Did you know that you can experience Ottawa’s many museums, attractions, activities and entertainment anytime online? With virtual options for all ages including behind-the-scenes tours, livestreamed performances and cooking classes, you can easily access the best of Canada’s capital without leaving home. Best of all, most of the online content mentioned below is free, except for some of the activities and performances!
Museums and galleries
- National Gallery of Canada: Virtual NGC presents online access to some of the Gallery’s Canadian, Indigenous and international collections. Plus, kids and adults can get creative with online activities.
- Canadian Museum of History: The Museum at Home portal brings Canada’s most visited museum to your home, including a 360˚ tour of the Canadian History Hall, exhibitions, crafts, games, films and more.
- Canadian War Museum: You can access online exhibitions, videos, activities, resources, and even behind-the-scenes content through the Museum at Home portal.
- Canadian Museum of Nature: The museum invites you to Explore Nature through their 3D self-guided tour, virtual behind-the-scenes tours, videos, activities and more.
- Canada Science and Technology Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Canada Agriculture and Food Museum: The three Ingenium museums have gathered Online Resources for Science at Home including virtual tours, digital learning kits, games and apps, recipes, online collections and more.
- Diefenbunker: Take virtual tours of the historic underground bunker (now Canada’s Cold War Museum) and try their online activities including colouring pages, jigsaw puzzles, an online game and more.
- Ottawa Art Gallery: Explore Virtual OAG for virtual tours, videos, interviews and activities related to current and past exhibitions featuring local and regional art.
- Bytown Museum: Explore Ottawa’s history by taking a virtual tour of the exhibitions housed in the city’s oldest stone building, and by viewing the museum’s collection and filmed performances.
- Bank of Canada Museum: Have fun while learning about the Canadian economy with lesson plans, activities, and more.
Historic sites and other attractions
- Parliament of Canada: The Virtual Experience takes you on an immersive journey through the Centre Block’s unique spaces and architecture via online videos, virtual reality (VR), or group viewing options.
- Rideau Canal: Watch fascinating behind-the-scenes and aerial videos about the Rideau Canal Skateway in winter. To see what the UNESCO World Heritage Site is like in the summer, watch TVO’s program TRIPPING the Rideau Canal, a four-hour immersive “real-time” virtual boat trip.
- Rideau Hall: Take a virtual tour or register for a live online guided tour of the official residence and workplace of the governor general of Canada, a beautiful National Historic Site.
- Supreme Court of Canada: This historic site is offering remote guided tours with a guide-interpreter upon request.
- Beechwood Cemetery: Canada’s National Military Cemetery offers an online virtual tour highlighting four locations and monuments within the site’s historic grounds.
- Watson’s Mill: Take a virtual tour to learn how this historic site has been producing flour since the 1860s and helped shape the village of Manotick, now an Ottawa suburb.
- National Capital Commission: Take an interactive, virtual walk-through of remarkable Trees of Canada’s Capital with an interactive map.
- Escape Manor: Test your escape skills online with friends, family or colleagues—from one or more locations—with Digital escape experiences.
- Haunted Walks: Try an interactive and ghostly online audio experience with The Haunting at Home - A Paranormal Adventure.
- C’est Bon Cooking: Learn cooking skills at home by joining virtual interactive cooking classes which are offered to adults and children in both group or private format.
- National Arts Centre: Access a variety of livestreamed or recorded workshops for all ages that cover topics like Hip Hop beats, opera singing, powwow workouts and much more.
- Ottawa Public Library: Access a wide variety of free virtual programming including cooking demonstrations with local chefs, author visits, and sessions on health, technology, ecology, and more. (Must be an Ottawa resident with a library account.)
- Ottawa REDBLACKS: Keep young fans of the CFL team happy with an online kid’s activity pack including mazes, colouring pages, and more.
Events and performances
- National Arts Centre: Through their #CanadaPerforms series, Canada’s home for the performing arts regularly livestreams music, dance, theatre and other performances by Canadian artists.
- Sound and Light Show – Northern Lights on Parliament Hill: Enjoy a virtual show of this annual event which is normally projected onto Centre Block every day in the summer with English and French audio. An online activity kit contains crafts, games and more.
- Canadian Tulip Festival: Take the Virtual Tulip Legacy Garden Tour to learn the history and horticulture behind this popular spring festival, and download pretty colouring pages.
- Ottawa Chamberfest: The largest chamber music festival in the world offers online performances broadcasted live and followed by a Q&A session with the artists.
- Local live music: Live Music Lovers Ottawa regularly compiles lists of locally-based performances (livestreamed as well as live).
For Ottawa activities and performances that you can do online with friends, family or colleagues—such as tasting sessions, trivia and theatre—check out our Must-try local fun virtual social events.