Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

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Ottawa’s Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is the largest and oldest standing church in the city. It was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.

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385 Sussex Dr, Ottawa ON K1N 1J9

Welcome to the historic Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, a stunning Roman Catholic church nestled in the heart of Ottawa, Canada. As the oldest and largest church in the city which was built in 1832, this architectural masterpiece showcases the captivating beauty of the Gothic Revival style. With its twin spires and exquisite stained glass windows, the basilica is a sight to behold. Join us as we take you on a virtual journey through this remarkable place of worship!

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What to Know

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica holds the distinction of being a National Historic Site of Canada since 1990. Serving as the seat of the city's Roman Catholic archbishop, this basilica is deeply rooted in Ottawa's history and religious heritage. The church is open daily for private prayer and visitation, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its serene atmosphere and rich artistic details.

How to Get There

To reach the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, you can easily locate it on 385 Sussex Drive in Ottawa's Lower Town neighborhood. The basilica is conveniently situated across from the renowned National Gallery of Canada, making it a prominent landmark in the city. If you're looking for a hassle-free way to explore Ottawa's highlights, consider booking a Best of Ottawa Guided Tour with Tripshepherd. This small-group tour includes convenient hotel pick-up, transportation in a comfortable van, and skip-the-line access to attractions like the Basilica and Rideau Canal Cruise

Best Time to Visit

For an enchanting experience, plan your visit to Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica in Ottawa during the golden hour—either at sunrise or sunset. This is when the basilica's stained glass windows shine with mesmerizing colors, the sky creates a soft backdrop, and the gilded dome reflects the beauty of the surrounding atmosphere. The basilica also hosts organ recital series throughout the year, providing an opportunity to enjoy the renovated musical instrument and the captivating melodies it produces.


Stepping inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is like entering a world of divine Neo-Gothic artistry. Marvel at the intricate details of the interior, adorned with painted features, countless statues, and breathtaking stained glass windows. Among the highlights are the thirty large wooden sculptures in the choir, created by the renowned sculptor Louis-Philippe Hébert. You'll also find a collection of stunning stained glass windows crafted by talented artists like Harwood and Guido Ninchieri.


The exterior of the basilica boasts two striking steeples covered with tin, a characteristic feature of French-Canadian churches. The interior, designed by Georges Buillon, is a treasure trove of beauty and craftsmanship. Delicate carvings, intricate sculptures, and vibrant colors create an immersive and engaging atmosphere that captivates visitors from the moment they step through the doors!


The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica's history dates back to 1832 when the original wooden St. Jacques Church stood on the same site. Destroyed by fire, the current structure, with its Neo-Gothic design, was completed in 1865. Over the years, the basilica has undergone various renovations and additions, including the Gothic Revival spires designed by Father Damase Dandurand. Today, it stands as a testament to the enduring religious heritage and architectural legacy of Ottawa.

Immerse yourself in the timeless charm of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica! With its awe-inspiring architecture, rich history, and peaceful ambiance, this remarkable basilica offers an unforgettable experience. Whether you're a history enthusiast, an art lover, or a seeker of spiritual solace, a visit to this iconic Ottawa landmark promises to be a journey of discovery and wonder.