Summer Activities at City Hall

Ottawa City Hall is a people place for all seasons. It is home to the Rink of Dreams, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, and Barbara Ann Scott Museum.

Marion Dewar Plaza is also the scene of many community events and festivals throughout the year, including:

  • Jazz Festival
  • Race Weekend

This summer, City Hall's Marion Dewar Plaza will be home to regular weekly programs and special events for every taste and interest – from physical fitness to Noon Hour Concerts

Come out, participate and enjoy! 

Regular Weekly Programs (July and August)

Special Events:

Regular Weekly Programs (July and August)

Outdoor Boot Camp – YMCA-YWCA of Nation Capital Region

YMCA LogoTuesdays, 7:15 to 8 am, July 8 to August 19 (In case of rain, event may be held at Jean Pigott Hall)

For all fitness levels from the beginner through to the advanced so don't let the name scare you. A refreshing class to get you energized and pumped for the day.

Hatha Yoga – Rama Lotus Yoga Centre

Rama Lotus Yoga Centre logoTuesdays, noon to 1 pm, July 8 to August 26 (In case of rain, event may be held at Jean Pigott Hall)

These classes are open to all levels. Swing by and join in the fun. The instructors from Rama Lotus Yoga Centre will be on hand to lead the class. Some yoga mats will be available but it's best to bring your own.



Circus Jam - Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group & Ottawa Circus School

Circus jam logo


Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9 pm, July 8 to August 26

Circus Jams are community meets, open and free to all who are interested in the flow arts (bring your poi, hooping, juggling, partner-acro, fire dancing, just to name a few). The jams are an opportunity for people to practice with some music and maybe light up with fire out in this beautiful site. Anyone or any age can come out and practice, share and meet others with similar interests, have fun and find your talent. or  Kids are welcome but must be supervised.


Good Food Market

July 22, August 5, 19 - Tuesdays at Noon

Good Food MarketsThe Good Food Markets are in their third year of operation in Ottawa, bringing fresh fruit, vegetables, and various types of grains together for not-for-profit pop up markets.  The GFM’s are happening throughout the city where access to food is a challenge, as over eight percent of Ottawa residents report that they worry about their food security.  This means that they’re worried they won’t have enough money for food after paying their fixed costs, or that they are concerned about the quality of the food for sale in their neighbourhoods and their access to healthy, nutritious food.  In some instances, people can go twenty blocks without finding a supermarket!  Ottawa Public Health has been listening, and has responded to their concerns by expanding the Good Food Markets.  The GFM’s work in collaboration with the Coalition of Community and Health Resource Centers, the Social Planning Council of Ottawa, the Ottawa Good Food Box, Nanny Goat Hill Community Garden, Ottawa Community Housing, and the Coalition of Community Houses.  So look for the Good Food Markets under their bright blue tents this season and stop by for some fresh fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices.

 Tai Chi – Taoist Tai Chi™

Tai Chi logo


Wednesdays, noon to 1 pm, July 9 to August 27 (In case of rain, event may be held at Jean Pigott Hall)

Can you benefit from the regular practice of the Taoist Tai Chi™ arts? Well, first answer this question: do you have stress in your life? If you answered "yes"- and really, who didn't? – we'd like to introduce you to a form of exercise and personal development that both promotes health and relieves stress. The benefits include: improved circulation, balance, and posture; increased strength and flexibility, reduced stress and improved sense of well being.

Join us for free beginner classes every Wednesday in July and August in the Marion Dewar Plaza in front of Ottawa City Hall!



Prediction Run Ottawa

Run OttawaWednesdays, noon to 1 pm, July 2 to August 27 (rain or shine)

Join Run Ottawa, organizers of the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, Canada's biggest running weekend, for a fun and friendly Prediction Run every Wednesday at noon starting July 2. What's a Prediction Run? It is probably different from other races that you've run in the past. Rather than finishing first or running the fastest, the object of a prediction run is to finish as close to your predicted time as possible. In the case of our Summer Runner Series prediction runs, the goal is to finish as close to your predicted finish time for a 5K. And here's the catch... you leave your watch with us! Come and join us! Prizes and fun guaranteed! 

