By Anna Hobbs

Parliament hillSteven_Kremadis/iStock

Whether it’s spring when the city is awash with 100,000 vibrant tulip blooms, summer, when the nightly Light and Sound extravaganza brightens Parliament Hill, or the catch-your-breath explosion of leaves in autumn or Winterlude, that February celebration of all things frosty, Ottawa’s colors alone are a magnet to draw visitors year-round.

Not your typical government city of monochromatic greige government buildings, Ottawa has been bright and beautiful for years. It will be even more so as it celebrates 150 years as a nation.

GuardsSerega / iStock

In preparation for the big birthday, the Ottawa 2017 task force has been working for two years to create 12 full months of big, bold, colorful and moving experiences. Big Signature Events will animate the entire city, community celebrations will enliven neighborhoods and legacy projects will change the urban landscape. It will be a special year of national pride for all.

Rideau Canal SkatersCourtesy of Ottawa Tourism

The celebration launched on New Year’s Eve with an early-evening, family-friendly lighting of a spectacular cauldron and a youthful parade weaving through the downtown streets. The events that follow will include world skating competitions on the Rideau Canal, astonishing magical mechanical creatures to captivate audiences, an enormous picnic on a grass-covered Alexandra Bridge, and more, all culminating on July 1st on Parliament Hill with flyovers by the famed Snowbirds. This biggest birthday bash ever will include a giant street party, free concerts and events, and a new cultural village downtown being built out of sea containers. 

 You’re invited to come see the most colorful Ottawa ever. Happy Birthday Canada!

Originally published in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Winter/Spring 2017 issue.

Get Cruise & Travel Updates!
Get Cruise & Travel Updates!