Ottawa Parks

The City of Ottawa is blessed by having parks throughout. Ottawa parks can be regimented or formal, or just an open area – grassy in summer and possibly snow covered in winter – where residents and their four legged friends can get some fresh air.

There are lots of areas in Ottawa that are park like as well.

Since there are so many parks in Ottawa, and I wonder if I could get a bit of help with this page? I an unlikely to visit all the Ottawa parks. If you have one that is near and dear to you, would you be kind enough to add information about your favourite park as a comment below and, if you wish, upload a photo or two? I will make your contribution part of this page if you would. Thanks,

Major’s Hill Park

If Major’s Hill Park was a piece of real estate, then it would sure be notable for location, location, location. It’s located right downtown Ottawa, literally in the shadow of Parliament, and overlooks part of the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River. Beautiful spot.

In the photo below, we are at the edge of the park that overlooks the Rideau Canal on the left, the Ottawa River just ahead on the left, and you can see the National Gallery and the Notre Dame Basilica in the distance.

Major's Hill Park in downtown Ottawa

 The only negative about this park is that parking gets a bit expensive if you want to spend some hours in the park. The nearest parking is at the east end of the park in the public parking at Byward Market. Currently that’s running $3 / hr which isn’t the end of the world, but you are limited to a two hour stay in, and that could throw a damper on the whole Major’s Hill Park experience.

Regardless, it’s a beautiful park, and celebrations like those on Canada Day take place there annually.

Nepean Point

In the photo below, taken from the base of the Rideau Canal where it enters the Ottawa River, Nepean Point can be seen on the right side of the picture. On top of Nepean Point you can see the statue honouring Samuel de Champlain, who explored the Ottawa River in 1613. Also visible is the Alexandra Bridge, one of a number of Ottawa bridges that span the Ottawa River and connect our nation’s capital to Hull in the Province of Quebec.

Nepean Point and Alexandra Bridge

Not strictly one of the Ottawa Parks, Nepean Point is a grassy hillock in the summer, and is only a couple of minutes away from Major’s Hill Park. It is the location of the Astrolabe Theatre, a venue for cultural events in Ottawa.

Parking is an issue for Nepean Point visitors as with Major’s Hill Park. Nepean Point is located behind the National Gallery and there is paid underground parking there, or a visitor can park at the Byward Market and make the short walk.

Confederation Park

Just a couple of blocks south of Parliament Hill on Elgin Street you can find Confederation Park. Another of Ottawa’s urban parks it has paved walkways, benches, grassy flat areas, and is centered by a fountain honouring Colonel John By.

Along with being a lovely park to sit and take lunch (as many of the Ottawa City Hall and local government office employees do) Confederation Park is home to cultural events in Ottawa.

 Queen Elizabeth Drive

Just east and south of Confederation Park is Ottawa’s Queen Elizabeth Drive. There is no official park there, yet the area between the drive and the Rideau Canal, along which Queen Elizabeth Drive runs for quite some time, is park like with lots of grass, trees, flower beds and a bike / walking path.

It is just a little bit more than 1 kilometre (.62 miles) from Parliament Hill to where Queen Elizabeth Drive bisects Laurier Avenue at the end of Confederation Park. Parking is scarce but is there.

In the winter skaters can be seen dotting the Rideau Canal skateway as you meander along the drive.

McNabb Park

This is a lovely municipal park on the corner of Gladstone Avenue and Bronson Avenue, about 3 Km or about 2 miles from Parliament Hill. The fasted way to get there is straight down O’Connor Avenue from Wellington Street, turn right onto Gladstone Avenue, and McNabb Park is 6 blocks along on the right hand side. This park is located in what is considered as Ottawa’s centretown.

McNabb Park is considered the largest park in the Ottawa core area, and as well as some enjoyable green space in the city, offers residents an in-season (read this as warm weather) children’s wading pool and gymnasium area.