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A Summer Guide in Ottawa’s Original Downtown

June 9, 2024

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Ottawa is the place to be this Summer! With a variety of fun outdoor activities, and countless patios that offer immaculate views, stunning drink options and oh so delicious dishes.  

Ottawa’s Original Downtown has the perfect blend of all these things that make it an ideal destination for the summer whether you’re visiting from out of town or a local exploring their city, this guide will help you plan out that perfect summer vacation! 

The Great Outdoors

We only have three months of beautiful summer weather, so don’t waste a moment and spend your day out in the sun and take in the luscious greenspaces, lounge on a comfortable patio or paddle across the Rideau Canal!

Take your noble bike and ride across this historic downtown in just a few spins that will take you from the Rideau Canal to Parliament Hill to the beautiful parks. Have your lunch to go and have a picnic at Confederation Park or check out the NCC Bistro that offers unbelievably delicious foods and an assortment of drinks.

Do you love to travel by water? Trek along the Rideau Canal or the Ottawa River with Ottawa Boat Cruises. Experience the essence of Ottawa by water and journey through the iconic waters that will leave you speechless once you see the gorgeous views that this city has to offer! If you prefer to stay on land, no problem because all summer long you can see artists and bands perform along the Rideau Canal for everyone to enjoy. Nothing sounds more peaceful than that, am I right?  

Stellar Patios with Views

Métropolitain Brasserie

Did you know that Ottawa’s Original Downtown offers visitors a genuine Parisian dining experience – and that it’s available outdoors? It’s true! Guests at Métropolitain Brasserie are free to choose from any of their exquisite menu items all while sitting under a beautifully lit patio flanked by the historic Fairmont Chateau LaurierRideau Canal and Senate of Canada Building!

📍 700 Sussex Drive

⏰ Monday – Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

⏰ Thursday – Friday: 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.

⏰ Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 11 p.m.

⏰ Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 10 p.m.

📞 (613) 562-1160


The Aulde Dubliner

Think it’s impossible to take the experience of a genuine Irish pub outside? Think again! The Aulde Dubliner has two patios on two storeys; the top story features an exquisite mezzanine balcony overlooking the core of the Byward Market, while the bottom floor features umbrella-covered tables to keep you cool on a hot day. Centrally located in the heart of Byward, the Aulde is perfect place to grab a pint and listen to some live music before setting off to explore the Market!

📍 62 William Street

⏰ Sunday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

📞 (613) 241-0066


La Terrasse

For over a century, everything about the Fairmont Chateau Laurier has been synonymous with excellence, elegance and luxury – a mantra that extends to its restaurants as well. The Chateau’s seasonal patio, La Terrasse, features a menu of expertly crafted shareables and larger plates while guests can overlook breathtaking vistas of Parliament, the Gatineau Hills and the Ottawa River!

📍 1 Rideau Street

⏰ Sunday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

📞 (613) 241-1414


Check out our 2024 Ultimate Patio Guide to Ottawa’s Original Downtown: Part 1 and Part 2 to read more on the amazing array of patios on Rideau Street and surrounding streets!

Special Events in Ottawa’s Original Downtown

All throughout the summer months you can count on spectacular shows and events to light up Ottawa’s Original Downtown!

Take the kids on a fun family night out and catch the dazzling pyro musical firework shows during Les Grands Feux du Casino Lac-Leamy. Let yourself be entranced and carried away by the magic of these fireworks displayed by artists from all around the world like China, Spain, Barbados, and the United Kingdom. These shows literally light up downtown that brings everyone together!

Spend a night out on the town and sit at one of the buzzing patios that are offered here before you check out the musical phenomenon Les Miserables at the National Arts Centre. This acclaimed production is sure to be one to remember with brilliant staging qualities, with an enthralling story of broken dreams, love, passions, and sacrifice.  

Grab your lawn chairs and sit down with an ice-cold drink and listen to incredible performances at this year’s Ottawa Jazz Festival. Listen to the artists of this year’s line-up like Laufey and Norah Jones and be surrounded by the  buzzing downtown landscapes.

Check out our online Events Calendar for more special events and festivals taking place in Ottawa’s Original Downtown all summer long!