There is no question that the almost-new Ottawa Convention Centre, located smack dab right down town Ottawa, is spectacular. Whether the centre is spectacular in a beautiful sense, or unusual, or just spectacularly weird will be determined by you, the visitor.
A spectacular building…yes, but also a remarkable location for a convention centre, no question.
The old Ottawa Congress Centre on Colonel By Drive was torn down in 2008 to make way for the development of the $170 million dollar Ottawa investment in downtown commerce – the new Convention Centre- construction of which finished in 2011.
Just across Colonel By Drive is the Unesco Heritage site – the Rideau Canal – and on its west bank is Ottawa’s National Art Centre. To the right is the War Memorial and the Parliament Buildings.
As I mentioned, it’s right down town Ottawa.
Navigating Ottawa’s streets in that area was much simpler when I was growing up there. Now, as you drive onto Colonel By Drive from Wellington/Rideau, if you do not take the first left between the hotel and the convention centre, you’ve missed it. You will have to travel quite a ways along Colonel By before you get the opportunity to turn around. Then, when you do, as you arrive back at the Convention Centre, you cannot make a right turn to get past the centre to access the public parking. Quite bizarre. We ended up parking over at the Byward Market, and walking back. Not far, but a bit inconvenient. So, if you are driving, visit their website and map out how to get to parking to make it more convenient for you.
There are lots of hotels and other venues to stay at when in downtown Ottawa and visiting the Ottawa Convention Centre, one hotel of which is right next door.
You can walk to many of Ottawa’s sites when visiting the centre, so plan on allowing some extra time to take those sites in when you visit. There is an awful lot of history right next to this very modern, interesting centre.
Ottawa Convention Centre
55 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 9J2
W: Ottawa Convention Centre
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