October in Ottawa: Colourful Adventures in Canada's Capital Await


October means bringing out the flannels, toques, and layering jackets – but we’re not complaining. Between the weather finally being crisp enough to enjoy the outdoors without breaking a sweat, and rocking that autumn colour palette, we’re ready to get out and explore. 

Canada’s capital city is the ideal spot for any autumn adventures, especially with their abundance in trees. Isn’t there something so romantic about watching the leaves turn and fall? Bring your jumping boots, you’ll be crunching in piles of leaves on your next trip to Ottawa. Maritimers, come out and enjoy an extended autumn here in Ottawa. It’s even easier with Porter’s direct flights that will bring you from point A to B before you know it.

So take that extra day off, you deserve it and you can afford it. Autumn in Ottawa is worth the flight.

We have the perfect three-day getaway planned for all of you autumn lovers. And remember, it’s Halloween season! So be ready to get a little spooky.

If you haven’t visited Ottawa before, then Gatineau Park needs to be number one on your list. We promise you’ve never seen a display of fall colours like this before. During Fall Rhapsody, you can even shuttle over from the ByWard Market. They make it easy for you to see all of the beauty that’s waiting at King Mountain trail. Take the 45-minute climb and gaze out over the Ottawa Valley.

Haunted Walks Inc

Once you’re back from a relaxing hike, get your heart pumping with the ever-popular Haunted Walk tours. Listen to the dark twist on the classic tour, where you’ll even visit Ottawa’s first jail. The Haunted Walk’s Halloween Season brings together ghosts, gallows, and bilingual local scary stories. Make sure you have someone’s hand to hold for this one.

If you’re more of a zombie fanatic, follow the route to the undead deep inside Canada’s Cold War Museum, the Diefenbunker. As a more interactive option with jumps, surprises, and scares, you’d better be a brave one to survive The Haunted Walk’s Incident at the Bunker: A Zombie Adventure.

Don’t forget to book these walks ahead of time, they fill up quickly.

We’ll keep day two a little less spooky, since you’ve proved your bravery (for now.)

It’s never a bad day when it’s started at Ottawa’s famous ByWard Market neighbourhood for breakfast. As one of the oldest farmers’ markets in Canada, you can find any style of food that you’ve got a hankering for.

Grab a quick breaky at French-style Le Moulin de Provence (and make sure to bring home a famous Obama or Trudeau cookie as a souvenir) or take the time to sit down at Zak’s Diner. It’s open 24/7, so you’ll never go hungry.

Sweater weather means hiding the extra few pounds, so go ahead and indulge. It’s all foodies here in Ottawa, and after visiting, you’ll know why.

You’ll be rushing over to grab a locally grown lunch overlooking the Ottawa River at Bistro Boreal, and you won’t be able to wait until dinner time to head down to Lansdowne for the CRAFT Beer Market.

Nothing warms up your heart (and belly) like some solid craft meals with 100 choices of beer to pair. Ontario has the largest selection of craft beer, and most of them are found right in Ottawa.

We’ll recommend you stick around the Lansdowne area or wander to the neighbouring Glebe area in the evening for local music, munchies, and even more crafted cocktails.

Dwayne Brown

Rent a bike for day three and do as the locals do. Exploring by bike will ensure that you see all of our capital’s little nooks and treasures that you’d otherwise miss. Take the Rideau Canal, a picturesque ride that can take you to the iconic Parliament Hill. It’s not a trip to Ottawa without visiting the gorgeous architecture that is Canada’s federal government building.

And the route will take you through to some of Ottawa’s top museums. Especially after the brisk bike ride, you’ll be ready to head indoors. The museum doors are open for a cozy adventure into Canada’s history. 

You can see any three of Ottawa’s national museums over the course of the three days for only $35 with the Canada’s National Museums Passport. So even if you’re just here for a quick trip, you’ll be able to squeeze in some of Canada’s history.

Ingenium Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation

We’ll recommend the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and Canadian Museum of Nature.

Living in a digital age, you and your entire gang will love the Canada Science and Technology Museum with its 11 new exhibitions perfect for parents and kids. Canada Aviation and Space Museum is ideal for the aerial lover in your family. With the most extensive aviation collection in Canada, it’s out of this world!
Finally, the Canadian Museum of Nature will show you what Canada is all about: the beauty of its landscape. If you’re curious about dinosaurs, iconic mammals, or Arctic exhibitions, this museum is perfect for you.

A sprinkle of outdoor adventures, a dash of foodie fun and museum exploring, and a pinch of spooky: that’s doing Ottawa in October right.

This content has been developed and paid for by Ottawa Tourism, without involvement from The Coast’s editorial department.