Offbeat Places in Ottawa


Welcome to the capital of Canada, where the conventional meets the extraordinary. Ottawa, known for its historic landmarks and government institutions, also harbors a treasure trove of offbeat and unconventional spots waiting to be discovered. In this guide, we’ll unveil the lesser-known, quirky, and offbeat places that add a unique flavor to Ottawa’s cultural tapestry.

Ottawa, nestled along the Ottawa River, is often associated with official government buildings and national museums. However, beneath its formal exterior lies a city that thrives on creativity and individuality. Exploring offbeat places allows you to break away from the expected and experience the unconventional charm of this captivating city.

Quirky Museums and Exhibits

Diefenbunker Cold War Museum

The Diefenbunker, a relic of the Cold War era, is a four-story underground bunker designed to house essential government functions in case of a nuclear attack. It’s a unique blend of history, architecture, and the eerie feeling of being in a time capsule frozen in the 1960s.

Currency Museum at the Bank of Canada

The Currency Museum offers a fascinating exploration of Canada’s monetary history. From ancient currencies to modern-day banknotes, the collection showcases the evolution of money in an engaging and often surprising way.

Bytown Museum

Nestled near the Rideau Canal, the Bytown Museum delves into the history of Ottawa’s early years as a rough-and-tumble lumber town. The museum’s compact size and intimate setting make for an immersive experience of Ottawa’s gritty past.

Street Art and Murals

Murals of Underpass

Hidden beneath the busy streets of Ottawa, vibrant murals transform ordinary underpasses into canvases of artistic expression. These murals, painted by local and international artists, bring color and creativity to unexpected urban spaces.

Hintonburg Murals

Hintonburg, a trendy neighborhood, boasts an impressive collection of murals adorning its buildings. These murals not only add an artistic touch to the area but also tell stories of the community and its evolution.

Graffiti Wall at Somerset House

The Graffiti Wall at Somerset House is a constantly changing canvas, offering an ever-evolving display of street art. Artists from around the city contribute to this living art piece, reflecting Ottawa’s vibrant and dynamic art scene.

Eclectic Cafés and Restaurants

The Moonroom

Tucked away in a cozy corner, The Moonroom is more than just a café—it’s an experience. With its intimate ambiance, unique cocktails, and a menu that surprises and delights, it’s a haven for those seeking an offbeat culinary adventure.

Pressed Café

Pressed Café is a charming blend of café, bar, and live music venue. This offbeat spot offers a laid-back atmosphere, delicious food, and a lineup of events that cater to a diverse and artsy crowd.

Art Is In Bakery

Art Is In Bakery is not your ordinary bakery. It’s a fusion of culinary innovation and creativity, offering an array of delectable treats that go beyond the conventional. From unconventional pastries to gourmet sandwiches, this bakery is a must-visit for food enthusiasts.

Hidden Nature Spots

Fletcher Wildlife Garden

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle by visiting the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, a hidden gem within the city. It’s a peaceful oasis where you can reconnect with nature and discover a variety of plants and wildlife.

Dominion Arboretum

Tucked behind the bustling city, the Dominion Arboretum is a serene destination where you can wander through lush gardens and discover a stunning collection of trees and plants. It’s a perfect spot for those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Lusk Cave Trail

For the adventurous souls, the Lusk Cave Trail offers a unique experience. It takes you through scenic trails and allows you to explore fascinating caves, providing an exciting adventure off the beaten path.

Offbeat Historical Sites

Mackenzie King Estate

The Mackenzie King Estate transports you back in time to the former Prime Minister’s retreat. The estate is not only rich in history but also shrouded in an air of mystery, making it a compelling destination for history buffs and curious explorers.

The Haunted Walk of Ottawa

Embark on a spooky journey with The Haunted Walk of Ottawa, where ghost stories and tales of the supernatural come to life. Traverse the city’s historic streets and hear chilling stories that will send shivers down your spine.

Laurier House National Historic Site

Laurier House, the former residence of two Canadian Prime Ministers, provides a glimpse into the lives of these influential figures. Steeped in history, this site offers an offbeat perspective on Canadian politics and heritage.

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