From Parliament Hill to Sussex Drive, during your two and a half hour Ottawa bus tour you’ll discover some of Ottawa’s most incredible landmarks with an informative and entertaining costumed step-on-guide.
Start your sightseeing tour at magnificent Parliament Hill, the center of Canadian political life and a place of striking architectural beauty. As you make your way through Parliament Hill, your step-on-guide will give you detailed information on some of Parliament Hill’s most incredible landmarks. See the highlights of Centre Block and delve into the history of the House of Commons and Senate Chambers, the Hall of Honor, Library of Parliament and other significant landmarks. During the months of July and August a special stop is made at Parliament Hill, so that you can witness the Changing of the Guard.
Museum of Civilization
One of North America’s oldest cultural bodies, the Canadian Museum of Civilization dates back to 1856 in Montreal when the Geological Survey of Canada was granted the right to exhibit items located from field surveys, particularly natural history materials. Later moved to the heart of Canada’s national capital region, the Canadian Museum of Civilization has evolved into the nation’s leading museum of history and sees over 1.2 million visitors each year. Take the time to admire the stunning grandeur of the world famous museum and its surrounding scenery.
Running roughly parallel to the Ottawa River, Sussex Drive is known as one of Ottawa’s major ceremonial and institutional routes particularly famous for the Prime Minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Drive and the Governor General’s residence at Rideau Hall. Other notable buildings along Sussex Drive include Major’s Hill Park, the Royal Canadian Mint and the National Gallery of Canada.
Prime Minister’s Residence
Since being built in 1868, 24 Sussex Drive has welcomed the political elite of Canada; however, it wasn’t until being acquired by the government in 1950 that the house became the official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada during his or her term of office.
Major’s Hill Park
Delight in the stately trees, rolling lawns and winding pathways as you make your way past Major’s Hill Park, a calm oasis on Sussex Drive. While the park was not formally established until 1875, Major’s Hill Park has been a green space since the building of the Rideau Canal began in1826.
Royal Canadian Mint
Housed in the historic building where the Mint was founded in 1908, the Royal Canadian Mint produces Canada’s circulation coins, manufactures circulation coins on behalf of other nations and designs and manufactures precious and base metal collector coins.
National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is one of Canada’s premier art galleries housed in a glass and granite building. As you drive by delight in the acclaimed structure designed by Moshe Safdie and don’t forget to look out for Louise Bourgeois’ Maman or the sculptor of Samuel de Champlain, navigator, cartographer, soldier, explorer, administrator and chronicler of New France.
Since 1867 Rideau Hall has been the official place where the governor general lives, honors Canadians, hosts foreign dignitaries and performs the functions of Canada’s Head of State as the representative of the Crown in Canada. Relatively unobtrusive when compared to equivalent buildings in other countries such as Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom and the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, Rideau Hall has the character of a private home allowing you to concentrate on the beauty of the structure and the Canadian landscapes which surround it.
Opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States, the Rideau Canal is a chain of beautiful lakes, rivers and canals winding 202 km from Kingston, at the head of Lake Ontario, to Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. Delight in the canals natural features as your step-on-guide recounts the Rideau Canal’s colorful history.
Made of two waterfalls where the Rideau River empties into the Ottawa River, the Rideau Falls were named by Samuel de Champlain in 1613. To the early French explorer the falls looked like a great curtain of water, so he called them Rideau (French for curtain) Falls. As you make your way past be a witness to the wondrous water as it pours into the Ottawa River.
Located at Central Experimental Farm, a gem in the heart of Canada’s Capital, Ornamental Gardens is the steward to collections of ornamentals. Step off the tour bus and explore the 100 types of irises, a collection of over 100 lilacs, an impressive hedge collection and much more.
The Musical Ride of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has occurred since 1887. Experience and be part of the colorful Canadian tradition of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride during a stop at the Rockcliffe Stables. At the Rockcliffe Stables you will have the opportunity to meet the majestic thoroughbreds of the ride and to see the stables where they live.
Your Ottawa sightseeing tour will come to an end at Byward Market. As you wonder down the cobble paths of the historic market delight in unusual treasures in one of Byward Market’s boutiques, or taste something new at one of the cafés or restaurants.