City Name
Home » Recent posts » A Visitor’s Guide to Ottawa’s Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

A Visitor’s Guide to Ottawa’s Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica


Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica isn’t your average church; it’s an architectural marvel that’s a testament to Ottawa’s rich heritage and vibrant culture. After all, it’s been watching Ottawa long before it was even called Ottawa! 

If you’re curious about this place you’re in luck! We’re about to dive deep into everything you need to know about Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica so you’ll know what to expect when you visit it. Let’s go!

Time Zone

Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4)

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the cathedral’s architectural beauty can be fully appreciated in the golden sunlight.

Known for its magnificent Gothic architecture and religious significance, entry to the famous cathedral is free.

Things to Know

Currency: Canadian Dollar
(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: English

Calling Code: +613

How to Get Around Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

Trains: While Ottawa doesn’t have a direct train service to the Cathedral, the city’s light rail system, the O-Train, offers a convenient option. You can disembark at Rideau Station, which is a short walk from Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.

Buses: The OC Transpo offers bus routes passing near the Basilica. You can get down at Mackenzie King stop and walk over!

Taxis: Taxis like BlueLine and Capital Taxi are plentiful in Ottawa. They’re a quick way to reach Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.

Car service: Uber and Lyft are always available in Ottawa, and they’re convenient for direct drop-offs at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.

Where to Stay near Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica 

The Westin Ottawa

Address: 11 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON K1N 9H4, Canada
Phone: +1 613-560-7000

Pricing: $-$$

Book Now

The Westin is not just close to the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica—we’re talking a leisurely stroll-and-you’re-there kind of close. And for the foodies, the on-site dining options do not disappoint, serving up some delectable dishes to wrap up your day.

What’s more, it’s connected to the Rideau Centre, offering direct access to one of the city’s premier shopping spots—perfect for those chilly days when you’d rather not brave the outdoors. After a day spent exploring, you can up the gym if that’s more your vibe.

Pro tip:

Don’t forget to ask for a room on a high floor facing the canal for a view that’s nothing short of Instagram-worthy.

Ottawa Marriott Hotel

Address: 100 Kent St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5R7, Canada
Phone: +1 613-238-1122

Pricing: $$
Book Now

Ottawa Marriott Hotel has family-friendly written all over it, with spacious rooms, a modern fitness centre, and Starbucks for your caffeine fix. You can even go to their heated indoor pool in the evening or unwind at their bar. 

Pro tip:

If you’re visiting with family, consider staying in one of their Kid’s Zone rooms. These rooms come decked out with kid-friendly furnishings and even video games to keep the little ones entertained.

Delta Hotels by Marriott

Address: 101 Lyon St. N, Ottawa, ON K1R 5T9, Canada
Phone: +1 613-237-3600

Pricing: $$
Book Now

Delta Hotels by Marriott’s location on Lyon St. means you’re just minutes away from Ottawa’s most famed attractions, including a leisurely walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.

One of Delta’s highlights is its on-site restaurant, Prova Bar & Kitchen, which offers Italian-inspired dishes. And, if you feel like working out, they’ve got a 24-hour fitness centre and a saltwater pool that’s like a big hug for your skin—yep, it’s that good.

Pro tip:

Delta Hotels is pet-friendly, so you can have a relaxing stay, together with your four-legged pal. Remember to check the hotel’s specific pet policy for any restrictions or additional fees.

Sheraton Ottawa Hotel

Address: 150 Albert St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5G2, Canada
Phone: +1 613-238-1500

Pricing: $$
Book Now

The Sheraton Ottawa Hotel is straightforward in its offerings, with comfortable rooms, good service, and all the trimmings for both leisure and business travellers. It’s within walking distance of the Cathedral, as well as Parliament Hill and the Byward Market.

Not to be overlooked, the Sheraton’s on-site restaurant is perfect for enjoying a quiet, solo meal.

Pro tip:

The Sheraton often has weekend deals and packages that offer great value, so it’s worth having a peek at their offers page when planning your stay. Plus, they have pet-friendly options, so your furry friends don’t have to miss out on the fun.

