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)

Canada’s Capital Region – Come and see the magnificent fall colours throughout the Capital Region! From Gatineau Park to the Greenbelt and the Capital’s urban parks, enjoy the spectacular fall foliage in the region’s parks, and along the pathways and shorelines.

In partnership with Société de transport de l’Outaouais and Camp Fortune, the free NCC shuttle is back.

Free NCC Fall Rhapsody shuttle from the ByWard Market to Gatineau Park

With departure points in Ottawa’s ByWard Market, Gatineau and Camp Fortune, the NCC shuttle will link to Gatineau Park’s most popular destinations: Pink Lake, the Mackenzie King Estate, King Mountain and Champlain Lookout.

Hop on for easy access over the next three weekends:

October 6, 7 and 8
October 13 and 14
October 20 and 21

From Ottawa: 9:10 am to 1:10 pm, every 20–30 minutes
From Gatineau: 9 am to 1 pm, every 30–40 minutes
From Camp Fortune: 11 am to 3 pm, every 15–20 minutes
Return trip: Last shuttle from Champlain Lookout (stop no. 14) to Ottawa–Gatineau or Camp Fortune at 4 pm.

Routes, stops and schedules are available on the NCC’s interactive map.

Access to Parkways

On Fall Rhapsody weekends, from 10:30 am to 4 pm, the southbound lane of Fortune Lake Parkway (toward Champlain Lookout) will be closed to all regular traffic (including cyclists), and open exclusively to the Fall Rhapsody shuttle.

The northbound lane of Fortune Lake Parkway (toward Dunlop Road) remains open to all traffic to allow motorists and cyclists to access Camp Fortune and Chemin du Lac-Meech.

The Gatineau and Champlain parkways remain open to all traffic in both directions, except during temporary parkway closures required during high traffic periods and closures on weekends until 10:30 am for “Short Loops in the Park.”

Fall Rhapsody Special Events

Discover Gatineau Park in a new way, by travelling to the four corners of the Park, where the fall foliage is bold and bright, and with fewer visitors than at some of the destinations closer to downtown.

During the next two Fall Rhapsody weekends, the NCC organizes special events in partnership with the municipalities of Chelsea and Pontiac, as well as the communities of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation. Visitors can get a taste of local flavours, watch artists at work, chat with NCC nature interpreters and meet local merchants.

Anishinabe Nibin (Algonquin Summer) at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, October 6 and 7, 10 am to 4 pm

Join us as Gatineau Park celebrates Algonquin culture. Anishinabe Nibin, or “Algonquin summer,” is a great opportunity to learn more about the traditional Algonquin way of life, as well as a chance to see artisans at work.

Demonstrations: How to build a birchbark canoe, how to make snowshoes, how to tan hides
Presentations by Daniel (Pinock) Smith on building a traditional birchbark canoe
Organized in collaboration with the communities of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation.

Pontiac Country Fair at the Luskville Falls, October 6, 7 and 8, 10 am to 4 pm

A popular annual event, the Pontiac Country Fair provides an opportunity to discover the region’s various products and services, as well as the artists and artisans who add colour to the local culture.

Pontiac merchant and craft kiosks offering various products and services: demonstrations, tastings and sale of products on-site
Nature interpretation kiosk: find out why leaves change colour in the fall, and explore unique ecosystems
Demonstrations with horses, mini-farm and other animals
And much more
Organized in collaboration with the Municipality of Pontiac.

Nature Days at Breton Beach, Philippe Lake, October 13 and 14, 11 am to 4 pm

Come and admire the stunning colours of the magnificent maple trees, and enjoy a variety of family activities at Philippe Lake.

Demonstrations with birds of prey at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm
Guided hikes with nature interpreters at 11:30 am in French and 1:30 pm in English
Interpretation and ongoing activities for families
Bring a lunch: Breton Beach is equipped with barbecues and picnic tables.
Take advantage of the weekend to discover must-see attractions around Wakefield, such as the Fairbairn House Heritage Centre, as well as local farm producers and merchants featured in a tour of the municipality.


Truly spectacular, yet still a secret to many, Canada’s Capital Greenbelt offers dazzling views of fall landscapes—and 150 kilometres of trails.

Shirleys Bay (7 km)
Stony Swamp (40 km)
Pine Grove (18 km)
Green’s Creek (6 km)
Mer Bleue, one of the most studied wetland environments in the world, offers 20 kilometres of hiking trails and boardwalks to admire the brilliant fall colours.


To enter, add #FallRhapsody and @NCC-CCN to your photo and post it on Instagram before October 31, 2018. You could win an overnight stay in a four-season tent this winter in Gatineau Park.


Harvest Celebration – October 6, 7 & 8, 2018

Fall has truly arrived, with the long Thanksgiving weekend just around the corner! Thanksgiving traditionally celebrates the fruits of our majestic Mother Earth’s labours by highlighting the abundance of the harvest throughout the weekend.

Guided by the Table Agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais team, come discover the many activities taking place in the area to promote regional products and the artisans who grow and bring them to your table.


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

October 06, 2017 – October 08, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Thanksgiving Weekend @The Farm

Fees: Included with Museum admission

Language: Bilingual

Come to the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum this Thanksgiving weekend to celebrate the harvest! At this time of year, many Canadian farms are harvesting the food crops that will sustain us throughout the year. Come see some of our farm machinery on display as well as watch a baler in action! Discover fun facts about corn and apples and sample fall recipes. Explore several pumpkin varieties and learn about the pumpkin’s life cycle. Children are invited to get creative with a fall themed craft. Other activities include livestock-related demonstrations.

Farm Machinery Display (ongoing)
Admire agricultural machinery which is used to cut, dry, compress and store hay.

Baling Demonstration 10:00 and 1:30
Watch as a hay baler compresses hay into compact bales.

All about Corn (ongoing)
Explore all things corny! Learn about the history of corn, its many varieties and watch how traditional corn shellers were used. And what’s one of the tastiest snacks made of corn? Popcorn of course – try a sample.

Butternut Squash Soup (ongoing)
Learn how to make an easy and delicious healthy soup with butternut squash. All visitors are invited to have a taste.

Pumpkins (ongoing)
Explore the different pumpkin varieties and learn about the pumpkin’s life cycle. Interesting pumpkin facts will be shared throughout the day.

Apple Dessert (ongoing)
Learn how to make a delicious apple dessert. This cooking demonstration also features the history of the harvest in Canada and a sample of this tasty treat.

Apple IQ (ongoing)
Test your taste buds in this apple guessing game! Visitors are invited to sample apple pieces and guess their variety.

Children’s Craft (ongoing)
Come join the fun with a fall themed craft to take home.

Farrier Demonstration – Saturday Only at 11:00
Many visitors may not know that the Museum’s horses all get routine hoof care. The farrier will be on hand Saturday morning to demonstrate this essential element of keeping horses hard at work and healthy.

Other demonstrations:

9:30 a.m. Meet the Rabbits
10:30 p.m. Groom a Calf
12:00 p.m. Meet the Ducks
2:00 p.m. Meet the Rabbits
4:00 p.m. Afternoon Milking

Demonstration times are subject to change. Please check your handouts the day of the event.

Food Service ($)
The Hot Potato Company Food Truck will be on site to offer food services.

Face Painting – Saturday and Monday Only ($) (ongoing)
The Painted Pixie will be on site to work her magic!

the civic gardens at lansdowne park

behind the Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park, Ottawa

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.

Garden of the Provinces and Territories

402 Wellington St, Ottawa (45.417919, -75.709268)

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).


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.



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.