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A Sustainable Itinerary: How to Make Your Stay in Ottawa’s Original Downtown More Eco-Conscious

April 17, 2024

While it’s true that Ottawa offers all the hustle and bustle of a great city, Ottawa also boasts several tranquil green spaces allowing for the best of both worlds. For those looking to make their visit a little greener and connect with nature, there are many options from electric boat cruises, parks, the Rideau Canal, and many walking and biking trails.

Explore Ottawa’s Original Downtown by Bike

No car? No problem! There are over 800 kilometers of bike paths that connect Ottawa’s Original Downtown to other buzzing neighbourhoods like Sparks Street, Centertown, and the Glebe, making it easy to visit all of the key landmarks and offerings during your visit.

You can even rent a bike from Harry Musson and Jill Messier, cycle enthusiasts with decades of experience and owners of Rent – A – Bike! This business offers an extensive collection of bikes for rent and can even set up guided cycling tours!

📍 2 Rideau Street (under the bridge, between the Rideau Canal and the Senate of Canada Building)

⏰ Sunday to Saturday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

📞 (613) 241-4140


Re-Energize by Eating Clean at these Local Eateries

Pure Kitchen

After biking around the downtown core, sit down at Ottawa’s best vegan and vegetarian restaurant, Pure Kitchen. Pure Kitchen offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options all made from scratch and can be enjoyed by everyone. Some of our favourites include, the Profound pad thai, and the Liberty wrap and their freshly made juices and smoothies are out-of-this-world delicious.

📍 115 Rideau Street

⏰ Monday to Tuesday: CLOSED

⏰ Wednesday to Sunday: 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM

📞 (613) 845-1818


This is your one-stop shop for gourmet salads, wine, and Italian coffees. LOLLO offers gourmet salads with innovative ingredients that stand out from the average salad. If you’re not feeling a salad, try one of their sandwiches or their beloved avocado toast. Pair it with one of their home-brewed Italian coffee, so smooth and delicious you’ll be coming back for more!

Dine in and take in some great views of the historic Byward Market!

📍 115 Rideau Street

⏰ Monday to Tuesday: CLOSED

⏰ Wednesday to Sunday: 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM

📞 (613) 845-1818

Check Out Some Beautiful Parks and Sights

Take the day to explore Ottawa’s greenspaces which are breathtaking this time of the year. Each greenspace offers something differently unique, and you must experience all of them to understand.

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 several 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.

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.

Make sure you check out the Canadian Tulip Festival happening between May 10 to May 20, and take in the stunning tulips in full bloom along with views of Ottawa’s Original Downtown.

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 Canal

Experience the historical Rideau Canal on the boat with the 1005 electric vessel with Ekau Canal Cruise. Learn about the history of Ottawa’s Original Downtown as you coast along the Rideau Canal. In the summer, the National Arts Centre Orchestra plays music as you take the boat ride on the Rideau Canal. It’s a great experience to enjoy the sites and listen to a local orchestra. 

See the breathtaking views of landmarks that are known in Ottawa and the wonders and historical architecture that will transport you through time. 

Are you worried about where you are going to park? Check out our Parking Guide to help you find all the parking options and rates downtown.

Click here to check out our Events page and see everything else going on in Ottawa’s Original Downtown!