Heed the call of Signal Hill and fly from Ottawa to St. John’s.
Whether you’re walking the East Coast Trail or George Street, St. John’s will welcome you with natural beauty and rich heritage. A neighbour with the Atlantic Ocean, Canada’s oldest city is equal parts scenic and historic.
At The Rooms, art and archives come together to record St. John’s history. This gallery-museum hybrid is the perfect stop to start learning about this East Coast city. See more seascapes at the Leyton Gallery of Fine Art, where Eastern Canada is put centre stage.
Go further into Eastern Canada at Cape Spear. The most easterly point in North America, Cape Spear offers a clear lookout over the Atlantic. From this extreme point, the ocean stretches uninterrupted until it reaches Ireland.
On the Atlantic, you can see some of St. John’s most famous residents. Numerous species of whales are just some of the wildlife you can spot on tours in Petty Harbour. Keep an eye out for flukes and fins as the whales surface near your boat.
To learn more about what happens under the water, visit the Suncor Energy Fluvarium. Underwater windows offer a glimpse into the lives of fish in Rennie’s River. Experience the aquatic life, without having to grow gills.
Polish off your trip from Ottawa to St. John’s with a hike through Butter Pot Provincial Park. St. John’s variable weather means every trip to this beautiful park is a little different. With 600 million-year-old rocks in Butter Pot, even the nature in St. John’s has a history.
Get to the heart of this friendly city on your trip from Ottawa to St. John’s.
St. John’s history as a port city is most evident in downtown. Hugging the St. John’s Harbour, this neighbourhood stays close to the coast. With the Atlantic as a neighbour, the scenic seaside view follows you everywhere you go in downtown St. John’s.
Heritage buildings like Victoria Hall and the Masonic Temple keep the past within reach. For a deeper look at St. John’s history, open the door to The Rooms. Combining an art gallery with an archive hall, this attraction puts St. John’s culture in the spotlight.
If you want to see more St. Johns in St. John’s, the city’s two main churches will answer your prayers. The Basilica of St. John the Baptist and the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist may have similar names, but the varied architecture makes both worth visiting.
You’ll find some of the best restaurants in St. John’s lined up along downtown’s Duckworth Street. Environmentally conscious, eclectic, and upscale options are all on the menu. For classic St. John’s fare, the Duke of Duckworth is a culinary institution.
After dinner, it’s time for a pint along George Street. With the highest density of pubs per square foot in North America, George Street is worth raising a glass to. A friendly and bustling nightlife makes this street the perfect stop on your trip from Ottawa.
When you fly from Ottawa to St. John’s, keep heading east to Cape Spear.
Called “Cape Hope” by both Portuguese and French sailors, the name “Cape Spear” seems to best suit the area. Jutting sharply out into the Atlantic, Cape Spear is the most easterly point in North America.
If you’re an early bird, come here to catch the sunrise. See dawn break over the ocean, before anyone else on the continent. Get some serious bragging rights against the dramatic backdrop of the cape’s cliffs.
From this point, the closest landmass to the east is Ireland. You won’t be able to see Galway, but keep your camera ready for the whales and icebergs that regularly grace these waters.
Turn away from the sea to see some of the other things to do in Cape Spear. One of the area’s best attractions is the Cape Spear lighthouse. Dating back to 1836, this lighthouse features recreations of the daily life of a lighthouse keeper in the 19th century. While it no longer guides ships to shore, this historic building is still the oldest standing lighthouse in Newfoundland.
Learn about Cape Spear’s more recent past at Fort Cape Spear. During World War II, this defence battery guarded against the threat of German U-boats. American and Canadian soldiers worked together on this strategic point to protect St. John’s.
After you’ve explored the full extent of Cape Spear, the nearby East Coast Trail can take you to the next coastal adventure on your trip from Ottawa to St. John’s.
Ottawa to St. John’s direct and connecting flights are available to get you there year round.
Fly direct from Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW) to St. John’s International Airport (YYT), with a stop in Halifax. Ottawa to St. John’s flight time is 3 hours and 35 minutes on average. The distance from Ottawa to St. John’s is around 1,840 km / 1,140 mi.
For connecting flights, fly from Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW) to St. John’s International Airport (YYT), with a connection in Halifax. Connection times vary.
Enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks along the way.