Ottawa tourist scavenger hunt

Ottawa 3-hour self-guided walking tour and scavenger hunt

Are you looking for things to do in Ottawa? Our Ottawa scavenger hunt is a 2/3-hr self-guided walking tour with challenges, taking you from Chateau Laurier to the Supreme Court and the Byward Market, without missing the Parliament Hill of course!

Solve challenges at every step to discover your next destination and earn points. Learn a little history as well as interesting facts about what surrounds you.

Scavenger Hunt information :

On your Ottawa scavenger hunt, you will see:

  • Rideau Canal
  • Château Laurier
  • ByWard Market
  • Parliament Hill
  • Canadian War Memorial
  • National Arts Center
  • Bank of Canada Museum
  • Supreme Court of Canada
  • US Embassy
  • et plus encore

We have visited Ottawa on several occasions since the 1990s. We tested this pedestrian tourist treasure hunt in June 2018.

  • Starting Point: Government Conference Center, 2 Rideau Street, Ottawa, ON, K1N 8X5, across the street from the Chateau Laurier.
  • Distance: 3.4 km / 2.1 mi
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Method: Walking
  • Required: A fully charged smartphone with internet access (data plan).
  • Suggested:
    • Bottle of water
    • A local map

Ancient History

Ottawa is in Ontario, on the south shore of the Ottawa River, facing Gatineau, which is in Quebec.

The Outaouais nation occupied this region for a long time before the French arrived. The Algonquin (their language) term for this region is Odawa, where the name of the city comes from. The Ottawa River was called Kichi Sibi by the Algonquins, which means “big river”.

The first European settlement here is a farmer named Philemon Wright, from Massachusetts, dating back to 1800, on the Quebec side of the river. He hauled wood logs from Ottawa to Montreal on the river. This industry increased the number of settlers.

During the War of 1812, Lieutenant-Colonel John By settled on the hill overlooking the river to oversee the construction of the Rideau Canal. He built a hospital and several military barracks. In 1800, there were already about 1000 settlers, the village took the name of its founder. Bytown is fast becoming a center for the wood industry.

Recent Ottawa History

Ottawa was founded in 1826 during the construction of the Rideau Canal. In 1857, the site was chosen by Queen Victoria to host the new capital of the province of Canada (province of the British Empire at the time). It is mainly because it resides on the border of Upper and Lower Canada, and resolves the conflict between the cities of Montreal, Toronto, Quebec, and Kingston that are vying for the permanent title.

In 1959, Ottawa becomes the capital of the Canadian Confederation, under the British Parliament and Monarchy. On July 1st, 1867, it became the capital of the sovereign country of Canada, which only has links to the British Monarchy, but no longer to the British Government. All of its principal federal institutions, including Parliament, the residences of the Governor General (British Crown’s representative), and the Prime Minister of Canada are located there.

In 1916, a major fire burned down most of the parliament, except for the library which is located at the back. Reconstruction was completed in 1920.

Ottawa now has more than 900,000 inhabitants and is the fourth largest city in Canada. Its metropolitan area has more than 1.2 million inhabitants, spread over Ontario and Quebec. 34% of the population is bilingual (French and English) in Ottawa.

The Ottawa Tourist Scavenger Hunt is now available!

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