Ottawa is a great town to explore and there are actually quite a lot of things to see and do that are absolutely free! Here are a few things to check out and all of them are within walking distance from Albert House Inn Bed and Breakfast. After you have enjoyed one of our fabulous breakfasts, take a stroll and explore –
Take a tour of the historic Parliament Buildings and get a panoramic view of downtown Ottawa from the Peace Tower. Before you go though, head across the street to the tourist information centre and get your free ticket. The Changing the Guard Ceremony, which takes place every day at 10 am., usually attracts quite a crowd so get there about 15 minutes early to get a good vantage point. After the Guard ceremony, stay around because at 11am until 12 noon every day there is a Carillon performance. You can hear the bells from anywhere on the Hill. There are 53 bells, the largest of which weighs 10,090 kg. They are quite something to hear.
The Supreme Court of Canada
Most people don’t realize that you can tour the Supreme Court. A visit to the Supreme Court of Canada gives you the opportunity to become better acquainted with our highest court. Tour guides, who are all law students, familiarize visitors with the operation of the Canadian judicial system and explain how legal issues of public importance are dealt with by the Supreme Court of Canada. When the Court is in session, it is possible to sit in on the hearing of an appeal. Tours which last 30 minutes are offered from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, including weekends and holidays, and guided tours are conducted on a continuing basis. English tours start on the hour and French tours on the half-hour. No visits are offered between 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m.
The Rideau Locks
One of the most dominant features of Ottawa, which most drivers passing over this bridge never notice, are the beautiful flight of eight locks. More than just an item of passing historic interest, these locks are the reason for the founding of Ottawa and represent an amazing engineering achievement in the middle of the Canadian wilderness of the early 19th century. Although motorists don’t get a good view of the locks, the Plaza Bridge does provide pedestrians with an excellent view. Canada’s Parliament buildings rise majestically in the background. The locks connect the channel of the Rideau Canal in Ottawa to the Ottawa River, almost 80 feet (24.4 m) below.
Stay awhile and watch how the locks lift the boats up from the Ottawa river.
Museum of History and War Museum
Both national museums offer free admission every Thursday between 4 pm and 8pm. You will still however have to pay a fee for any special exhibit or Imax film showing in the museums. The free admission is only for the general exhibits which are plentiful themselves.
Museum of Nature and National Gallery
These museums are also free every Thursday between 5pm and 8pm. You will still have to pay a fee for any special exhibit as the free admission only applies to the general exhibits which are certainly plentiful and in the case of the National Gallery, certainly more than you will be able to enjoy in three hours.
Seniors (65 years or older) can take the bus for free all day and all night every Wednesday.
So you see, there are lots of things to enjoy in downtown Ottawa without spending any money! You can also stroll along the Rideau Canal and check out the boats moored alongside or walk along the Ottawa River pathways and enjoy the views.
Remember, all of these wonderful places are within walking distance from our comfy bed and breakfast.