2016 Pre-Trip to Ottawa


Ottawa - Canada's Capital

Tuesday August 30th – Thursday September 1st 2016

Stay in the heart of downtown Ottawa at the Marriott Residence Inn, just blocks away from Parliament Hill and all the sights of Canada's exciting bilingual capital city. Ottawa is a cosmopolitan city that can be experienced in a variety of ways. There is so much more to Ottawa than Parliament Hill. From vast, luscious green spaces that are hubs for physical activity to more than 600 kilometers (373 miles) of scenic bike paths, to the tranquil Rideau Canal waterway that turns into the world’s largest skating rink when frozen in the winter to world class museums, how you choose to experience Ottawa is really up to you. 

There are multiple tour options available along with Parliament including walking tours of a variety of museums, such as The Canadian Museum of History, Canadian Museum of Nature and the National Gallery of Canada

Rockcliffe Park provides a setting for major national sites, including the Governor General's residence and estate, the residence of the Prime Minister of Canada at 24 Sussex Drive, the National Capital Commission's Rockcliffe Parkway, and parklands adjacent to the Ottawa River

Schedule: (Subject to Change):

Tuesday, August 30, 2016:

4:00pm > 6:00pm. Check in at hotel at Residence Inn, Downtown Ottawa @ 161 Laurier Ave West, Ottawa, ON K1P 5J2

This hotel has an indoor pool along with full health club facilities and is located in the heart of the business district, just four blocks south of Parliament Hill and within walking distance of the Rideau Canal, museums, shopping, restaurants and many major downtown attractions.

6.00 pm Meet in the fourth floor lobby area for a brief welcoming reception before heading over to dinner. Along the way we may stop for pictures in front of the Centennial Flame with the Peace Tower in the background.

7:15 pm Dinner – at Tucker's Marketplace, in the historic Byward Market area (Included in base price)

After Dinner perhaps can stop off for a Beaver Tail or have a drink at a sidewalk café. From there we'll walk over to take in the Northern Lights show on Parliament Hill. Set against the backdrop of the iconic Parliament Buildings, this 30-minute show takes the audience on an unforgettable journey of sound and light through Canada’s history

Please note: All prices shown for optional activities are in $ CDN.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016:

8:15am: Full breakfast buffet. Located on the fourth floor of the hotel included in price if staying in the hotel.

9:15am: Meet downstairs in lobby to depart for the day.

10:00am – 12:30pm Canadian Museum of History or the Canadian Museum of Nature (not included in base price)

Option A: Canadian Museum of History
Gorgeous architecture and world-renowned exhibitions convene to create Canada’s most-visited museum. Located on the banks of the Ottawa River — with a stunning view of Parliament Hill, the National Gallery of Canada, and downtown Ottawa — the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization) provides detailed insight into 20,000 years of human history. Let your eyes wander high into the sky as you take in the world’s largest indoor collection of totem poles, walk through impressive life-sized recreations of Canadian settlements over the past 1000 years, and sit back to enjoy a CINÉ+ film. The museum is also home to the Canadian Children’s Museum, filled with hands-on games and exhibits.
Price: Ages 18-64 $15 / 65+ $ 13 Additional Charge (Pay at Museum)

Option B: Canadian Museum of Nature
Prepare to be awe-struck by the power and beauty of our planet at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Housed in the Victoria Memorial Museum Building, but known to locals as “the castle,” this impressive limestone building (built in 1905, and beautifully renovated in 2010) is a true Ottawa landmark. The world-class display of galleries and exhibitions will be sure to delight visitors of all ages.  As you explore galleries representing all corners of the natural world, you will have the chance to:

  • Admire the skeleton of the world’s largest animal—the blue whale— in the RBC Blue Water Gallery
  • Be dazzled by colorful rocks and minerals from around the world in the Vale Earth Gallery
  • Walk amongst prehistoric dinosaurs, including over 30 complete skeletons, in the Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery 
  • Try not to squirm at the collection of insects, slugs, and arachnids in the Animalium

With so much to see and do, be sure to schedule plenty of time for your next visit to the Canadian Museum of Nature… you will not be disappointed! 

Price: Ages 18-64 $ 13.50/ 65+ 11.50 Additional charge( Pay at Museum)

Option E: Guided Tour of the Supreme Court of Canada
We have been provided a rare opportunity to visit The Supreme Court of Canada. Tour guides, who are all law students, will lead the tour and familiarize us with the operation of the Canadian judicial system and explain how legal issues of public importance are dealt with by the Supreme Court of Canada. This will provide the opportunity to become better acquainted with Canada's highest court. If Court is in session, it may be possible to sit in on the hearing of an appeal. (Need to leave hotel by 9:30; the tour actually starts at 10:00 with or without us.)

