Getting to know your host

Photo:   Padraic Ryan

Ottawa, Ontario is the capital city of Canada.  It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario.  It borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the core of the National Capital Region (NCR).

Ottawa and the National Capital Region is the perfect location for special events when it comes to proximity and diversity.

“Ottawa is blessed with an abundance of attractions that will enliven your visit no matter the time of year. Bask in the city’s wealth of historic landmarks — from the iconic Parliament Buildings to the Rideau Canal — all located within its downtown core; marvel at the architectural wonders that house national museums and galleries, before taking in their world-class exhibitions; and, soak in Ottawa’s natural beauty, the perfect backdrop for your next outdoor adventure. And round out those experiences with activities that will excite your kids during the day, food that will comfort or surprise (depending on your mood), and nightlife that sparkles.”
- Ottawa Tourism


As the capital of Canada, the City of Ottawa is home to close to one million people and is the fourth largest municipality in the country. Here are some quick stats and facts about your host:

  • Ottawa has a population of 970,000 as a municipality, and the National Capital Region has a population of 1.3 Million, making it the fourth largest municipality in all of Canada.

  • Ottawa’s land area is 2,796 square kilometres (1,080 square miles for our friends to the south), an incredibly large area. As an example of how big this is, the island of Manhattan is 60 km², San Francisco is 121 km², and all of New York City is 783 km². The state of Rhode Island is slightly larger than the city of Ottawa, at 3,140 km²!

  • Ottawa has been home to many ‘notable’ people, including Paul Anka, Margaret Atwood, Sandra Oh, Dan Ackroyd, Tom Green, Lorne Greene, Elizabeth Manley, and is the birth place of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands.


  • Parliament Hill - home of Canada’s national government, the Peace Tower, the Centennial Flame, Changing of the Guard ceremonies, statues and monuments galore.

  • ByWard Market - downtown open-air market

  • Rideau Canal - 202 kilometre waterway connecting Ottawa to Lake Ontario. In winter, it becomes the world’s largest and second longest skating rink.

There are many, many more attractions to see; please check the resources below for other ideas.


Whether you’re looking to add some excitement to a post-conference evening, or turning your stay into a holiday, Ottawa has much to offer in the month of July.

July 1 - Canada Day - if you’re in town early (well, very early) enjoy the Nation’s Birthday in the capital.

July 13 - H.O.P.E. Volleyball Summerfest - This is North America’s largest one-day charity outdoor beach volleyball tournament, with more than 25,000 players and spectators and a wide variety of entertainment events.

July 4 - 14 - Ottawa RBC Bluesfest - One of the largest international music events in the world, with over 220 varied musical acts on several outdoor stages, attracting more than 300,000 fans.

July 4 - 17 - Music and Beyond - A classical music festival that presents concerts, including orchestras, choirs, bands, wind ensembles, recitals, baroque groups and more.


Scott Thornton