Wednesday, October 17, 2018 (afternoon) – Discover the Capital – 3 hours

Board a luxury motor coach to start your tour with a stop at the Parliament Buildings, Canada’s seat of government. Your guide will explain the history of these magnificent buildings. After an opportunity to take photos, you will re-board your motor coach and enjoy the sites of the Capital including the Supreme Court of Canada, the Bank of Canada and the Canadian War Museum. Cross the Ottawa River into the Province of Québec to get off the bus and enjoy the architecturally impressive Canadian Museum of History and its unique views of the Ottawa River and the Parliament Buildings.

From there, the tour will pass the National Gallery of Canada on the way to Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada (where, weather permitting you will take a leisurely walk through the magnificent grounds). On your return to your hotel you will pass by 24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint and many Embassies and High Commissions.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 (evening) – Haunted Walk – 2 hours

Follow your guide by lantern light and listen to ghost stories from the area as they share some of our favourite haunted spots, including: the Bytown Museum, the Fairmont Château Laurier and Ottawa’s haunted high school. You’ll never look at the city and these buildings the same again!

Ghosts and the Gallows – Are You Afraid of the Dark? Small groups of no more than 13 participants are led through the darkened jail for an interactive experience which includes, in addition to our Halloween stories, hearing new evidence, enjoying extra time to explore the building, and additional witness testimony.

Thursday, October 18, 2018 (Morning) – Gatineau Park – 4 hours

Enjoy a picturesque guided tour through Gatineau Park, the Capital’s conservation park, with many unique and diversified ecosystems and heritage features. Gatineau Park covers 36,131 hectares of land. Stops will be made at Pink Lake, the Champlain Lookout and the Mackenzie King Estate.

Pink Lake is Gatineau Park’s most unique lake because it is “meromictic” meaning that, unlike a normal lake, its upper and lower water levels never mix. Of rare beauty, the site offers the opportunity to relax while learning about its ecology. Despite its name, the lake is green. It is named after the Pink family which settled the land in 1826.

The next stop is the Champlain Lookout atop the Eardley Escarpment, 335 meters above sea level. The view is unique because it shows two of Canada’s major geological formations side by side: the Canadian Shield and the St. Lawrence Lowlands. A series of interpretive panels describe the geological events that have shaped this landscape.

The final stop will take you to the beautiful Mackenzie King Estate – the former country retreat of Canada’s 10th Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King. The estate offers restored cottages, beautiful gardens and unique stone ruins that were collected by Mackenzie King during the 50 years he enjoyed this property.

After touring Gatineau Park, travel by bus to L’Orée du Bois, whose warm atmosphere makes it one of the most applauded restaurants in the region. Located next to Gatineau Park, it is among the top restaurants in Québec renowned for its fine French and regional cuisine using high quality local products from the Outaouais region.

Friday, October 19, 2018 (Morning) – Day tripping to Merrickville – 6 hours

Board our luxury coach, and we will introduce you to the Nation’s Capital while on the drive to one of Eastern Ontario’s favorite villages – Merrickville. Merrickville has just about everything; lots of funky independent shops, nice cafés and an interesting history. Located on the Rideau River, Merrickville is well-known for their lock station.

Once you arrive in Merrickville, you will be guided on a walking tour through architecturally and historically notable buildings and other sites that are ubiquitous. Start your tour at the Blockhouse building, which was built in 1832 to defend the Rideau Canal against a possible American invasion; now a museum, it houses a varied collection of local, 19th century artefacts.

A majority of the tour is made of stone buildings constructed pre-1900. You can get inside well-preserved commercial sites like the Aaron Merrick Block on St. Lawrence St., which now hosts popular retail stores. There’s also some access to the mostly crumbling industrial complex where William Merrick, who founded the village on the shores of the Rideau River in 1794, built the saw, grist and other mills that brought him wealth (the complex has a small museum that traces Merrickville’s industrial past; it includes a promotional sign for “John Mills Furniture Dealer and Undertaker”). The homes, of course, you can admire only from the street. Although it’s on the tour, the William Merrick House at 129 Mill St. has a sign saying “private” and is set too far back from the road to view.

After the walking tour, enjoy a lovely lunch at The Goose & Gridiron which is iconic to Merrickville. The Goose & Gridiron was a landmark pub in London, England. On June 24, 1717 the Grand Lodge of England in free masonry was organized and ‘to which all grand lodges of the world trace their charters’. The Goose which is how locals affectionately call the pub was built to recreate a landmark, right here in beautiful historic Merrickville and experience part of the English life. The Goose & Gridiron takes pride in using only the freshest and finest ingredients in their preparations. Each order is prepared individually with meticulous attention and care to ensure the highest quality. Truly an experience worth waiting for!

After lunch, submerge yourself in some of the many unique boutiques located along St. Lawrence Street as it is lined with gift shops, antique stores and clothing boutiques.

Saturday, October 20, 2018 (Afternoon) – A few hours to yourself to decompress!

It has been a few days full of meetings, seminars and tours! We were thinking of planning another tour, but you may wish to venture on your own for a quiet stroll such as:

  • You are 0.3 miles E from the Hotel to the Parliament of Canada.
  • You are 0.6 miles E from the Hotel to the Byward Market
  • You are 0.6 miles E from the Hotel to the National Gallery of Canada – 380 Sussex
  • You are 1.2 miles NE from the hotel to the Canadian Museum of Civilization – 100 rue Laurier
  • You are 1.2 miles E from the hotel to the Canadian Museum of Nature – 240 McLeod Street

Prior to arrival in Ottawa all registrants will be provided an information package full of maps, list of restaurants, discount coupons, things to see, where to eat, local events, etc.

It is a few months before we meet again, have a great summer of safe boating and do not delay, register now! We look forward to seeing you in October in Ottawa!

For more information, questions or concerns, please contact ottawa2018@cps-ecp.org.

Safe Boating Partners