1.00pm – 1.45 pm Lunch at the Rideau Centre Food Court (not included in base price)

2.00 pm – 5:00pm Breakout into smaller groups 

Option C: Guided tour of Canada's Parliament Centre Block:
This will include access to the floor of the House of Commons and Senate as well as a visit to the spectacular Victorian-style Library of Parliament. Take an elevator to the Peace Tower’s observation deck to enjoy a dramatic 360-degree view of the city and on your way, stop by the Memorial Chamber, a gently lit and intricately carved room built to commemorate Canadians who have died in Canada’s armed conflicts since the country’s Confederation in 1867. (No charge)

Option D: National Gallery of Canada:
One of the most striking landmarks in Ottawa. Designed by architect Moshe Safdie and opened in 1988, this stunning building of granite and glass houses Canada's exceptional art collection. Light, spacious galleries and quiet courtyards await you as you partake in a voyage of discovery through exceptional collections which reflect the rich diversity of Canada's heritage and culture. Over 1,200 works from the permanent collection are on display, including from the Canadian, Indigenous, International, and Contemporary collections. Special exhibitions, organized by the Gallery in conjunction with museums from around the world, highlight the work of renowned Canadian and international artists. From centuries-old paintings to avant-garde sculptures, the Gallery offers a fascinating journey of exploration through the collective imagination of Canadian artists Price: Adults - $16 / Seniors (65 & over) - $ 14 Additional Charge (Pay at Museum)

***Highly recommended exhibits at museum:

  • Discover Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, a celebrated 18th-century French portraitist who is among the most important female artists of all time. Exploring the life and work of a woman who was not only extraordinarily talented, but also publicity-savvy, this ground breaking retrospective at the Gallery demonstrates both Vigée Le Brun’s exceptional skill and her ability to carve out a significant career in a man’s world.
  • The exhibition features around 90 works — many on loan from world-renowned institutions such as the Louvre, the Château de Versailles, and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Included are some of the artist’s famous self-portraits, as well as her luminous depictions of the era’s influencers and history-makers. Other paintings will be exhibited for the first time. From Paris to New York and now Ottawa, see this critically acclaimed exhibition at its only Canadian venue and the last stop on its tour.



5:00pm - Meet in the lobby of the hotel to head out as a group for dinner. We as a group will eat one one of two places. You are welcome to choose any other place you like just make sure too be on time at the docks to not miss the boat. Wednesday night dinner is not included in the base price. Therefore, expect you must pay your own way. Cash in small bills is preferable as it will be unlikely to get separate checks. 

6:30pm – 9:00pm Boat Cruise along the Rideau Canal. We will meet at the boat dock along the canal on the Westin Hotel side, below the Plaza Bridge (Rideau Street Bridge) 

The Rideau Canal is a visitor's paradise with its many historic lock stations and 202 kilometers (125 mile) of scenic waterway. The Rideau Canal; a National Historic Site of Canada, a Canadian Heritage River and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, consists of a series of beautiful lakes and rivers connected by canals. It stretches from Ottawa to Kingston, at the foot of Lake Ontario. Maintained by Canada's Parks service it is arguably the most scenic and historic waterway in North America.

Please note: The captain of the ship has requested that we arrive  1/2 hour before departure to allow time to board the ship and be counted as a group. The boat  gates close at 6:45pm and sails at 7:00pm. This is NOT a private cruise and will NOT wait for you. There are no refunds if you miss the boat (ticket is included in the base price of Pre-Trip).

Thursday, September 1st, 2016:

Full breakfast buffet. Located on the fourth floor of the hotel included in price if you staying in the hotel. 
Check out of rooms by 9am. Bring all luggage packed and moved into designated room before heading out for the day. You will be able to pick your luggage back up after 1pm.  Then head out to do tours for the morning

One of the nicest bicycle paths in the Ottawa area is located along the Ottawa River on the east side the city.

Relatively new pathway next to the western end of the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway.

From the downtown area, cyclists can pick up a bicycle path by following Sussex eastward towards the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway (formerly the Rockcliffe Parkway). You will eventually find a good paved bicycle path on the right side of the street. It starts in the vicinity of Rideau Hall (the Governor General’s residence). It only runs for a little over a kilometer, at which point it will deposit you back on the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway. Although the Parkway can have quite a bit of traffic, you only have to ride on it for a few hundred meters before you are able to get on a relatively new pathway that was only completed in 2013. This path runs along the north side of the parkway and is truly superb. Since this whole area is located on higher land, the pathway offers a great view of the Ottawa River

Suggested bike rental location: RentABike

2:30pm - Meet in the lobby of the hotel to then head to camp for the Main Event. 


The Marriott Residence Inn is at 161 Laurier Avenue West (Between Metcalfe St. and Elgin St.), Ottawa

Driving Directions from MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW):

  1. Take the Airport Parkway for approximately 8 km (5 mi) until it becomes Bronson Avenue.
  2. Stay on Bronson for approximately 5 km ( 3.1 mi) and then turn right on Laurier Avenue.
  3. Continue on Laurier for a little over 1km (0.625 mi) and the hotel will be on your left.
  4. Parking is underneath the hotel. 

Driving Directions from points in USA to Hotel: PDF

Parking: Hotel parking is $ 21.00 + HST @ 13%

Public Transit from MacDonald-Cartier International Airport

  1. Take bus route # 97 Bayshore departs from pillar 14 outside the level one arrivals area.
  2. Arrive at stop ALBERT/METCALFE (stop 3001) (travel time approx. 35 min)
  3. Five Min Walk to Marriott Residence Inn (161 Laurier Avenue West (Between Metcalfe St. and Elgin St.), Ottawa)

Cost:  OC Transpo pay $ 3.65 Canadian on the bus (you will need exact fare), or buy bus tickets for $3.30 at the airport's ground transportation desk.

Link to bus route from airport to hotel.


Base Price: $235 USD. This option is only available until August 8.

-Includes Hotel w/ double occupancy (with breakfast), Tuesday Dinner, and Boat Cruise.

Single Room: Additional $135 USD. This option is only available until August 8.

No Hotel Option: $105 USD

-Does not include hotel accommodations or breakfast during the Pre-Trip. You must make your own arrangements.

Questions about Pre-Trip:

Contact Pre-Trip Chair at Pre-Trip@MosaicOutdoor.org