Santa is making his list and checking it twice. Land a spot on the nice list, enjoying a festive holiday with us.

The Carleton Suite Hotel is the ideal spot to escape this festive season, especially during COVID, when we have been cooped up so long in our homes. Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, you cannot imagine a better location to enjoy the lumination and excitement of the festive season.


The Carleton Suite Hotel has a variety of packages and special rates for the holidays, such as our It’s Still on Us Offer (get $100 rebate on a 2 night stay) or our Change of Scenery Package for an extended stay.


We are also offering a

It’s a COVID kind’a Christmas Package

that includes a Christmas dinner for two or for the family, as well a cozy continental breakfast delivered to your room, AND MORE… a welcome stocking from Santa and your very own Christmas tree to decorate!  You can book online or call the hotel directly at 1-877-478-4838 or email us at reservations@carletonsuitehotel to book.  We will reach out to you to confirm the details for dinner etc.


Check out our Offers page for more information and to book your next stay.



Christmas Lights Across Canada

From November 30, 2020 to January 7th, 2021, the Christmas Lights across Canada program is turned on, illuminating Elgin Street and Confederation Park, as well as Wellington and Parliament Hill. The radiant event, which began more than three decades ago, became such a hit that cities across Canada now participate in what’s become a national tradition.

Be charmed by the thousands of dazzling holiday lights that brighten Confederation Boulevard, Canada’s ceremonial route that circles the heart of the Capital. Follow the route and admire the illuminated sites including the National War Memorial, the Garden of Provinces and Territories and the view from Alexandra Bridge.

Some of the best places to experience the lights include the National War Memorial, the Garden of Provinces and the view from Alexandra Bridge.

For a detailed map, CLICK HERE

Enjoy Skating on the incredibly popular, state-of-the-art refrigerated Rink of Dreams. Open for public skating as of December 4th. Daily from 6am to 11pm (weather permitting). The shacks at the rink of dreams are closed to help prevent spread of COVID-19 in Ottawa.


Get some breakfast, brunch or lunch at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market which takes place inside the historic Aberdeen Pavilion during the colder months. Browse the many vendors of local crafts, food and other products. This year-round market takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each Sunday throughout the year, with an expanded Christmas edition on both Saturdays and Sundays in December.

Just behind the pavilion is the photogenic Skating Court, another free and refrigerated outdoor ice surface. Bring your own skates (facilities are closed until further notice).

If you want to do some serious Christmas shopping, you are in the right spot. The Rideau Centre is only two blocks from the hotel with over 180 of the biggest names in fashion beauty, and many new exciting newcomers to the mall. Just a few blocks away is the Byward Market. Created by John By in 1826, the Byward Market is one of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets. A favorite spot for visitors and locals, in this four block radius you will find museums, cafes, boutiques, specialty food shops, night clubs, restaurants, pubs, galleries, hair and aesthetics salons and spas and more.

Visit the National Gallery of Canada to get up close with renowned masterpieces and unexpected treasures. In the vast Canadian and Indigenous Galleries, you’ll see a wide range of works including paintings by the Group of Seven, modern Inuit sculptures and the multi-sensorial exhibit Forty-Part Motet. Set inside the ornate Rideau Chapel, the Motet features 40 separate speakers playing different recorded choir voices. Magical!

For a more regional perspective on art, visit the Ottawa Art Gallery, a beautiful modern building where admission is always free. Explore art pieces from the Ottawa area and beyond, including a collection of works by the popular Group of Seven.


Grill 41 Restaurant in our sister hotel, the Lord Elgin Hotel offers their special holiday menu for Christmas Day, (Brunch & Dinner) for take-out or delivery, or dine-in. Check out our menus at Grill 41’s website here or call at 613-569-2126.


  • Do your Christmas shopping all year round at Tinseltown Christmas Emporium, located just west of downtown. The charming boutique is full of gingerbread houses, snow globes, ornaments, artificial trees, stockings, candles, wreaths, life-sized reindeer and cute Santas.
  • Local craft and artisan markets are always a great source for gifts, especially when vendors offer special holiday items. Shop in person or online at year-round and special Christmas markets including the ByWard Market, the Ottawa Farmers’ Market and Parkdale Market Ottawa-area businesses create fun seasonal products, like Garden Path Homemade Soap’s candy cane bar soap, Purple Urchin)’s ginger spice bath bomb and Doozy Candle’s holiday options.
  • Bakeries and other treat shops always produce cute holiday-themed items that make cute (and yummy) gifts.

