See the centre of Canadian politics, with flights from Pittsburgh to Ottawa.
With gorgeous government buildings like Rideau Hall and scenic outdoor spaces like the Rideau Canal, Ottawa has a lot to offer. Rich arts, a major culture scene and more museums than you can fit into one trip from Pittsburgh makes Ottawa your window into Canada’s character.
Parliament Hill is at the heart of Ottawa’s political points of interest. After a few photos with the iconic Centennial Flame and Peace Tower, enter the Centre Block to get a front row seat to heated parliamentary debates. In the nearby Supreme Court of Canada, you can listen in on hearings and browse through the building’s surprisingly large art collection.
Ottawa’s leading collection of art can be found in the National Gallery of Canada. Pittsburgh’s own Andy Warhol has over 30 works on display in this gallery, adding a pop (art) of colour to the capital. At the National Arts Centre, Ottawa takes to the stage, with performances of dance and theatre.
In Major’s Hill Park, you can enjoy the arts in the outdoors. Cultural events (including the July first Canada Day celebrations) make this park a major gathering space in the city. Dominion Arboretum, offers a more serene green space, with its gardens and farm. If Dominion Arboretum cultivates your interest in farming, visit the Canadian Agriculture Museum.
With the Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian War Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum also in the city, you’ll find a museum for any area of interest.
To learn more about Ottawa before you return to Pittsburgh, spend an afternoon in the Bytown Museum, which celebrates the early heritage of what would one day become Canada’s capital city.
When you’re visiting from Pittsburgh, the scenic waterway of the Rideau Canal is your path to Ottawa’s best attractions.
Walk along the eastern or western shore under canopies of trees, or switch between the two on the canal’s bridges. The best way to see the Rideau Canal depends on the season. Every winter, when the canal freezes, it becomes the 8 km Rideau Canal Skateway. As the world’s largest skating rink, this winter wonderland is well worth the visit.
Along your way, you’ll pass by notable features of Ottawa’s past. If you venture further south along the canal, you’ll come across Watson’s Mill, which has been grinding grain since the 1860s. You can still purchase flour from this functioning heritage site.
Closer to downtown, keep an eye out for the castle-like Fairmont Château Laurier near the mouth of the Ottawa River. This stately hotel has stood here since 1912. On the shores of the canal, you can also find the Bytown Museum, which provides visitors with an overview of early Ottawa’s history.
Alongside historical features, gardens and parks also line the canal. From the Fletcher Wildlife Garden and Dominion Arboretum to Lansdowne Park and Major’s Hill Park, many of Ottawa’s greenspaces border the Rideau Canal.
You can get on the water for yourself at Dow’s Lake. Canoe, kayak, or paddleboat your way around this manmade lake on the Rideau Canal to cool off during the summer months.
Whether you’re walking, skating, or paddling its length, the Rideau Canal has all-season attractions. Whenever you visit from Pittsburgh, you’ll always find things to do along this famous waterway.
Hintonburg was once a decidedly working-class Ottawa neighbourhood. Now, with a new collection of eclectic boutiques and an active arts scene, Hintonburg has earned a hip reputation. When you’re in town from Pittsburgh, have a look at Ottawa’s changing character, in Hintonburg.
If you’re hungry in Hintonburg, the area’s wine bars, coffee shops, and gourmet doughnut shops are sure to please your palate. While Hintonburg’s culinary scene has changed, on the whole, some things have stayed the same. One of the area’s oldest eateries, the Elmdale Tavern, has been serving thirsty locals (and visitors) since 1934.
At the Parkdale Market and adjacent Parkdale Field House, fresh food and flowers are available for sale. Peruse through locally grown goods in these low-key alternatives to the always-bustling ByWard Market.
As the home to Ottawa’s Quartier des artistes / Arts District (or QUAD for short), Hintonburg houses a creative crowd. One of the most notable products of this artistic populace is the Wellington Marbles. This series of sculptures on Wellington Street is composed of inventively carved marble fire hydrants. Inspired by local businesses, these sculptures are topped with everything from ears of corn to computer screens.
Another great feature of Hintonburg is its proximity to the Ottawa River. After strolling past these marble marvels, it’s just a few minutes to walk the Ottawa River Pathway. This walking and cycling path provides great views of the river and of Hull, on the Québec side. Grab a gourmet doughnut and enjoy a sunset river stroll to end your day in Hintonburg.
Fly from Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW), with a quick connection in Toronto. Pittsburgh to Ottawa flight time is 2 hours on average. Connection times vary. The distance from Pittsburgh to Ottawa is around 710 km / 440 mi.
Enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks along the way.