Different takes on the town.

 

Come see why we receive full five-star ratings on our Tripadvisor reviews. Our patrons have called us the "highlight of my day"; "illuminating"; "fascinating"; "thought-provoking"; with some concluding that "I will never look at Ottawa the same way - which is a good thing".

Join us on a range of guided contemporary walking tours around Ottawa. Local experts lead small groups on 60 to 90 minute leisurely walks around Ottawa’s streets that are significant for a particular theme. Following our walks, we continue the conversation at local eateries.

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  • My second (de)tour. This one as satisfying, illuminating and jolly as the last. Pete, our guide through the Central Experimental Farm, mapped out a physical, scientific and historical exploration of this national treasure. Born in Ottawa, I was delighted to learn so much about something that locals often think of as 1,000 acres of empty fields.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, September 2015
  • We went on a "book club" field trip on the Scientific Landscape Tour - Pete was very engaging and interesting. We all enjoyed it very much. Would like to try one of the other (de)tours.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, August 2015
  • Interesting insights into underappreciated buildings - I went on the "What's (Not) So Brutal about Brutalism?" tour. I grew up in Ottawa so was very familiar with the buildings -- the NAC, the library -- but it was great to learn about the history and theory behind them.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, July 2015
  • Great idea & engaging tour - I recently took part in "Mall Ratting (A Podplay Tour)"...encouraged me to view my surroundings as an outsider. The audio was fascinating and thought provoking...it allowed me to think about malls in ways that I hadn’t considered before.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • What a lovely tour - I have been living here for 20 years and didn't stop to appreciate the mixed architecture found within this lovely city. I have to say I will never look at Ottawa in the same way - which is a good thing. Definitely recommend this to anyone. Certainly not a typical tour that can be appreciated by visitors and permanent residents alike.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, September 2015
  • Very knowledgeable and friendly guides and not your usual tour...I have lived in Ottawa a long time and thought there were no more good city adventures to be had. I would highly recommend to locals (especially those that are a little bit jaded like me!) and visitors, alike.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • I went on the "What's (not) so brutal about brutalism" tour. It was a good length (close to 2 hours) and very interesting. The tour was centred in the core of Ottawa. With the help of our tour leader we looked at buildings in the brutalist style and came to understand both the genesis of the style and the social significance of the brutalism movement for the capital.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, July 2015
  • I have gone on several Ottawa (De)tours and think they are a fantastic way to engage with the city in new and interesting ways. I especially enjoyed the tours "Your Edible Neighbourhood" and "Mall-Ratting: A Pod Play". The content is thought-provoking and the guides are very passionate and engaging. This is a fun way to see parts of Ottawa for both locals and tourists; and is good to try on your own, or with a group of friends.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • I was thrilled to become an "alien," undercover in the Rideau Centre on Ottawa (De)tours' Mall Ratting tour..I found it fascinating to learn why the mall is laid out as it is, becoming overly aware of the many messages and mannequins vying for my attention. The voice in the headphones sent me on missions, raised provocative questions, and had me nodding along to the thought-provoking narration. A great way to "see and do" the Rideau Centre! Highly recommended.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • Great take on a walking tour and offered much more than just explaining monuments. The guide seemed engaged and personally invested in the subject matter in a way that no other tour guide on my trip was. The best way I can think to describe this experience is not as a walking tour, but as a lecture...I was walking around Ottawa all day by the time my evening tour came around and I was starting to feel like I didn't want to go. Despite that this tour was still the highlight of my day and I recommend it to anyone.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, July 2015
  • The Branding Canada and the Politics of Memory walk was extremely informative. One of my favorite parts to the session were on how the images and symbols on the Canadian currency have changed over time and with the priorities of the government in power. I had never really thought about our currency this way before.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • The Branding/Iconography tour already has me — born here in Ottawa — looking more deeply at the government branding/propoganda which this city is awash in. From money to monuments, Andrew, a bright and engaging man, exposed the hidden political layers just under the surface of our most treasured memorials...I can't recommend it highly enough for the enquiring mind; native or visitor.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • I really enjoy a good walking tour, and this one certainly qualified! I took the mall tour with some friends and enjoyed both the format (which was totally new to me) and the content...I'm definitely planning to check out some of the other tours that (de)tours offers this summer!

