Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

#9 in Best Things To Do in Ottawa
Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica picture
Naeem Jaffer/Getty Images

Key Info

375 Sussex Drive

Price & Hours



Churches/Religious Sites, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Even if you're not an avid churchgoer, the silvery spires of Ottawa's Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica are sure to catch your eye. Sitting across the street from the National Gallery of Canada, this impressive church is the oldest in the city as well as a Canadian national historic site and the seat of Ottawa's Catholic archbishop. While it may seem a little daunting from the outside, recent visitors say that you shouldn't be deterred from going inside.

Past travelers gushed about the architecture and stained-glass windows inside the cathedral, and highly recommended planning a short visit, especially if you're already planning to stop by the National Gallery of Canada.

Bear in mind that Notre-Dame is still an active place of worship, so you should check the Mass schedule online before visiting. If you'd like to take a guided tour, which are offered from the middle of May to the middle of October, you'll have to book in advance and pay a small fee. Tours, which generally last between 30 and 45 minutes, are typically held on weekday mornings at 9 a.m. and afternoons at 1 or 3 p.m. During the summer months, you'll find volunteers greeting tourists, answering questions and providing informal tours. The basilica is open to visitors daily with hours varying depending on the day and time of year. You don't have to pay to tour or to attend a service.

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