If you’re visiting Ottawa any month of the year, you’re pretty much guaranteed to stumble across an event or celebration. Ottawa is known for its all year-round fairs and festivals offered for an all-ages crowd-pleaser, with great food, entertainment and no doubt with the richness of its Canadian tradition that started it all.

As the capital of Canada, Ottawa is the epicenter of many important and popular festivals, that attract tourists from all over the world. The city is recognized as one of the great cultural hubs of North America thanks to their world-class festivals that light up the year.

Panoramic view of the Parliament Hill in Ottawa
Panoramic view of the Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Ottawa vibrates with outdoor activities, music festivals, and cultural and ethnic celebrations. No matter what your interests are, your age, the time you visit the city, where the furnished apartments you’ll stay are located, you will always find the best of what Canada’s capital has to offer.

Here’s a list of top events you cannot miss during your trip and stay in Ottawa, Canada.

Winterlude, a magical experience in a winter wonderland

Winterlude is one of the most popular events in Canada. Just a few weeks away (January 31 to February 17), the capital hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors, who enjoy a wide range of winter activities. If you visit Ottawa around these days, you’ll live an extraordinary experience in the world’s largest ice-skating rink, located at the Rideau Canal.

World's largest ice-skating rink at Rideau Canal
World’s largest ice-skating rink at Rideau Canal

There’re so much Winterlude activities to see and do indoors and outdoors such as:

  • The best ice carving talent competition you’ll ever see! You’ll be stunned by the most awesome ice sculptures made by some of the top artists from all over the world!
  • You can also skate on the world-famous Rideau Canal Skateway. It’s free and accessible 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. If you don’t have your own skates, you can rent a pair at Capital Skates or Dows Lake Pavilion.
  • Additionally, you can spend an evening in the Snowflake Kingdom. It’s located at Jacques Cartier Park in downtown Gatineau. There’re super slides, shows, interactive treasure hunts, games of tug-of-war, challenge course, and more.


The Ottawa Grassroots Festival, for music lovers

Performance of folk music at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival
Taken from Eventbrite

It’s an annual event where you can celebrate folk music, dance, and spoken word. Grassroots Festival has workshops, performances of different artists, and parties. You can buy the tickets online from $25- $60, but daytime programming on Saturday and Sunday is free.

If you want to live a special musical experience, you shouldn’t miss the Grassroots Festival in April.

Enjoy Canada Day as a local

As Canada’s capital, Ottawa has the biggest Canada Day celebration on July 1st of every year. You can experience an extraordinary party with live entertainment, family activities, and spectacular fireworks as a local, and the best part is that all the activities are free!

Lights and firework show at Parliament Hill on Canada Day
Taken from CIC News

Parliament Hill, Major’s Hill Park and the Canadian Museum of History are the official sites that hold the main events.

  • There’s a list of performances of a diverse of top and emerging Canadian musicians.
  • The Canadian Museum of History hosts special activities and games of Canadian Indigenous cultures and performances of famous artists.
  • At nighttime, at 10:00 p.m a firework show is hosted near the National Gallery, but you can always have a better view if you go to the Ottawa River, Major’s Hill Park or the central loop of the Confederation Boulevard.

International Animation Festival

If you plan to visit Ottawa in September, you will be able to enjoy the North America’s largest animation festival where more than 20,000 people attend. At this festival, you can watch some of the nearly 100 short films, classics, features, and past winners of the most important indie animators and filmmakers around the world.

A film screening at Ottawa International Animation Festival
Taken from OIAF Facebook profile

There are six different passes, but in the International Animation Festival website, you can find information about passes and tickets and the places you can purchase them.

No matter what time you visit the city, don’t miss and enjoy at least one of their festivals or events, and book the best located furnished apartments in Ottawa, for a pleasant stay.

At Corporate Stays, we provide you with the best housing experience with short term apartments for rent, choose between Vibe 1, Lisgar, The Met or Slater buildings. All of them are completely furnished with amenities.

¡We hope all these options will make your trip to Ottawa an extraordinary experience!

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