Ottawa’s best outdoor parties and festivals (that aren’t on Canada Day)

Summertime is for partying outdoors. Here’s a round-up of the best street festivals in Ottawa this summer.

By Homicity

Jun 6, 2019

Ottawa’s best outdoor parties and festivals (that aren’t on Canada Day)

Winter in the Capital can be summed up in two words: kinda awful. Luckily, summertime in Ottawa more than makes up for it! Yes, Canada Day celebrations throughout the Capital are fantastic, but the city has so much more to offer. Now that the warm weather is here, let’s round up the best places to party outdoors this summer in Ottawa:

Preston Street

Photo: Italian Week Ottawa

Sono Italiano, also known as Italian Week, is one of the largest cultural celebrations in the Capital. Head over to Little Italy for ten days of family friendly entertainment from June 6 - 16th. Events include cooking classes, galas, art shows, comedy shows, live entertainment, and of course, the famous Ferrari Parade!

Bank Street

Photo: Robbie Morrison Photography

Ottawa’s biggest, brightest block party is back! Glowfair Festival is a free weekend of music, art, and experiences taking place in Centretown on June 14 - 15. The iconic Silent Disco allows partiers to keep the vibe going all night long, without disturbing neighbours. Artistic light exhibits, pop-up rollerblade rinks, glow in the dark yoga, and mural lessons are just a few of the exciting events taking place this year. At this free event, you can hear DJs such as Coeur de Pirate, Stars, Milk & Bone, Silla and Rise, Andrew Cassara, Plastic Farm, Land of Talk, Danny Fernandes, Dj iLon, and Millimetrik.

Mooney’s Bay

Photo: Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival

While newcomers may be sad to learn that dragon boating contains no actual dragons, that's where the disappointment ends. The Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is a weekend of family fun, entertainment, sports, music, and philanthropy. Hosted in Riverside Park at Mooney’s Bay Park and Beach on June 20th - 23rd, this popular summertime celebration attracts over 75 000 attendees and 5000 paddlers annually. Dragon boat races kick off every ten minutes, between which you can explore Canada’s largest playground, try your hand at axe throwing, or taste a local craft beer. At night, free concerts from some of Ottawa’s hottest musicians keep the party going. This year, headliners include Half Moon Run, USS, Jess Moskaluke, Alan Doyle, and more.

Vincent Massey Park

Photo: Ottawa Summer Solstice

Welcome the start of summertime with the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival. From June 20th - 23rd, Vincent Massey Park in Ottawa's South end will come alive to celebrate the culture and contributions of Metis, Inuit, and First Nations peoples in Canada. Taste indigenous culinary creations, browse the artisan market, and watch the Pow Wow competition, which attracts dancers and drummers from across Turtle Island (North America). This event is free of charge, and includes unique cultural showcases like Tarniriik Inuit Throat Singers, Dallas Arcand – World Champion Hoop Dancer, and Prairie Fire Metis Jiggers.


Illustration by

613 Day is back and better than ever! This uber local street party takes place on June 13th (6/13) every year to celebrate the awesome city we call home. Hosted by Apartment 613, this open air block party features the best of Ottawa’s talent: there will be local music, food, craft beer, coffee, art, and more. This year, the celebrations are hosted by Happy Goat from 4 - 10pm in Hintonburg. Come by, meet a neighbour, have a porch beer, and help Apartment 613 celebrate their tenth birthday in true Ottawan style!

Prince of Whales Drive

Photo: Hellenic Community of Ottawa

Whether you’re Greek or just want to be, everyone is welcome at the Ottawa Greek Fest! This year, celebrations are taking place on August 15th - 25th at 1315 Prince of Whales Drive in Courtland Park. Live a day in the Greek way with cooking demonstrations, food tasting, traditional dancing, live music, an artisans court, Orthodox church tours, kid’s activities, and more. This family friendly festival is an amazing way to experience (and taste!) Greek life right in the Capital.

Explore your city

Everyone knows Canada Day in the Capital is the place to be. But that doesn't mean the celebrations are over post July 1st! Explore Ottawa's vibrant neighbourhoods this summer and discover why locals love each of these unique communities. Ready to start your home search? Get started with Homicity's custom property search!


Homicity helps you find your dream home in the perfect community. Whether you are buying, renting, or selling, you can navigate the Canadian real estate market with confidence with our expert advice, market news, and recommendations powered by AI.

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