5 Unusual Things to Do in Ottawa

Ottawa is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Canada. As the capital city, it plays host to several government buildings and is a thriving cultural, arts, and tourist melting pot. But do you know that there are many other ways to have fun in Ottawa apart from the usual walks and museum tours? Here are some of the unusual things to do in Ottawa to create lasting memories of your time in the beautiful city.

Spend a Night in Jail

Yes, you read that right. One of the most unusual experiences you can have in Ottawa is to spend your night behind bars in the HI Ottawa Jail Hostel, formerly known as the Carleton County Gaol. You could also go on The Haunted Walk to tour the building, which was built in the 19th century as a prison for some of the most dangerous criminals in the North America of yore. Whether you want a tour or have the courage to spend the night in the century-old building, you won’t miss the reason why Ottawa was once a notorious town.

Chill Out in a Cold War Bunker

The Diefenbunker is an underground bunker built as a refuge for Canadian government officials in the event of a nuclear attack during the Cold War. The Diefenbunker is known as Canada’s Cold War Museum. You can tour the structure’s emergency broadcasting studio, the prime minister’s secret room, and the war room. You could also catch a movie from that tumultuous period at the bunker’s Cold War Cinema if you visit on the third Tuesday of the month.

Get Your Crystal Ball

Head off to any of the crystal shops in Ottawa to get your window to the world, Middle Earth style. There are many of these shops in Ottawa, and they have a mesmerizing collection of crystal balls of various shapes, colors, and sizes. You can also get different types of souvenirs and mementos as keepsakes or gifts for your loved ones back home. And every time you gaze into the balls, you will always remember the fun times you had in Canada’s capital city.

Check Out Maman the Giant Spider

Image via Flickr by Arch _Sam

Straight out of the sci-fi books is the 30-foot-tall Maman, a gigantic spider sculpted out of stainless steel, marble, and bronze. Built by Louise Bourgeois, the breathtaking piece of art was formerly at the Tate Modern in London, to the admiration of thousands of tourists and locals alike. It has since been moved to the entrance of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Staying at a nearby hotel puts you within walking distance of  Notre Dame Basilica, Nepean Point, the Peacekeeping Monument, The Royal Canadian Mint, and many other attractions.

Yoga on Parliament Hill

The verdant green lawn at Parliament Hill is the location of a richly satisfying free mass yoga class that takes place every Wednesday in summer. Get the yogi in you active by going to Yoga on Parliament Hill in the company of hundreds of other tourists.

There is so much fun to have in Ottawa. The city offers the normal, old, fashionable, odd, and everything in between. When next you are in Ottawa, turn the fun up a notch by exploring one of these unusual places. The memories will last forever.

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