With Canada's 150th anniversary year drawing to a close, there's no better time to plan a holiday that revolves around frolicking in the snow and stalking attractive Prime Ministers in the nation's capital. Skate along the Rideau Canal in winter or meander down the leafy streets of Rockliffe, an embassy-filled neighbourhood hugging a picturesque lake. If you're looking for more fresh air, pop 15 minutes across the river into Quebec to hike the Gatineau area's rolling hills. Ottawa's food scene is thriving, with top-notch restaurants such as Gordon Ramsay's protégé's Fraser Café multiplying around town.
Spend your Sunday touring Ottawa's answer to Brooklyn; Hintonburg and Westboro are heaving at the weekend, pulling in a cool crowd thanks to one-off boutiques and eclectic galleries. The areas are connected by a long stretch joining Wellington Street West with Richmond Road. Make a pitstop at a Bridgehead, Ottawa's industrial-chic answer to Starbucks. Once you've made your way downtown, check out the massive, iconic Louise Bourgeois spider sculpture guarding the National Gallery of Canada (also a must). In the evenings, hit up as many restaurants as possible; Side Door, Social and Riviera are some of our favourites.
When to go?
Late autumn and early winter are prime time; if you're not kicking up orange and red leaves along the canal, you'll be catching snowflakes on your tongue.
Who to take with you?
A friend who's up for a political debate and doesn't just want to visit Canada because Wills and Kate did.
Most likely to bump into
With any luck, Justin Trudeau.
Essential to bring with you
Forget the Canada Goose and pack a sleek Mackage coat to keep you both chic and warm.
How to get there
Fly into Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.