After a few months of sunny weekends at the cottage or lazy days at the beach, the signs of the end of summer are here.

In late August, days are getting shorter, department stores are displaying their fall merchandise, and for those with children, it’s time to start thinking about back-to-school shopping.

But keep in mind that summer does not officially end until Sept. 22, which gives us all a few more weeks to enjoy the season before we give in to the arrival of fall and winter.

If you’re lucky enough to live in the Ottawa area, there are many events to help you get out and enjoy the last days of the season.

As a realtor with more than 30 years of experience helping clients to buy and sell homes in the Ottawa area, I love to share with those who are new to our city the exciting events and attractions that enliven our city year-round.

Those who have never visited Ottawa sometimes arrive with an outdated image of the city as a quiet government town. I’m happy to tell them that nothing could be further from the truth. I tell clients about our professional sports teams, the spectacular museums and performing arts scene, the world-class summer music festivals, a winter festival that attract thousands every year, and smaller neighbourhood festivals that can introduce you to an area of the city you didn’t know.

Here are just 6 interesting events scheduled for our region in the last weeks of summer:

Aug. 27: From Grain to Glass:  

If you’re a fan of craft beers, you’ll be interested in this six-hour tour, designed to give you an idea of what goes into creating those beers. The tour starts with a visit to the beautiful Watson’s Mill, a 19th- century grist and flour mill in Manotick. You’ll see a grain milling demonstration, followed by a visit to Ottawa Valley Hops, a hops farm in Richmond. Then you’ll get the chance to learn about the brewing process and sample the finished product at Ashton Brewing Company and Big Rig Brewery.  There will be two tours, departing from OCTranspo’s Baseline Park and Ride, at 1408 Woodroffe Ave.

Tickets and information:

Aug. 27 and Sept. 3: NOKIA Sunday Bikedays.

When I meet clients who are cyclists and are moving to Ottawa from elsewhere, I love to tell them about our region’s many scenic bicycle paths, so popular with cyclists in our area. On Sundays in summer, the National Capital Commission closes certain roadways to traffic for part of the day, allowing cyclists, runners and walkers to use the routes without worrying about cars. The routes include more than 50 km in Ottawa and Gatineau, including along the Ottawa River, the Rideau Canal and Gatineau Park. The remaining Sundays this season are Aug. 27 and Sept. 3. Ottawa routes include 8 km of Colonel By Drive and 9 km of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway.

For information, including times when the roads are traffic-free, and maps:

Aug. 30: Yoga on the Parliament Hill lawn.

Do you practise yoga or have you been thinking of giving it a try? Here’s a free class with a postcard-perfect backdrop. Lulu Lemon has been presenting free yoga sessions on the Parliament Hill lawn on Wednesdays through the summer. The final session of the 2017 season will be presented at noon on Aug. 30, weather permitting. Bring your own mat and water.


Aug. 31 to Sept. 4: Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.  

If you’ve never experienced this popular annual event, Canada’s largest hot-air balloon festival is a must-see, particularly if you have young children. Marking its 30th anniversary, the festival offers a magical sight when the sky above Gatineau’s Baie Park is filled with dozens of big, bright, hot-air balloons of many shapes, day and night. In addition to conventionally shaped balloons, you’ll see balloons in the shapes of whales, lions, and other animals.

While you’re there, activities include amusement park rides and concerts. Single-day and multiple-day passes are available.

More information:

Sept. 10: Be Part of the World’s Largest Scavenger Hunt.

Presented by Ottawa’s Escape Manor. Organizers are hoping to break the Guinness World Record if enough people turn out for this event. Teams of four are invited to sign up and purchase tickets, and participating teams are eligible for prizes. Tasks include finding items or taking photos of distinctive Canadian symbols. It starts and ends at Marion Dewar Plaza outside Ottawa City Hall.  The hunt will provide teams with clues, maps and OCTranspo passes for the day, with activities ranging from the ByWard Market area to the Glebe and Westboro. Organizers say as many as 3,500 participants are expected.

More information and to purchase tickets for your team:

Sept. 13-17: CityFolk.

Cap off your summer with music under the stars, on the Great Lawn at Lansdowne Park. Formerly known as the Ottawa Folk Festival, the event will present headline performances on a stage on the Great Lawn, with a side stage and craft-beer market at the Aberdeen Pavilion. Performers this year include Amanda Marshall, Broken Social Scene, Jack Johnson, Father John Misty and the duo of Corb Lund and Ian Tyson. There will be additional free performances at some of the shops and venues along Bank Street, near Lansdowne Park.

Tickets and information:

If you’re interested in buying or selling property in the Ottawa area, I’d love to chat with you and tell you more. You can contact me through my website, at, (where you can also see my current listings), or you can give me a call at 613-747-4747. I’d like to tell you about what my team and I at Nancy Benson and Associates can do for you.

By the way, to see even more options for activities and festivals in and around Ottawa, one good site with a lot of information  is, the official site of Ottawa Tourism. On the main page, scroll down to the “Upcoming Events” section. You can click on different events for more information on activities that interest you.