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Cycling in the Capital - Parliament

Ottawa Virtual Tours, Exhibitions, Activities and Performances

Lean in and be educated, or sit back and be entertained, with virtual tours and performances from Ottawa, a city packed with museums and artistic culture.

Virtual tours

  • Parliament of Canada’s House of Commons to learn about Canada’s government while Centre Block undergoes several years of renovations;
  • Rideau Hall, the official residence and workplace of the governor general of Canada;
  • Take a video tour through the gardens and grounds of the National Gallery of Canada;
  • Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History, to learn about Canadian history and experience from coast to coast to coast;
  • Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum, the underground-bunker-turned-museum which was built to house senior members of government during the Cold War (be sure to check out their new Bunker Boutique!);
  • Bytown Museum, which tells the history of Ottawa from rough and tumble lumber town to the country’s modern capital;
  • The Canadian Museum of Nature released guided walkthrough tours on their YouTube channel to bring viewers to explore the museum, the Butterflies in Flight exhibition and permanent galleries;
  • Take a virtual trip down the Rideau Canal with TVO’s program TRIPPING the Rideau Canal! This four hour, immersive “real-time” trip down the UNESCO World Heritage Site explores the beauty and history of the Rideau Canal as if you were sailing yourself;
  • Just south of Ottawa, Watson’s Mill in Manotick brings visitors back to the 1860s. Check out their virtual tour to learn about flour production and the start of the town;
  • See important works and objects from AY Jackson’s career in the Firestone Collection at the Ottawa Art Gallery’s virtual 3D tour.

Online exhibitions and activities


  • The National Arts Centre, Canada’s home for performing arts located in downtown Ottawa, brings the arts online in a new way with their #CanadaPerforms series, highlighting Canadian artists during livestream concerts, offered most days.
    • Ottawa Bluesfest and the National Arts Centre both offer summer drive in concerts. #CanadaPerforms at RBC Bluesfest Drive-In celebrates Canadian musicians beginning July 31 and August 1 on the Zibi site in Gatineau.
  • Ottawa’s oldest tavern—the Château Lafayette—dates back to 1849 and normally offers some great live music options. On Facebook, catch Bluesman John Carroll Wednesdays starting at 9:00pm Eastern time and Lucky Ron continues his weekly-since-1986 Saturday afternoon country-tinged shows starting at 5:00pm Eastern time.
  • Support Ontario artists by watching living room concerts at Music Together, presented by Ontario Live.

Festivals and Events

  • Local tech company SportsStats offers a Physical Distancing 5K, inviting participants to register and run a course at its west-end headquarters anytime between now and September 2020.
  • The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend has cancelled its annual event scheduled for May 23-24, 2020 and will be going virtual this year with a virtual race. Run Ottawa is working with Sportstats to create a shareable virtual finish line to allow participants to run or walk on their own between May 15 and September 7 while respecting and promoting all public health physical distancing guidelines.
  • Capital Pride will move their annual celebration of the city’s 2SLGBTQ+ community online, August 21-30, 2020.
  • The Canada Army Run cancelled its annual race but encourages participants to participate in the Canada Army Run: Virtual (September 12-20, 2020).
  • The following festivals have been rescheduled for later dates: Escapade (September 5-6, 2020), the Franco-Ontarian Festival (September 24-26, 2020), Ottawa Poutinefest (October 29-November 1, 2020), and the inaugural CRAVE Food and Wine Festival (November 20-22, 2020).

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