There's always something to do in the ByWard Market! Whether you are there at dawn to welcome the outdoor vendors with their overflowing stands of fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, and art; joining some friends for brunch, lunch, dinner or shopping; or staying up until the wee hours at one of the hip nightspots, you'll find the ByWard Market has something for you!
Established by Lt-Col. John By in 1826, the ByWard Market is one of Canada's oldest and largest public markets. The legendary builder of the Rideau Canal, Colonel By himself laid out the street plan of the Market, designating George Street and York Street to be extra wide to accommodate the creation of a public market and gathering place.
Within an area roughly four blocks square, you'll find museums, cafés, specialty food shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, pubs, hair & aesthetics salons and more! Easily accessible on foot, one block from Fairmont Château Laurier, the ByWard Market offers a unique experience for all.
Gatineau Park is a giant wedge of land measuring 363 square kilometers to the northwest of Canada's Capital Region. In the Park, the National Capital Commission protects plants and animals and manages facilities and trails so that the public may enjoy outdoor activities in every season.
Enjoy summer and winter sports or just picnic at one of the lookouts in the park's 88,000 acres of forest, 40 lakes and 125 miles (200 kilometers) of trails. You'll also find a game sanctuary, fishing (only with license) and campsites. The Visitors' Centre in Old Chelsea also features seasonal exhibitions. The park is located 15 minutes from Fairmont Château Laurier.
Few Canadian symbols are as well known as the Parliament Buildings. Flanked by the East and West blocks, the Centre Block of Parliament - with its distinctive Peace Tower and Library - is familiar to Canadians and people around the world. Although the buildings are alive with the drama of modern day debates, the echoes of times and personalities long since past still linger there.
Each year, thousands of people take free guided tours of the Centre Block. When the Senate or the House of Commons is sitting, visitors can watch the action from the galleries while an audio guide explains the key players and activities. Special rooms in the East Block, recreated to look as they did in Sir John A. Macdonald's time, are also open to the public in the summer. Outdoor walking tours, self-guiding booklets, sound and light shows and the Changing the Guard ceremony are just some of the activities that feature the history and majesty of the Parliament Buildings.
Parliament Hill is located next to Fairmont Château Laurier. For visitor tour information, visit the website.
The currents of history flow through the Rideau Canal, operated by Parks Canada as a National Historic Canal. Dating back to the nineteenth century, the Canal links lakes and rivers for a distance of over 200 kilometers from Ottawa to Kingston.
The Rideau Canal
is one of the Capital's most popular recreational areas. In the summer, canoes and boats ply the waters, while walkers, joggers, cyclists and in-line skaters enjoy the recreational pathways alongside. In the winter, 7.8 kilometers are cleared to become the longest outdoor ice-skating rink in the world and Winterlude's main attraction.
Nestled on 79 acres of landscaped grounds in downtown Ottawa, Rideau Hall, the official residence of Canada's Governor General, preserves some of the country's oldest traditions and offers many activities throughout the year. Take a guided tour, explore the Visitors' Centre, stroll the grounds on your own, have a picnic or join in special family activities. Rideau Hall is a 3.5 kilometre walk from Fairmont Château Laurier along scenic Sussex Drive.
Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is a global leader in minting, recognized worldwide for its unsurpassed standards of quality and craftsmanship in the production of both circulation and collector coins, and highly respected as a premier refiner of gold.
Visit the Royal Canadian Mint in its majestic stone building atop the cliffs above the Ottawa River, and see a million dollars worth of gold! A fascinating guided tour overlooking the manufacturing facility reveals the precise art and craft of coin making.
Guided tours of the production areas are offered every day. Reservations are required.
Canadian Museum of History
As Canada's national museum of human history, the Canadian Museum of History is committed to fostering in all Canadians a sense of their common identity and their shared past. At the same time, it hopes to promote understanding between the various cultural groups that are part of Canadian society.
The Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian Children's Museum, and the Canadian Postal Museum are located in Gatineau, Quebec, on the banks of the Ottawa River, directly opposite Parliament Hill and Fairmont Château Laurier. The museum is easily accessible from the hotel by foot, bus or car and has on-site parking.
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National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is one of the world's most respected art institutions, renowned for its exceptional collections and special exhibitions, revered for its scholarship, and applauded for its unique ability to engage audiences of all ages and all levels of artistic knowledge.
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Every February, Canada's Capital Region is host to Winterlude, North America's greatest winter festival. Three fun-filled weekends of excitement and activity await the whole family! From spectacular ice carvings to an amazing playground made of snow, Winterlude is a great way to take in the best of our Canadian winter. Skate on the world's longest skating rink - right in the heart of Ottawa! Marvel at majestic snow sculptures and at the glittering ice sculptures or take in a spectacular fire show.
For more information about Ottawa attractions and events, please visit Ottawa Tourism.