Surrounded by sparkling blue waterways and ringed by hundreds of public parks, Ottawa is considered the second-cleanest city in Canada. Ottawa hosts numerous festivals each year, including the Canadian Tulip Festival, and has plenty of available outdoor activities for people of all ages.
Scotiabank Place at 1000 Palladium Drive and the National Arts Centre at 53 Elgin Street in Confederation Square both hold many Ottawa concerts each year. Everyone from Gordon Lightfoot to Jerry Seinfeld has performed inside of the National Arts Centre, which was built in 1969 as part of the Centennial Project. Scotiabank Place opened more recently, in 1996, and it is the home for Disney on Ice Canada. The venue also serves as a concert hall that has featured Roger Waters and Leonard Cohen on its stage.
There are also outdoor music festivals, like the newly renamed RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest, which takes place every July for two weeks at LeBreton Flats Park. Although it is called a “blues” festival, it has expanded to include other acts from different genres of music. Past performers have been Fergie, Iron Maiden, The B52s, Soundgarden, Bonnie Raitt, and India.Arie.
Quieter outdoor activities abound at the many Ottawa parks. Andrew Haydon Park, located right on the banks of the Ottawa River, has a bandshell for small concerts, walking trails, playground equipment, and a swimming area. Nepean Creek Park is landlocked near Hog’s Back Falls and features a bicycle path and soccer fields.
Tours of Ottawa can take place on land, by sea, or in the air. Central Aviation Biplane Rides supplies a birds-eye view of the city from the back seat of a 1930s era open-cockpit airplane, while Ontario Waterway Cruises offers a five-day family-friendly getaway cruise along the Rideau Canal. Sightseeing tours of the city provided by Gray Line of Ottawa, a classic red double-decker bus, take place daily.