Although Ottawa is the capital of Canada and a globally recognized urban destination, it is comprised of a surprisingly large rural constituency and economy that distinguishes it from other Canadian cities. Ottawa’s rural land accounts for close to 80% of the city’s total area—the largest of any municipality in Canada.
Over one million people call the city of Ottawa home, with about 86,000 people residing in its rural areas. The countryside also counts over 2,000 businesses and entrepreneurs, including 1,300 farms that all contribute to the region’s broader economy. This supportive business environment, combined with a vibrant rural lifestyle, create an authentic rural experience that appeals to both visitors and residents.
A wide range of activities can be organized to offer delegates an authentic country experience that includes natural attractions, cultural and heritage facilities, and farm-based activities (artisan food, craft breweries and wineries, organic products, etc.). Many of the communities are within 30 minutes of downtown Ottawa – the perfect afternoon excursion for anyone craving local country flavours.
Fresh farm flavours
Rideau Pines produces delicious ingredients including berries, maple syrup, sumac juice and sheep’s milk yogurt. Visitors can use the bike-powered blender to make fresh smoothies, as well as tour the farm and buy pre-picked produce at the store.
The Log Cabin Orchard is a family farm whose co-owner Yazmin has roots in Mexico. At the on-site café, she whips up fresh, made to order tacos on corn tortillas with farm-fresh salsa sauce, as well as apple churros. The ideal fuel for picking apples or choosing the perfect pumpkin!
The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is a working farm located within Ottawa’s urban city! The museum highlights Canada’s agricultural heritage, food literacy, and the relationship between agricultural science and technology. You can also meet farm animals, from ducklings to cows. The new Learning Centre, heritage barns and outdoor spaces provide meeting facilities to learn and relax in a casual, fresh air setting.
Domaine Perrault is a small winery and vineyard just 25 minutes from downtown Ottawa. From 1,000 vines planted back in 1999, the team is now producing 14 different wines—including a rose and a semi-sweet dessert wine—made from hybrid grapes specially bred to thrive in cold climates like Ottawa. Sommelier Julie Richard shows her passion for wine and enthusiasm for the tasting process by offering guests delicious samples.
Also within a half hour drive from downtown Ottawa, Kin Vineyards offers a chic tasting room and patio. The hot summer sun and the soil made of clay loam over limestone allow the vineyard to produce Burgundian wine with Napa Valley stylings. A perfect place to enjoy the laidback, relaxing vibe in Ottawa’s nearby countryside.