Canada seems to have an international reputation as a frozen wasteland populated by polar bears and igloo-dwellers. Canadian winters are, of course, freezing, but contrary to widespread perceptions, Canadian summers are actually beautiful and balmy.
One Canadian city that enjoys a particularly beautiful summer season is the capital, Ottawa (no – the capital is not Toronto).
From May to September, and sometimes a few weeks on either side of these months, Ottawa is a beautiful, green, sun-soaked wonderland. Better still, the city is home to a vibrant arts scene, great dining, and an exciting nightlife.
Without further ado, here are three reasons to visit the Canadian capital of Ottawa this summer.
1. Ottawa does “Canada Day” like no other city
A few days before the United States celebrates its independence on the fourth of July, Canada celebrates its birthday on the first of the month. From coast to coast to coast, Canadians get out into the sunshine for a day of drinking, eating, music, and all-around merrymaking. Because Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, it goes the extra mile when it comes to Canada Day celebrations. The entire downtown core shuts down for the party and thousands upon thousands of red-and-white-clad Canadians pour onto the streets to celebrate.
This year’s Canada Day celebrations will be extra special, as the country is celebrating “Canada 150” – it’s 150th birthday.
2. Ottawa is a city of beautiful waterways
Though Ottawa is pretty darn far from any of Canada’s three coasts, it is criss-crossed by a number of gorgeous waterways. The north end of the city is bordered by the mighty Ottawa river, which separates Ottawa from its neighbours in Quebec. Then, there’s the Rideau River, which winds north-south across the city, and is bordered by lush green shores on either side. Last but not least, there’s Ottawa’s Rideau canal, a manmade waterway dating back to the late 1800s, and famous for its status as the world’s longest skating rink in the winter. All summer long, these majestic waterways are dotted with paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, sailboats and more. Get out on them and enjoy!
3. Ottawa hosts a bunch of awesome summer festivals
While Canada Day is the focal point of Ottawa’s summer calendar, that’s certainly not all that goes on in the city each summer. The city is home to a long list of interesting summer festivals, ranging from BluesFest (which contrary to its name, represents every genre of music imaginable) to Hope Volleyball (an exciting, day-long volleyball festival on the beach), to Canada Scene (an amazing performing arts festival), to food festivals like Ribfest, Dessertfest, and Poutinefest.
So, will you be visiting Ottawa this summer?
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This article debuted on WildLives.co on 19/6/2017.