1 Elgin (Formerly The National Arts Center le café)

Serving high quality meals, presented with artistry and the best in local and nationally sourced ingredients, 1 Elgin provides an elegant space to enjoy exceptional Canadian cuisine before a show or as a refreshing interlude during the workday for lunch.

Please join us in downtown Ottawa, along the gorgeous Rideau Canal, for an exceptional experience.

We look forward to serving you!

Here’s an easy, no knead sourdough recipe from NAC Sous Chef Franco Colaco.

Credits: National Arts Centre

the rideau canal and Champlain

The Rideau Canal flows between Ottawa and Kingston in Southern Ontario. These two cities are easily accessible by car and bus from Toronto (260km to Kingston) and Montreal (200km from Ottawa).

The Canal itself is accessible by car, on foot or by boat. The busy season extends from the spring to the fall. While the locks themselves are closed for the winter, you can do still skate, cross-country ski, snowshoe or ice-fishing on the Canal.

To learn more on the Rideau Canal, visit the Parks Canada website.

Take the Scenic Drive

The Rideau Heritage Route follows the historic Rideau Canal and winds its way through the bucolic countryside, from the shores of Lake Ontario in Kingston to the nation’s capital on the Ottawa River. Navigate on the Canal alongside historic and picturesque villages and cross historic locks and lakes on the only UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Ontario: the Rideau Canal.

Take the wheel and discover a variety of golf courses, stores, galleries and rustic cabins. The Rideau Heritage Route, with its locks and lakes, is a wonder from start to finish.

The Rideau River
The Rideau River flows northward from the Rideau Lakes in Eastern Ontario to the Ottawa River in Ottawa. The River traverses flat agricultural lands underlain by limestone, which was once an ancient seabed. The soils are rich, and the land gently rolling. The river spills into the Ottawa River over a dramatic limestone ledge in a wall of white spray, inspiring explorer Samuel de Champlain, the first European to see it, to name it rideau, meaning “curtain” in French. (Source : Maxwell W. Finkelstein, Canadian Encyclopedia, 2014)

The Rideau (pronounced “Reed-O”) is many things to many people. It is a superb area for recreation, it’s a wonderful part of our Canadian heritage and it is a celebration of nature.

To answer the initial question, What’s a Rideau?, the word rideau is French for curtain, the appearance of the falls where the Rideau meets the Ottawa River, to Samuel de Champlain who travelled up the Ottawa River in 1613. The name Rivière du Rideau first appeared on maps in about 1700.(Source: Friends of the Rideau)


Ottawa is Canada’s capital, a dynamic city steeped in culture, with world-class museums displaying stunning national collections and special exhibitions from around the world. Discover Canada’s heritage at amazing national sites, including Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal.


to learn more about the rideau heritage route:

Rate and write a review

Elgin Street 53
Ottawa K1P ON CA
Get directions