Events in Ottawa: June 2017

Events in Ottawa: June 2017

With the increasing heat and summer just around the corner, June is when Ottawa’s major activities and events really kick into high gear. There’s something for everyone, and you won’t be short on new experiences and discoveries this month. Here are a few of the incredible new activities and events hitting Canada’s Capital this June.

Doors Open Ottawa: June 3-4, 2017

For the curious or those passionate about local history, nothing beats having special access to Ottawa’s most prestigious and historically significant locations — especially if it’s for free. Doors Open Ottawa is a popular annual event for inquisitive tourists and residents alike, during which owners of unique heritage buildings across the city unlock their doors and grant limited-time access to explore some of Ottawa’s best-kept secrets. Over 150 culturally significant buildings will be featured in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. Over 80,000 visitors are expected. The Sir John A. Macdonald Building, Chateau Laurier Hotel, and Supreme Court of Canada are just a few of the hundreds of buildings featured in past iterations.

Glowfair: June 16-17, 2017

Free to the public, Glowfair is an annual block party that bathes iconic Bank Street in neon lights, luminescent art installations, live concerts, and incredible street performers. Spanning ten city blocks, this increasingly popular festival transforms Ottawa’s retail hub into an explosion of colour, shimmering lights, and bombastic music. It’s definitely not to be missed. Previous performers have included major pop and electronica outfits such as Dragonette, and unique activities such as “Glow Yoga” and belly dancing flash mobs.

If it sounds completely crazy and over-the-top, that’s because it’s supposed to.

Red Bull Global Rallycross: June 17-18, 2017

Thrill-seekers and speed demons alike will be inevitably drawn to the roaring engines and cheering crowds of Red Bull Global Rallycross, taking place in Ottawa for the first time in its seven-year history. Encompassing portions of the Rockliffe Airport next to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, grandstands, track barriers, 600-horsepower Supercars, and crackling energy form the four pillars of this electrifying two-day event. Featuring paved and dirt segments as well as the series’ signature 70-foot jump, this is a high-octane dream for the young and young-at-heart. Children 12 years and under enter free when accompanied by an adult, and as a bonus the Canada Aviation and Space Museum is just steps away, offering must-see exhibits including space shuttle Endeavour’s Canadarm, among countless other iconic pieces of aviation and space history.

Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragonboat Festival: June 22-25, 2017

Featuring free live concerts by major bands such as The Sheepdogs and Half Moon Run, activities and games for children including the world’s largest playground, strolling performers dressed as superheroes and movie characters, and a wide array of delectable culinary treats, the annual Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragonboat Festival is a definite highlight of the summer. Opening just as the season of sun and fun begins, it typically attracts around 75,000 attendees and 5,000 paddlers, the latter taking part in team-based dragon boat races in Mooney’s Bay. Established in 1994 and now North America’s largest dragon boat festival, visitors are sure to be wowed by the sheer scale of this aquatic spectacle.

Ottawa is a place of energy and excitement, particularly during the summer months. This June’s available activities and events are definitive proof, and you’d be surprised how much more there is to come in the following weeks, particularly as we inch closer to Canada’s 150th Birthday. Start planning!

To discover more events this month, visit the Ottawa Tourism event schedule.


Corey Reed is an Ottawa-based freelance writer with a passion for ocean liners and retro gaming. He has published a wide variety of content including reviews, essays, and retrospectives that can be found at

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