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Celebrate Canada’s 150 in Ottawa

The hottest ticket in Canada this summer is a trip to the nation’s capital. To celebrate the country’s 150th birthday, visitors nationwide are looking to Ottawa as the ideal destination to show their national pride. Between fireworks, events and parties on Parliament Hill, there’s no shortage of ways to show your love for our home and native land. If you’re celebrating Canada’s 150th in Ottawa this summer, here are some not-to-be missed festivities, restaurant suggestions where you’ll find great Canadian cuisine and places to lay your head after you’re done celebrating Canada’s biggest birthday yet.

Where to stay

Ottawa is home to the first Andaz hotel in Canada. This contemporary hotel is just steps away from the historic ByWard Market, where you can shop, eat and support local artisans. But beware: it may be hard to peel yourself away from Copper Spirits and Sights, the hotel’s rooftop lounge that serves up craft cocktails, small plates and supreme people-watching views from above. Afterwards, head to the main floor to feast + revel and indulge in its fresh farm-to-table menu, infused with authentic Canadian flare. andazottawa.com

For a more traditional experience, stay at the Fairmont Château Laurier. Steeped in history, Ottawa’s famed castle changed the face of the city when it opened its doors in 1912. With more than 100 years of history, the Fairmont is still a popular place to stay for visitors today. Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, the Château Laurier is just steps away from the Parliament Buildings, Rideau Canal, ByWard Market and the National Gallery of Canada. The luxury hotel just received a multi-million dollar makeover, transforming its rooms and suites into modern accommodations suited for the celebrities, heads of states and dignitaries that call the Fairmont home while in Ottawa. To while away a leisurely afternoon, don’t miss the afternoon tea at Zoe’s Lounge where you can indulge on freshly baked scones, homemade strawberry jam and Devonshire cream. fairmont.com/laurier-ottawa

Where to eat

For an eclectic array of tastes, meander through theByWard Market where you’ll find a vast selection of food vendors. Whether you want “Curry in a Hurry” at Shafali Bazaar, authentic Mexican cuisine at Corazon de Mais or local Canadian fare at Canada in a Basket, the ByWard Market serves up a myriad of flavours. And, whatever you do, don’t leave without hitting the Beavertail stand for a taste of the Canadian sugary fave.

Sparks Street is another area that’s popular for its dining options. Chock-full of patios during the summer months, quench your thirst for local brew at the 3 Brewers where beer is brewed in-house. The menu, which includes everything from sharable plates to burgers and poutine, also comes with perfect beer pairings for the ultimate experience.

What to do

Party on Parliament Hill on July 1 as droves of Canadians and visitors do, sporting their nationalpride in red and white, of course. The Canada Day festivities on ‘The Hill’ go from morning to night and include ceremonial events, musical concerts, activities and, of course, an eye-popping fireworks display. canadaday.gc.ca

Get inspired at Ottawa’s Inspiration Village. Located on York Street in the ByWard Market neighbourhood, Inspiration Village is an awe-inspiring site, designed using shipping containers. This edgy-looking venue highlights each of Canada’s provinces and territories with a succession of special exhibits and performing arts events. ottawa2017.ca

Go underneath the surface at Kontinuum, a free underground multi-media experience created by Moment Factory that brings an interactive sound and light fantasy voyage and projects it into one of Ottawa’s future Light Rail Transit (LRT) stations. ottawa2017.ca

Being in Ottawa for Canada’s 150th birthday will be a memory to cherish. Whether you simply meander through the market, visit the majestic Parliament Buildings or participate in one of the many events happening throughout the city, there’s no better place in the country to celebrate Canada’s biggest birthday….preferably with a beer in hand, eh?

-by Rachel Naud