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Precious Prize to Ottawa

18 Sep

Every now and again, we’re happy to highlight great comments we get from our visitors, so please consider this guest post from Susan Pottery, who was the lucky winner of our CBC’s Q contest this spring. Susan was gracious enough to send us the following emails and images, which are beautiful, by the way.  Thanks, Susan – come back any time!

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As summer comes to a close I am thinking of the wonderful time that I had in Ottawa thanks to Ottawa Tourism. Spring in Vancouver had been particularly cool and rainy this year so escaping to Ottawa for two weeks was incredible. Sitting on the patio at a restaurant in the market late in the evening was particularly memorable. I couldn’t believe how warm it was, almost tropical.

To be in Ottawa for Canada Day was remarkable. I felt very patriotic watching the fireworks from the Ottawa River. I also felt particularly lucky to be staying at the Arc Hotel during the Jazz Festival and thoroughly enjoyed the after hours music at the hotel. All in all it was a wonderful visit that left a lasting impression on me and my sister. Please pass on my thanks to the rest of the staff. I have attached some photos that we took. Ottawa is such a beautiful city and very photogenic.

Thanks again! Susan Pottery

 

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A whale of a time at the Canadian Museum of Nature!

16 Mar

Yes, that's the size of a blue whale's heart! Unbelievable! credit-Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008

March Break visitors to the Canadian Museum of Nature this week got a first look at the new exhibit, Whales Tohorā, which runs from March 2 to September 3, 2012. This exhibit is on loan from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Tohorā, means “whale” in Māori, and the Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand. Whale-bone treasures, such as weapons and adornments, that the Māori produced reveal the significance of whales to them and reflect the exhibition’s cultural expression of the relationship between the two groups.

Whales Tohorā explores the diversity, biology and adaptation of whales to life in the oceans and also on the human impacts on whales such as the threats of fishing nets, foreign debris, predators and boats. A stunning component of this exhibition is the massive 17.8-metre, fully articulated sperm-whale skeleton that gives a real sense of the sperm whale’s size as the largest toothed predator on the planet!

The exhibition’s Whale Lab is full of interactive science:

  • Children can crawl through a life-sized replica of the heart of the largest living creature—the blue whale.
  • The extraordinary evolutionary journey of whales from land to the sea is shown by casts of fossil whale ancestors.
  • Visitors can tune in to a range of whale sounds and discover how scientists and amateur trackers identify individual whales on their migration through the Pacific Ocean.
  • The Whale Lab also features Search and Destroy, an experience that takes visitors to the ocean depths on a hunt for a giant squid, re-created from authentic data and sounds collected from a real sperm whale.

Visitors of any age will find something of interest in this awe inspiring exhibit that explores the undersea world of whales and brings them to life with cultural storytelling, intriguing objects and interactive science.  For more information on the exhibit visit the Canadian Museum of Nature website or, to book your getaway package that includes a visit to the Whales Tohorā exhibit, visit www.ottawatourism.ca.

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.