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Nightlife & Entertainment in Ottawa

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Ottawa's downtown district is particularly lively at night, with sophisticated bars, cozy pubs, and lounges featuring live music. Although there's not a huge nightclub scene, there are a few places for dancing, with clubs that have a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and unpretentious attitude.




Fans of classic Art Deco-styled independent movie theaters will appreciate the restoration projects that have gone on around Ottawa, with many smaller venues still showing regular screenings. However, those who want to see the latest blockbusters will be well catered for in the large multiplexes just outside the city center.


Mayfair Theater


With decadent red and gold accents, the Mayfair Theater evokes images of the Golden Age of cinema. Built in the 1930s, it's one of the oldest surviving in Canada, and has an excellent program of new indie releases, classic films, and late night cult screenings. You'll even find movies with audience participation, ideal for a unique night out.


1074 Bank Street, Ottawa ON K1S 3X3. Tel:+1 613 730 3403


Mayfair Theater website


The city has a thriving craft beer scene, thanks to quaint pubs serving ale on tap and unique bottled brews. With shabby chic premises offering a friendly welcome, and a wide selection of beers to sample, the only tough part is choosing which ones to try.


Clocktower Brew Pub


With beers made in-house, you can see the large metal brewhouses behind a window as you drink at the bar in Clocktower Brew Pub. In addition to Clocktower's own concoctions, there are also regional and international beers, as well as the seasonal ales that come in. With exposed brick walls and velvet booths, it's perfect for a casual night out, and there's a delicious menu of rustic classics if you get peckish.


575 Bank Street, Ottawa ON K1M 2C4. Tel:+1 613 233 7849


Clocktower Brew Pub website


Big Rig Brewery


With a minimalistic interior made of glass and steel, Big Rig Brewery offers 4 different home brewed beers each month, as well as several guest ales. You can take a tour of the brewery during the day, enjoying samples fresh from the tap, before heading to the bar for beers, snacks, and perhaps even a delicious meal from the attached restaurant.


2750A Iris Street, Ottawa ON K2C 3C9. Tel:+1 613 688 3336


Big Rig Brewery website


Live music


Ottawa has a thriving music scene, and venues vary from small, local joints where fledgling music acts start, to stadiums where international stars stop by on their tours. You'll also find many intimate bars with acoustic acts and open mic nights, showcasing some of the city's best talent.


Canadian Tire Centre


The Canadian Tire Centre is a vast, modern arena that hosts large stadium shows for pop and rock acts. The venue doubles up as an ice hockey rink, in honor of Canada's favorite pastime, and the ice is also the stage for family friendly skating galas.


1000 Palladium Drive, Ottawa ON K2V 1A5. Tel:+1 613 599 0100


Canadian Tire Centre website


Wine bars


Canadian wine is becoming increasingly popular across the world, and Ottawa is an excellent spot to sample some of the country's best. With many small, friendly wine bars staffed by knowledgable waiters, you can improve your knowledge of local vintages, or try samples from across the world.




A cozy wine bar and bistro with an impressive and diverse cellar, Vineyards offers several different wine flights, from Canadian classics to diverse Merlots. The regular jazz nights are particularly lively and atmospheric, and there are beers and spirits available for non-wine drinkers.


Cellar of 54 York Street, Ottawa ON K1N 5T1. Tel:+1 613 241 4270


Vineyards website