Victoria Day Weekend Events & Activities in Ottawa
Friday, May 21 – Monday, May 24, 2021
Though there are not many things you can do during these unprecedented times, there are few activities that can be enjoyed while physical distancing is in effect that is in accordance with Ontario’s Health Orders during this May long weekend.
Get an appointment for your COVID-19 Vaccine
All Ontarians 18 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Book yours today.
Youth aged 12 and older can book COVID-19 vaccine appointments across Ontario starting May 23rd.
I. In-Person Activities
The province has announced that outdoor recreational amenities like golf courses and driving ranges, soccer and other sports fields, tennis and basketball courts, and skate parks can reopen starting May 22nd. Outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events will be expanded to five people.
1. See Tulips
The Canadian Tulip Festival will be offering all performances, programming, and public participation ONLINE and locally. For those who live in Ottawa, Commissioner’s Park at Dow’s Lake will feature over 300,000 Tulips in bloom for a safe, strolling experience offering the horticulture and heritage of our 69-year-old festival.
2. Go Hiking
The Ottawa Valley area offers many hiking trails and walking opportunities for families to enjoy some fresh air and beautiful scenery not too far away from the Ottawa city core. These relaxed trails and green spaces are accessible and will allow the entire family to get connected with nature and check out the most stunning vistas in the Ottawa Valley region.
- 25 of the Best Hikes in and Around Ottawa
- 20 Family Hikes and Walks in and Around Ottawa
- 25 Must-Visit Nature Attractions and Nature Hotspots in and Around Ottawa
Parkways for People
Queen Elizabeth Driveway (2.4 kilometres): To create more space in this densely populated core area, both lanes of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway, located on the west side of the Rideau Canal, from Fifth Avenue to Somerset Street, will be open exclusively to active users.
When: 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week, from May 3 to June 30.
3. NCC Weekend Bikedays
Enjoy car-free biking this weekend. Outdoor enthusiasts will be able to enjoy close to 20 kilometres of scenic parkways in the heart of Ottawa, that are open exclusively for active use. Whether you’re biking, walking, running or skating, this program is for you! Details
Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway | 8 am to 4 pm, Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway | 8 am to 4 pm, Colonel By Drive | 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Other Biking Pathways:
- Kanata Loop Trail, Ottawa
- The Rideau Trail
- The Rideau River, Falls & Hall Ride
- Experimental Farm Pathway
- Greenbelt Pathway West
- Leamy Lake Pathway
- Ottawa River Pathway
- Rideau Canal Western Pathway
- Rideau River Eastern Pathway
- Voyageurs Pathway
4. Go Fishing
Looking for a great fishing spot to call your own? Cast a line at:
Where to fish:
- West Carleton—Morris Island Conservation Area, Fitzroy Harbour, Fitzroy Provincial Park, MacLaren’s Landing, Buckham’s Bay Port of Call marina
- Nepean North—Shirley’s Bay, Crystal Beach, Dick Bell Park, Champlain Bridge
- Ottawa East—Rockcliffe Yacht Club, Blair Road
- Orléans East—Petrie Island
- Vanier Parkway—New Edinburgh Park, Riverain Park
- Downtown—Dow’s Lake, Brewer Park, Billings Bridge Plaza area, Windsor Park, Brantwood Park, OC Transpo Bridge (between Lees and Hurdman Stations)
- Hunt Club Bridge South to Manotick—Eccolands Park, Black Rapids locks, Chapman Mills Conservation Area, Riverside Park
- Manotick Area—Walter Upton-Collins Park, Rideau Township marina
- Kars and Osgoode Area—Long Island marina, Kars recreation area, Kars public wharf, W.A. Taylor Conservation Area
- Dilworth Road, off Highway #416—Baxter Conservation Area, Reeve Craig boat launch
- Kemptville and Kemptville Creek—Rideau River Provincial Park, Muldoon Launch, Pirate Cove Marina, Curry Park
5. Explore some waterfalls
Warm spring temperature means, melting ice and thunderous waterfalls. Spend a sunny spring day outdoors and use the opportunity to see some of the most stunning melting waterfalls in and around Ottawa. Remember to wear reliable hiking shoes when you go.
6. See some public art
Looking for something new to do in Ottawa area while keeping the recommended physical distance? Check out some of Ottawa’s Public art features! You can see many of them from your car or on a walk around the city.
House of PainT has created a map you can use to tour the murals and graffiti.
7. Go Birding
With spring setting in, see whether you can spot baby birds on your day out! This is also an awesome way to get to know your city and find some new parks in Ottawa.
Mud Lakelocated within Lac Deschênes is a major migratory corridor and is a popular site for bird watching.
8. See animals at Parc Omega
Breath in the fresh air at the Parc Omega. Drive through the nature park and observe wild animals from the northern hemisphere like wolves, elks, deer – all from the comfort of your vehicle.
9. Hunt for Geocaches
Explore the many geocaches lo
cated throughout the city. If you though geocaching is challenging, try geocaching in winter! This family-friendly activity uses a mobile app or a GPS device. Check out the trails where you can enjoy Geocaching Trails.
