By: Serge Guenette

Virtual travel ideas / things you can visit while still at home


Thanks to technology, we’ve been able to stay more connected than ever as we’ve physically distanced and confined ourselves to home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As an added bonus, even with the pandemic restricting the ability to travel, technology has also allowed cities around the world an opportunity to connect online and showcase some of their best travel locations and attractions. Ottawa is no exception. And as a world capital, our city has a lot to offer.

With that in mind, check out these six tours, both in and out of Ottawa, that you can take virtually from home — and in some cases even in person!

  1. Ottawa in 360°: This quick two-minute video touches on some of the top attractions found throughout Ottawa’s downtown core. Use your mouse or keyboard to circle around each scene and see a full 360-degree view of the buildings, along with a sneak peak of the popular displays in each of the museums that appear. See views of Parliament Hill, multiple museums around Ottawa, and some beautiful scenery photos to get you ready for when you can finally venture out and explore the capital again.

  2. Canadian Museum of History: If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Canadian History Hall, this virtual tour will have you feeling as if you are physically stepping into the museum. Explore multiple galleries and get a chance to read each of the displays at your own pace online, without feeling rushed. This tour lets you fully digest Canada’s history and get excited about visiting the museum in person once it reopens.

  3. House of Commons: Ever wonder what things are in the House of Commons, which is the seat of government for Canada? Who sits where and who does what? Find out through a virtual tour of the Commons. Circle around the room with your mouse and click on different pop-ups to learn more about the House of Commons and what specific aspects of the room mean within our government and our history.

  4. Touring Canada: If you ever wanted to tour across Canada but haven’t had the time to take that trip, Forbes has you covered. The magazine recently released an article with multiple categorized links that allow you to travel virtually across the country viewing historical tours, zoos, icebergs and nature walks through many forests. See some of the top Canadian destination attractions and get ideas for your next trip.

  5. RBC Bluesfest Drive-In: Although this isn’t a virtual tour, it is an opportunity to get out an enjoy an event while still ensuring physical distancing. RBC Bluesfest is putting on live music for two weekends near the Ottawa River, where all ticket holders can drive in, park, and tune into the show on their radios. The event will run on the weekends of July 31-Aug. 1 and Aug. 7-8. Grab your tickets here and prepare for many great performances on the river.

  6. Urban Drive-in: The drive-in theatre returns to the city this summer at the same location as RBC Bluesfest (Place des Festivals — Zibi in Gatineau). Themed movie nights are being offered on three consecutive weekends in July and on Aug. 20-22. Enjoy two movies per night for $30 a vehicle. Two radio channels are being reserved so you can listen in French or English. Get tickets here.

And if a virtual visit won’t cut it and you’re itching to get out and enjoy some of what Ottawa has to offer, take advantage of an initiative Ottawa Tourism had created to kickstart tourism in the city. Called, MyOttawa Pass, it gives you exclusive savings all over the city for attractions, accommodations, retail shops, restaurants and services. Sign-up now and start exploring (at a distance).