Capital Bixi Ride (distance : 4.5km)
Extend your experience of Ottawa on a Bixi bike tour through some of Ottawa’s most scenic neighbourhoods and local hot spots for food and drink
Rent a Bixi bike at the corner of Rideau and William Street. Bike down Nicholas Street and head west on Daly Avenue, cross Colonel By Drive, and turn left onto the bike path that runs alongside the Rideau Canal. Continue underneath the Mackenzie King and Laurier bridges. Ahead on the left is 8 Locks’ Flat (open weekends only) – stop in for a pint of local craft brew from the Kichesippi Beer Co. and sample some delicious artisanal fare while you enjoy a spectacular view of the Parliament Buildings. If it’s too soon to grab a snack, continue south on the bike path until you reach the Corktown Footbridge. Cross over the bridge and turn left onto the bike path that runs along Queen Elizabeth Drive. Continue south on the bike path until you reach Delaware Avenue – be careful of the traffic when you cross Queen Elizabeth Drive. Head west on Delaware, jog briefly left onto Cartier Street, and take a right onto McLeod Street. Cross Elgin Street and park your Bixi bike at the station. On the left is the Museum of Nature – check out the photography exhibition Edward Burtynsky: Oil (opens June 1st). Leave the Bixi behind and walk north on Elgin Street. By now you’ll have worked up an appetite – stop in at town., grab a pint at The Manx or head for the patio at Oz Kafe (all three restaurants feature local artists on their walls). Continue walking down Elgin Street towards Parliament – other highlights include Bridgehead Coffeehouse and Perfect Books. Turn left on Laurier Avenue. Stop in at the City Hall Art Gallery to see The Soniferous Æther of The Land Beyond The Land Beyond by Sobey Art Award-nominated artist Charles Stankievech. Walk over the Laurier Bridge and turn left on Nicholas Street to get back to the Novotel.
Walk/Shop/Eat Local – Byward Market (distance: 2km)
From the Novotel, head north on Nicholas Street. Turn right on Besserer Street then left on Dalhousie Street. Continue down Dalhousie Street and turn right on York Street for a hot drink at The Tea Party. Further down York Street you’ll find Bloom Artisan Boutique. Continue north on Dalhousie to local favourites Victoire, Workshop and Young Janes. Head back up Dalhousie a few blocks. At Murray Street, it’s time to choose your own foodie adventure – go right for a pint and burger at Chez Lucien, go left for charcuterie and cocktails at Murray Street restaurant. Finish your night off with a film at the Bytowne Cinema, or go see some live music at Ritual, Zaphod’s, the Mercury Lounge or Mugshots.
Art/Gallery Walk – Byward Market
Plenty of art exhibitions and galleries to visit, all within walking distance of the 2013 Creative City Summit (distance: 2.5km)
From the Novotel, head south on Nicholas Street. Cross Daly Street and enter Arts Court., where you can check out IN/digitized: Indigenous Culture in a Digital World by the 007 Collective and Robert Houle at SAW Gallery and Explode: Rita Letendre and Marcelle Ferron in the Firestone Gallery at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Head back up north on Nicholas Street, turn left on Rideau Street, take a right through the William Street pedestrian walkway, and turn left on George Street. As you make your way through the Byward Market, keep your eyes peeled for Basil AlZeri’s The Postal Card Project. Straight ahead is the Ottawa School of Art Lee Matasi Gallery. Heading through the heart of the market, take a right at Clarendon Court, grab a drink at Planet Coffee and look for a large photographic installation throughout the courtyard. Turn left on York Street, cross Sussex Drive and Mackenzie Avenue, and head up the stairs to Major’s Hill Park. Take the pathway heading north, towards the National Gallery. Before you reach the Alexandra Bridge, stop in at BLINK Gallery – a small cottage-style building at the edge of the park. Exit the park and head towards the National Gallery of Canada – take care not to miss The Three Watchmen, a 16-foot bronze totem pole by Haida artist Jim Hart. After taking in the sights in and around the National Gallery, head east on St Patrick Street to visit Pole Start Drift by Lisa Creskey at the Karsh-Masson Gallery. One street south on Murray Street is L. A. Pai Gallery, a shop featuring contemporary art and jewelry. Continuing east down Murray Street, take a quick right on Dalhousie Street to Galerie St-Laurent + Hill, or keep going straight. End your tour by hanging right on Cumberland, at La Petite Mort Gallery.