Top 10 Things to Do in Ottawa

OttawaCanada’s capital city is as exciting as it is beautiful. With its rich history, exciting culinary scene, and vibrant cityscape, you won’t have a hard time finding something to do in Ottawa.

But because there is so much to do, you might have a hard time narrowing down the options. After all, how do you choose which world-class museums to visit and which parks to explore? To help you plan your trip to Ottawa, we’ve listed what we think are the top 10 things to do in the city.

  1. Explore Parliament Hill
    Parliament Hill is Ottawa’s most-visited attraction, and for good reason. Its neo-Gothic architecture will catch your eye, while free tours will hold your attention for hours. Parliament Hill the home of Canada’s federal government. It also plays host to concerts and cultural events throughout the year, including Canada Day on July.
  2. Take a Stroll or a Bike Ride…

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Stay in the Heart of Town for the Tulip Festival in Ottawa

Parliament - Tulip Festival 1

Stay in the Heart of Town for the Tulip Festival in Ottawa

The Canadian Tulip Festival features more than one million gorgeous and colourful tulips. But the festival isn’t just about tulips and spring: it’s about fostering international relationships. The festival also provides several other activities. Learn from renowned speakers, listen to incredible performers, and participate in family-friendly activities.

Beginnings of the Tulip Festival

During the World War II and the occupation of the Netherlands, the city of Ottawa played host to the Dutch princess Juliana and her daughters. In 1945, the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa to thank them for their generosity. Ottawa soon became renowned for their tulip displays.

In 1953, photographer Malak Karsh and the Ottawa Board of Trade introduced the first Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa. Princess Juliana attended the festival in 1967.

While the festival has changed over the years, its purpose remains the same: celebrating international friendship. Music and activities have long been part of the festival. In 2007, the festival solidified its educational purpose by welcoming some of the world’s great thinkers to speak. Today, thousands of people attend the festival for both entertainment and educational purposes.

What to See

The Tulip Festival’s main attraction is, of course, the gorgeous display of tulips. The display stretches throughout Ottawa—there are 300,000 tulips at Commissioners Park alone.

The Canadian Tulip Festival also features events for every member of the family, such as:

  • Concerts, including free performances by local musicians
  • Guest speakers
  • Artwork, jewellery, and fashion displays
  • Fireworks
  • Food and performances from around the world at Lansdowne Park
  • Carnival and circus activities for kids at Major’s Hill Park

Stay Nearby and Enjoy the Whole Festival

Cartier Place Suite Hotel sits just one block from the Rideau Canal. We’re right next to many of the Tulip Festival’s activities. And, you can conveniently take the Tulip Shuttle to any other activities you’d like to attend. Contact us to book your reservation and get ready to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Tulip Festival!

Book your stay online or contact our hotel’s information desk at 1-800-236-8399.

Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

Tamarack Ottawa Race
hosts their multi-day running events each year. As one of Canada’s most popular organized outdoor events, there will be runners and spectators from around the world headed downtown to catch one of the races and associated festivities.

The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is the official kickoff race for Run Ottawa, and it is Canada’s largest and fastest marathon race to date. This year the race will happen on May 28, 2017, so you still have time to find hotels downtown. To be able to relax and unwind after a long day outdoors, suite hotels make an excellent choice.

Details About the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend estimates over 7,000 participants and a world-class range of athletes attending the race. This race isn’t just about running and winning the marathon; it is about the track and scenery that runners get to enjoy too.

Anyone can enter into the marathon, including walkers. Because there are so many people participating, it is set off in waves at two-minute increments based on which race level you have entered. This way, even beginner runners can join.

