House of Commons Tours: All The Details You Need Before Going to Ottawa
If you’re planning to visit Ottawa and explore the heart of Canadian democracy, a tour of the House of Commons should be on your list.
However, to make the most of your visit, it’s essential to be well-prepared. Here, we provide a point-by-point guide to ensure you have all the necessary details before trying to get the most sought after free tour in Ottawa.
I. Booking Your House of Commons Tour
Online Reservation Process: To secure your spot, visit the official website and make a reservation in advance. This ensures availability and saves you time on-site.
Availability and Timing Options: Be aware of the tour schedules, as they may vary throughout the year. Plan your visit accordingly.
Group vs. Individual Tours: Decide whether you want to join a group tour or explore the House of Commons at your own pace.
II. Preparing for Your Visit
Understanding Security and Entry Requirements: Familiarize yourself with security measures and entry procedures. Valid identification may be required.
What to Bring and What to Leave Behind: Know what items are allowed and prohibited inside the House of Commons, including bags, cameras, and food.
Accessibility Considerations: If you have special accessibility needs, contact the tour office in advance to ensure a comfortable visit.
III. What to Expect During the Tour
Arrival and Check-In Procedures: Arrive early to check in and go through security. Follow the instructions of tour staff for a smooth experience.
Guided Tour vs. Self-Guided Tour Options: Decide whether you prefer a guided tour led by knowledgeable staff or if you’d like to explore independently.
Tour Highlights and Key Points of Interest: Learn about the significant rooms and historical aspects of the House of Commons, including the Chamber and Centre Block.
Duration of the Tour: Be aware of the approximate duration of the tour to plan your day effectively.
IV. Tour Etiquette and Rules
Respectful Behaviour in a Parliamentary Setting: Maintain respectful conduct during the tour, as it’s a place of government business.
Photography and Recording Guidelines: Understand the rules regarding photography and recording. Some areas may have restrictions.
Interaction with Tour Guides: Feel free to ask questions and engage with your tour guide to enhance your understanding of the House of Commons.
V. House of Commons Tour Tips
Best Times to Visit: For a more immersive experience, consider visiting during parliamentary sessions or when the House is in session.
Recommended Attire: Dress comfortably and modestly. Avoid wearing clothing with political slogans or logos.
Bringing Children: If traveling with children, ensure they are aware of the tour’s etiquette and rules.
Special Considerations for International Visitors: Non-Canadian citizens should be aware of additional requirements, such as presenting valid identification.
VI. Post-Tour Activities
Exploring Other Attractions: Plan additional activities in Ottawa, such as visiting museums, historic sites, and cultural attractions.
Souvenir Shopping and Dining: Explore nearby shops and restaurants for souvenirs and a meal.
Leaving Feedback and Reviews: Provide feedback about your experience, either through official channels or on review platforms, to help future visitors.
Recap of Essential Details: Ensure you have all the necessary information to make your House of Commons tour in Ottawa a memorable one.
Encouragement to Plan Ahead: Emphasize the importance of planning and booking your tour in advance to guarantee your spot and streamline your visit.