Shopping in Ottawa; from unique boutique to mega mall! Here is where to go and what to find when shopping in Ottawa. Ottawa has the mega malls, and the little bit eccentric regional shopping areas within the confines of the city.
And like almost any modern city, it’s hard to go anywhere in Ottawa without coming across shops of all kinds. There are the corner convenience stores…on almost every corner, it seems.
Great Locations for Shopping in Ottawa
But when it comes to “the heck with the credit card limit, full speed ahead” type, Ottawa has its share of locations as well.
While all of the larger malls in Ottawa have somewhat similar “brand” stores, which means that Ottawa residents know pretty much what the major retail outlets in a particular mall will be before they go, a visitor to Ottawa, particularly when coming from afar, will find these shops unique to their experience.
The Rideau Centre boasts about 180 stores in an enclosed, air controlled, visitor-comfortable environment. Get completely attired, have your hair coiffed, purchase almost anything electrical, visit a host of restaurants, take in a movie, the list of things to do goes on and on.
One of the greatest attractions of the Rideau Centre is it’s location. Just steps east from Parliament Hill, near the Byward Market and bordered on the west by the picturesque Rideau Canal; it’s a shopping and sightseeing centre all in one! Visit the Rideau Centre website for shopping deals, maybe some coupons, and up to date list of stores, where to park or catch the bus etc. – www.rideaucentre.com .
Shopping, eating, wandering, people watching, it’s all at the Byward Market.
I’ve written about it extensively on All-about-Ottawa.com, so you can get more information right here.
Bank Street Promenade
At least, the signs that declared this a unique shopping area are gone.
Bank Street is a main thoroughfare running north to south in downtown Ottawa. From Wellington Street in the north to about Gladstone Street in the south, a visitor can still see dozens of shops, many with unique goods. What was the Bank Street Promenade stretches over 15 city blocks on Bank Street.
The area now, however, is looking pretty run down. That, and the construction that abounds on Bank Street, particularly at Sparks Street, will make wandering this stretch of road less desirable.
Still, if you relish a really great cup of coffee, on the corner of Bank St. and Albert St. is the Bridgehead Coffee House, offering excellent free-trade coffee’s from around the world, lunch and dinner snacks, and just about the nicest servers you’ll find in Ottawa.
More info: bankstreet.ca/shopping
Sparks Street Mall
Wander down the sidewalks or down the middle of the street. No cars, no trucks, no noise (except for fellow visitors, bands, music from the shops, etc.) virtually no vehicular pollution; a wanderer’s delight taking in the sites and sounds of the Sparks Street Mall, and just steps away from Ottawa’s Parliament Buildings.
The Mall offers a variety of activities for the visitor’s enjoyment; buskers, cook offs, bands, fine dining, walking distance from many fine local Ottawa Hotels, Parliament, The National Arts Centre, the Canal, and much, much more.
The draw is a large number of brand name stores, purportedly outlet stores, where the shopper can purchase goods at below normal retail. Is it so? I don’t know as I don’t shop most of these stores retail outlets, so I have no idea if the goods sold at Tanger Outlets are good value or not.
Nevertheless, lots of folks seem to as the outlet plaza seems quite busy.
Tanger Outlets in Ottawa is about 28 kilometers (about 17 miles) West of the Parliament Buildings.
Tanger Outlets Ottawa
wy 417 at Palladium Drive
8555 Campeau Drive
On the first page about shopping in Ottawa we featured, among other shopping areas, the Bank Street Promenade which has undergone decline in the last decade or so.
However, it’s not too far between the Bank Street Promenade and The Glebe if you would like to visit both in the same day. You simply continue down Bank Street a couple of kilometers to reach Ottawa’s unique Glebe district which is in it’s ascendancy.
The Glebe is not a shopping mall, it’s a stretch of urban city thoroughfare that offers the shopping visitor the non-mall, perhaps a little gritty, safe and varied shopping experience.
Roughly delineated, it’s the stretch of Rue Bank (Bank Street) that stretches between Pretoria St. just south of the #417 (Queensway) down to Holmwood Avenue.
In the Glebe you will find Art, Automotive Sales, Bakeries, Banks, Ballroom Dance Classes, Computer Services, Craft Shops, Design, Entertainment Venues, Furniture Stores, Gift Shops, Restaurants, Souvenirs, Sports Equipment…. and so on. The list seems almost endless.
When you get to the Glebe, don’t forget to wander down the side streets extending east and west off Bank Street. Some treasure troves can be found there, as well.
Perhaps pick up a take out meal and wander the few blocks east from The Glebe to the world famous Rideau Canal which flows adjacent to Queen Elizabeth Drive. You are sure to find some nice benches and a lovely park to relax and enjoy your lunch. Not sure where? Have a look at the map link noted above. It’s easy to get to.
The Glebe is only about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa. Visit www.shoptheglebe.ca for more information.
More information is also available at: intheglebe.ca.