Things to do in Ottawa While Attending the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

Whether you are racing or just enjoying the event, Ottawa has plenty of tourist attractions you can enjoy during your stay in the city. Just a few things you can do to fill your days include:

  • Going to the Canadian War Museum – This is not just your average museum. As an internationally renowned location, it is best known for telling the personal stories of those in the military. There are photographs, artifacts and even interactive presentations to explore.
  • Visit the Parliament Hill and Buildings – If you have never seen them, these Gothic Revival-style buildings are breathtaking and located on a 170-foot bluff that overlooks the Ottawa River.
  • Rideau Canal – This is one of Ottawa’s oldest landmarks. In the summer, it is filled with boats and becomes one of the hottest tourist spots in the city.

While you are here, look for the best downtown hotels. Cartier Place Suite Hotel offers spectacular views and equally fantastic rooms in the heart of the city. Our suites are luxurious and perfect for the visiting runner or even the spectator who wants to be downtown and close to everything.

Please contact our hotel’s information desk at 613-236-5000 or 1-800-236-8399.

March Break



Looking for Ottawa March Break Activities? Explore Downtown Ottawa with Your Family!

March break is approaching quickly, parents are trying to find exciting activities for their children that provides for both a fun and education experience!

Downtown Ottawa offers plenty of things to see and do—things your whole family will love.

Bytowne Museum: Recently renovated and more kid-friendly than ever, the Bytowne museums allows your children to explore the past in a 3 level interactive exhibit filled with Victorian relics, lumberjack equipment and tons of period piece clothing.

Agricultural Museum: Spring is in the air, and that can only mean one thing; babies galore! Head on down to the farm and see calves, lambs, foals, and more. Learn all about past, present, and future of farming in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

National Art Gallery: Offering over 9 different interactive tours designed for children aged 3 and up, the National Art Gallery is a great way to spend an afternoon learning about not just Canadian art, but a stunning cross-section of art throughout different periods.

Diefenbunker/Canada’s Cold War Museum: Get your spy groove on. Kids learn about the art of espionage. Their skills will include breaking codes, using spy gadgets, and solving scavenger hunts.

Downtown Activities

You may have visited Ottawa for years, but have you ever experienced these thrilling activities as a family?

The Haunted Walk: Take a tour through the county jail and see the last working gallows in Canada.

Funhaven: Need to let loose? Head on over to the trampolines, laser tags and more, located just 15 minutes west of Downtown, it’s a great way for them to blow off steam.

Altitude Gym: Really looking to break a sweat? Head on over to the rock climbing walls to really let loose!

Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane FarmAll-you-can-eat homemade pancakes? And a petting zoo? Break time is extra exciting here!

Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush: Let the pancake party continue with maple syrup and snow taffy. And don’t forget about the horse-drawn carriage rides that are available every day during March break.


Maybe you have to work, but you want somewhere fun for the kids to go. There are plenty of options in Ottawa:

Camp Fortune: Skiing professionals offer ski lessons for ages 4 and up; you can even choose a five-day lesson package.

Jack Purcell Recreation Association: Jack Purcell runs a five-day fun camp for kids ages 5 to 12. Kids will swim, cook, and even visit Midway Fun Park.

Shenkman Arts Centre: Is there a little Da Vinci in your family? Send them to a media arts and mixed media camp, where kids learn to paint and make a stop-motion film.

With our list, you should no longer be at a loss of what to do with your kids in Ottawa during March break! Take this time to enjoy a moment with the kids and explore Ottawa.

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National Cupcake Day!

Cartier Place Suite Hotel is excited to be participating in National Cupcake Day! We will be helping Ottawa’s animals by contributing to this fun event.

Check it out at!

Please join us in our hotel lobby on February 29, 2016 starting at 7:00 am and enjoy the homemade and delicious cupcakes made by our wonderful team of Cartier Place Suite Hotel.

Hope to see you all to celebrate the National Cupcake Day!!!


Winter Blues? More like WINTERLUDE!


Winter Blues? More like WINTERLUDE!

The Winterlude festival held every year in Ottawa is truly a magical experience, children of all ages and adults will be delighted in a unique 3-week long festival held in the heart of the Nation’s capital within walking distance to the Cartier Place Suites Hotel.

