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Christmas Tree Lighting at the Canadian Museum of History. Photos: Hannah Manning

Tree lighting celebrations around town kick off the holiday season

By Hannah Manning on November 28, 2018



Feeling festive? With snow on the ground and more to come, it’s safe to say winter is here. Grab your coat and your friends, and check out some of the tree-themed events to kick off the holiday season in Ottawa.

Funds raised wit the Trees of Hope benefit CHEO.

From November 26 through January 4, the Château Laurier is transformed into a magical forest with the Trees of Hope. Companies have sponsored and decorated trees that have been placed around the lobby for guests and visitors to admire. Vote on your favourite with a donation to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

The Great Hall of the Canadian Museum of History transforms into the Museum’s Christmas Market from Thursday to Sunday.

The Canadian Museum of History’s Christmas Market starts this Thursday November 29. Time your arrival right and you can catch the tree lighting at 6pm. Enjoy Christmas carols by la Chorale 7e-8e, from De La Salle’s Centre d’excellence artistique de l’Ontario, and enjoy some complimentary Beaver Bites and hot chocolate (while quantities last). The tree is outside so dress warmly!

Players from TD Place sports team will join in the fun at the Lansdowne Christmas Tree Lighting.

Head to Lansdowne on Friday November 30 for their annual Christmas Tree lighting. Redblacks mascot Big Joe, Ottawa Fury’s Sparky and the 67s’ Riley Raccoon will be on site to help greet guests. All are welcome and complimentary hot chocolate and cider will be served. This is also your chance for a sneak peek of a new Christmas Market coming in 2019.

The National Gallery of Canada’s tree will grace the Great Hall until early January.

The Christmas Tree lighting at the National Gallery of Canada on Tuesday December 4 is one of the city’s most popular. Is it the free holiday snacks? The hot chocolate? Or maybe the fact that it’s inside? No matter what, with free admission to the gallery from 5-8pm, it’ll be standing room only in the Great Hall at the first-come, first-served event. While you’re there, don’t miss Anthropocene and other exhibitions. Can’t make it to the lighting? The #NGCTree will be in the Great Hall until January 6.

With a decade of renovations ahead, this is one of the last opportunities to enjoy the Christmas Lights Across Canada event at Parliament.

Bundle up and head to Parliament Hill for Christmas Lights Across Canada on Wednesday December 5. Not only is it the launch of the winter light show at Parliament, the evening will feature performances by Ariane Moffatt, winner of several Felix awards, and Algonquin artist Josée Bourgeois. Get there early to get yourself a spot in line for Beavertails and hot chocolate, and enjoy!

For more events this holiday season, be sure to check out the events calendar at