15 Famous Monuments And Landmarks In Ottawa

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Ottawa is the capital of Canada, although many tend to mistake Toronto for the title. That said, you can imagine that are plenty of important landmarks in Ottawa. While it might not be as well known as other cities, it is still a very popular destination. There are many interesting things to do in Ottawa that are often overlooked.

The monuments in Ottawa are especially interesting, as they commemorate all sorts of wonderful people and events. This includes war heroes, veterans, and musicians. The surrounding natural landmarks of Ottawa are also worth visiting, such as the Rideau River.

Visiting Ottawa Landmarks- Useful City Passes 

When visiting Ottawa landmarks, there are some useful passes to consider to make your visit easier to plan.

Most Famous Landmark In Ottawa


Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal is a 202km expanse of water that connects two of the most important geographical features in Ontario together. These are the Saint Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.

This is not only one of the most significant natural landmarks in Ottawa, but also historical, as it has been open for centuries. You can find several exciting activities along the canal.

One of the most peaceful things to do is the boat tour, which takes you along the water and allows you to take in the beautiful scenery. The Merrickville Ruins are another fun activity to consider, featuring a historic wooden mill you can walk through.

> Check Cruise In Rideau Canal

Religious Landmarks In Ottawa

Notre Dame Basilica

The Notre Dame Basilica is the oldest Church in the city and one of the most prominent landmarks in Ottawa. The monumental cathedral was built in 1846, making it both a historic and religious site.

If you are interested in art, you should consider taking a trip to Sussex Drive where it is located. The architecture is a gothic revival, famous for its spires and pointed arches. The inside is just as remarkable, with stained glass windows and towering columns.


Natural Landmarks In Ottawa

Dows Lake Pavilion

Dows Lake is a pavilion and marina. It is located on another famous Ottawa Landmark, the Rideau Canal. This is the ideal place to enjoy a relaxing day, as there are many leisurely activities to partake in. The main activity to do here is strolling down the marina alongside the boats on the lake, indulging in the view.

Similarly, you could sit at one of the many restaurants and cafes and enjoy a light snack or meal with friends and family. If you are feeling confident, you could also rent a canoe or kayak.

Photo credit: marcbruxelle/Depositphotos.com

Major’s Hill Park

Major’s Hill Park is a charming botanical garden, offering great views of the major landmarks in Ottawa. From here, you can see the Parliament Hill buildings, which tower over the large park. There are also views of the Rideau Canal and other interesting natural features.

One of the biggest advantages is the location because it is surrounded by noteworthy sites you may also want to visit. This includes the National Art Gallery of Canada and the Peacekeeping monument.  

Historical Landmarks In Ottawa


Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill is the term referring to a set of buildings erected in the mid to late 1800s. Although there are several interesting activities inside, the main reason it is so popular is the architecture.

Like many other Ottawa landmarks, the buildings are styled in a gothic revival design. The buildings are tall and unique, therefore this is one of those must-see sites in Ottawa!

Aside from the architecture, you should also consider booking a guided tour of the grounds. This way, you can learn about the members of parliament and procedures occurring in the different rooms, and ask relevant questions. This is one of the most famous landmarks in Canada.

Royal Canadian Mint

Royal Canadian Mint, founded in 1908, produces and distributes collector coins worldwide. There are tours available to guide you around the corporation and learn about the history of the products they sell. On display are hundreds of old coins, and the entire procedure is explained!

Additionally, there is a gift shop where you can explore a vast range of coins and make some investments if you so choose.  

Photo credit: truthfunctional/Depositphotos.com

Famous Landmarks in Ottawa – Squares and Avenues

College Square

College Square is a shopping complex in Nepean. Whilst the majority of landmarks in Ottawa are both captivating and informative, ensure you leave a day free to spend at the mall. After all, vacations are for relaxing!

Stores include clothes, shoes, cosmetics, salons, and even a movie theatre if you have the time. In addition, there are fast-food dining areas and restaurants to satisfy your tastebuds.

