A free shuttle bus will now take you from Ottawa to Gatineau Park on the weekends all summer long.

You may have already taken the fall shuttle bus into the park to see the colourful tree canopy as the leaves change colour. But this is the first time the National Capital Commission is running a shuttle throughout the summer.

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Get ready to pack your bags! Swoop airlines' "ultra-low-cost" trips are now flying to and from Winnipeg and Halifax via the Ottawa International Airport as of Sunday, and some deals are under $100.

On Sunday, June 19, Swoop shared on Twitter that flights to Ottawa would start travelling to and from Winnipeg and Halifax.

"Now you fly non-stop from #Winnipeg to #Ottawa and discover Canada’s capital city for less," reads a tweet from Swoop. "Walk along the #RideauCanal, hit up some galleries and museums, or do a pub crawl—Ottawa has it all! Service between #YWG and #YOW lands today!"

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This magical lakehouse is mere steps away from the water and there is room for you and seven friends to enjoy a relaxing summer getaway.

The gorgeous lakefront Airbnb in Ontario has a spacious deck where you can take in fiery sunsets over the water, and it's only about an hour from the city of Ottawa. The house has a clean, modern look and you can get your sweat on in a private sauna that has a window overlooking the water.

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This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

As the capital city of Canada, Ottawa is a destination for many and it's pretty clear if you're a visitor and not a local. As someone who was not born and raised here, I know I was a total tourist when I first started visiting, and looking back I bet it was pretty obvious.

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Things are looking up for air travellers in Ottawa! The Ottawa International Airport has recovered more than half of its passengers since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

"We're at about 65% of our passenger volume," says Krista Kealey, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs of the Ottawa International Airport Authority.

In 2021, the Ottawa airport saw 1.171 million passengers, which was down 14% from 2020. Meanwhile, pre-pandemic passenger numbers were at 5.1 million in 2019. The airport is now averaging about 5,000 departing passengers each day, and totalling around 10,000 passengers.

"The pandemic was devastating to our finances to every part of finances or concession partners, everybody's suffering, everybody's in recovery," Kealey says.

Part of the airport's pandemic recovery, Kealey adds, is working on opening more stores and restaurants to help boost financials.

"Before the pandemic hit, we were in a major concession renewal and major construction of new concessions," she says. "And so that had to take a pause, but we're working with our partners to complete as much of that as quickly as possible, and then we'll be able to offer more food and beverage elements for our customers."

Staffing remains a key challenge for both the airport and the airlines it works with. "The employee pool is is very shallow right now and so they're all doing all they can to step up."

Throughout the pandemic, the Ottawa airport has worked to keep up with COVID-19 health regulations and keeping people safe, Kealey says. "You know, people are still waiting for that sense of comfort, and we're doing everything that we can to make sure that we have a safe efficient environment for them."

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Travellers are frequenting the Ottawa International Airport more and more this month. On June 3, the airport saw the most passengers of the year, surpassing a previous high earlier in June.

On Friday, June 3, the airport saw about 5,500 departing passengers, an event airport officials are calling a "blip" from average numbers.

"We're settling back into more of a robust domestic network that's going to support increases in leisure travel this summer," said Krista Kealey, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs of the Ottawa International Airport Authority.

Since Friday, travellers departing from the airport have settled back to around 5,000 each day. Kealey says that the total number of people passing through the airport is double that number, around 10,000 each day. In 2021, the airport saw a total of 1.171 million passengers.

Kealey says that the Ottawa International Airport has added American destinations like New York and Washington. "We're going to see the airlines add capacity and routes over the coming months and we're looking very forward to that," she said.

Airport officials say they are hoping to add some international flights like Paris, France; London, England; and Frankfurt, Germany. After more strict COVID-19 rules ended, international flights are no longer restricted to Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, but airlines are continuing to focus on those airports, making Ottawa airport a feeder airport.

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Just in time for summer, you can cash in on one free hotel stay in Ottawa. As long as you book at least three nights in a row, Ottawa Tourism says that it will pay for your third night.

Starting in June, Ottawa Tourism launched its 3rd Night On Us promotion, launching in the middle of Canada's Tourism Week from May 29 to June 4.

The deal includes the cost of one night's stay, at a minimum of $99, plus taxes. And you have until October 10 to cash in on the offer.

You can either book your stay through Ottawa Tourism's booking tool, or show the hotel your promo code or direct link. The cost of the hotel may depend on which one you stay at, Ottawa Tourism notes.

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If you've ever wanted to have a spa day right in the middle of a lake, you may want to check out one of these private cottages in Ontario.

Kenauk Nature is one of the largest private reserves in North America, and is packed with cabin escapes that can feel like a dreamy break from reality (even if it's about an hour-and-a-half away from Ottawa). You can rent one of their cottages right on Papineau Lake, where you can get toasty in one of their floating saunas.

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The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

There are a lot of smaller cities across Ontario that get so much hate which I will never understand. There is a misconception, I believe, that everyone is rushing to get out of the city of Windsor, and people who stay there are stuck. From someone who didn't leave the border city until the age of 27, and whose hometown friends and family all still live there, I can tell you this is false. Windsor has so much to offer and there are a number of things I miss.

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There's a beachfront oasis hidden in a forest where you and nine of your friends can enjoy a tropical vacation in Ontario. The cottage is warm and bright and has been recently updated.

Sandy Pines Beachfront is less than two hours from Ottawa, near the town of Bonnechere. They have more amenities than you could dream of, and your own private beach makes up the cottage backyard. Enjoy patio drinks, sandy campfires and water sports just steps away from the stay.

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This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

The city of Ottawa is on every Canadian's radar being the nation's capital, but what do people really know about this city? Moving across the province to Ottawa from Windsor, Ontario might not seem like the biggest move. As someone who didn't even leave Windsor for university, it felt like a huge deal.

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If you live in Ontario and are longing for a sunny beach vacation on the water, you don't need to buy a pricey plane ticket to make it happen. Only two hours from Ottawa is a tropical beach resort where you can spend your days on island time.

Esterel Resort is a magical getaway spot where you can enjoy luxurious meals, go for a dip in the pool, spend time out on the lake or sip on cocktails from the cabana.

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