Canada’s capital city of Ottawa serves up these 10 delightful experiences

Ottawa is more than just the capital city of Canada. It’s also a place where you can find some of the most quirky, fun, and unusual things to do in the country. Whether you’re into history, culture, art, or nature, there’s something for everyone in this diverse and vibrant city. Here are 10 offbeat experiences that you can have in Ottawa.

Feel the chill of the Cold War at the Diefenbunker

Explore the four-storey underground bunker, the Diefenbunker, built during the Cold War. Discover the war room, broadcasting studio, and the prime minister’s hideout. Experience Cold War Cinema on the third Tuesday of the month for a unique film screening inside the bunker.

Join a yoga class on Parliament Hill

Relax with a view of Parliament buildings by joining a free yoga class on the lawn. Every week in summer, participate in the one-hour session led by a local instructor. All you need is a mat, water, and a positive attitude.

Go home to art at Galerie 240

Visit Galerie 240, located in the living room of artist Brenda Gale Warner. Admire paintings and photographs, and chat with Warner about her creative process. The gallery also features works by local, Canadian, and international contemporary artists.

Laugh at a lawyer at the Lawyer Play

Attend the annual fundraiser Lawyer Play at the Great Canadian Theatre Company. Watch members of Ottawa’s legal community showcase their acting skills and sense of humour in small roles. GCTC also offers a full season of Canadian theatre from September to June.

Indulge your inner fashionista at Workshop Studio & Boutique

Shop for eclectic styles by independent Canadian designers at Workshop Studio & Boutique. Learn to make your own clothes and accessories in short workshops for DIY fashion fans. Check out their sister store, Flock Boutique, for more unique items.

Stay or visit the Ottawa Jail Hostel

Experience an unusual stay or visit at the Ottawa Jail Hostel. Sleep in a former cell, tour the gallows, and learn about the haunted stories of this former jail, which housed notorious criminals in Canadian history. Join the Haunted Walk’s Ghosts and Gallows Tour for a spooky night out.

Explore the hidden gems of Ottawa on a bike

Discover Ottawa’s hidden gems on a bike with Escape Bicycle Tours and Rentals. Explore the Rideau Canal, ByWard Market, Glebe neighbourhood, and more. Join a guided tour for a personalized and in-depth experience.

Taste the world at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market

Visit the year-round Ottawa Farmers’ Market showcasing local produce, meats, cheeses, and more. Sample ethnic foods from Indian, Lebanese, Thai, and Mexican cuisines. Support local farmers and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Explore Nature in the City at Fletcher Wildlife Garden

Fletcher Wildlife Garden is a hidden gem in Ottawa that offers a chance to see native plants and animals in their natural habitats. The garden is maintained by volunteers from the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club and features trails, ponds, meadows, woods, and an interpretive centre. You can spot birds, butterflies, frogs, turtles, foxes, and more as you walk around this urban oasis.

Get Spooked on a Haunted Walk

If you are looking for some thrills and chills, join a Haunted Walk tour and discover the dark side of Ottawa’s history. You can choose from different themes, such as the Ghosts and the Gallows tour, where you visit the former Ottawa Jail and hear stories of its haunted past, or the Haunted Ottawa Jail tour, where you spend the night in a cell and experience the paranormal for yourself.

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