Ottawa is a city of experiences, and you could have spent your entire life here without seeing everything Canada’s Capital has to offer. The city is comprised of various neighbourhoods of different sizes and themes, ranging from old-world modern conversion projects to incredible multicultural melting pots. Here are some of Ottawa’s must-see unique communities.
An eclectic stretch of unique shops, restaurants, and Asian-influenced décor, Chinatown is a great destination for an afternoon out. Located primarily along Somerset Street, visitors to this beautiful area have the opportunity to try their hand at calligraphy and painting, sing their hearts out at VIP Karaoke, shop and dine in authentic Chinese family-run establishments full of authentic ingredients from overseas, and explore various landmarks such as the Chinatown arch. Whether you’re sipping a one-of-a-kind bubble tea, partaking in acupuncture treatments, or finding out what your zodiac sign is, this is a wonderful location full of unexpected surprises and new sights, sounds, and tastes.
Ottawa’s ByWard Market is one of the city’s most traversed and thoroughly popular neighbourhoods. Stretching from St. Patrick Street down to Rideau Street, it serves as the gateway to a multi-ethnic community full of experiences that will excite your senses. Swing by for a fantastic buffet lunch at Tucker’s Marketplace, visit one or several fine art galleries full of vibrant creations, explore the massive market consistently filled with local and international vendors presenting truly unique crafts and specialty foods, and cap it all off with a stop in the marvelous Moscow Tea Room. Afterwards, the massive Rideau Centre is just a few steps away, full of even more shopping and dining options as well as transit stations connecting visitors to the rest of Ottawa.
Whether you’re trendy or not, the Glebe is an absolute must. Bordered by the Queensway to the north and the beautiful Rideau Canal to the south, this energetic and youthful neighbourhood is a stunning mix of old-world charm infused with modern innovation. After a stroll through the lush gardens of Commissioner’s Park alongside Dow’s Lake, head over to Bank Street from Queen Elizabeth Drive and prepare to be amazed. Dozens of specialty stores including everything from tea shops to independent book stores, cinemas, and incredible restaurants line the area and stretch all the way up Bank Street until hitting Wellington Street, and you’ll find the city’s newest and most popular entertainment venue, TD Place, alongside the sprawling Lansdowne Park. This multipurpose arena hosts everything from rock concerts to Ottawa Redblacks games on a regular basis. In fact, the Glebe is always full of unique events, such as the Ottawa Geek Market (a must), the Canadian Tulip Festival, and Folkfest.
New Edinburgh / Rockcliffe Park
Just past Green Island and along the eastern shores of the Rideau River, you’ll discover the verdant paradise that is in fact the culmination of several smaller neighbourhoods. New Edinburgh, Rockcliffe Park, and Lindenlea collectively form a one-of-a-kind shopping and dining experience just north of Vanier. Continuously being updated with new and exciting modern developments and a thorough revitalization program, this area, the spine of which consists of the fascinating Beechwood Avenue, is full of sprawling green spaces, specialty shops, and various attractions. These include the elegant Rideau Hall, the large local pond (perfect for a swim and lounging on the beach), and everything from pubs and independent restaurants to barber shops and wonderful coffee shops. Full of lush gardens and natural beauty, this is a wonderful place to settle down for either an afternoon or an entire lifetime.
No matter whether you’re visiting from out of town or have lived in the area for a decade, Ottawa is rich in new attractions and atmospheres that tingle the senses and inspire the mind. Explore the hidden gems of the city, and see what you uncover!