Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Ottawa events in January, February, March and April

September 19th, 2007 · 1,603 Comments


Well, there’s not too much going on in January in the Capital.  Everyone’s back to school and back to work, trying desperately to get back into a routine.  We’re all spending a bit more time at home, be it from the cold, bitter weather, or feeling guilty about Christmas spending, Christmas eating, and holiday drinking.

The obvious event of the month is New Year! which can be spent in any number of ways – but with most of the ski hills open by now, one of the best places to spend it is on the slopes! Try Edelweiss, Camp Fortune, or Mount Pakenham for a fresh, fit start to the New Year ahead!


Rideau Canal ready for skating

Usually at some point, the January Weather is cold enough, and there’s been enough consistency of a freezing overnight temperature, that the canal has managed to get itself sorted out, and is ready to actually skate on.  If you’ve never done it, try skating to downtown! It’s the world’s longest ice-rink, you know… 



Packed full of events, February gets off to a rocking start with Ottawa’s most famous, most fun and most populated festival – Winterlude! Skate the Rideau Canal to its full length, eat Beavertail pastries right on the rink (or in the park), check out the ice and snow carving competitions, and try some traditional Quebecqois ‘maple syrup pops rolled on ice’.  

The whole thing is just the best Ottawa event of the year!  If you’re around in the evening, the concerts on Friday, and Saturday nights are pretty good, too.  They usually have some neat French-language groups, and some up and coming Canadian artists that play. 

Insider’s Tip: Be sure to catch a glimpse of the giant hedgehogs who are the official mascots of the event.


Mardi Gras in the market  kicking off Lent for the Catholics, but the start of some indulgence for the rest of us, celebrate the Mardi Gras festivities in the Byward market!  If not in the market, but still downtown, our favourite is Big Daddy’s Crab Shack (on Elgin) where it feels uber-festive and decadent in so many ways.


Pancake breakfasts! And if Mardi Gras isn’t your scene, or if you’re more of a morning person, celebrate the start of the Lent/Mardi Gras season with a local Pancake breakfast.  Every neighbourhood church has one, many of the schools, and community groups as well.  Always yummy and there are some great pancakes to be had.  (And if you want more of a gourmet pancake on Shrove Tuesday, you can always stop by Zaks in the market, or the Elgin Diner where they serve pancakes all day long, everyday of the week! )



Without question, for those with any connection to school, March Break is the highlight event of this month.   The full week break of school affects everyone with a remote connection to education – the travel prices increase dramatically, the mall’s are doubled up with kids and their parents, and everywhere is just buzzing.

So, while the main event in Ottawa in March is getting out of the city, there is still lots going on at home, for those of us left to suck up the last of winter’s blues.

Personally, I head straight to Florida for some much-needed sun!


St. Patrick’s Day  – with a lively Irish community, St. Paddy’s day in Ottawa is a definite day/night to remember (or not remember, depending on how good a time you have 🙂 There’s a parade that goes downtown, that’s worth taking in, and green beer can be found at any number of pubs.   The Irish village in the market, (known by us locals as the Aulde Dubliner, Heart and Crown (my favourite), the Black Rose, and the Earl of Sussex (though isn’t Sussex in England?).

Anyhow, another great pub to celebrate the day in is Darcy McGee’s – be it the Sparks Street location, or the one on Moodie Drive, both offer superb beer, great live music on the day, and plenty of atmosphere (helped of course by the waitresses in short kilts!).  

Home Show, Travel Show, & lots of shows – To help combat the SAD (seasonal affected disorder) effects, (basically sadness due to crappy winter weather), the city has loads of ‘shows’ offered through the month of March.  There’s usually the Home Show, and then the Golf and Travel show, and a couple of others.  Though there’s often an admission fee, you can usually score free tickets from CJOH or one of the local radio stations.



Finally with days getting longer, and such a dramatic increase in light thanks for April Weather, everyone’s mood seems to brighten this month.   Thank G, because there’s not too much going on in April.  Other than April Fool’s Day (on the 1st), which isn’t really celebrated by anyone older than 10… Though, the saving grace of April is Easter – with many having both Good Friday and Easter Monday off.  Not much to do in the city other than celebrating with friends and family, indulging on chocolate, and hunting for Easter eggs.


Stay tuned for Ottawa events in May, June, July and August! 

Tags: Events