Alt Hotel Ottawa

Address: 185 Slater St., Ottawa, ON K0C 0C8, Canada
Phone: +1 613-691-6882

Pricing: $-$$
Book Now

Alt Hotel exudes a youthful vibe with its colourful interiors and art-filled spaces that kind of mirror the energy of the city itself. This hotel offers spacious rooms with stunning city views.

At the Alt Hotel, guests have the added convenience of dining on-site at the Happy Goat, perfect for grabbing a delicious breakfast or lunch to start your day right. 

Additionally, for those evenings when you’re looking to unwind or mingle, the hotel’s Lounge offers a selection of wines, local beers, and expertly mixed cocktails.

Pro tip:

Alt Hotel’s flexible checkout policy means you can spend more time exploring without watching the clock.

Where to Eat near Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar – Ottawa Market

Address: 75 York St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5T2, Canada
Phone: +1 613-241-8514

Pricing: $$

Known for their high-quality cuts and consistent preparation, by glancing at The Keg’s menu, you’ll know your taste buds are in for a treat. 

They have a surprisingly diverse menu with options like succulent seafood (shrimp, lobster tail, or scallops), fresh salads, and tasty appetizers (their escargot is a crowd’s favourite). 

Of course, we can’t talk about the Keg without mentioning their signatures, like the New York stripoin and prime rib. And let’s not forget the bar—whether it’s a classic cocktail, a wine, or a frosty Canadian draft, there’s no better way to complement that filet mignon.

Pro tip:

The Keg’s ‘Billy Miner Pie’ is a dessert not to be missed—gooey mocha ice cream on a chocolate crust with a heap of almond slivers, smothered in caramel and chocolate sauce.

For God Shakes – Milkshakes Ottawa

Address: 204 Dalhousie St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7C8, Canada
Phone: +1 613-518-7973

Pricing: $-$$

Now, if you’re the kind of person who loves dessert (aren’t we all?), ‘For God Shakes’ is a place that’s hard to resist. They serve milkshakes that can accommodate any dietary requirements, whether you aim for lactose-free, vegan, or gluten-free.

Other than that, their milkshake menu varied with options like Straight from Heaven, I am Single Ready to Mingle, and Old is Gold. Some of their crowd’s favourites are Mickey in the House, Cara Salt, and Cookie Dough. 

Pro tip:

The lines can get long at ‘For God Shakes’, especially on weekends, so try to hit it up during off-peak hours. Also, sharing is not only caring here but also strategic—these shakes are massive and perfect for splitting.


Media credit: myfoodfilledlife

Address: 1200 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1S 3Y1, Canada
Phone: +1 613-421-1229

Pricing: $-$$

Table SODAM is where you can indulge in dishes like bibimbap served in piping hot stone bowls, marinated bulgogi, and galbi jjim. Trust me, it’s a tongue-tingling trip through Korea’s best without the jet lag.

Pro tip:

Keep in mind that Table SODAM no longer accepts reservations, making every visit an adventure with their ‘First Come, First Served’ approach to dine-in. To secure your spot, plan to arrive early, especially during peak dining hours.

Lone Star Texas Grill

Address: 128 George St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9N9, Canada
Phone: +1 613-562-9865

Pricing: $-$$

Lone Star Texas Grill serves up a Tex-Mex extravaganza that can satisfy the heartiest of appetites. From sizzling fajitas served on a cast-iron skillet and handheld burgers to mouth-watering frozen margaritas, you’ll be spoilt here for choices.

They also offer a variety of steaks and ribs, like New York striploin, boneless beef rib steak, and BBQ pork back ribs. 

Pro tip:

Make sure you dive into their Tacos & Tequila Tuesdays, where you can mix and match your favourite tacos to your heart’s content and complement them with a shot of tequila.

