Amazing Things to Do in Ottawa: Rideau Canal and Parliament Hills Not Included

Ottawa has numerous interesting and unusual attractions that make it a great vacation destination for families and couples alike.

Skating on the frozen Rideau Canal and touring the Parliament Buildings are two of the most popular tourist activities in Ottawa. However, there is a plethora of other activities to partake in besides visiting museums and governmental buildings in Ottawa.

SUP with Urban Ocean

Envision yourself paddling down the Gatineau River in Ottawa, admiring the city’s impressive parliament buildings. SUP certification, lessons, tours, and even SUP yoga are all available at Urban Ocean Ottawa, the region’s only SUP centre.

We ranked it so highly because it is truly one of a kind and a lot of fun compared to everything else there is to do in Ottawa.

Starting at the yacht club, you’ll cruise through the Rideau Canal Locks, the Parliament Hills, the Supreme Court of Canada, and out into the middle of the river for a bird’s-eye perspective of Ottawa and neighbouring Gatineau.

BiPlane Flight

I had no idea that the Air and Space Museum of Canada offered regular flights in an authentic World War II biplane over the summer.

We took off in a Waco UPF-7 open-cockpit biplane from 1939 and flew over the Gatineau Hills and Ottawa’s downtown area for 25 minutes, passing directly over the Parliament Buildings.

While flying over Gatineau, our pilot performed a few tricks before heading back to the runway. What a riot!

The Gatineau Hiking Trail

This is supposed to be an article about some amazing things to do in Ottawa, yet Ottawa and Gatineau are inseparable. Gatineau, Quebec is immediately over the river from Ottawa, Ontario.

Bridges, water taxis, and ferries all connect the two cities, which work wonderfully together. The museums, galleries, and trails of Gatineau are second to none. Our favourite place, though, is nature. You can’t visit Ottawa and not venture out to Gatineau Park.

Need a Visa Guide?

If you are planning to fly to Canada for a family vacation, you might be interested in a visa guide as well. Here you have two useful links that can help you with different visa issues and you will learn what are the required documents by visiting these useful visa links:

Gatineau Park

Trails crisscross the conservation area of Gatineau Park, which spans 365 square kilometres (139 square miles). Just four kilometres separate one entrance from the heart of Ottawa. With 165 kilometres of trails, Gatineau is a hiker’s and biker’s paradise.

When we went to the park, we spotted a lot of bicycles on the roads. The 10th Prime Minister of Canada, William Lyon Mackenzie, had a 231-hectare (acre) estate that visitors can tour. Camping, canoeing, and swimming are all available.

Rafting in Whitewater

Some of the world’s best whitewater rafting may be found on the Ottawa River. Class 5 rapids attract experienced whitewater kayakers and rafters. Just an hour from downtown Ottawa, you’ll find three rafting outfitters ready to take you on the adventure of a lifetime.

There are even more intimate quick tours to choose from if you’re travelling with a family.

The Wilson Carbide Ruins

This track can be found with little effort and is a beautiful 30-minute stroll through the woods and around lakes. The path culminates with the workshop and summer home of Thomas Wilson, whose invention of calcium carbide revolutionised the industrial chemical industry.

He was concerned that others might steal his other ideas, so he constructed a mansion and dam in the middle of the forest to isolate himself. As one of the most picturesque sites in the Ottawa area, the house and dam are still there for anyone to see.