Famous Landmarks In Ottawa- Museums And Galleries

National Gallery of Canada

The National Gallery of Canada is one of the best creative landmarks in Ottawa. It is an art gallery filled with both significant and underrated artworks. At any time, the gallery may display over one thousand pieces!

The pieces are not limited to Canada but are collected on a global scale. There are photographs, paintings, and sculptures dating as early as the 1800s. Famous pieces include The Pioneer Mill by Homer Watson and O Canada by Joyce Wieland.

The National Gallery of Canada

Canadian Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature is an experience enjoyed by all generations. The museum is open every day except for Tuesdays. There are many permanent exhibitions held here. One of the most interesting includes the Pacific Gallery Tank, where you can see a variety of marine life and learn facts about their existence.

There are also special temporary events that rotate periodically; so if you have visited before, it can still be worth going again. Previous popular temporary exhibitions include Planet Ice, which features the significance of a cool environment.

Famous Landmarks In Ottawa- Buildings


Peace Tower

The Peace Tower is located in one of the most prominent landmarks in Ottawa, the Parliament Buildings. More specifically, it is found in the Centre Block. The tower consists of a 98-meter structure with a clock and bell, made of silver and copper.

Unfortunately, the original tower named the Victoria Tower burned down and was replaced with the modernized existing structure. There are hundreds of carving on the tower, including gargoyles and friezes. If you visit, you may even catch the flag being changed, which happens daily!

Lord Elgin Hotel

The Lord Elgin Hotel is one of the most elegant landmarks in Ottawa. Even if you do not decide to stay here, it is worth visiting simply for taking photos. The hotel itself is older and well-established; in fact, it was once used to accommodate World War 2 soldiers.

Nevertheless, the building is now modernized and luxurious. If you find yourself on the Rideau Canal, Parliament Buildings, or National Art Gallery, you should consider exploring the Lord Elgin Hotel too.

Famous Monuments In Ottawa


National War Memorial (The Response)

The National War Memorial, otherwise known as The Response, is a large arch serving as a memorial for the soldiers of World War One. In addition, it has been used to recognize soldiers who fought in a series of wars after this.

The arch itself is made of granite and has bronze sculptures on the plaque. At the top of the arch are two angel-like figures. The sculpting of this monument alone makes it one of the most significant monuments in Ottawa.

If you can keen to learn more about the war and military history, check out the Canadian War Museum in the city.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Tomb of the Unknown Solider is a monument placed in front of the National War Memorial mentioned above. As its name suggests, it is a symbol for all of the unidentified soldiers who fought in the wars and were never given credit.

Every day, there is a ceremony for changing the guards of the memorial, which you should consider catching. This is a somber yet triumphant Ottawa monument, and a space for reflection.

Oscar Peterson Statue

The Oscar Peterson Statue is erected in honor of esteemed pianist Oscar Peterson. It was designed by Ruth Abernethy recently in 2010 making it one of the newer monuments in Ottawa.

Peterson was captivated by jazz and wrote many famous songs like Blue Etude and Hymn to Freedom. His cheerful nature is reflected by the statue, which features him sitting behind a piano. When passing by the National War Memorial, be sure to visit this unique site.

National Holocaust Memorial

The National Holocaust Memorial is one of the most heart-warming and uniquely-designed landmarks in Ottawa. It consists of six triangular segments which form a star from a bird’s eye view. This is symbolic of the yellow star which was used to identify Jewish members of society during the Holocaust.

In addition, there are informative panels to educate on the hopeless, woeful events which took place. At night there are illuminations, lighting up the area for a rather enchanting vibe.

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Discovering Famous Landmarks In Ottawa

There is a range of noteworthy landmarks in Ottawa waiting for you to explore. The most popular include Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill, and the Peace Tower. Take some time to also visit some of the meaningful Ottawa monuments because they hold sentimental value to the city’s history while offering stunning views.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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