The Confederation Park is located right around the corner from our hotel and is the main attraction, with its beautiful ice sculpture garden that brings in artists from all over the world it is a mesmerizing delight. Divided into 2 sections for your viewing pleasure, the live ice carvings can be seen at nearly all hours of the day with carvings ranging in height from 2ft to 8ft tall. What truly amazing, demonstration of skills from different artist from around the world.

A hop and a skip and a jump from the hotel you can skate down the world famous Rideau Canal, Guiness World record holder for longest skating rink in the world and a recent addition the UNESCO world heritage sites, this nearly 8km long skate way is filled with skaters of all ages and skill levels. If you and the little ones start to get a little hungry, you can always stop and grab a Beavertail or Poutine, two of Canada’s most infamous treats, known far and wide as a must have when you’re “chill”-ing here in the Capital. For those with an extra special sweet tooth, you should try maple syrup taffy on the snow; a Canadian must do.

Retail therapy….we got you covered….a nine minute walk to Ottawa’s leading shopping destination and home to the biggest names in fashion, beauty and home decor.

Need to warm up?

Why not try the variety of different eatery’s on Elgin Street. Walk up Sens mile and enjoy family friendly restaurants, pubs, bistro’s, comedy clubs, coffee houses and much more.

Within a short driving distance, check out the newly renovated TD Place at Lansdowne it is a brilliant hit. Why not share in some laughs at the Cracking-up the Capital Comedy Festival! Celebrating its 12th consecutive year, these outrageous comedy nights have displayed the talents of comedic performers such as the cast of “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” and the world famous Rick Mercer. TD Place at Lansdowne will also be the host of the 2nd annual “Winter Brewfest”, featuring 35 local microbreweries exclusive to the Ottawa-Gatineau Valley and partnered with LOCAL Public Eatery, this is a surefire way to experience the unique tastes that this city has to offer.

Book your winter getaway today!!!!!

Cartier Place Suite Hotel is the perfect place to call home while you take in all the festivities. The hotel’s prime location is great place to stay while you enjoy Ottawa’s Winterlude festivities.

Ottawa Fall Rhapsody

ottawa fall rhapsody

Views in Gatineau Park

The Ottawa Fall Rhapsody takes place mid-September to mid-October each year. Take in the beauty of the multi-coloured leaves in one of the most beautiful parks in Canada. The scenic Gatineau Park will be the place to be to see all the magnificent colours during the fall season when in the Ottawa area.

There are several must see areas of Gatineau Park, such as the lookouts, the parkways, the family friendly Pink Lake Trail, and many more; but don’t forget to check out some of the hidden gems such as the Luskville Falls, Philippe Lake, and for the experienced hikers: the Wolf Trail which can take you to one of the highest peaks in Gatineau Park. You can take in stunning views of Gatineau and Ottawa from these high peaks.

Here is a list of some of the fun activities for the whole family to take part in during the celebration:

  • Carriage rides and a corn roast at the park’s Cross Loop Road at Meech Creek Valley will be featured
  • The Annual Rhapsody Festival Walk will take place
  • Birds of prey demonstrations, guided nature walks and canoe making demonstrations will take place at Phillippe Lake
  • Rent a bike or bring your own bike from home so you may take a leisurely bike ride through the park roads or on the forest trails for the mountain biking enthusiasts
  • Check out Camp Fortune for one of the best views and take part in the free shuttle that leaves every ten minutes between 11am and 4pm with multiple stops throughout the park

Book Your Downtown Hotel Today

Gatineau Park is located 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa. Make a weekend out of your visit to the city and stay at the Cartier Place Suite Hotel.  It is the perfect place to call home while you enjoy the most picturesque scenery imaginable.

While the sun is shining, experience the spectacular views of Gatineau Park and in the evening come back to our downtown Ottawa location to enjoy the nightlife on trendy Elgin Street. One of the hippest neighbourhoods in town.

Book your stay online now or contact our hotel’s information desk to inquire about seasonal specials at 1-800-236-8399.