Time to dust your bags and come back to visit Canada, eh? As of August 9, fully immunized U.S. citizens can finally enter Canada, and people are already making plans.
The Government of Canada website says;
“As a first step, effective August 9, 2021, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to US citizens and permanent residents, who currently reside in the United States and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering. in Canada for non-essential travel. This preliminary step allows the Government of Canada to fully operationalize the adjusted border measures before September 7, 2021 and recognizes the many close ties between Canadians and Americans.
If you are a visitor to Canada, be sure to download the ArriveCAN app before your trip so you can submit your relevant travel information.
If you’re looking for a fun, urban summer adventure, look no further than Canada’s capital, Ottawa. Located in the province of Ontario, Ottawa is approximately a 4 hour drive from Toronto, a major airport with several flight options. My son and I live in Toronto and took a leisurely VIA Rail train in less than five hours. Masks are mandatory on board but you can take them off for eating and drinking. Then recline your seat, relax with a good book, and enjoy the view.
Ontario has officially moved to Stage 3 of the roadmap to reopen. According to the Ontario government, this means that 70 to 80% of adults are vaccinated with one dose and 25% are vaccinated with two doses.
“The announcement that fully vaccinated U.S. visitors can return to Canada for travel as of August 9, 2021 was good news in Ottawa. We miss our American friends and look forward to sharing Canada’s stories with them when they return home and discovering our national museums, our beautiful outdoor spaces and our delicious food and drink. – Jantine Van Kregten, Director of Communications, Ottawa Tourism
This reopening means additional interior services, restricted indoor social gatherings, museums, and indoor dining have resumed. But you can take up indoor activities slowly depending on your comfort level, as there are countless outdoor activities to keep you busy in Ottawa. After all, it’s summer, the perfect time to play outside. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Cycle through the city while learning about history
Biking with Escape Bicycle Tours and Rentals is a premier outdoor activity in Ottawa. Located on trendy Sparks Street, a popular pedestrian promenade that comes to life with the ease of restrictions. As you make your way to Escape Tours, soak up local and international culture at the shops that line both sides of the street. It is a small traffic oasis where you can walk around admiring the city. We were fitted for our bikes and helmets and met our lovely guide, Hans. He was a wealth of information and our history lesson began as soon as we reached the beautiful Ottawa River Trail. This versatile trail along the Ottawa River below Parliament Hill is perfect and Hans was always patient in helping us get our perfect shot. It was a leisurely stroll and even locals are sure to learn something new about the city from Hans. You can symbolically salute the Prime Minister as you pass historic 24 Sussex Drive, admire the Ottawa Parks, the Rideau Canal, call out the famous Canadian geese that congregate on the Gatineau side of the region, and discover hidden gems. Escape Bicycle Tours offers private tours, Ottawa express tours, highlights tour, multi-day bike tours and rentals.
Cruise along the Ottawa River
Grab a sun hat and your favorite cruising gear (don’t forget your matching mask, but you can take it off when you’re seated on the boat) and hop aboard Paul’s Boat Line. The company was founded in 1936 with guided tours on the Rideau River, followed by tours on the Rideau Canal and then on the Ottawa River. We chose the Ottawa River option and embarked at the foot of the historic Ottawa locks. The guided tour in English and French features Ottawa highlights, facts, statistics and fun jokes told by tour guides. The views of Ottawa are always spectacular, but make sure you have your phone on video mode as you pass Rideau Falls. These two twin waterfalls are the magical place where the Rideau River flows into the Ottawa River. They are the most popular fixture in Rideau Falls Park and from your seat on Paul’s boat you have the best view in town.
Zoom into an electric scooter
You can’t walk very far in Ottawa without seeing a colorful electric scooter waiting for a cyclist. These cool modes of transportation are a City of Ottawa pilot project for the 2021 season and are an exciting way to explore Canada’s Capital Region. Three companies – Lime, Neuron and Bird Canada – offer a total of 1,200 scooters. Riders must be at least 16 years old and a helmet is recommended for everyone, some scooters even come with them. Scooters are cleaned daily, but bring your own disinfectant wipes and wash your hands before and after using the shared electric scooter. Before you start roaming the streets of Ottawa, you will need to download the app of your choice, add a debit or credit card, find the scooter closest to you, scan a QR code, unlock your scooter and complete security checks. If you are a novice rider, the websites offer tutorials on how to safely maneuver and park scooters. Ottawa allows electric scooters on multi-use trails, cycling facilities such as bike lanes and on the road.
Take to the skies to Quebec
Practice your French and fasten your seat belt. If you’re looking to add excitement (and fear) to your Ottawa adventures, look no further than Interzip Rogers. This brand new venture had been in the works for three years but was postponed due to the pandemic. It officially opened at full speed last month. This is the world’s first interprovincial zipline and flies over the majestic Ottawa River at 40 km / h (25 miles) and begins at 120 feet above water level. Customers check in on the Gatineau, Quebec side, then cross a bridge on the Ontario side for this high-flying activity. The Interzip has two separate cables, so choose a zipline partner and zoom in together. Unlike other ziplines, you are in a seated position and it is actually quite comfortable. While doing the zipper, you can even let go of the top bar since you’re securely strapped in. As we climbed into Ottawa’s High Tower and our flight time quickly approached, I was grateful for the multiple security checks performed by the staff due to a new found panic. The zipline offers views of Gatineau, Chaudière Falls and Ottawa’s Parliament Hill – if you’re brave enough to keep your eyes peeled, you can see it all. When the steel gates opened, my teenager was smiling and I was already screaming. But halfway through, I laughed with him without ever letting go of the bar. All the riders participate in the precautionary instructions and are instructed on how to brake at the end, which I immediately forgot. So I was relieved when the staff on the other side reminded me of what position to put myself before stopping.
Nervous? Scared? Take the advice of 14-year-old Matis, the friendly and knowledgeable young employee behind the counter on the Gatineau side whose father is co-president of Interzip Rogers’ marketing company.
“Don’t look down, look straight ahead. “