Register in advance at  Free!

  Salsa @ City Hall

Outdoor salsaWednesdays, 6 to 11 pm, July 2 to August 27 
Salsa@ City Hall invites everyone to come and enjoy a free night of music, dancing, and fun!

Sponsored by Azucar! Latin Dance Company, Salsa @ City Hall is held weekly at Marion Dewar Plaza in front of City Hall. This event is for people of all ages to learn about the irresistible charm of Latin dancing!

Starting at 6 pm, come and take a class on one of the many forms of Latin dance, led by some of the best dance schools in Ottawa. Afterwards, try out your new moves, and get to know the friendly Ottawa dance community! Enjoy the outdoor weather, make new friends, and party!

Walking Programs

August 12, September 9

Noon to 1 pm

This summer, the City of Ottawa and partners are delighted to offer a variety of free walking programs to spark your interest in learning about the benefits of walking.   Meet new people, try something new, enhance your present walking program and have some fun!    Take a look at the list below and take the first step to making walking different and fun.

Chi Walking - Tuesday, August 12

Chi Walking with Dr. Barry BrucePresented by Dr. Barry Bruce, Physician, West Carleton Family Health Team,

Certified Senior Chi Running and Chi Walking Instructor

Chi Walking draws on alignment and relaxation techniques central to T’ai Chi. This creates a walking form that feels easier, prevents injury and overcomes the discomfort of walking incorrectly. 

Fitness is a powerful preventer of chronic disease, and walking is a universally accessible way to become and stay fit.  The 12 different walks of Chi Walking can help you to manage your energy, from aerobic to calming sessions.

Because Chi Walking (and related Chi Running) is a “practice” and not a sport, improving is a lifelong activity.  However, many people report a significant improvement with just a small amount of change in technique, as well as a marked reduction in injuries, that can quickly derail any fitness program.   

The demonstration provides only basic instruction, but will point participants toward further Chi Walking and Chi Running resources available on line, in the library, and through training with a live instructor.

Walk with Dan Rubinstein - Tuesday, September 9 

Walk with Dan Rubinstein, author of born to walkAuthor of Born to Walk

We all know that walking is good for our bodies. But we're only starting to understand how much it can help our brains, too. Walking can alleviate stress, anxiety and depression. It boosts cognitive performance and sparks creativity. The relationship between walking and the mind is complex, but physiological and psychological research is giving us new insight into this elemental connection — and showing us the importance of the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other. Join writer Dan Rubinstein (, @dan_rube) and discover the powerful connections between walking and mental health.

Noon Hour Concerts and BBQ

Mark your calendar for every Thursday in July and come join us for a BBQ and Free concert! Sponsored by RBC Bluesfest, the Musicians’ Association of Ottawa-Gatineau, and Café 111.

Blackwell  - July 17

BlackwellBlackwell is a country music powerhouse; a trio of singer/songwriter/musicians Carey Blackwell, Danny Blackwell and Braiden Turner.  Their music is crossover heaven, a perfect blend of country rock, pop, and haunting ballads. 

As songwriters, they have that special ability to put into words what many of us think and feel in a way that is fresh and original. The Blackwell “live show” draws heavily from the music that dominates Country Radio, along with their original material.

Carey and Danny, raised in a musical family from Cochrane Ontario, have spent their lives making music, writing songs, recording, and playing live.  Braiden, also from a musical family, has spent most of her young life writing and recording songs in her home studio. The group came together when Carey moved south to record.  He and his brother Dan hooked up with Braiden through mutual musical acquaintances …and the rest is history.

The band is in the studio now recording their debut CD due for release spring 2014 arranged by Carey Blackwell and produced by Joe Turner. 

