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Ottawa Tourism and Roots Canada – a great partnership and a great contest!

16 Jan

Put on your Roots gear and head to the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa!

Ottawa Tourism and Roots Canada have paired up to encourage Canadians to explore the joys of winter. Visitors to Roots outlets across Canada can enter the Let’s Go Outside! contest until February 14, 2012 and have a chance to win a 4-night trip to Ottawa! You can also enter the contest online.

The prize package includes:

The partnership was launched at a media event in early January 2012 at the Roots flagship store at 100 Bloor Street West in Toronto, with assistance from Savvy Company (who sourced Savour Ottawa cheeses and Ontario wines), Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa (who provided delicious macarons for dessert and some door prizes) and Ontario Tourism. Thanks to all who attended!

Last chance to vote for your NHL All-Stars to come to Ottawa!

3 Jan

Hurry – today is the last day to cast your ballot for your favourite players to join the National Hockey League 2012 All-Star Game, to be held in Ottawa on Sunday, January 29, 2012!

The 2012 NHL All-Star game will be played at Scotiabank Place, home of the Ottawa Senators, but the Fan Fair interactive fun will be at the Ottawa Convention Centre downtown. PHOTO CREDIT: Ottawa Senators Hockey Club

In fact, there are a whole series of fun hockey activities in Ottawa, stretching between January 26 and 29, including the popular NHL All-Star Fan Fair, to be held at the beautiful Ottawa Convention Centre, overlooking the Rideau Canal Skateway!

Fans can go online to vote for up to 3 forwards, 2 defensemen and one goalie — before 11:59pm on Wednesday, January 4. As a bonus, you might win a trip to the game itself!

If that doesn’t work out, consider booking a trip through Ottawa Tourism! Our NHL Scotiabank Fan Fair Weekend Getaway offers accommodation, tickets to the Fan Fair, promotional credits at the Casino du Lac-Leamy and a certificate for a Rideau Centre savings directory!

Fans of the Ottawa Senators have been voting early and often for hometown faves Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Erik Karlsson and Sergei Gonchar to join the all-star squad! Why not join them?

Chris Robinson Travel Show features Ottawa Dec. 24

21 Dec

If you’re in the Toronto area, tune in to NewsTalk 1010 from 10:00 to 11:00am on Saturday, December 24 for the Chris Robinson Travel Show‘s feature on Ottawa.

You’ll learn more about the plans for Winterlude and other winter celebrations, post-Christmas shopping options, relaxing at Holtz Spa, staying at the Fairmont Château Laurier, dining at Le Cordon Bleu Bistro @ Signatures, visiting the National Gallery of Canada and the Canada Aviation & Space Museum and more!

To whet your appetite, check out the video at the bottom of Chris Robinson’s homepage: http://www.chrisrobinsontravelshow.ca/

 

New Year’s Eve in Ottawa

13 Dec

Are you spending New Year’s Eve in Ottawa this year? Check below for some options to ring in 2012 in style!

Enjoy dinner at Le Café within the National Arts Centre before catching the Blue Man Group this New Year's Eve!

At the National Arts Centre, you can spend New Year’s Eve with the Blue Man Group, followed by a post-show party in the lobby. Tickets range from $55 to $135 before taxes and charges. To really splurge, sign up for the pre-show dinner at Le Café. It’s a 3-course meal with coffee, tea, and live music for $69.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity).  NOTE: Dinner tickets are only available upon purchase of show tickets.

Across the Rideau Canal from the National Arts Centre, you can celebrate the arrival of 2012 at the sexy Ottawa Convention Centre. Called Dancing in the Stars, tickets are $159 per person and include a 4-course gourment dinner with wine, champagne toast at midnight, the soul funk disco sounds of the Hammerhead and two trips available to be won.

The brand new CE Centre near the Ottawa International Airport is marking New Year’s Eve with a gala event called Timeless 2012. $50 for the party, $125 for gourmet dinner and party.

If you really want to maximize the glitz factor, consider dinner and a show at the Casino du Lac-Leamy where you can groove to the funky beats of rhythm ‘n’ blues at the Esquire Show Bar revue. Starting at 8pm, tickets are $211.22 per person (which includes tax but not service and gratuities) .

In Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood — also known as Preston Street — the Sala San Marco is dishing up a gourmet, black-tie optional evening for its guests. Tickets are $150 for adults, $95 for children 12 and under. The event has sold out for the last two years and features a 40-foot midnight buffet table, party favours, a photo booth and a 12-piece band!

In the Kanata neighbourhood, you can welcome in 2012 at the contemporary Brookstreet, with a five-course dining experience with live music, from $99.95 per person.

If you just want to dance your way into the new year, consider Zaphod Beeblebrox in the ByWard Market neighbourhood. A $10 cover fee gets you in to hear some great music and maybe try a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster to celebrate!

Winterlude is just around the corner!

6 Dec

Ottawans love to skate on the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway each winter.

