Summer in the city: A Jewish day trip in Ottawa

Summer is here — so let’s celebrate! We’ve put together a “staycation” day in Ottawa for you to explore places related to the Jewish community — perfect for family visiting or getting out of the house with the kids. 

Strawberry Blonde

Start your day by packing a treats from Strawberry Blonde. With two locations in Westboro and Kanata, this bakery’s goal is to allow those with alternative diets (hello kosher!) or food allergies the same opportunity to have a tasty treat. Everything is certified kosher — and those cinnamon buns look incredibly tasty! 

Find them: 111 Richmond Rd. (Westboro) or 767 Silver Seven Rd. (Kanata)
Contact them: 613-725-2253
Hours and menus:

National Holocaust Monument

The National Holocaust Monument, called Landscape of Loss, Memory and Survival, was inaugurated in 2017, intended to ensure the lessons of the Holocaust remain within the national conciousness. The monument has a view of the Peace Tower and includes photographs from artist Edward Burtynsky. 

Even after hours (9 p.m. to 7 a.m.), the monument’s illumination provides quite the visual experience. 

Find it: Wellington & Booth Street (approximately 1.5 kilometres from Parliament)

Lillian Frieman House

Take a stroll down Somerset toward the Rideau Canal and stop to check out the Lillian Frieman House at 149 Somerset St. 

Built in 1891, the Friemans, a prominent Ottawa Jewish philanthropic family, assumed ownership of the house in 1913 and initiated an “open door” tradition for the community. It’s now home to the Army Officer’s Mess and remarkably preserved. 

“The halls and many rooms have been restored and are decorated with small artifacts and biographies, family pictures, and news clippings of a time long past, all of which commemorate Lillian and Archibald (its most notable occupants) and their contributions to the community. Being a military institution, however, much of the décor are paintings, maps, and photographs commemorating soldiers and Victoria Cross recipients,” says an Apt613 story on the house from 2014. 

Under the Friemans, and specifically through the efforts of Lillian, the house became the centre of the city between 1913 and her death in 1940. The area was the site of many organizations, including a Jewish Red Cross Chapter (1915), the Great War Veterans Society (precursor to the Royal Canadian Legion) (1918), Hadassah-WIZO (1919), Canada’s Poppy Campaign (1921), and the Disraeli Chapter of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (I.O.D.E.).

Find it: 149 Somerset St. W
Contact them: 613-236-0186

Soloway JCC and outdoor pool 

After all this exploring, you must be ready for a break! The Soloway JCC is our community’s home away from home. Try out the gym, join in one of the many programs, tour the Greenberg Family Library, or take advantage of the outdoor pool. After a day of touring, this can be the perfect place to cool off and rest your feet. 

The SJCC is open Monday to Thursday from 7 am - 8 pm, on Fridays from 7 am - 6 pm and Sundays from 10- 4pm. The outdoor pool is open seven days a week, including Saturday afternoons (members only). 

The pool doesn’t operate in inclement weather and youth may need to pass a swim test for full access.

For more about memberships visit here:

Find it: 21 Nadolny Sachs Private
Contact them: 613-798-9818

A Dashing Pinch/Village Cafe

Cap off your day and your visit to the SJCC with a delicious meal from the Village Cafe on the second floor. A Dashing Pinch is a socially conscious enterprise, which employs “exceptional moms” first, to provide fresh kosher food. (Learn why here!)

They offer poke bowls, delicious personal pizzas and great sandwiches — something for everyone. 

Find it: Inside the Soloway JCC, 21 Nadolny Sachs Private
Hours and menu:

Tell us — How would you spend one Jewish day in Ottawa? What’s not on our list that you would include? Email!