Chop Steakhouse & Bar

Address: 250 W Hunt Club Rd, Ottawa, ON K2E 0B7, Canada
Phone: +1 613-216-7265

Pricing: $$

Chop Steakhouse & Bar might be a bit of a drive, but for a meal that’s several cuts above the rest, it’s worth the trip. Aside from the star of the show—steak—Chop also lays out a roster of sophisticated starters, sides, and mains. 

Dishes like lobster mac n cheese, escargot, avocado super bowl, and pan-roasted halibut are just the tip of the iceberg of their best-sellers. And when it comes to libations, from wine to cocktails, their selection is designed to pair flawlessly with your meal.

Pro tip:

Make sure you aim for their daily happy hour, which features appetizers and drink specials worth checking out. Additionally, if you’re keen on a quieter dining experience, aim for a weeknight reservation.

Where to Shop near Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

CF Rideau Centre

Address:  50 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9J7, Canada
Phone: +1 613-236-6565

CF Rideau Centre is an absolute must-visit for any shopper. More than just a mall, it’s a fashion hub, an entertainment centre, and a foodie’s delight all wrapped up in one.

Major international brands call this place home, alongside a unique mix of local boutiques offering a broad spectrum of fashion, electronics, homewares, and more.

Pro tip:

The Rideau Centre offers underground parking. So even in the dead of winter or during a summer heat wave, you and your new purchases can stay protected from the elements.

St. Laurent Shopping Centre

Address: 1200 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1K 3B8, Canada
Phone: +1 613-745-6858

Slightly off-centre, the St. Laurent Shopping Centre presents a more laid-back shopping experience while still offering an extensive range of brands and stores.

From the essentials at Hudson’s Bay to value-oriented fashion stores like Aldo, Cleo and Journeys, you’re sure to find what you need without breaking the bank. 

Pro tip:

If you want to shop without the crowds, try visiting on a weekday morning; the mall is typically quieter and more peaceful.

Ottawa Train Yards

Media credit: sarahsproul89

Address: 165 Trainyards Dr, Ottawa, ON K1G 6M8, Canada
Phone: +1 613-723-7490

Ottawa Train Yards is a refreshing open-air retail complex made for those who enjoy a more relaxed shopping day. Don’t overlook Marshalls here, where amazing deals on clothing, accessories, and shoes are just part of the daily routine. 

With its numerous stand-alone shops mirroring a city streetscape, the Train Yards provide a unique shopping experience, combining convenience, variety, and value all in one location.

Pro tip:

Train Yards is also home to a large Farm Boy store, beloved for fresh local produce and gourmet treats. Don’t miss stopping in to pick up some delicious snacks!

Billings Bridge Shopping Centre

Address: 2269 Riverside Dr., Ottawa, ON K1H 8K2, Canada
Phone: +1 613-733-2595

If you love a mall that also serves as a beautiful historical trip, then Billings Bridge Shopping Center is your go-to destination. Aside from its historical value, Billings Bridge offers an array of retail stores catering to different shopping needs.

Walmart usually tops the list of popular stores here, offering a wide range of services and products under one roof. And let’s not forget LCBO for those Canadian spirits you may want to take back home as a souvenir.

Pro tip:

Besides discovering stunning finds at an array of stores, don’t forget to take advantage of their gift card sales—perfect for that present you’re unsure about. 

Also, if you’re a new mom, breathe easy—Billings Bridge has got you covered with its nursing room facilities.

What to Do in Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica

Marvel at the intricate Gothic Revival architecture

The architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica is nothing short of breathtaking. As soon as you step foot on the grounds, you’ll be welcomed by the grandeur of the Gothic Revival design.

For photographers and architecture enthusiasts alike, the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica offers endless opportunities to capture the essence of Gothic Revival beauty.

Pro tip:

Try to visit during the golden hour for some spectacular photo opportunities. The way the sunlight plays with the architecture is pure magic.

Attend and experience the Sunday mass service

Attending a Sunday Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica is an experience that transcends religious boundaries. Mass is also a time when the basilica is filled with the rich sounds of its choir and organ.

Participating in or even just witnessing this gathering is a powerful reminder of the role such institutions play in bringing communities together.

