What makes a city trip successful? Good food, fascinating museums, unique boutiques and hospitable locals? But, what if you could also add adventure to that? Canada is the country with the most lakes in the world and consists of 31% forests, in other words: the paradise for nature lovers. Did you know that Canada also has the largest concentration of snakes in the world? Even more than in Australia…
But besides nature, Canada is also the country of vibrant cities, excellent cuisine and surprising activities. This all comes together in and around Ottawa. This is perhaps the most adventurous city in the world. Travelers in a vintage airplane can discover Ottawa from above and Ottawa is the only city in the world where you can go whitewater rafting. These are Ottawa's most surprising activities.
Table of contents
Brewery hopping + ax throwing
In addition to Maple Taffy and BeaverTails, Ottawa is home to more than 50 breweries, less than an hour's drive from downtown. A garage converted into a brewery, tasting rooms with live music and a café with 100 different beers on tap, something for every beer lover. A fun way to discover Ottawa's beer culture is on a brewery tour with Brew Donkey. But Ottawa wouldn't be Ottawa if they didn't extend this tour with something surprising. For example, there is a beer tour with two different stops at breweries, followed by a game of ax throwing.
Whitewater rafting within the city limits
Ottawa is the only place in the world where adventurers can go whitewater rafting in a city. The Ottawa River lies between two counties and forms the northern boundary of the city of Ottawa. Hop into a raft and let yourself be swept through Class II and III rapids as a bald eagle soars overhead. Enjoy views of Parliament Hill and who knows, you might even spot a family of beavers.
Sharks made of pumpkin – The Pumpkinferno
Each fall, Upper Canada Village, an hour from Ottawa, turns into an Instagrammers dream. That's when the Pumpkinferno takes place. During this pumpkin festival, 7.000 pumpkins are processed by hand into works of art. From dragons and sharks to Dia de Los Muertos skulls, maples and whole trains. On a 1 km long route you walk past gigantic and minimalistic illuminated works. This year Pumpkinferno will take place from September 30 to October 22.
Ziplining from province to province
In Ottawa, travelers will find the world's first-ever interprovincial zip line; Interzip Rogers. The zipline connects the province of Ontario (of which Ottawa is part) with the province of Quebec. And with a starting point about 37 meters above the Ottawa River, this is the zipline for the real adventurer. At 40 km per hour they race along the 365 meter long cable over breathtaking places in the cities.
Nice addition: the zip line offers two parallel tracks, allowing two to race to see who arrives first in Quebec.
Spectacular view from a vintage plane
Ottawa is a diverse city, with many architectural highlights. One of the best ways to discover the city is from the air. Ottawa Biplane Adventures offers flights in vintage airplanes. Then you fly in an open cockpit with planes that date from the Second World War.
These planes can only accommodate two passengers, making you feel like a bird in the sky during the flight. Depending on the tour, passengers enjoy beautiful views of Parliament Hill, Ottawa River and the Gatineau Hills. Ottawa from above can be booked from $95 per person.