As Canada’s Capital, Ottawa is full of unique buildings and event spaces that you won’t find anywhere else in the country. From one-of-a-kind national museums that all offer their own unique mood and setting, to smaller, quaint venues located just outside of the downtown core, Ottawa has a location that will make your event memorable at any time of the year. Discover a few of the city’s unique event venues that you probably didn’t know you could rent!
DIEFENBUNKER: CANADA’S COLD WAR MUSEUM:
Located deep underground in the town of Carp, Ont., just west of Ottawa’s scenic downtown core, the Diefenbunker is a four-storey, 300-room, 100,000-square-foot (30.5-square-meter) cement bunker. Originally built in complete secrecy by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker between 1959 and 1961, the bunker – which was actually never used or visited by Diefenbaker – was meant to house 535 Canadian government and military officials in the event of a Cold War nuclear attack. Today, much of the bunker remains untouched by time, making this one of Ottawa’s most unique historical sites and coincidentally, one of the city’s most unique event venues.
Take your guests underground for your meeting or event, and also let them marvel at the decontamination centre, the Prime Minister’s Suite and the CBC broadcast studio. In the past, the Diefenbunker has hosted several events, fundraisers and more. Full catering and meeting planning services are available. This is a venue that won’t be easily forgotten. It’s also a great photo opportunity for your guests!
And we bet you didn’t know this fact; you can even rent the Diefenbunker for an exciting round of laser tag in the dark! Start with a casual meal in the bunker’s cafeteria, and then head out on a laser tag adventure throughout Canada’s Cold War Museum. This venue will not disappoint!
Located just 20 minutes north of Ottawa’s downtown core in Chelsea, Que., Nordik is the largest nature spa in North America and is also a popular retreat as well as event destination.
In addition to the world-class outdoor spa, which is home to a unique Källa salt water treatment, Nordik offers a Deluxe Lodge for meetings and gatherings of up to 14 people and the Alpina Lodge, which can accommodate up to 16 people. Team build or go over the budget in these rustically beautiful buildings, while taking in the natural scenery provided by the luscious Gatineau Park. Catering and meeting planning services are available.
And for something a little different, why not incorporate some spa time into your event? Keep to business for part of the day, and then take advantage of some of the spa’s offerings such as the Thermal Baths and Saunas experience, massages, the Källa treatment and more. Is there a better way to end a busy work day?
Located in an old building on Queen Street, in Ottawa’s downtown core, Escape Manor is one of Ottawa’s newest attractions as well as a unique team building event venue.
Opened last fall, this attraction invites both small and larger groups to work together to successfully escape from five darkly-themed rooms. Opt to escape from a crazy winemaker in the Wine Cellar escape, flee death row in Prison Break, run from a mad scientist in The Asylum, save your soul by escaping The Darkness or try to avoid becoming a zombie in The Apocalypse. Each room offers a series of well-hidden clues and challenging puzzles that force team members to work together to make their escape.
Outside the escape rooms, you’ll find a cozy lounge area as well as a fully-licensed bar. Your guests will be able to relax before going into their escape room or celebrate their success with a drink if they’re able to get out. Also, depending on the size of your event, Escape Manor can put together a custom escape experience for your group. Catering services are also available.
THE QUEENS’ LANTERN AT THE CANADIAN MUSEUM OF NATURE:
Located at 240 McLeod Street in Ottawa’s downtown core, the Canadian Museum of Nature offers full catering as well as event and meeting planning services. But did you know that you can host your event inside the beautiful Queens’ Lantern?
Added to the Museum’s original structure during a renovation a few years ago, the Queens’ Lantern is a unique, 65-foot (19.8-meter) glass tower that stands over the Museum’s 100-year-old mosaic floor. Providing beautiful lighting and lovely views, this is a perfect spot for a scenic banquet or reception. This space can be rented for $1,900 CDN and is available within as well as outside of the Museum’s regular hours of operation.
The Queens’ Lantern is actually used for the Museum’s monthly Nature Nocturne event. Once a month, a DJ is brought in and people are invited to enjoy a drink while dancing the night away in the Lantern. This is a popular Ottawa event that sells out quickly!
THE OTTAWA MARRIOTT HOTEL’S SUMMIT REVOLVING ROOM:
If you’re looking for beautiful, dramatic, 360-degree views of Ottawa, the Marriott Hotel’s revolving venue is where you’ll want to be.
Located high above Ottawa’s downtown core on the hotel’s 29th floor, the Summit Revolving Room spins around slowly, providing beautiful views of the iconic Parliament Hill, the Ottawa River and the ByWard Market neighbourhood, among many others.
This unique meeting and event space offers 5,000 square feet (1,524 square meters), which can accommodate up to 300 people. Whether you’re hosting a meeting or a more social event, your guests will be delighted by the bird’s eye views of Canada’s enchanting capital. Catering and meeting planning services are available.
THE RETREAT & SPA AT STRATHMERE:
Located at just a short drive south of Ottawa’s downtown core in North Gower, Ont., Strathmere is a beautiful, full-service meeting and event venue. Here, you’ll find 12,000 square feet (3,658 square meters) of meeting space, three unique reception facilities, various outdoor sites as well as 34 guest rooms, all nestled amongst beautifully manicured grounds.
A relatively new addition to Strathmere is The Retreat & Spa, where you’ll find retreat and spa packages as well as many à la carte services including manicures, pedicures, massages and even makeup applications. Why not attend your meeting and then get pampered? You can even sign up for a yoga class to get you moving.
Or if you have a little more free time, you might want to consider one of Strathmere’s unique retreat experiences. You can enjoy a hike and a soak in a hot tub, a wine and cheese pairing or a massage, complete with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Here, business and pleasure are perfectly mixed!
All of these unique venues are available for your meeting or event at any time of the year. To learn more about them or about other interesting event venues in Ottawa, get in touch with Ottawa Tourism’s Sales team!