Another summer of mostly staying close to home means lots of walks around the city. Golden hour walks around downtown Ottawa are the best when the light changes, the weather cools down a bit and people are chilling in the park and on patios. My favourite places are along Wellington Street, Major’s Hill Park, around the National Gallery of Canada and the Byward Market, down along the Rideau Canal close to the NAC and of course the Ottawa Locks by the Chateau Laurier. Here are some snapshots of summer evenings in Ottawa.
Back in the fall we visited beautiful Prince Edward County. It’s one of our favourite places to travel and it was the perfect little getaway during the pandemic where we could easily spend time outdoors and distanced from people. This was our fourth time in PEC (you can see my other posts here!). You can also read my PEC Travel Guide and Winery Guide updated for 2021 with full details on the best places to visit. But here’s a rundown of our lovely weekend in Prince Edward County (better late than never!)
Since I’ve been unable to travel for over a year I’ve enjoyed exploring my own city. Even though I’ve lived in Ottawa my whole life there are areas of the city I’ve never explored and new things that I’ve discovered. One of the fun things I’ve been doing is seeking out public art around the city. Unity by Yasaman Mehrsa is a recent installation on the steps down to the Rideau Canal in between the National Arts Centre and the new Senate of Canada building. This beautiful artwork has a lovely message too. The houses represent humans and the pathways represent nature, but together they symbolize unity. Ottawa has so much to offer and there is so much to explore in this wonderful city, especially at times like these. Now that the weather is getting warmer I can’t wait to get back out exploring.
When we visited Prince Edward County last summer we decided to stay at the new Skyward Cabin at The Edward B&B. When we visited PEC in 2019 we had the most amazing stay at The Edward but with the pandemic, accommodation options become a bit more limited since they were now renting the entire B&B instead of individual rooms to limit contact between guests. Luckily The Edward recently opened a beautiful glass walled cabin in the woods on their property. This little cabin in the woods was the perfect getaway, especially a time when you want to be a bit more secluded and away from other people.
With summer travel options being pretty limited in the time of Covid-19 we decided to do a little day trip to Prince Edward County to catch the lavender bloom in July. PEC is one of our favourite places to visit and although we already have a weekend booked for September we just couldn’t wait until then to return.
For my birthday weekend I really wanted to visit Prince Edward County to explore more of the region and of course visit some wineries. Usually when travelling we stay in Airbnbs and if we do stay in hotels we never spend much time there. For this trip I wanted to splurge a bit and stay at The Edward Bed & Breakfast to have a relaxing vacation and a cozy place to stay that we would actually want to spend time at. The Edward was absolutely amazing down to every last detail and truly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
Skating on the Rideau Canal is probably the best thing about winter in Ottawa. I mean where else can you skate on a historic UNESCO World Heritage Site canal through the centre of a city? Stretching 7.8km the Rideau Canal is the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink and my favourite thing about winter here in Ottawa.
Christmas at Upper Canada Village is one of the best places to see lights during the holiday season. I usually end up going after Christmas to see the Alight at Night festival to extend the Christmas season a bit. I love just walking around seeing all the pretty lights and there are also horse drawn wagon rides.
A little while ago I took a day trip to Almonte, Ontario, a town just outside of Ottawa. You can read my full guide to this charming little town here! One of the reasons I wanted to visit was to go to Hummingbird Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate maker. Hummingbird Chocolate is sold around stores in Ottawa but I knew they had more to offer at their store and factory in Almonte. One of the great things is that they offer tours every Saturday at 10:30am. It’s $5 and then you get 10% anything you buy in store after the tour. But you should reserve online in advance because only 12 people are allowed on the tour and it only runs once a week. Find all the info here. Now for some more info, a review and photos!
Toronto is the biggest city in Canada and it’s a perfectly nice city but I honestly don’t particularly enjoy visiting it that much for some reason, but I inevitable end up there a couple times a year to see major art exhibitions. As someone who loves art and studied art history in school it’s one of my primary motivations for travelling places. So whenever I do end up in Toronto I try to make the most of it by seeing new things and eating great food (which there is lots of in Toronto). Over the last few years I’ve been visiting pretty regularly so this is my little Toronto Travel Guide that includes all my favourite places from my most recent trip as well as past trips to the city.