Costumed interpreters at Upper Canada Village
A trip to Upper Canada Village will take you back to a simpler time. A full-scale recreation of an 1860s village, the site offers daily programs including tradesmen demonstrations of forging iron and crafting furniture, the spinning of wool in a log cabin, horse-drawn wagon rides, and costumed interpreters covering the grounds. Check out the Fall Fair Weekend (Sept. 15 and 16) for a recreation of an 1860s fall fair, complete with musical and magic shows, livestock, seasonal vegetables and flowers, and fine art displays. Or stop by the World of Glass Weekend (Sept. 22 and 23), which showcases restored stained glass window pieces and offers special presentations with experts. From Oct. 5 to 31, the village presents “Pumpkinfernno,” a spellbinding outdoor exhibit that showcases thousands of creative, intricate, hand-carved pumpkins.
See website for directions and admission info.
Morrisburg, 613-543-3704, www.uppercanadavillage.com
Heritage Ottawa Walking Tours explores the neighbourhood of Sandy Hill on Oct. 21.
Heritage Ottawa Walking Tours take visitors through historic local neighbourhoods with a series of guided tours. The fall season offers a host of interesting excursions, starting on Sept. 9 with the village of Cumberland, the history of which can be traced back to the earliest days of settlement in the Ottawa Valley. The tours continue every Saturday through autumn (except Sept. 30) and conclude on Oct. 21 with the historic neighbourhood of Sandy Hill, which has been home to four Canadian prime ministers. Join knowledgeable guides, some of whom are residents of their assigned areas, as they pound the pavement and enjoy the season’s crisp air.
A coat belonging to Major General Sir Isaac Brock. The hole left by the American musket ball that killed Isaac Brock is clearly visible on the chest of his coat.
The War of 1812 was one of the most significant events in Canadian history, its outcome instrumental in creating the Canada we know today. The Canadian War Museum commemorates the 200th anniversary of the conflict with an appropriately substantial exhibition, simply titled “1812.” Visitors can learn the history behind the war through the perspectives of its four central participants: Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Native Americans.
Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, 819-776-7000, www.warmuseum.ca
The Terry Fox Statue, which stands on Wellington St. across from Parliament Hill.
Have you ever wondered what gave Terry Fox the idea to run across Canada? Or why Peacekeepers wear blue helmets and berets? If you have a smart phone, the answers are right at your fingertips. The National Capital Commission’s award-winning Decoding Art program gives a new dimension to national monuments and public art in Ottawa. Multimedia clips explain the history and significance behind some of the city’s most visited memorials. To access the clips, just download a QR code reader (offered free by many providers) and scan the QR codes from the Decoding Art signage near the monuments.
The RCMP Musical Ride Canadian Sunset Ceremonies run from June 26 to 30.
You know the image of the Mounties: bright red coats and broad-brimmed Stetson hats, bringing law and order to the country. Well, did you know that these men and women also partake in a tradition that dates back as far as 1887? The RCMP Musical Ride Canadian Sunset Ceremonies consists of police officers who execute a variety of cavalry drills choreographed to music. Check out this truly Canadian sight when they perform in Ottawa from June 26 to 30 before heading out on a cross-country tour. You can also explore the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride Centre where the horses are stabled.
Lady Dive Amphibus
Planning on taking a tour of O-town? Then hop aboard the Lady Dive Amphibus for the Splash Tour. Part boat, part bus, this unique vehicle transitions seamlessly from land to water and offers a one-hour bilingual outing. Have your camera ready as you pass by the ByWard Market, Parliament Hill, and the Prime Minister’s residence, as well as embassies, parks, museums, and more.
Ticket kiosk at Sparks St. and Elgin St.
Just one of the archival photos from "New Brunswickers in Wartime." Photo credit: Chorus girls, Fundy Follies, around 1944. NBM, Murdoch Family fonds, F6.
New Brunswick may be hundreds of kilometres from Ottawa, but its war history is relevant to all Canadians. Until April 9, the Canadian War Museum is hosting an exhibit entitled “New Brunswickers in Wartime, 1914-1946.” Here you will find a wide selection of artwork, artifacts, and images that illustrate the stories of the people from this province during the First and Second World Wars — at sea, on land, in the air, and at home. Whether you’re from the east coast, have family there, or just take an interest in this country’s history, this exhibit will shed light on one province’s people and how they dealt with adversity during trying times.
