Celebration of Vibrant Fall Colours

We think anytime is a good time to visit the National Capital Region, but autumn is by far one of our most colourful times of year. The tulips and gardens may just be memories in October, but the blazing glory of the deciduous trees and the soft warmth of sun along the Garden Promenade combine into a Fall Rhapsody that is renowned world-wide.  Bring your camera and put your hiking boots on. There is so much to see and explore you’ll want to make this spectacular season part of your annual sojourn to the Capital.  Watch here for more information soon.

Fall Rhapsody in gatineau park (NCC)

Come and enjoy the spectacular fall colours on display throughout Gatineau Park. In addition to the popular spots in the Park’s southern sector, many other unique and fascinating places offer magnificent views — as well as being great spots to have a picnic in nature, take a walk in the woods or enjoy a bike ride. And, you’ll encounter far fewer people there during the week.

The free shuttle is also back in service on weekends. For Canada’s 150th anniversary, the NCC is offering a new shuttle route departing from the ByWard Market in Ottawa, and travelling to Champlain Lookout.

For more information, visit the National Capital Commission’s official Fall Rhapsody website.

Garden of the Provinces and Territories

402 Wellington St, Ottawa (45.417919, -75.709268)

Saturday, October 7, 2017,  3 p.m.

Garden Tour, beginning at the corner of Bay Street and Sparks Street.

The Garden of the Provinces and Territories is located on prestigious Wellington Street, across from the National Archives.  This 1.6-hectare/4-acre national garden was redesigned in 2015, in the New Perennial Movement style, using mixtures of long lived, long flowering, strong stemmed perennials and ornamental grasses with interesting seedheads, fall leaf colour and winter bark.  Dominated by Canadian native plant species or their cultivars the gardens also represent three distinct landscape types, woodland (upper terrace), prairie and tundra (lower lawn).

Duration:   The garden tour will last 1 hour, including time for questions.

Biography – Julie Mulligan

Julie Mulligan is a landscape architect and a biologist with over 35 years of experience.  She is currently working with Stantec, a global planning and design consulting company.  Previously, she worked for 15 years as a project manager with the National Capital Commission.  In addition to specializations in stormwater management, stream restoration and urban forestry, she had developed expertise in floral and planting design, including:

  • In 1986, she was responsible for the design of the Centennial Chrysanthemum Show at the Central Experimental Farm for Agriculture Canada;
  • In 2001, she completed the design of the new Canada Garden for the Museum of Civilization (History);
  • In 2008, she was responsible for the development of a ten-year NCC Floral Vision for the Capital;
  • In 2010, she designed an entirely new layout and plantings for the historic tropical Palmhouse at Rideau Hall;
  • In 2015, she completed the design and supervised the installation of revitalized and expanded gardens at the Garden of the Provinces and Territories for the NCC.

the civic gardens at lansdowne park

behind the Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park, Ottawa

Date TBD

Gardening Workshops

A vibrant celebration of Ottawa’s horticultural heritage, raised beds display a variety of plants and themes, with 7 beds of plants of Indigenous importance. 2017 plantings mark a centennial celebration of the start of the Victory Garden initiative.

Canada Agriculture and Food Museum Garden (901 Prince of Wales Drive, Ottawa) 

October 07, 2017 – October 09, 2017
9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Fees: Included with Museum admission

At this time of year, many Canadian farms are harvesting the food crops that will sustain us throughout the year. To celebrate the harvest, join us at the Museum where you will be able to learn how simple and easy it is to prepare heart healthy soup made with corn, squash and beans – known as the Three Sisters. Learn how to make delicious apple upside down cake, explore several pumpkin varieties and learn about the pumpkin’s life cycle. Children are invited to get creative with a fall themed craft and play with a corn filled sensory bin. Other activities include the perennial favourite apple cider making as well as livestock-related demonstrations.  For more information visit the website.


Built in 1886, this former water tower is now home to the Théâtre de l’Île and is a most beautiful site. The first municipal theatre in Quebec, it provides a magical meeting site for local and visiting audiences and artists.

For showtimes and tickets to live theatre, visit the website.



For 107 days, Jacques-Cartier Park will host the biggest horticultural event in Canada, with MOSAÏCANADA 150/Gatineau 2017. Mosaiculture is a most spectacular horticultural technique that combines the following different art forms:

  • sculpture for the structure,
  • paint for the palette of colours, and
  • horticulture as the means of creating living and changing artworks with plants.

The theme of the Gatineau exhibit will reflect 150 years of history, values, culture and arts in Canada, represented by some 40 different arrangements. Admission to the MOSAÏCANADA 150/Gatineau 2017 exhibit in Jacques-Cartier Park will be free. The exhibit will be in the form of a route extending over almost one kilometre. Each visit will last approximately 90 minutes.


The official residence of the governor general is set amidst 32 hectares of beautifully landscaped grounds of rolling lawns, winding paths, woods, perennial beds and gardens. Don’t miss the Canadian Heritage Garden and its 11 circular flowerbeds with over 200 varieties of winter-hardy roses, and marvel in the splendour of the Grove of Dedicated Trees as the leaves take on beautiful multicoloured fall hues.



Between events, the park is a calm oasis in downtown Ottawa, and the perfect spot to take a break between visits to the ByWard Market and nearby museums and galleries.

This park features some of the best lookouts in Ottawa, offering stunning views of the Ottawa Locks on the Rideau Canal, the Ottawa River and the Parliament Buildings. Take a stroll through the park’s stately trees as the leaves change colour with the change of season, over its rolling lawns and winding pathways, and learn about its history through a series of interpretation panels.


When not being used for events, Confederation Park is an urban oasis away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Ottawa.

The park opened in 1967 as part of Canada’s centennial celebrations, and today is a popular feature of Confederation Boulevard, the Capital’s ceremonial and discovery route. Confederation Park hosts several sculptures and monuments, like the South African War Memorial, the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument, and the memorial fountain honoring Colonel By, which stood for nearly a century in Trafalgar Square in London, England.

The Dominion Arboretum

Building 72, Arboretum, Ottawa

Located on 64-acres of rolling land, the arboretum was developed to test the hardiness of woody plants in the Canadian climate. With a variety of micro-climates and showcasing a range of woody plants, the collection contains around 4000 specimens.




Fletcher Wildlife Garden (Prince of Wales at Cow Ln, Ottawa)

A beautiful organic garden with two distinct sections including wildlife-friendly native plant displays, perennial beds, water feature, rock garden, a managed woodland, a ravine with a pond and a wildflower meadow offering wildlife habitat and food.





This outdoor exhibition space on the museum’s property features about 60 native species of trees and plants (including grasses, sedges and mosses). They are species that are typically found in Canada’s boreal forest, Arctic tundra and prairie grasslands.

For opening times and more information about the gardens, visit the museum’s website.


One of the largest of its type in North America, the green roof of the War Museum is over 10,000 sq m. Designed to function as an ecosystem, it blends architecture with nature. A must visit to experience nature being integrated into urban settings.

Memory Garden

Using paper containing poppy flower seeds, write a private message to someone you’d like to remember. In the spring, the War Museum will plant the messages in a commemorative garden.

In conjunction with the special exhibition Vimy – Beyond the Battle.

For more information and schedule, visit the museum’s website.


Designed in 1995 by Zen monk and Landscape Architect Shunmyo Toshiaki Masuno, this peaceful garden melds the serenity of a traditional Japanese Zen garden with plants and materials native to Canada and the National Capital region.