Pro tip:

Don’t forget to check the cathedral’s schedule ahead of time for special Masses that might include full choir performances, enhancing the auditory experience.

Check out the stunning stained glass windows

Stained glass windows are often considered the soul of a cathedral, and Notre Dame in Ottawa is no exception. Each window is meticulously crafted to tell stories from the Bible or commemorate saints and significant religious figures.

On a sunny day, these windows come alive, casting vibrant hues across the sanctified interior, creating an ethereal atmosphere that feels otherworldly.

Pro tip:

For the best lighting effect, try to time your visit when the sun is shining directly through the windows, usually in the late morning or early afternoon.

Explore the peaceful Notre Dame Cemetery

Media credit: shoplastrites

Just a short walk from the cathedral, the Notre Dame Cemetery offers a serene retreat from the bustling city. The cemetery is not just a final resting place but a beautiful, meticulously maintained park that invites personal reflection and remembrance.

It provides a unique perspective on the cathedral’s role in the local community, connecting generations through faith, history, and shared memories.

Pro tip:

Make sure you look for the guided walks that occasionally take place for a more educational and engaging experience.

Visit the iconic statue of Saint Joseph outside

Before you leave, make sure to visit the iconic statue of Saint Joseph situated outside the cathedral. Sculpted with care, it represents the community’s dedication to their faith and the patronage of Saint Joseph over the universal church.

The statue also acts as a landmark and gathering point for the local community during feast days and celebrations.

Pro tip:

If you’re interested in religious art, take the time to learn about the symbolism of Saint Joseph’s depiction before you visit. It will enrich your understanding and appreciation of this iconic sculpture.

Neighbourhoods to Visit near Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica



Downtown Ottawa is where the action’s at, and not visiting this vibrant scene when you’re near the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica is pretty much like going to Paris and skipping the Eiffel Tower. Here, historic architecture meets modern-day skyscrapers.

Sparks Street here offers a pedestrian-only shopping experience that brings together local boutiques, eateries, and often, a lively street performance or two. 

Meanwhile, the National Gallery of Canada not only houses a mesmerising collection of artworks, but its glass structure is a visual masterpiece in itself.

Pro tip:

Don’t forget to check out the schedule for special events happening in downtown Ottawa. From Canada Day celebrations to Winterlude, there’s always something going on that adds an extra layer of excitement to your visit.

ByWard Market


ByWard Market, just east of the downtown core, is one Ottawa neighbourhood you cannot skip. Known as one of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets, it’s the melting pot of Ottawa’s culinary scene, nightlife, and shopping.

By day, it’s a shopper’s paradise, and by night, it transforms into a lively hub with some of the city’s best bars and clubs.

The market’s outdoor stalls flaunt fresh produce and handcrafted goods, not to forget, it’s home to the iconic BeaverTails pastry stand.

Pro tip:

ByWard Market truly comes alive at night. Plan to stay into the evening to experience the nightlife; many spots here offer live music and events throughout the week.



Chinatown Ottawa is the ideal spot for foodies, offering everything from dim sum brunches to late-night Vietnamese pho. Aside from food, it also boasts art galleries, cultural festivals, and an infectious community vibe.

Additionally, the annual Ottawa Asian Fest brings the streets to life with cultural performances, food stalls, and nighttime market vibes that are not to be missed.

Pro tip:

Don’t leave without trying a “bubble tea” from one of the many cafes in the area. It’s the perfect refreshing complement to any spicy meal.



Bayshore is a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to neighbourhoods near Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, but hear me out. Bayshore Shopping Centre is a retail haven for those looking to indulge in a spot of shopping, with over 190 stores.

But Bayshore is more than just shopping; the nearby Andrew Haydon Park is a beautiful place to relax by the water and enjoy outdoor concerts during the summer months. 

For those looking to connect with nature, the National Capital Greenbelt surrounds the area, providing ample trails for hiking and biking.

Pro tip:

Don’t forget to check Bayshore Shopping Centre’s website for special events and deals before you go. They often host family-friendly activities and promotions that can make your shopping experience even better.