This summer, everyone is hoping to get together, and it’s important to do so safely. This may mean thinking outside the building by embracing Ottawa’s stunning outdoor venues and event spaces. From rooftop patios to expansive plazas, stadiums to art galleries, here are some great places to host safe and stylish outdoor events in Canada’s capital this summer.
Ottawa is home to seven of the country’s nine national museums which provide unique meeting options. At the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum, located at the Experimental Farm within central Ottawa, event planners have two outdoor options. The Meadow is a spacious lawn adjacent to one of the barns that frequently hosts tasting events, barbecues, picnics, and other food-related events, whereas the covered open-air Pavilion can accommodate seating for 150 at a banquet, or serve as a theatre, concert hall, or reception space.
The Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec has several outdoor meeting and event spaces that boast some of the best views of downtown Ottawa across the Ottawa River. The large patio outside the Panorama Café is ideal for dining, while the nearby Waterfall Court with its pools and water features has plenty of outdoor seating space and great acoustics due to the building’s curved lines. The lower riverside park serves as a natural amphitheatre where eventgoers can sit on the grass and watch live performances, fireworks displays and other entertainment.
In Centretown, between the vibrant Bank and Elgin streets, the spacious plaza in front of the Canadian Museum of Nature offers plenty of space for larger events, with a stunning backdrop provided by the century-old Gothic castle-style building that houses the museum.
TD Place Stadium at Lansdowne
Home of the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa REDBLACKS and Canadian Premier League soccer team’s Atlético Ottawa, TD Place Stadium at Lansdowne in the Glebe neighbourhood is more than just a place to watch professional sports and concerts. The entire field can be rented for events (think outdoor concerts, open-air yoga retreats, and more). For smaller gatherings, the Subaru Log Cabin’s double-decker patio offers food and beverage service and up-close views of the field during games and other events.
Ottawa Art Gallery
The newly renovated Ottawa Art Gallery, adjacent to the Rideau Centre and the University of Ottawa in the Downtown Rideau area, boasts two large outdoor terraces. The North Terrace faces Parliament Hill and is partially covered, offering protection from the weather, while the South Terrace is sun-washed during the day and fancifully illuminated at night by the gallery’s LED-lit mesh wall, a piece of art in its own right.
Several hotel properties throughout the region have unique outdoor spaces. The 16-storey Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market hotel, in the historic ByWard Market neighbourhood, is crowned by Copper Spirits and Sights, a rooftop bar and lounge with a patio large enough for parties that also offers possibly the city’s best urban views.
The Brookstreet Hotel in Ottawa’s west end boasts a large outdoor pavilion for open-air events that offers protection from the elements, so no rain dates required. Plus, the venue includes an 18-hole golf course and award-winning culinary program.