The snow has started to fall in Ottawa and thoughts are turning to Christmas, the holidays and the whole winter season!

This winter marks the 42nd season of organized ice skating on the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway. The Canal snakes 7.8 km (4.8 miles) through downtown Ottawa— kids skate to school, people skate to work! It’s the equivalent in size to 90 Olympic-sized ice rinks, giving it the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink.

It takes several consecutive days of -15° Celsius (-5° Fahrenheit) or colder temperatures to ensure that the ice is at least a foot thick. That’s when the National Capital Commission deems it safe enough to open to the public — usually in late December or early January.

Skating on the Rideau Canal is the centrepiece activity of Winterlude, the capital region’s annual celebration of all things winter. The event takes place February 3 to 20, 2012.

Most activities are held on the weekends— learn-to-skate clinics, a hockey tournament, a winter triathlon, children’s entertainment—but the ice sculptures, skating on the Rideau Canal and the Snowflake Kingdom children’s snow playground are offered during the week as well (except Tuesday and Wednesday for Snowflake Kingdom). Best of all, most activities are free!

Foodies will love Taste of Winterlude, which runs from January 26 through February 20. Some of the capital’s best local restaurants create unique culinary events—wine and food pairings, chef demonstrations, walkabout winter feasts and more.

Book your visit to Ottawa with the Winterlude Rendezvous for Two package or the Winterlude Family Getaway! And don’t forget, participating Ottawa-area hotels are offering Third Night Free for travel until March 31, 2012.

New water taxi service links Ottawa – Gatineau – Casino

16 Sep

The Gatineau dock (with beautiful view of Parliament Hill) for Au feel de l'eau's new environmentally friendly electric aquabus.

A new water taxi service is linking sites along the Ottawa and Gatineau Rivers. Au feel de l’eau operates a pollution-free electric boat that can hold up to 12 passengers, 2 wheelchairs and 4 bicycles.

Until October 9, it departs each morning at 9am from the Casino du Lac-Leamy, and arrives at the Ottawa wharf (located where the Rideau Canal empties into the Ottawa River, near the Bytown Museum) around 10:00am. At 10:15am, it begins to shuttle back and forth between Ottawa and a site on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River near the Canadian Museum of Civilization until 12:20 when it departs Ottawa for the Casino again.

At 1:30pm, it leaves the Casino and between 2:35 and 6:15pm, it shuttles back-and-forth between Ottawa and Gatineau. The final run from Ottawa to the Casino departs at 6:15pm, arriving at 7:15pm.

If weather conditions permit, the company will continue the Ottawa-Gatineau shuttles for an additional week, until October 16. In 2012, the service will run between May and October.

The cost is $5 per person (tax included) for the Ottawa-Gatineau shuttles and $15 per person for the Ottawa-Casino shuttles.

The company also offers private group bookings.

UPDATE (September 18): Until further notice, the water taxi will operate in the afternoon only!

Royal Visit mania strikes Ottawa!

24 Jun

The TD Ottawa Jazz Festival offers free progamming in Confederation Park on Canada Day.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are coming to Ottawa for Canada Day and the residents of Canada’s Capital Region couldn’t be happier!

The official itinerary has been released, showing visits at the National War Memorial, Rideau Hall, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Parliament Hill during the Canada Day Noon Show and the Canadian War Museum. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to come out and say hello to the newlyweds!

But what else is going on in town with a royal theme?

The National War Memorial is a stunning monument in downtown Ottawa.

On Canada Day, the Lord Elgin Hotel  on Elgin Street downtown is creating a huge wedding cake in the couple’s honour that members of the public can sample. Right across the street, the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival offers free programming on Canada Day and great shows from June 23 to July 3, 2011.

Meanwhile, at the castle-like Fairmont Château Laurier, you can take it up a notch by indulging in their very popular afternoon tea service. For a limited time, they’re offering “Royal Tea” which includes a glass of Moet et Chandon champagne!

The whole family will enjoy a visit to the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada on July 1 for their Canada Day Garden Party!  Held on the Museum’s outdoor plaza at the corner of Bank and Sparks Streets downtown, they will celebrate the Royal Visit and Canada’s 144th birthday with a British-themed garden party featuring games, music, refreshments and crafts for everyone.

And if that works up a thirst, Mom & Dad can quench it at ZenKitchen on Somerset Street West with a refreshing take on the classic Cranberry Kir Royale with a pomegranate cranberry drink dubbed the Cranberry Kir “Royal Visit!”

For a more active option, head to MKC in the City which is planning a very cool tribute to the Royal Couple. On Thursday, June 30, between 1 and 4pm, you can try your hand at whitewater kayaking. For $30, you can paddle three times through the course at the Pumphouse, which is located at the western edge of downtown Ottawa, not farm from the Canadian War Museum. (Directions: Take Bronson Avenue northbound, turn left (west) on Albert Street, then an immediate right on Rue Commissioner.)

Welcome to Ottawa, Your Royal Highnesses!