When it comes to choosing a city for an English course in Canada, the enigmatic capital of the country, Ottawa, often loses its well-known tourist destinations like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
But Ottawa has a lot of it: from some of the city’s major historical attractions to exquisitely diverse shopping, nightlife and easy access to a variety of outdoor activities. Moreover, it is one of the fastest-growing cities in North America with its atmosphere.
Ottawa is a true transportation hub, with direct flights and other excellent transportation links across Canada. From a student traveller taking an English course in Canada, this means that the rest of the country is significantly more accessible than many other cities.
And the transportation system in the city itself is also excellent. A combination of buses and a light rail system makes it a cheap and effective way to travel in Ottawa. The small portion of downtown Ottawa cannot be reached on foot or by bike.
Things to see and do in Ottawa
The Ottawa transportation system might make life easier for the student who chose the city for the English language course in Canada, but it is simply practical in the end. The real reason for choosing a city is the variety of things you can see and do when the lessons are over.
The first stop for most tourists in the Canadian capital is the country’s political centre: Parliament Hill. A huge new gothic complex in the heart of the city with views of the Ottawa River is home to the Canadian House of Commons and the Senate.
The country’s capital, as it is understood, is a cultural centre. The museums and galleries in Ottawa are uniformly excellent, especially the Museum of Civilization, the Museum of Science and Technology and the National Gallery of Canada are not to be missed.
Shopping and nightlife in Ottawa
As you would expect from a bustling city, there are countless shopping options in Ottawa. Whether you are one of the city’s affluent fashion lovers or a budget-conscious student, there is something for every pocket in Westboro Village.
And when stores close, there are plenty of options to show off your new discussions after dark, as Ottawa’s nightlife bounces back. Byward Market is one of the best places to spend a night in Ottawa, as bars rub their affordable places to eat.
Like most cities in Canada, Ottawa is a great place for people who love to be active and spend time outdoors. Just across the city river is the magnificent Gatineau Park, which is without a doubt one of the best origins of Ottawa.
As autumn turns to winter, naturally skiing becomes a fairly common pastime, and one of the best things you can do in Ottawa is to rent a bunch of skis and ski along the Rideau Canal.