10. Visit a Garden
Sculpture gardens and flower gardens are the perfect blend between nature and art, featuring art installations from local and international artists and concerning multiple different themes.
11. Plan Your Summer Garden
Get your kids to plant and maintain a summer garden this year. It’s time to start planting seeds indoors and planning what your summer will have in store. Visit Garden Centres with kids and plant a summer garden.
12. Play Golf
Now that Ontario has announced that golf courses and driving ranges can open, book a tee time at your nearest golf course.
13. Visit a Farmers’ Market
Ottawa Farm Fresh is reopening for the 2021 season this weekend. Book your time slot to come to the Farm and…Stock up on the first of our farm fresh veggies, Choose organic garden seeds from Northern Seeds, Speak to Farmer Jo about your home garden, Go for a walk around the Farm to see what’s growing and more!
Thursday May 20, 2021 to Monday May 24, 2021 @ Ottawa Farm Fresh, 2811 Ramsayville Rd, Gloucester
14. Walk, Run or Ride for Scleroderma
From the comfort of your own home or neighbourhood, get active…for Scleroderma! Walking, running, biking, canoeing, gardening – whatever suits your fancy! If you are getting active and moving your body, you are doing it right!
May 17, 2021 – June 30, 2021 @ Wherever You Are
15. Laze around a beach
The beaches are not officially open (with lifeguards) this weekend. But you can still visit and walk along the shores.
Gatineau Park Beaches:
- Meech Lake, Gatineau Park
- O’Brien Beach
- Blanchet Beach
- Philippe Lake, Gatineau Park
- Breton Beach
- Parent Beach (for campers only)
- Smith Beach (for campers only)
- La Pêche Lake, Gatineau Park
- La Pêche Lake beach
- Leamy Lake, Gatineau
- Leamy Lake beach
City of Ottawa Beaches
- East Ottawa: Petrie Island Beach, 727 Trim Road.
- West Ottawa: Britannia Beach, 2805 Carling Avenue.
- South Ottawa: Mooney’s Bay Beach, 2926 Riverside Drive.
- Central Ottawa: Westboro Beach, 745 Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway.
II. FROM YOUR HOME
1. Eat-In and Support Local
If you can afford to spend money during these times, order a take-out from Ottawa restaurants.
2. Plan Your Summer Vacation
It is now the time for planning your summer vacation in Ontario. Round up your family and plan what you are going to do this summer.
For more, see Explore Ontario
- 50 Bucket List Ideas for Summer in Ontario
- Guide to Planning a Summer Boating Trip on Trent-Severn Waterway
- Unique Summer Adventures in Southwestern Ontario
- 25 Nature and Wilderness Adventures in Ontario
- 100 Adventures in Ontario Provincial Parks
- 25 of the Best Parks to Go Camping Near Toronto
- 25 of the Best Provincial Parks to Go Camping This Summer in Ontario
- 150 Things to Do with Teens in Ontario
- Road Trip: Drive the Trent-Severn Waterway
- Road Trip: Toronto – Tobermory – Manitoulin Island – Killarney – Georgian Bay
3. Enjoy a Quarantine Concert
There are many concerts live-streamed every day. Check them out.
4. Enjoy Live Theatre from around the World
With COVID-19 pandemic forcing theatres to shut their doors, many performing art centres have taken to being open virtually.
5. Explore Canada or the World From Home
Explore Canada’s arctic, Winnipeg, National Parks and many more places from Home. Travel to international or outer space destinations like the international space station, discover Egypt’s Heritage Sites from tombs to monasteries or take a trip on scenic trains in Europe virtually.
6. Fun Things to Do with Kids Inside Your Home
Just because you’re stuck indoors, doesn’t mean you really have to be stuck indoors. There are a ton of things that you and your kids can still do to have a blast from morning until night. And, to top it all off, you can do all of these things without your TV or your phone, unless you’re watching a tutorial video.
7. Spring Clean & Donate
Do some spring cleaning this school break and donate your clothes. Donating is a great way to give back, reduce waste, and get those feel-good vibes flowing.
8. Explore Our Stunning National Parks
There is much to discover in Canada’s National Parks and not being able to get to them physically shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the fabulous natural areas our country has to offer.
Traverse the parks online and plan your trip to these wondrous places when restrictions-free travel is allowed across the country.
9. Visit Zoo Animals Online
Zoos across Canada have decided to bring their inhabitants to your home. Here is a list of places where you can watch wildlife online.
10. Science Experiments to Do at Home with Kids
Here are a few easy fun science activities/experimentsthat are easy and super fun in addition to being educational.
11. Canadian Museums & Museums Across the World Online
With the advent of technology and widespread availability of the internet, the world is now at your fingertips. You can travel to distant lands, tour famous museums, all from the comfort of your home.
12. See Free Movies
As Canada’s public producer and distributor, NFB’s website features award-winning movies, documentary and animated films, pioneering interactive works, and more.