Mark Ferguson & Mike Tremblay Duo - July 24 

Mark FergusonMark Ferguson is an Ottawa based pianist, trombonist, composer, arranger, producer, and music educator.  He has performed with many of the world’s great artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Gil Evans, Nelson Riddle, Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdink, Rosemary Clooney, Carol Channing, Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass, Holly Cole, Manteca, The Funk Brothers, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Mark is a professor at Carleton University’s department of music and directs the Carleton Jazz Ensemble. He has served as a jazz clinician at high schools and universities across Canada. 

Mike TremblayMike Tremblay has more than 25 years experience in the music industry as a performer and educator.  He is an associate performance faculty member at Carleton University, where he teaches saxophone and ensembles. He is also director of the Carleton University Jazz Camp. In 2007, Mike  founded the Ottawa Saxophone Camp. Mike is also the musical director of the OCDSB Secondary School All-Star Jazz Ensemble, as well as an adjudicator for Musicfest Canada and the Kiwanis Music Festival.

Some of his performance and recording credits include Natalie Cole, Josh Groban, Alanis Morissette, John Pizzarelli, Lou Rawls, Bernadette Peters, and Holly Larocque and the Mark Ferguson orchestra.  Mike frequently performs with the National Arts centre Orchestra as part of the CTV POPS series. Theatre credits include Oliver,Billy Elliot, Drowsy Chaperone, Kiss of the Spider Woman (NAC), Hairspray with George Wendt (PEI Charlottetown Festival), Guys and Dolls, The Producers, Footloose, Annie, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for Orpheus Theatre.  In 2009 Mike co-released a CD with pianist Mark Ferguson. 

 Ottawa Brass Quintet - July 31

With an eclectic--yet engaging--repertoire, The Ottawa Brass Quintet has been entertaining audiences in and around the National Capital area for 15 years. Comprised of five brass players who have performed with many of the various ensembles calling Ottawa home, the musicians of the OBQ pride themselves in maintaining a more traditional purity of sound, free of electronic amplification.

OSSC at City Hall

GET ACTIVE at CITY HALL Thursdays at Lunchtime This July!

Join one of four FREE drop-in activities!

OSSC is proud to present a series of free sport activities on Thursdays during lunch hour at City Hall throughout July! Click on our link for more information and to sign up! Live music and a cash barbecue will be running each Thursday for you to enjoy as well!

All activities are free, however donations for the Ottawa Food Bank will be graciously accepted!

July 24 - Futsal (hard-surface Soccer) Skills Clinic
July 31 - Ultimate Frisbee Skills Clinic


Tuesdays, 9:30 to 11:30 am from July 8 to 29

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in North America with over 100,000 active players. Pickleball is a hybrid of tennis, badminton and tennis played on a court similar to a doubles badminton court. Players use a paddle to hit a 3 inch wiffle ball over a tennis-sized net.

As pickleball grows it is being found that:
Youngsters love the fun of it in physical education classes in schools where it has been introduced.
Seniors love the social aspects and the ability to stay active and fit in cities, towns and retirement villages throughout North America.
Tennis, badminton, squash and ping pong players love the competitive nature of it in competitions and tournaments run all over North America.

There are indoor and outdoor pickleball venues throughout Ottawa, at all skill levels, from beginning through advanced, with specific instruction available at selected sites, as well as loads of friendly players who are always happy to teach and share their love of the sport.

Come on out and find out how much fun it is, and how addictive -- in a good way, of course!

Special Events:

Japanese Festival

Saturday, July 19, 11 am to 4 pm (rain or shine)

Come celebrate Ottawa’s 10th annual Japanese summer festival at Marion Dewar Plaza!

Enjoy traditional and contemporary Japanese-Canadian performances and demonstrations, including martial arts, shamisen, ikebana flower arrangements, Japanese calligraphy, crafts and displays. For the adventurous, sumo suits will be available for a small donation and those looking for a taste of Japanese flavour, you can get your hands on Japanese-inspired hot dogs or “JETAA dogs” for free! The event is for all ages complete with a children’s tent, balloon animals, and face painting.

