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Ottawa Convention Travel Information

Tips and Advice:

If you have a chip in your card you will need a pin number from your bank before you leave.
Exchange your currency at your bank or western union when you get to Ottawa. Most places will charge a high fee.

  • Passport Information for U.S. Citizens

  • For Optimist Members who are United States citizens, a passport will be required for entry into Canada. There are two types of passports: a passport card and a passport book. The passport card allows for international travel by land or sea only. The passport book allows for international travel by air, land and sea.


    U.S. Passports & International Travel
    Passport Cards (for travel by land or sea only)
    How to Apply for a Passport
    Search for a Passport Acceptance Facility
    Passport Fees
    Passport Application Forms

    PLEASE NOTE: Optimist Members who are planning to attend the International Convention in Ottawa are encouraged to plan ahead as the processing time for a passport application can take up to six weeks.

  • If you would like help booking travel to Ottawa, contact Michael Michiel at Flight Centre by calling 1-877-717-1026

  • For U.S. travelers, carry a copy of this letter with you, as it will assist you with getting through customs. Click here to download.

Travel Discounts:

Before you make reservations for travel and housing, consider how many days you want to arrive early and/or stay after to see more sites, events, or etc. Whether traveling by plane, train, or automobile, special deals are available for Optimist Members for the International Convention.


Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport or Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (L'aéroport international Macdonald-Cartier in French), (IATA: YOW, ICAO: CYOW) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is an international airport named after the Canadian statesmen and two of the "founding fathers of Canada", Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George-Étienne Cartier. Located in the south end of the city, 5.5 nautical miles (10.2 km; 6.3 mi) south of downtown Ottawa, it is Canada's sixth-busiest airport and Ontario's second-busiest airport by airline passenger traffic and Canada's seventh-busiest by aircraft movements, with 4,743,091 passengers and 153,347 aircraft movements in 2017. The airport is classified as an airport of entry by Nav Canada and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency. The airport is one of eight Canadian airports that have United States border preclearance facilities. The airport used to be a military base known as CFB Ottawa South/CFB Uplands. Although it is no longer a Canadian Forces Base it is still home to the Royal Canadian Air Force's 412 Transport Squadron. It is located within 20 minutes from the Westin Ottawa Hotel, Les Suites Hotel, the Novotel Hotel, and the Shaw Centre.

*This airport is small, when you get off the plane you will follow the signs to baggage claim, which is to the right when you get off the escalator. After you get your baggage, if you go to the left you will see a currency exchange there (There is a fee there better to go to western union or your bank.) If you go past the currency exchange to your right there is a way outside where you will see taxis.

Airline Discounts:

Meeting Code: NMR54
Tickets can be booked via Delta’s website www.delta.com/meeting or over the phone at (800)-328-1111 Monday-Friday 7am-7pm. Ticketing agent fees may apply for phone reservations. Travel valid June 23- July 26, 2018

Z Code: ZEA6 Agreement Code: 859132
Tickets can be booked via United’s website www.united.com or over the phone at 800-426-1122 Ticketing agent fees may apply for phone reservations. Travel valid June 25- July 24, 2018

Air Canada
Promotion Code: 48NQCMK1
To book a flight with the promotion code, access aircanada.com and enter the promotion code in the search panel. Travel valid June 29-July 18, 2018.

West Jet
Coupon Code: 89BKOQ4
Tickets can be booked via WestJet’s website www.westjet.com or over the phone at 888-937-8538. Ticketing agent fees may apply for phone reservations. Travel valid June 27- July 20, 2018. Blackout dates apply (No discounts during this time) June 28th-July 3rd.

Traveling By Train:

Via Rail Discount Code: 13748
10% off the best available fare in Economy, Economy Plus, Business, Business Plus, Sleeper class. Discount does not apply in any Escape fares and Prestige Class.
Participants must reference the event’s VIA convention discount code: 13748.

There are two different train options you can take, Amtrak and Viarail. Amtrak, which covers the most of the US and has a few stations in Canada. Viarail is the second one, which turns into Viarail from amtrak, but is primarily in Canada. Prices on these tickets also vary depending on the departing and arriving locations. The websites are: www.amtrak.com and www.viarail.ca

Traveling By Bus:

Greyhound departs from 3,800 cities across the United States and Canada and there is a station in Ottawa which is only 11 minutes from the Westin Hotel, 5 minutes from both the Les Suites and Novotel Hotels. Cost and transit time varies depending on departing city, and discounts are offered for students, military, veterans, and seniors. www.greyhound.com

Rental Car Discounts:

Optimist International receives recognition from the following rental car agencies for travel during the 100th Optimist International Convention. Advance reservations are recommended, as cars are subject to availability. The following rental car companies are offering discounts.

Scooter Rentals

If you need to rent a scooter while in Ottawa for the convention, click here, to contact Conval-Aid. You must use a Visa or Mastercard to reserve.

Enterprise www.enterprise.com

Corporate Code: GE1025
Company PIN: OPT

Budget www.budget.com

Corporate Discount # U160153

Transportation between Airport and Hotels:

There are a number of options to get from the Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport and the Westin Hotel, Les Suites, and the Novotel Hotel. Reservations will be through the transportation company’s website, over the phone or in person at the desk, once your flight has landed. Line forms at center door of the first level that you get your bags.

Taxi Transportation

Taxis are based on a fluid rate and are approximately $37 CA to go to any of the three hotels. Some taxi are located on site and are found at centre door of Level 1.

West Way (613)-727-0101
Blue Line Taxi (613)-238-1111
Coventry Connections 613-523-1234. Accessible vehicles are available upon request 24 hours in advance. www.coventryconnections.com
Uber is also available in Ottawa and picks up at pillars 12 and 13 on first level.

OC Transpo

The bus picks up and drops of passengers at pillar 14 outside Level 1. Bus tickets are available at the ground transportation desk Located on level 1 at the centre door by the information desk. Accessible to accommodate wheelchairs. (613)-741-4390. www.octranspo.com

Limo Elite Limousine

To make reservations www.ottawalimousine.com
To make reservations for transportation call (613)-523-1560

RV Campgrounds:

There are two options for campgrounds located within a short distance to the Shaw Centre.

Wesley Clover Parks Wesley Clover Parks is only 17 minutes from the Shaw Centre. It is fully serviced for tents, trailers, RVs, and cabins. They have picnic tables, fire pits, showers, and horseback riding. For rates check out the website. campground@wesleycloverparks.com

Poplar Grove Campgrounds Poplar is located 23 minutes from the convention site. It is fully serviced for tents, Large RVs, tent trailers, and trailers. They have located on site a playground for the little ones, 18 hole mini golf, rollerblading, indoor swimming pool. Horseback riding located close. For more information www.ottawaspoplargrovecamp.com.