The Friday Five

5 Locations to visit in Ottawa for Engagement Photos and Canada 150!

This weekend is Canada Day, and unless you’ve been living under a rock (even then, I’m sure even the snails have heard!!), you know that this year we’re celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday!!

And you might also know that Ottawa is the place to be this Canada Day long weekend! With pop-up concerts from artists like Dean Brody, Serena Ryder and Chantal Kreviazuk; to buskers and dancing lessons in the Byward Market; to a visit from Prince Charles himself (!!), what better place to be this long weekend than the country’s capital!

In celebration of this weekend, we’re gearing The Friday Five towards scenic locations to visit in Ottawa!

Coincidentally, my favourite places to celebrate Canada Day 2017 also happen to be the best locations to visit in Ottawa for engagement photos and wedding portraits! Will you be hitting up some of these locations this Canada Day long weekend?

Places to visit for Canada 150 engagement locations - Friday Five - Amy Pinder Photography


If you’re going to be celebrating Canada Day in Ottawa, chances are you’ll be joining the half million people in the downtown core (you brave souls, you)! Major’s Hill park is one of my favourite engagement session locations in Ottawa because of the skyline views of Parliament, the foliage from the surrounding gardens, and the accessibility to the Rideau Canal. We visited last Fall for Lindsay + Brendan’s Major’s Hill Park Engagement Session, where the Fall colours were absolute perfection!

If you’re heading to Major’s Hill Park this Canada Day weekend, expect to see trivia games, a VIA Rail train display, live music, and the brand new Tavern on the Hill restaurant with tasty food and killer views of the city!


The Canadian Museum of History is sure to be a hot spot this Canada Day weekend. With indoor and outdoor activities all weekend long (…hellooo, rain option!), and one of the best places to view the Canada Day fireworks, the Museum is sure to be a bumpin’ place!

When it comes to taking engagement photos at the Museum of History, I love it for so many reasons: the grey exterior of the museum is the perfect neutral backdrop for photos; it offers the best views of Parliament; and the pier and the waterfront are absolute perfection in the setting sun (like in this Gatineau waterfront engagement session with Steff and Nick!)!


Looking for a walking trail or a tranquil place to lay down a picnic blanket this long weekend? Look no further than the Central Experimental Farm! On one side, you’ll find the Arboretum – full of bike paths and acres of rolling hills and forests; and on the other side you’ll be able to visit the Ornamental Gardens – with hundreds of varieties of flowers and plants, which make an ideal backdrop for photos!

For inspiration, check out Lara + Dom’s Bicycle Engagement Photos in the Arboretum!

This Canada Day weekend at the Farm, you’ll find local bands, food stands, and Canadian games for a family-friendly long weekend!


Back to the downtown core – can you tell where I’ll be celebrating Canada’s 150th??

Nepean Point is another great lookout point along the Rideau River, with views of Parliament, Gatineau and the Museum of History. If that doesn’t speak loudly enough, consider the sunsets! We were fortunate enough to be up there at sunset for Jer + Deanna’s Nepean Point Engagement Session this Spring, and I’m looking for every excuse to go back – perhaps for fireworks?…With the views at the top of the point, it’s guaranteed to be a prime location to see fireworks this Canada Day long weekend!


And if you’re not one to brave the crowds, inviting friends over for a backyard BBQ could be the very best place to celebrate Canada 150! Sometimes staying home with your furbabies and cheersing your cans of Canadian beer with your besties is the ultimate way to ring in Canada’s birthday.

What are your plans this Canada Day long weekend? Visiting any of these locations? Planning on whipping out a bag of ketchup chips or downing your pancakes in maple syrup? I’ll be right there along with you, friends! Happy Canada D’eh, y’all! x

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