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A Guide to Green Spaces and Parks in Downtown Ottawa

July 17, 2023

Everyone knows that Ottawa’s Original Downtown is the best destination in the city for arts & culture, shopping, and dining. However, did you know that there are also a number of incredible green spaces and parks in Downtown Ottawa to explore?

Enjoy a picnic, read in a park, or go for a bike ride; there are no shortage of scenic options!

Confederation Park 

Confederation Park is the perfect park if you’re looking for a quiet space to relax. Despite its location downtown, this park is traditionally less busy than others. Since its opening in 1967, the park has hosted festivals such as Winterlude, Canada Day, and Ottawa Jazz Festival! It’s also home to a number of foundations and sculptures.

When there isn’t an event taking place, you’ll want to stop and check out the NCC Bistro Café and enjoy Craft Beer, local coffee, or homemade pastries.

A fountain in the middle of Confederation Park in Downtown Ottawa.

Major’s Hill Park 

This park is a calm and relaxing oasis nestled in the heart of Ottawa’s Original Downtown. It is the ideal spot to take a break and recharge after visiting the National Gallery of Canada or shopping at the Rideau Centre. 

Major’s Hill Park offers arguably the best lookout spots, stunning views of Parliament, the Rideau Locks, and the Ottawa River to the border of Gatineau. You’ll often find people enjoying picnics, throwing around a football, or enjoying some quality time with a book in this park.

Major's Hill Park, an incredible green space nestled in the heart of Downtown Ottawa.

Rideau Canal 

If you’re looking for a more active park, you’ll want to check out the Rideau Canal! Go for a run, an after dinner walk with friends, bike ride, kayak, or paddle board…the options are endless!

The Rideau Canal, one of the most celebrated parks in Downtown Ottawa.

Rideau Falls 

Rideau Falls, standing at 11 meters, parks the spot where the Rideau River flows into the Ottawa River. Surrounded by a 3 hectare park, these falls are a must-visit.

Looking for the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle? Enjoy the falls from the Tavern at the Falls patio complete with a good beverage and incredible food. 

Rideau Falls, one of many green spaces in Downtown Ottawa

With so many parks in Downtown Ottawa for you to choose from, you’ll undoubtedly be hard-pressed to choose which one of these gorgeous green spaces to visit next! Be sure to place one of them on your itinerary next time you find yourself in Ottawa’s Original Downtown!

Worried about where you are going to park? Click  here  for a handy tool to find all the parking options and rates in the downtown!
Check out our Events page for a complete list of events in Ottawa’s Original Downtown!