We hear a lot about wellness in the meetings and conventions industry these days–and with good reason: meeting planners and delegates are increasingly demanding that wellness-related programs be included in business events. In Ottawa, their wishes are being met with an increasing supply of programs, experiences and opportunities that support the well-being of delegates attending events in Canada’s capital. Here are our top five.
1. Eat Well
Committed to culinary excellence and sustainability, Ottawa’s Shaw Centre offers healthy selections across its impressive menu. Delegates can start the morning with the Centre’s light breakfast Healthy Starters, take a break with its Healthy Hunger refreshment packages, enjoy its Wholesome lunch buffet, plus select from a wide range of vegetarian and vegan items available morning, noon and night.
2. Stretch It Out
Yoga is a big part of many people’s wellness routines. And yoga is BIG in Ottawa. In fact, every Wednesday at noon during summer, delegates can join hundreds of practitioners on the front lawn of Parliament Hill (just a block from Shaw Centre) for Yoga on the Hill–one of the biggest regular yoga sessions in the country. For planners that want to make yoga part of their agenda, Ottawa Venues, in partnership with Pure Yoga, is working on a program set to debut in spring 2020 offering yoga at conferences.
3. Go for a Run
Over 800 km of dedicated recreation pathways criss-cross Ottawa and the capital region, affording those who like to run an almost endless selection of routes. Many hotels provide running maps that connect to the pathway system, including the Westin Ottawa, which has a morning run club for guests and offers special runs for conferences.
4. Take a Spin
That same network of recreation pathways also accommodates cyclists. Delegates can rent a bike downtown and ride along routes that take them along the Rideau Canal (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), to parks and lookouts, and past many national sites, landmarks and attractions.
Whether a one-hour treatment or full-day escape, Ottawa spas offer delegates relaxing ways to unwind, invigorate and socialize. Holtz Spa is a local favourite, located just steps from Shaw Centre. In nearby Centretown, ISÖ Spa offers relaxing flotation therapy. And 10 minutes north of the city in the Gatineau Hills, delegates can enjoy a relaxing full-day getaway at Nordik Spa-Nature, the largest spa in North America, where relaxing and socializing with colleagues can add yet another dimension of wellness to the experience.