5 things to do in Ottawa

Ottawa is a city with a rich cultural heritage. This nearly two-century-old city is resplendent with fascinating historical tales and intriguing hidden corners. While visitors are unlikely to have any significant difficulties with finding ways to entertain themselves, there are a few places we’d recommend checking out.

The Haunted Walk of Ottawa

This is a unique take on the usual available walking tours. As the name suggests, the Haunted Walk of Ottawa is an hour-and-a-half long guided tour through all the most haunted locations in Ottawa, including Rideau Canal and the Commissariat Building. At each stop, your guide will relate the spectral tale of that haunted place. As an extra touch of atmosphere, the entire tour is conducted at night.

You can choose between taking the tour in French or English. Mobile tickets are accepted. If you decide to cancel, you’ll need to do so at least 24 hours before the tour’s start date to receive a full refund.

Notre Dame Roman Catholic Basilica

The initial neoclassical design of the Notre Dame Roman Catholic Basilica dates back to the 1840s. However, it took well over 20 years to actually complete the church. In 1990, the basilica was named a national historic site of Canada. This was largely due to the fact that the Notre-Dame Basilica is an extraordinary example of the Gothic Revival in Canadian architecture.

Even if you know little or nothing about architecture, the Notre Dame Basilica is an utterly gorgeous building. Whether you have an interest in history, love architecture, or simply want a few pictures, visiting the Notre Dame Basilica isn’t something that you’ll forget.

Humanics Sanctuary & Sculpture Park

This gorgeous park features multicultural and multireligious sculptures concealed in strategic places throughout the nine-acre wooded ravine. Walking trails wander across the park, studded with charming little bridges over a quirky little creek. It makes it the perfect spot to sit and relax with a picnic or to take some downtime. You’ll often find couples sitting together, students studying and even locals getting fresh air while surfing the web, checking the latest Netflix recommendation or browsing the latest Euro 2020 winner odds for the upcoming quadrennial tournament.

The Humanics Sanctuary and Sculpture Park seeks to promote ideals revolving around peace, justice, human development and non-violence. There’s a small entrance fee for adults, but kids under 12 can go for free. Parking is also free. You can find the Humanics Sanctuary and Sculpture Park just outside Cumberland Village in Ottawa.

Canadian War Museum

This museum stands as a tribute to the long and bloody history of Canada’s military conflicts. The museum was designed by Raymond Moriyama, one of the thousands of Japanese-Canadians held prisoner during World War II.

The Canadian War Museum houses over three million artefacts from many different wars, including World War I, the French and Indian War and World War II. There are also temporary interactive exhibits that you can explore.

Saunders Farm

This agri-tourism spot is an excellent family destination. They offer over 30 attractions, including a gem mine, wagon rides, puppet shows and a SplashPad. They provide a fantastic selection of Halloween attractions, such as haunted hayrides and live performances during the fall. There’s also a walk-up restaurant that serves tasty local farm-fresh foods.


Regardless of whether you’re a history enthusiast, a ghost hunter, or just want to relax and enjoy life, Ottawa has something that’s sure to appeal to you. How many other cities can say that?

Photo: iStock