There is no arguing that Ottawans know how to embrace the spirit of summer. After hibernating for what seems like months on end, the city awakens and heads to patios, outdoor festivals, parks, beaches and everything in between. But, as an autumn breeze finds its way to the capital, it’s hard not to feel like the carefree days of months gone past are long behind us. Luckily, September 2015 has a stellar schedule in store. Dare I say, the month ahead looks even more promising than the last? Find your favourite scarf, buy a Pumpkin latte, and take in all that Ottawa has to offer this September.
1.Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival:
Turn your eyes to the skies September 3-7. Dozens of hot air balloons will be lifting off from parc de la Baie, in Gatineau, for a spectacular show up above. More than just balloons, the annual festival features a graffiti contest, amusement park, arts and crafts for families, and a classic car exhibition. Admission starts at $24, but free for children under 10 (minus the rides!).
2. A Visit to iNSiDE Out STUDiO Barre:
As summer winds down, people start to crave their regular healthy lifestyle routines. iNSiDE Out STUDiO Barre and their Tuck-A-Thon is the perfect place to be. iNSiDE Out opened its doors 3+ years ago as Ottawa’s First Barre Fitness Studio and has since been servicing the Greater Ottawa Area from their locations in Westboro & Stittsville. A unique blend of Yoga, Pilates, Ballet Barre & Strength training, iNSiDE Out is able to provide a challenging yet low-impact hour-long fitness experience. For mid-September through mid-October, their Tuck-A-Thon will challenge guests to attend as many classes as possible with amazing prizes from a wide variety of local businesses including the Lord Elgin Hotel, Whalesbone Oyster House, Napoli’s Cafe & more!
3.Alex Colville exhibit:
A Canadian icon, Alex Colville has been one of the most popular exhibits of the summer. In the stunning National Gallery of Canada, discover paintings of nature and animals that conjure the true Canadian landscape. Colville’s interest in human connection, mortality and love are also vividly evident in this moving collection. The National Gallery of Canada will host this exhibit until September 7. Admission is $16 for adults.
4.Northern Lights show:
Parliament Hill’s new sound and light show runs until September 12, and after rave reviews, it’s sure not to disappoint. Replacing Mosaica, which ran the roost on The Hill for years, the new rendition takes you on a thrilling journey through Canada’s history by illuminating Centre Block and the Peace Tour with colour, bilingual narration and an original score. Presented nightly, you still have a chance to take in the show for a couple more days. Bonus? It’s free!
Ottawa has become a city of food lovers. So, it only makes sense to celebrate our love of food with a festival dedicated to the most beloved food group: bacon. On September 12, bacon-lovers from across the city will gather at the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum to celebrate “Baconpalooza”. The event will feature food trucks such as Meatings, beer tents, music and lots and lots of bacon. Celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford will be on site offering new tips and tricks for cooking bacon, and be sure not to miss the bacon-market with lots of bacon-inspired goodies. Admission ranges from $20-50.
6. A day on the canal:
Dow’s Lake Pavilion boat rentals are available until mid-September which means there is still time to take in this beautiful city from a different angle. The reasonable eight kilometre paddle up the Rideau Canal—a world heritage UNESCO site—will lead you right to the heart of the city. Paddleboats, kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are among the popular rentals at Dow’s Lake Pavilion. During the last few warm days of summer, this is a great way to get outdoors and explore the city.
7. Dinner in the Glebe:
There is a long list of new restaurants that have opened in Ottawa this year, but there is definitely a hub found in the Glebe, where on every corner you’ll find a new addition to the culinary scene. The trendy neighbourhood is home to at least three new restaurants that are worthy of return visits. Dinner, drinks and a stroll by the canal will make for a memorable (and delicious) summer night.
o The Pomeroy House: Hungry Ottawans are going in to The Pomerory House and rave reviews are coming out. Owner and Chef Rich Wilson, and his partner Lyndsay Gordon hold culinary golden seals after their long stints in the kitchen of Beckta Dining and Wine. It’s no surprise that The Pomeroy House is already making waves.
o The Rowan: Ross and Simon Fraser finally opened their second restaurant after almost a decade of bringing a new meaning to local and fresh with their first child: Fraser Café. In the heart of the Glebe, find The Rowan: a menu focused on local ingredients but putting a new spin on English pub-style fare.
o Crust & Crate: Thin crust pizza and the hippest area in town is recipe for a good time. Crust & Crate is brand new and is nestled among the many other exciting attractions and restaurants at Lansdowne.
8.Marvest / City Folk:
Inspired by Austin’s SXSW festival, more than 60 local bands will invade Ottawa’s Bank Street September 18-19 for Marvest—a local spin on the larger CityFolk festival happening at Lansdowne. Thirteen Glebe shops, including unorthodox music venues like the Unrefined Olive and David’s Tea, will host free concerts to showcase local talent. If bigger names—like headliners Van Morrison or Of Monsters and Men—are more your vibe, head to the Great Lawn at Lansdowne for the season’s final outdoor music festival.
9.Shopping in Westboro:
Flock, Viens Avec Moi and Victoire are just a few of the stunning boutiques to be found in one of Ottawa’s favourite neighbourhoods. Take a stroll and browse dozens of one-of-a-kind shops, ranging from couture to cafés to kitchen wares. This hip destination in Ottawa is full of surprises for lovers of art, food, fashion and music. While you’re in the area, take in the Taste of Wellington West festival on September 19!
10.Attend a Redblacks game:
Attending a Redblacks game at the newly renovated TD Place Stadium is Ottawa’s favourite pastime. The city begins to buzz with excitement as droves of people, decked out in red and black, head to the field to watch our home team tear up the ranks of the Canadian Football League. Next home game takes place on Saturday, September 26 against the Toronto Argonauts.
Take a sneak peak into the arts and culture scene in Ottawa and Gatineau by attending Nuit Blanche: a dusk-until-dawn celebration taking place in multiple venues within the neighbouring cities. The 2015 event will take place on Saturday, September 19 starting at 6:19 p.m., and will host activities until Sunday, September 20th at 4:20 a.m.. Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau showcases stunning performances, live art, short films, silent parades and much, much more.