What to do on Valentine’s Day in Ottawa


Ottawa is a romantic city. With a vibrant culinary scene, a lively artistic culture and a beautiful natural landscape as its backdrop, Ottawa is the perfect city to host you and your valentine.If you’re still looking for plans this weekend, look no further than the many activities that Ottawa will be offering couples, singles and everyone in between.

Brookstreet Hotel Getaway

As much as you might like to treat your sweetheart to a 7-night stay in Hawaii, that’s not always in the budget. Enter the beauty of the staycation and Ottawa’s own Brookstreet Hotel for a romantic night for two. Luxury accommodations, an on-site spa and an indoor salt water pool will allow you and your Valentine to relax before you sit down to Brookstreet’s fantastic Valentine’s Day 7-course meal. Head over to the hotel’s jazz lounge for a nightcap where live music will set the mood for the rest of the evening.

Outdoor Adventures

This Valentine’s Day, all couples that love the outdoors are in luck. Ottawans can take a short drive to find themselves at the gorgeous Gatineau Park where snowshoeing and other winter activities are abundant. Trailhead offers inexpensive snowshoe rentals ($25.00 for adults) where you can trek through 20 kilometres of trails with varying levels of difficulty. Head out in the afternoon to catch sunset and then warm up at the nearby Black Sheep Inn for some live music.

Restaurant Crawl

We aren’t suggesting a pub crawl this Valentine’s day—instead, get a chance to experience some of Ottawa finest restaurants, by creating a “restaurant crawl”. Ottawa is home to so many exquisite eateries and—as an added bonus—many neighbourhoods have clusters of them within walking distance. While reservations may be hard to come by at your favourite restaurant for Valentine’s Day (at this point, anyway), restaurants rarely take reservations at the bar. So, if you’re willing to sidle up to the wood, then you’re in luck! Pick your favourite area of town and walk from place to place, having a drink and some light fare at the bar.

Opposites ARTtract

For those you approach Valentine’s Day with an open canvas, Monet: A Bridge to Modernity is on at the National Gallery of Canada until Feb. 15. This substitute for the oh-so-typical wining and dining will allow you and your date to get inspired by the works of one of the world’s most iconic painters. A glass of champagne at one of the ByWard Market’s many restaurants would be the perfect end to this artsy alternative.

Dare to Dance

Winterlude ends with a bang at the Aberdeen Pavilion on Sunday with “The Heat is On”.
Promising to be the biggest dance floor in town, DJs will tantalize couples and singles alike with groovin’ beats that are sure to bring the house down. Snacks, drinks and a reasonable $10 entrance fee makes this option great for those who love any excuse to put on their dancing shoes.

Holiday for the Haters

Not everyone is paired up, and for those who are particularly prickly about being solo on
Valentine’s Day, join the good folks at Hintonburg Public House or Union 613 for their respective Anti-Valentine’s Day parties. HPH is promising a suitable venue to drown your sorrows with $4 shots of Jameson’s Whiskey, while Union 613 will be offering bottomless supplies of craft beers. Who knows, your eyes may even lock on another naysayer’s and the rest could be history.

What to do on Valentine’s Day in Ottawa

Ottawa: What’s in Store for Women

ladies who lunch

We’ve already discussed how the face of Ottawa is changing. Whether it be in the emerging food scene or the millions of dollars invested in infrastructure to overhaul the landscape of Canada’s capital—Ottawa is “on the move” in a big way.

While these upgrades affect all citizens—youth, seniors, suburbanites or city slickers—today, we are going to pay particular attention on how a shift in Ottawa’s culture means added entertainment and adventure for one half of the population: women.

The National Arts Centre Renovation

For almost half a decade ladies (and gentlemen!) have flocked to the National Arts Centre (NAC) to take in live performances from some of the world’s most talented artists. Work has already commenced on a project that will completely revitalize the city’s centre stage. With the NAC’s $110.5 million facelift, and the neighbouring Arts Court also undergoing renovation, there is no doubt that these state-of-the-art facilities will become an even bigger attraction for women, their daughters and the community at large.

The Boutique Fitness Boom

In May of last year, entrepreneur.com profiled a new trend in fitness with this provocative headline: Thanks to Boutique Fitness, Working Out is the New Going Out. Over the last few years, Ottawa has quickly raced to stay in step with this corporeal craze. Boutique fitness concepts have popped up all over the city: from Yoga studios to CrossFit boxes, Barre Fitness to Boot Camp, spinning to circuits. What’s particularly enticing about this style of work out for women is that these hip, new gyms promote being social and belonging to a community. Working out is no longer an obligation. It’s a lifestyle, a second family and a fashion statement.

EY Centre Attractions

Don’t get us wrong, Ernst & Young (EY) Centre is gearing up to host the Ottawa Boat & SportsMEN Show later this month. The 5-year-old centre definitely holds its fair share of events that appeal to men and women of all ages. But with Eastern Ontario’s largest and best-equipped event space finding a home in Ottawa, women-tailored events are also abuzz in the Nation’s Capital. This past Fall’s headlining events included: Ottawa Fall National Women’s Show, the Ottawa Wedding Show and the Ottawa Fall Home Show.

Ladies Who Lunch (and do other things)

At work beneath the events and upgrades, the shows and the social, there is a growing community of women supporting women in this city. Ladies Who Lunch (LWL), a business networking event for women, has become much larger than that. Through its Facebook page of over 10,000 members, women post inspiring stories, calls to action, messages of support and place attention on important causes in a forum that is safe, encouraging and welcoming. LWL is just one example. Equal Voice, and its NCR chapter, rallies around its members to empower more women to pay attention to the under-representation of women in the Canadian political sphere.

As Ottawa continues to expand, grow and change, women—and the quintessential question of “What Women Want”—are at the forefront of the city’s altering landscape.

Ottawa: What’s in Store for Women