Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Ottawa events in September, October, November and December

November 9th, 2007 · 657 Comments


Whether you’re involved in the massive return to school (either yourself, or your family), or getting ready to party it up with the crazy frosh weeks that welcome thousands to Carleton and Ottawa U, September certainly gets off to a wild start.

The highlight of September is attending one of the many Country Fairs held all around the boarding villages on the outskirts of the city.  If you’re trying to decide which one to visit, I’d recommend the Richmond Fair, Metcalfe Fair, and Carp Fair as must-sees.  Lots of yummy food, tasty sweet treats, rides, games, competitions and of course there are the animals to see 🙂

If you’re looking for something more high-tech though, there’s always the Ottawa International Animation Festival.  The festival takes place mainly downtown, and features the premieres of many short and feature length animation flicks. Be sure to buy a festival pass if you’re planning to attend shows on multiple days.


Now that the leaves have started to change, and autumn is in full swing, nothing says ‘Fall’ like Thanksgiving.  Probably the happiest Canadian holiday, Thanksgiving gives everyone an excuse to eat turkey, hang out with family, and enjoy the long weekend.

Complementary to the Thanksgiving celebrations, are the colourful trees that dot the laneways and highways alike.  Gatineau Park offers a ‘Fall Rhapsody’ event which honours this techno-coloured display of nature.  Also, if making the venture to the Quebec side, consider taking the Fall Steam Train ride to Wakefield.  This gorgeous journey is beautiful any time of year, but particularly breathtaking with the fall foliage.

Halloween is the last event of the month. Insider tip: for the best pumpkins try the Byward Market, or the Parkdale Market.  Also, if you’re looking for a little scare or something in the days before trick-or-treating, the mazes and spooky antics offered up at Saunders farm are legendary. Boo!  

Two other events take place in October – the Writer’s Festival, and the Government Tech (GTEC) conference.  Each offers specialized, industry-centric workshops and sessions, but both also offer more accessible events, suitable for everyone.  Attracts a lot of folks to the Canadian capital….


Cheers and Bon appetite! November plays home to the Food and Wine Show! Enjoy the free samples, and imported food and drink – there’s some lip-smacking here to be done.  Though, if you’re planning on drinking a lot, be sure to go with a DD, or get a lift back.

On Remembrance Day, Nov 11th, pay tribute to the many veterans who fought for us in the wars -if you’ve never been, the parade and ceremony by the War Monument (Elgin and Sparks St.) is touching and poignant.  Be sure to wear your poppy.

Towards the end of the month, there’s another parade downtown as well, equally high-profile: the Santa Claus Parade.  Floats, bands, horse-drawn carriages, and plenty of mini-candy-canes, the people of Ottawa line the streets waiting for that last cart, to catch a glimpse of the man of the hour – Old St. Nick.

Usually, the Ottawa Firefighters walk throughout the spectacle, collecting toys for those in need, so remember to bring something to donate.

Ottawa Insider Tip: Bayshore, and most local malls begin their extended Christmas shopping hours!


Very few official events take place in the city this month.  The brightest happening is when they light up the city with the Christmas Lights (starting the first week of December). They really are quite nice and very atmospheric.  For the best view, stand on the bridge by the Chateau Laurier and look out towards the NAC, to see a fantastic night view of the canal, all lit up. 

Otherwise, December is usually just a sea of shoppers, hustling and bustling about, with loads of Christmas parties, and holiday festivities.  So, grab some eggnog and a beavertail and enjoy the holidays and the snow!

Tags: Events