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Discover your hood: Downtown

Living at an apartment in downtown Ottawa comes with the unique opportunity to experience Ottawa like never before! Whether you’re looking for student housing or an all-inclusive apartment for graduates or young professionals, Envie Rideau offers convenient access to tons of cultural and recreational attractions, including some of the most popular spots in the city. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the exciting things you can do in downtown Ottawa while enjoying the comforts of living at Envie Suites Rideau.

ByWard Market

ByWard Market is a vibrant culinary and cultural hub. Explore its bustling stalls, which offer everything from farm-fresh produce and artisanal cheeses to handmade crafts, boutiques, coffee houses, dining establishments, and bars – ensuring that you’ll want to return to Ottawa’s most historic spot over and over again! When hunger strikes, indulge in local specialties like BeaverTails and classic poutine. In the evening, ByWard Market transforms into a lively nightlife district with numerous restaurants, bars, and clubs such as Heart & Crown, or brewpubs such as Lowertown Brewery. For an authentic local outing, don’t miss a visit to the Château Lafayette, known as The Laff, which proudly holds the title of the city’s oldest bar!

Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal offers year-round beauty and recreational opportunities. In the summer, rent a paddle boat or kayak to explore its tranquil waters or take a leisurely stroll along its picturesque paths. During winter, don’t miss the magic of ice skating on the Rideau Canal, followed by a cup of hot cocoa from nearby stands.

Sparks Street

Sparks Street Mall is a pedestrian-friendly promenade boasting a rich history, where the fun really takes off! As Ottawa’s original pedestrian mall, it’s a hub of activity, shopping, and entertainment. Enjoy the unique boutiques, street performances, and vibrant events that define this lively street along with eclectic shops, outdoor cafes, and frequent street festivals. Sparks Street draws crowds of thousands during various popular festivals held throughout the year, such as the Poutinefest, the Ottawa Ribfest or the Busker Festival. Admission to these events is complimentary!

Several tour companies provide entertaining ways to explore the city, with a handful based right on Sparks Street. Guides from the Haunted Walk offer year-round walking tours, recounting the eerie tales of Ottawa’s history. During the warmer months, you can opt for the Lady Dive Tours’ Amphibus or their hop-on, hop-off bus, or embark on a two-wheeled adventure with Escape Bicycle Tours and Rentals.

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill is not just the political centre of Canada; it’s also a symbol of national pride. Take a guided tour of the Centre Block to see the historic House of Commons and Senate chambers. Be sure to explore the stunning Library of Parliament. During summer, witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony and stay for the mesmerizing Sound and Light Show projected onto the Centre Block in the evenings.

National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada is a haven for art enthusiasts. Inside, you’ll find an impressive collection of Indigenous, Canadian, and international art. Admire iconic works by the Group of Seven, Emily Carr, and Tom Thomson. Don’t forget to visit the Rideau Chapel, a hidden gem within the gallery, and take in the breathtaking views of the Ottawa River from its glass façade. Make the most of your visit to the gallery with FREE admission on Thursday nights from 5pm to 8 pm for seasonal refreshments, snacks and music!

Museums and Galleries

Ottawa’s diverse museums and galleries cater to a wide range of interests. Explore the wonders of the natural world at the Canadian Museum of Nature, delve into the fascinating history of currency at the Bank of Canada Museum, or immerse yourself in contemporary Canadian art at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Many of these institutions offer interactive exhibits and engaging activities too! 

Green Spaces

Major’s Hill Park and Confederation Park are serene oases within the bustling city. Enjoy a peaceful picnic with friends, admire the seasonal floral displays, or simply soak in the scenic views of the Ottawa River. Major’s Hill Park also hosts cultural events and festivals throughout the year, adding to its charm.

Cultural Festivals

Ottawa’s cultural calendar is brimming with festivals. During Winterlude, you can marvel at intricate ice sculptures, partake in winter sports, and skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway. The Canadian Tulip Festival ushers in spring with stunning displays of colourful tulips. The Ottawa International Jazz Festival brings world-class music to downtown stages. Be sure to check Ottawa Tourism’s local event calendar for dates and specific events.

Envie Rideau offers residents an unmatched living experience in downtown Ottawa, providing easy access to an array of activities and attractions. From cultural institutions to outdoor adventures, there’s always something exciting to discover. Make the most of your time living at Envie Suites and enjoy the blend of cultural enrichment and urban living. 

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