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • My second (de)tour. This one as satisfying, illuminating and jolly as the last. Pete, our guide through the Central Experimental Farm, mapped out a physical, scientific and historical exploration of this national treasure. Born in Ottawa, I was delighted to learn so much about something that locals often think of as 1,000 acres of empty fields.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, September 2015
  • We went on a "book club" field trip on the Scientific Landscape Tour - Pete was very engaging and interesting. We all enjoyed it very much. Would like to try one of the other (de)tours.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, August 2015
  • Interesting insights into underappreciated buildings - I went on the "What's (Not) So Brutal about Brutalism?" tour. I grew up in Ottawa so was very familiar with the buildings -- the NAC, the library -- but it was great to learn about the history and theory behind them.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, July 2015
  • Great idea & engaging tour - I recently took part in "Mall Ratting (A Podplay Tour)"...encouraged me to view my surroundings as an outsider. The audio was fascinating and thought provoking...it allowed me to think about malls in ways that I hadn’t considered before.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • What a lovely tour - I have been living here for 20 years and didn't stop to appreciate the mixed architecture found within this lovely city. I have to say I will never look at Ottawa in the same way - which is a good thing. Definitely recommend this to anyone. Certainly not a typical tour that can be appreciated by visitors and permanent residents alike.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, September 2015
  • Very knowledgeable and friendly guides and not your usual tour...I have lived in Ottawa a long time and thought there were no more good city adventures to be had. I would highly recommend to locals (especially those that are a little bit jaded like me!) and visitors, alike.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • I went on the "What's (not) so brutal about brutalism" tour. It was a good length (close to 2 hours) and very interesting. The tour was centred in the core of Ottawa. With the help of our tour leader we looked at buildings in the brutalist style and came to understand both the genesis of the style and the social significance of the brutalism movement for the capital.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, July 2015
  • I have gone on several Ottawa (De)tours and think they are a fantastic way to engage with the city in new and interesting ways. I especially enjoyed the tours "Your Edible Neighbourhood" and "Mall-Ratting: A Pod Play". The content is thought-provoking and the guides are very passionate and engaging. This is a fun way to see parts of Ottawa for both locals and tourists; and is good to try on your own, or with a group of friends.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • I was thrilled to become an "alien," undercover in the Rideau Centre on Ottawa (De)tours' Mall Ratting tour..I found it fascinating to learn why the mall is laid out as it is, becoming overly aware of the many messages and mannequins vying for my attention. The voice in the headphones sent me on missions, raised provocative questions, and had me nodding along to the thought-provoking narration. A great way to "see and do" the Rideau Centre! Highly recommended.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • Great take on a walking tour and offered much more than just explaining monuments. The guide seemed engaged and personally invested in the subject matter in a way that no other tour guide on my trip was. The best way I can think to describe this experience is not as a walking tour, but as a lecture...I was walking around Ottawa all day by the time my evening tour came around and I was starting to feel like I didn't want to go. Despite that this tour was still the highlight of my day and I recommend it to anyone.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, July 2015
  • The Branding Canada and the Politics of Memory walk was extremely informative. One of my favorite parts to the session were on how the images and symbols on the Canadian currency have changed over time and with the priorities of the government in power. I had never really thought about our currency this way before.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • The Branding/Iconography tour already has me — born here in Ottawa — looking more deeply at the government branding/propoganda which this city is awash in. From money to monuments, Andrew, a bright and engaging man, exposed the hidden political layers just under the surface of our most treasured memorials...I can't recommend it highly enough for the enquiring mind; native or visitor.

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015
  • I really enjoy a good walking tour, and this one certainly qualified! I took the mall tour with some friends and enjoyed both the format (which was totally new to me) and the content...I'm definitely planning to check out some of the other tours that (de)tours offers this summer!

    Tripadvisor reviewer, June 2015