Places to Shop in Ottawa
Whilst there is plenty in Ottawa to keep even the most seasoned traveller occupied, the city is also a great place to shop. So whether you’re travelling with a culture vulture, a foodie or a seasoned shopaholic, there are a whole host of places to pick up some great souvenirs.
The Byward Market area of downtown Ottawa is the city’s most popular and famous shopping district. Located in the oldest commercial and residential area of the city, the historic market was built in 1926, and after a $2 million renovation in 1997, now plays host to a variety of independent stalls.
In the summer the stalls are fragrant with fresh flowers and teeming with locals stocking up on fresh, seasonal produce. In the winter it’s worth braving the big chill for jars of delicious Maple Syrup, Canada’s speciality, and at half the price you would pay in your average tourist shop. By night, the area comes alive with lively bars, pubs and restaurants.
After marvelling at the glorious buildings on Parliament Hill, wander around Spark Street, a pleasant pedestrian area lined with outdoor cafes. This is the perfect place to pick up typical souvenirs, and you can find the Canadian Flag printed on everything here, from postcards and magnets, to aprons and underwear. For more ‘historic’ shopping, Sparks Street Mall, filled with exclusive shops and upscale cafes, is Canada’s first open-air pedestrian mall, and dates back 100 years. With live orchestras, jugglers and Dixieland Bands taking to the streets in the summer, and cascades of festive lights in the winter, this is an ambient shopping experience.
Bank Street is an eclectic mix of major chain stores, unique boutiques, every flavour of restaurant and a range of entertainment venues, and stretches for 15 blocks. Bargain hunters should visit in June and August, when the shops spill out onto the street for the Summer & Fall Sidewalk Sales.
If you fancy a little culture alongside your sales shopping, nearby Snider Plaza hosts the Centretown Movies Outdoor Film Festival, in the summer months, which features films from around the world. Admission is free, but bring your own chair!
Sports fans will love Westboro Village, a charming area in the West of Ottawa that used to be a city in its own right. Anchored by the Mountain Equipment Coop, Westboro features the largest selection of sports and outdoor equipment stores in the city, and is where Canadians come to stock up before embracing the great outdoors.
To save up some spending money, book cheap hotels and flights with websites such as lastminute.com, and arrange your travel insurance online, with sites like Go Travel and Atlas Direct offering internet deals.Author Google+ Profile