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“Umm, there's a Huge Spider on your Roof (see photos)”

Notre Dame Basilica
Ranked #9 of 297 things to do in Ottawa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This beautiful and ornate gothic-style cathedral is recognized by its twin spires.
Reviewed 6 August 2017

Sorry for the clickbait title there, but we were lucky enough to arrive in Ottawa during the Canada 150 celebration, and as part of La Machine's North American appearance, a giant robot spider was perched above the twins silver spires of the Notre Dame Basilica.

Ornate, hand carved art cover and surround the huge altar area at the front. A massive pipe organ in the back (which we were lucky enough to hear played) was equally beautiful. The walls are covered in examples of colourful stained-glass which bathe the parishioners in coloured light, and the the ceiling is beautifully ornate.

Others compare this Basilica to other churches around the world, or more closely the Basilica in Quebec City. The Notre Dame Basilica in Ottawa doesn't compare to the more overly ostentatious cathedrals of South America or Europe, but it's beautiful none-the-less, and centrally located directly across the street from the National Gallery of Canada and about a 10 minute walk from Parliament Hill. Definitely worth a quick visit.

The only other thing to point out is that this is a church, and although all are welcome, when we were there, a man arrived, sat in a beam or purple blue light and prayed with his head in his hands. He was clearly in pain. We were very respectful of that, and we invite all visitors to remember that it's much more than just a tourist hotspot.

1  Thank Brad C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (1,114)
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"beautiful church"
in 86 reviews
"stained glass"
in 40 reviews
"pipe organ"
in 11 reviews
"attend mass"
in 10 reviews
"blue ceiling"
in 10 reviews
"bilingual mass"
in 9 reviews
"light a candle"
in 9 reviews
"national gallery"
in 44 reviews
"across the street"
in 33 reviews
"amazing architecture"
in 9 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 26 reviews
"byward market"
in 21 reviews
"parliament hill"
in 19 reviews
in 28 reviews
in 41 reviews
in 19 reviews
in 15 reviews

144 - 148 of 1,116 reviews

Reviewed 4 August 2017

The Basilica is about a 15 minute walk from Parliament Hill and is an impressive building with huge altar which has numerous statues around it which are a bit overwhelming at first. The ceiling is ornate and the whole building is very well maintained and interesting. Worth a visit if you have time but not a priority with so many other things to see in the city.

Thank William S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2017 via mobile

Having recently been in Europe and South America and seeing some of the really ostentatious churches there, this church struck me as less lavish. The decorations are good and simple - with no obvious display of the organisation's wealth. Stained glass windows are also of simple design - and suited to the overall feel of the place. Pipe organ is a good one - I would love to hear it being played. There seem to be a very small number of chapels and confessionals, so I did wonder if this is still a working church...

Thank Glenn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2017

Lots of painted glass of good quality. Nice ceiling with great light on it. Better than basikica in Quebec.

Thank Arjan v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 August 2017 via mobile

My husband and I wished we could have attended Mass here but the tour we were on made that impossible. However, we visited the church, lit a candle and prayed a few moments before the beautiful altar & sanctuary which we believe to be one of the most beautiful we have ever seen including in Italy. The artful carvings and stained glass is indescribable! The unusual roof is so unique too. We loved it & are so happy we made the effort to see it!

Thank Bentleybeagledog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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