Things to do in Ottawa
Catch a classical concert at the National Arts Centre
For culture vultures, Ottawa's NAC (tel: +1 613 947 7000; www.nac-cna.ca/en) is a must. Situated on the Rideau Canal, visitors can catch classical music, dance and both French and English theatre here. Performances are still running whilst the current Brutalist building undergoes a rejuvenation that will see a space as colourful, imaginative and exciting as the programme.
Glide down a UNESCO World Heritage Sight
With just one UNESCO World Heritage Site, you would forgive Ontario for wanting to do anything to preserve it. Instead, during winter the Rideau Canal, which connects Ottawa with Lake Ontario, is turned into the world's largest ice rink (tel: +1 613 239 5000; http://rcs.ncc-ccn.ca). With rental spots en route, ride from downtown to Dows Lake.
Make for the lakes for a spot of swimming
Ottawa may be hundreds of miles from the sea, but that doesn't stop locals lapping up some beach action. To the north of the city, Gatineau Park (http://www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca/places-to-visit/gatineau-park) boasts six beaches. Leamy Lake is particularly great for swimming, whilst Smith Beach allows camping for those that wish to extend their stay.
Slam down the best ski slopes in North America
Skiers are spoilt in Ottawa. Mont Tremblant (tel: +1 866 356 2233; http://www.tremblant.ca) is not only one of the best slopes in Québec but arguably in North America. Hosting over 95 trails and runs, there's no shortage of variety ramps, rails and jumps here to keep thrill seekers happy, and they even have an Olympic calibre super pipe.
Tackle the Ottawa River's white water
Hold on tight and try to enjoy the region's gorgeous scenery with a white water rafting trip. Owl Rafting (tel: +1 800 461 7238; www.owl-mkc.ca/owl) offers six-hour long and daylong excursions on the Ottawa River that are a must for adrenaline junkies. With tours available from May to September, paddlers can even up the ante with a two-person inflatable kayak.