If you want to look like a local, be sure to pack your running shoes and outdoor gear, including golf clubs! Ottawa offers more golf courses within easy driving distance of downtown than any other Canadian city. There's also kayaking, canoeing, and river rafting.
Ottawa has a vast network of recreational pathways that wind past parks and historic sites. On Sunday mornings in the summer, over 50 kilometres of parkways in Ottawa and Gatineau Park are closed to car traffic and open just for running, biking, walking, and in-line skating.
Ottawa prides itself on promoting a healthy lifestyle - it was the first city in Ontario to receive the gold-level "Bicycle Friendly Community Award." Take in yoga on the front lawn of Parliament Hill with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of locals and tourists alike - every Wednesday at noon all summer long - it's a sight to behold!
Don't miss a stroll along the Rideau Canal, Ontario's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. "The canal", as locals call it, winds its way through the city, starting from the beautiful and historic locks at the Ottawa River beside Parliament Hill.
And if you want the full story on Ottawa, from historic downtown buildings to ghost stories, a walking tour or boat cruise is a must for any visitor.
Ottawa is home to several national museums showcasing the country's national art collections, rich heritage, military past and present, and natural wonders. Ottawa is also home to national theatre and musical productions, the country's mint and Cold War era fallout shelter, the Diefenbunker.
A visit to Parliament Hill, the seat of Canada's government is a fascinating option - from a tour of the buildings themselves to taking in the grounds on "the Hill". The stately property is home to statues and memorials, including the eternal flame, and nearby, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Located on scenic cliffs overlooking the Ottawa River, Parliament Hill is also home to the Changing of the Guard every morning from late June through late August. Just a bit further down Wellington Street is Canada's striking Supreme Court building, renowned for its Art Deco decorative details, and open for daily guided tours. Also nearby is Rideau Hall, the home of the Governor General, also open for daily guided tours throughout the summer.
The Byward Market is home to some of the city's trendiest boutiques, restaurants, galleries, and specialty food shops. Just a few blocks from the Westin, the Byward Market is one of Canada's oldest and largest public markets - and the city's birthplace. "The market", as locals call it, is definitely one of the hearts of the city. Not far from the market or the Westin is the CF Rideau Centre, Ottawa's largest shopping destination and home to some of the biggest names in fashion, beauty, and retail. Across from Parliament Hill is Sparks Street, an historic outdoor pedestrian mall that is home to unique shops, pubs and patios, and outdoor festivals throughout the summer.
We are pleased to provide delegates with the services of an on-site designated concierge who will be located next to our registration desk and available to assist with any social activities during your stay in Ottawa - ticket purchases, museum passes, car rentals, dinner arrangements, etc.
The ACSC concierge will be available on-site at The Westin Ottawa (next to our registration desk) during the following dates and times:
Tuesday, June 20 from 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday, June 21 from 09:00 - 17:30
Thursday, June 22 from 09:00 - 17:00
Watch this space for pre-conference contact information for the concierge - for those wanting to plan activities in advance!
Images at top: ottawatourism.ca