely followed by Samuel de Champlain. Ottawa is rich in cultural and natural heritage sites and both indoor and outdoor activities. Boasting over 14 museums, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization (the most visited museum in Canada), it is also the heart of the nation’s democratic government, where you can visit the Houses of Parliament. But it’s not all serious politics, there are plenty of music and cultural festivals happening throughout the year (35 in fact!). You may, for instance, choose to walk along the the 1-km stretch of colourful and commemorative tulip beds during the Canadian Tulip Festival. Or why not walk through one of its many parks, such as Major’s Hill or Mooney’s Bay? Take a trip down to Ottawa’s world-famous Rideau Canal, a UNESCO world heritage site, connects Lake Ontario with the St. Lawrence River. Rideau Canal is a place to enjoy during all seasons, but is notorious for being the world’s longest skating rink during the winter, when Ottawa becomes the 7th coldest capital city on Earth!


  • Traditional Territories

  • Treaties

City of Ottawa 110 Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1 Phone: (613) 580-2400

  • Weather
  • Current temperature
  • -3°
    Feels like -7°
Possible drizzle overnight.

    • Humidity

    • 79%
    • Precipitation

    • 0%
    • Precip. type

    • None
    • UV Index

    • 0
    • Visibility

    • 16.1km
    • Sunrise

    • 7:36 AM
    • Sunset

    • 4:21 PM
    • Wind gust

    • 25.2kph
    • Wind speed

    • 10.7kph
    • Wind direction

    • Southeast

    • Today

    • -5°
    • Saturday

    • Sunday

    • -10°
    • Monday

    • -6°
    • -12°
    • Tuesday

    • -3°
    • -10°
    • Wednesday

    • -6°
    • -18°
    • Thursday

    • -14°
    • -21°

I cycle alongside it about 250 days a year and I skate on it 40 or 30 days a year. As a city councillor, I commute to work and back, and it runs right through my ward.

Rideau Canal, ON
David Chernushenko