There's plenty to see and do at the Vanier Sugar Shack.
No need to trek out of town for an authentic Canadian experience. The Vanier Sugar Shack — the only urban sugar bush in North America — is located right in the city. Explore the grounds and see how they produce syrup from more than 1,000 tapped maple trees in the surrounding forest, then chow down on delicious pancakes and other seasonal offerings. If you’re in town March 25 to April 1, check out Maple Sugar Fest. Richelieu Park, 300 des Pères Blancs Ave., 613-580-2424 ext. 32001.
Heading out of the city? Check out three other nearby sugar shacks.
1. Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane farm
This beautiful estate is just 30 minutes south of Ottawa and provides sleigh rides through the forest where the maple trees are tapped, as well as an annual Easter egg hunt. Runs until April 8. 2452 Yorks Corners Rd., Edwards, 613-821-2751. www.stanleysfarm.com
2. Proulx Farm
Thirty minutes east of Ottawa, this sugar shack is the perfect place for the kids to run off some energy. Featuring a petting zoo, a giant slide, play structures, and the traditional pancake meal. Maple syrup season runs until April 16. 1865 O’Toole Rd., Cumberland, 613-833-2417. www.proulxberryfarm.com
3. Fulton’s Pancake House and Sugar Bush
Just over an hour west of the city, this farm offers all the traditional aspects of a sugar bush retreat, plus a boutique with maple products and a maple bakery. Spring season runs until April 22. #291, 6th Concession Rd., Pakenham, 613-256-3867. www.fultons.ca
"Much More Munsch" features many of Robert Munsch's popular characters. Photo credit: © Manitoba Children's Museum and the London Regional Children's Museum.
The whimsical voice of Robert Munsch comes to life at the Canadian Children’s Museum. This special exhibit, entitled “Much More Munsch,” is based on works by the popular Canadian children’s author, who wrote such books as The Paper Bag Princess, David’s Father, and Love You Forever. Children are invited into Munsch’s imaginary house to engage in interactive activities and create their own cast of characters and stories. On view until April 9.
Bytown Musuem is an easy stop on a day of sightseeing.
Want to know how Ottawa ended up as the nation’s capital? Pop into the Bytown Museum to learn all about it. Located right beside Parliament Hill at the Rideau Canal locks, this museum can easily fit into a day of downtown sightseeing. View more than 7,000 artifacts, learn how Bytown formed – and later became Ottawa – and check out their newest exhibition, “Six Moments in the History of an Urban Forest,” which explores the role of trees in Ottawa’s history. Even locals will learn a thing or two about this city!
Gatineau Park makes for a serene skiing destination. Photo credit: National Capital Commission.
Want to get outdoors, but don’t want to go far? Look no further than Gatineau Park. Located just 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa, this conservation park has more than 50 cross-country ski trails ranging in both length (7.9 km- 40 km) and level (beginner to advanced). There’s nothing like gliding over fresh snow on a winter morning. Marvel at the forests and open fields as you fly by, then warm up by a wood burning stove at one of the 10 shelters, which are outfitted with picnic tables so you can enjoy a snack from home.
The Ottawa Convention Centre is one of more than 10 buildings included on the Polytectures walk. Photo credit: © Ottawa Convention Centre/Centre des congrès d'Ottawa.
Experience a city like never before with Polytectures, a unique “soundwalk” that is part of the Electric Fields festival taking place this weekend. Here’s how it works: Starting this past Wednesday, you can download the 45-minute audio guide to your phone/mp3 player from a mobile Internet site (temporary rentals of mp3 players are also available at the Bytown Museum). The audio will guide you to capital landmarks with voice-over narration and specially commissioned music pairings from Canadian bands and musicians. Buildings on the tour include the Ottawa Convention Centre (featured), the National Arts Centre, and the Government Conference Centre, while featured artists include Tribe Called Red, Crush Buildings, Math Rosen, and more.