The festival is organized by the Japan Exchange Teaching Programme Alumni Association (JETAA Ottawa), with the support of the Ottawa Japanese Community Association (OJCA), Canada-Japan Society of Ottawa (CJSO), City of Ottawa, and members of the Ottawa-Japanese community at large. We look forward to sharing a taste of Japanese culture with you!

Creative Mornings

Creative mornings logoFriday, July 25, 8:30 to 10 am

Creative Mornings is a breakfast lecture for the creative types, which originally started in New York. This event is free, and includes a short talk, followed by a group discussion and Q&A. The program will begin at 8:30 am with a gathering followed with a talk before everyone takes off for work at 10 am.

CreativeMornings has chapters in cities worldwide including Canadian Cities of Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver. For additional information and a link to the Ottawa Chapter, visit

Rideau Valley Roller Girls logoRideau Valley Roller Girls Derby Day

Saturday, July 12, 1 to 4 pm

The BIG Derby features:

The Rideau Valley Roller Girls! Ottawa's premiere competitive, non-profit, women's flat-track roller derby league. The Rideau Valley Roller Girls (RVRG) are a collective that is run "by the members for the members" with a focus on developing and playing North America's fastest growing sport at a competitive level.

RVRG has three home teams, the Slaughter Daughters, Riot Squad and the newly formed Prime Sinisters; as well as the Vixens All Star WFTDA Charter Team and the Sirens All-Star B Team. The league was founded in 2008 by a group of derby skaters who wanted to create a non-profit skater-run league in the national capital. Today, RVRG has over 50 active skaters and over a dozen dedicated volunteer referees, support staff, and coaches.  

RVRG's teams are ranked internationally. In summer 2012, RVRG were granted membership status by the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), the international governing body of women's flat track roller derby comprising of nearly 175 full member leagues and 94 apprentice leagues internationally. After more than a decade of progress, roller derby has become North America's fastest growing sport. In December 2011, the first ever Roller Derby World Cup was held in Toronto. Rideau Valley Roller Girls, Semi-Precious (now Murphy) and Soul Rekker, were honoured with spots on the first ever Team Canada World Cup roster!

Cheer on the Rideau Valley Roller Girls on July 12 and their sister league, Ottawa Junior Roller Derby (OJRD) in FREE back-to-back exhibition games; learn about the sport and even sign up for their next Fresh Meat training session to get in on the action yourself! Then head to their Home Team Championship game on Saturday, July 19 at Kanata’s Mlacak Arena (2500 Campeau Drive). Visit for details and full season schedule.

Don't forget to LIKE them on Facebook at and follow them on Twitter: @RVrollergirls

 Capital City Derby Dolls: Second Annual Derby Day

Capital City Derby Dolls logoAugust 2, noon-sundown
                            August 3, rain date

Hot on the heels of last year's success, the Capital City Derby Dolls (CCDD) are hosting Ottawa's second annual Derby Day. Please join us (again!) for games, delicious food, and the chance to put on some roller skates. Please check our website for the day's schedule of events:

Derby Day is packed full of awesome. CCDD's Dolly Rogers will be taking on Alliston's Striking Vikings, CCDD's Dollinquents will be facing Alliston's Bombshell Battalion, CCDD's Slaughter Squad is waiting for a men's team to pick up the gauntlet they've thrown down, and the house league teams will be fighting it out on the track, and lovin' it up off the track.

It's the long weekend. It's right in the heart of downtown. It's roller derby, food, and music all day. For a taste of what's to come, check out last year's amazing media coverage of Ottawa's first ever Derby Day and see why we're doing it again! 

We're on Facebook at, our Twitter handle is @CCDerbyDolls, and of course, you can check us out online.

 Aurora Borealis: Canadian Cinema Under the Stars

Tuesday, August 26, 8 pm

On the occasion of its 79th birthday, the Canadian Film Institute presents Canadian cinema classics under the stars. Presented in collaboration with the City of Ottawa and CUPE 503.
The programme will include a selection of the best in Canadian animation and a rarely screened film from Canada's silent film era, BACK TO GOD'S COUNTRY (1919).