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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Canada > Ontario > Ottawa

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Shopping in Ottawa

Shopping in Ottawa has something to offer everyone.

Key areas

Sparks Street Mall is a pedestrian mall running between Elgin and Lyon Streets, a block south of the Parliament Buildings, and a good place for tourist items. Glebe and trendy Westboro are popular neighbourhood shopping districts.

Markets

ByWard Market, nestled in the city's historic Lowertown neighbourhood, is one of the oldest outdoor markets in Canada, and is Ottawa's most popular shopping district. By day the outdoor market overflows with fresh produce, flowers, arts and crafts. It is the best place to find eclectic groceries, such as fiddleheads and ramps, and locally harvested maple syrup.

Browse the bakeries, cheese shops, handcrafted clothing stalls and artisan boutiques. A multitude of eating spots and restaurants cater to every taste, and by night the area hums to the beat of hip nightspots. Be sure to try an original Ottawa pastry from the BeaverTail stand at the market. A beavertail is a flat, deep fried pastry in the shape of a beaver tail, usually topped with sugar and cinnamon.

Shopping centres

The Bayshore Shopping Centre, at 100 Bayshore Drive in Ottawa West, includes large retailers like The Bay and Zellers. The downtown Rideau Centre, 50 Rideau Street, is home to leading fashion retailers, local artwork, jewellery and over 180 stores. Taste the famous ice wine that Canada is known for, available at LCBO and Wine Rack stores.

Large malls east of downtown include the Place d'Orleans at 110 Place d'Orleans Drive and St Laurent Shopping Centre at 1200 St Laurent Boulevard, both with hundreds of stores, restaurants, cinemas and activities. Westboro Village has become increasingly popular for its outdoor clothes stores

Take the kids for a sensory smorgasbord at Mrs Tiggy Winkles, Ottawa's neighbourhood toy store, found at the major shopping centres (Rideau, Place d'Orleans and Bayshore).

Opening hours

Most shopping centres are open Monday to Saturday 0900-2100 and Sunday 1000-1800. Outdoor markets open at daybreak.

Souvenirs

Foodies should try and look for maple leaf shortbreak cookies, maple syrup, and cheeses. In addition, handmade aboriginal crafts and outdoor winter clothing is also worth looking at.

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Featured Hotels

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Rideau Inn

This Edwardian home offers budget accommodation amid elegant surroundings. There are 10 classically furnished rooms, some of which have ensuite bathrooms; a smart dining area for breakfasts and a cute decked area for a drink in the summer. The inn is located in a leafy downtown residential neighbourhood known as the Golden Triangle close to lively Elgin Street, home to restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs.

Econo Lodge Downtown

The Econo Lodge Downtown offers air-conditioned rooms, some of which feature fridges, microwaves and whirlpool baths. Free continental breakfasts and internet access are offered. The lodge itself is close to Parliament Hill, the Royal Canadian Mint, the National Arts Centre and the National Gallery of Canada.

Fairmont Château Laurier

Reminiscent of a French chateau exuding old world elegance and luxury, the historic Château Laurier is a favoured destination of dignitaries and celebrities. Ideally located next to the Parliament Buildings, the hotel has 426 newly renovated rooms filled with antiques, three restaurants, a business centre and a spectacular art deco swimming pool.

The Metcalfe Hotel

A serene oasis in the heart of the city, this brand new boutique hotel, formerly Hotel Indigo, features soaring skylights, cool colours, running water and scents that change with the season. Plush bedding, hardwood floors, spa-inspired showers, indoor pool, high-speed internet and an adjoining gourmet, fast and casual restaurant provide for every need.

Brookstreet

Nestled in Ottawa's Silicon Valley North, this boutique hotel overlooks the Marshes Golf Club, cross-country ski trails and jogging paths. Relax in spacious, sleekly elegant rooms, dine in two upscale contemporary restaurants or soak up the pampering at the Naturel Wellness Spa.

Avalon Bed and Breakfast

This simple but friendly B&B is located close to major attractions and bistros, cafes and restaurants. It offers three rooms plus a spacious, two-room suite on the third floor. Parking is available and a full breakfast is included.