Canada and Ottawa

  • Maker House in the urban Hintonburg area carries products made by authentic artisans from across Canada. Cross everyone off your list with DIY craft kits, handmade blankets, hipster art and wood furniture.
  • The stylish and cozy Boogie + Birdie( boutique on Elgin Street also focuses on Canadian-designed and made goods. It’s a lovely place to pick up holiday items, jewelry, décor and wellness products for men and women.
  • Ottawa’s Made in Canada Gifts presents a wide variety of Canadian-made products including art, jewelry, décor and apparel. Visit their boutiques at CF Rideau Centre and Bayshore Shopping Centre.
  • The Snow Goose has been specializing in items created by the Indigenous Peoples of Canada since 1963. Their store near Parliament Hill presents a large selection of First Nations and Inuit art, apparel, carvings and jewelry.


  • Chez François – Plaisirs de Provence(link is external) in Westboro Village carries gourmet food, sweets and housewares from France, as well as homemade items like baked goods, jams, chocolates, and prepared meals. Bon appetit!
  • Stubbe chocolates in the Wellington West neighbourhood uses premium quality chocolate in all of its products. Choose from advent calendars, hot chocolate mixes, truffles, and even specially-shaped treats like santas, snowmen, cats, dogs, and even high-heeled shoes!
  • Foodie experiences make memorable gifts. Consider C’est Bon Cooking’s gourmet food tours and cooking classes, Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa’s short courses.

Beer and spirits

Outdoors, wellness and adventure

  • People who love winter activities will love a season pass for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or even fat-biking in Gatineau Park. You can also reserve accommodations in the park.
  • Downhill lovers would appreciate a day or season’s pass to one of the downhill skiing and snowboarding resorts around the city including Camp Fortune and Mont Cascades.
  • Give the gift of a flight over the city in a small Cessna airplane with Ottawa Biplane Adventures. The family-friendly tour fits up to 3 passengers and departs from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.
  • Plan a relaxing spa outing at businesses like Nordik Spa-Nature near Gatineau Park, Holtz Spa, nearby.

Culture and leisure

What coming this week:

Take a look below at great activities in and around Ottawa over the next week! Please always reference the websites or social media accounts of each attraction or business for more detailed information, as circumstances can change at any time, and consult our visit Ottawa safely page for information on the most recent COVID-19 regulations.

Here are just some of the activities and experiences available in the region as of Thursday, December 10:

  • There are tons of festive activities that make happy holidays happen in Ottawa! Check out Christmas Lights Across Canada (with a special light installation on Parliament Hill!), Lights at Lansdowne in the Casino Lac-Leamy Plaza outside the Aberdeen Pavilion, virtual Trees of Hope at the Fairmont Château Laurier, Magic of Lights at Wesley Clover Parks, the Christmas Village at Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm, the Vintage Village of Lights at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, a Country Christmas at Saunders Farm, an Enchanted Holiday Drive at Karters Korners, and more. Search the Ottawa Tourism event calendar for more ideas, some are FREE!
  • The Ottawa Farmers’ Market is operating on extended dates during the holidays! Inside the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne, shop for local goods Saturdays and Sundays until December 20. FREE!
  • Shopping for the holidays? Check out the Holiday Pop-Up Market in the ByWard Market neighbourhood, daily until December 24; go on a Glebe Spree and enter to win a grand prize, check out the Watson’s Mill Virtual Christmas Market, or visit the Ottawa Tourism event calendar for lots more holiday markets. Be sure to tag #Santa613 when sharing your local shopping experiences on social media (Instagram and Twitter; or via a form on the contest webpage) to enter the Ottawa Tourism holiday contest. FREE!
  • Ottawa Bluesfest and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany team up to provide free, online musical performances every day until December 24 with their virtual, musical Holiday Advent Calendar 2020. FREE!
  • Parc Oméga offers fun seasonal programming every weekend in December, from Santa’s elf hunt to horse sleigh rides, and even a chance to meet Santa Claus himself… all in addition to the fantastic drive-through Canadian wildlife safari!
  • The Westin Ottawa offers an elevated dining experience this Saturday, December 12 at TwentyTwo! Check out Dine in the Sky for a three-course meal, red carpet arrival, and music by the dueling pianos.
  • Chamberfest presents a virtual concert, True North Brass, this Monday, December 14, broadcast from the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre.

Find out more great activities to do in and around Ottawa on the Ottawa Insider Blog!

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