9 Amazing Places to Watch the Beautiful Sunrise of Ottawa

9 Amazing Places to Watch the Beautiful Sunrise of Ottawa

Whether you’re an early riser or not, the sunrise in Ottawa is something that you should get to see at least once in your life. 

Just imagine it, the cool air, the stillness and quietness of the morning, and the glorious rising sun bathing the world in its warmth.

It’s no exaggeration when I say that the sunrise in Ottawa is something special, something that’s unique and just otherworldly even. Now, there are plenty of spots where you can get awesome views of the sunrise, so it’s a bit hard to choose.

Luckily for you, we’ll gladly give you the best places to watch Ottawa’s beautiful sunrise. So be sure to sleep early so you can get out and catch this amazing sight first thing in the morning!

1. Mer Bleue Conservation Area

Address: Ridge Rd, Ottawa, ON K0A 2Y0, Canada

Mer Bleu Conservation Area is a serene natural oasis located just outside Ottawa and is nestled within a vast expanse of wetlands and forests. This area offers a unique sunrise experience that’s both tranquil and awe-inspiring.

Thanks to its unique position away from the city’s hustle and bustle, this area provides an unobstructed view of the horizon. This allows you to watch the first rays of the sun gradually light up the sky without anything blocking the way. 

The beauty of this location lies not only in the sunrise itself but also in the reflection of the golden hues on the calm waters of the Mer Bleu bog.

And to make the most of your adventure, consider arriving a bit before dawn to find the perfect vantage point along the trails or elevated platforms. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking moment and post it on your social media!

It’s also advisable to check the sunrise time beforehand and plan accordingly, as the experience can vary throughout the year. As you prepare for your visit, ensure you have appropriate footwear and clothing, as mornings at the conservation area can be chilly. 

Additionally, if you’re a bird enthusiast, be sure to bring your binoculars because the area is home to various bird species that are active during the early hours.

Keep in mind that Mer Bleu Conservation Area is a sensitive ecosystem, so respect the designated trails and boardwalks to minimize your impact on the environment. 

Final tip, consider packing a thermos filled with your hot beverage of choice and some light snacks to enjoy during the tranquility of the moment.

2. Cooper Marsh Conservation Area

Address: 20020 Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry County Road 2, South Glengarry, ON K0C 2E0, Canada

Cooper Marsh Conservation Area, located near Ottawa, is a wetland sanctuary with diverse wildlife and reflective waters that offers a picturesque backdrop. 

Do your best to arrive early so you can find an optimal spot on the trails or observation decks for unobstructed views. Be sure to check local sunrise times and dress warmly since it can get chilly so early in the morning. 

3. Richmond Landing

Address: Ottawa, ON, Canada

Richmond Landing stands out as an exceptional spot to catch the sunrise in Ottawa. You can find it situated along the Ottawa River and provides captivating views of Parliament Hill and the city’s skyline. 

The presence of the nearby Portage Bridge adds an elevated perspective, enhancing the sunrise experience. The combination of the river’s reflection and the city’s landmarks bathed in early morning light creates a stunning visual display. 

For those seeking an elevated view of the sunrise, Richmond Landing and the adjacent Portage Bridge offer a wonderful vantage point.

4. Shirley’s Bay

Address: Shirley Blvd, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Shirley’s Bay, situated in Ottawa’s west end along the Ottawa River, is a prime spot to witness a stunning sunrise. With its proximity to the river and a relatively unobstructed horizon, this location offers an ideal setting for observing the first light of day. 

The serene ambiance of Shirley’s Bay provides an excellent backdrop for enjoying the tranquil moments as the sun rises over the water. 

5. Hog’s Back Falls

Address: 600 Hog’s Back Rd, Ottawa, ON K1V 1H8, Canada

Hog’s Back Falls emerges as an excellent sunrise viewing location due to its unique orientation – facing east as you gaze upon the falls. 

This positioning provides an ideal opportunity for capturing stunning sunrise photos, particularly long exposure shots that highlight the serene beauty of the surroundings. 

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or simply just love having these picturesque moments, Hog’s Back Falls is an amazing spot to capture the magic of the sunrise. 

To access the location, you can conveniently park your vehicles in the available small parking lot or just cycle along the Rideau River Pathway.

6. Bank Street Bridge

Address: Ottawa, ON, Canada

The Bank Street Bridge is a prime sunrise viewing location thanks to its elevated position over the Rideau Canal

This elevated vantage point allows observers to witness the sunrise emerging above the horizon and spilling its gentle rays over the surrounding landscape. 

Moreover, the bridge’s height offers unobstructed views, enabling spectators to enjoy the captivating sight of the sun ascending over the tree line. 

The unique bend in the canal, visible from this location, adds an extra dimension to the experience, enhancing the visual appeal of the scene with its graceful curvature. 

To access the Bank Street Bridge, you can park your car on nearby side streets or opt for paid parking at Lansdowne. Alternatively, you can also enjoy cycling here and take in the charm of the Rideau Canal Pathway to reach this picturesque sunrise spot.

7. Dominion Arboretum

Address: Arboretum, Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6, Canada

The Arboretum (Is visiting Dominion Arboretum free?) is an exceptional sunrise-viewing spot, particularly in the spring when the Cherry Blossoms are in bloom. Its appeal lies in the variety of perspectives it offers. 

Visitors can ascend to a remarkable lookout point situated above the canopy of trees, granting a sweeping panorama that encompasses the picturesque Dow’s Lake. 

Alternatively, you can opt to descend to the water’s edge and immerse yourselves in the tranquil ambiance while experiencing the sunrise’s serenity. 

It’s important to note that the Arboretum is closed during the night hours, so you’ll need to park your vehicles at the nearby parking lot near Prince of Wales Drive. 

From there, you can go on a short walk to the lookout area, but make sure to factor in an additional 10 minutes to ensure you’ll arrive at the location in time for the sunrise. 

8. Nepean Sailing Club

Address: 3259 Carling Ave, Nepean, ON K2H 1A6, Canada

The Nepean Sailing Club is yet another excellent vantage point, primarily due to its convenient proximity to the waterfront. 

Just a little bit of walking is required to reach the water’s edge, enhancing the ease of access to this picturesque sunrise location. 

You have the option to stroll along the docks, which offers an up-close encounter with the serene waters and the evolving colors of the sky. 

There’s also a charming pathway that runs adjacent to the water, complete with inviting benches that provide the perfect setting for soaking in the mesmerizing sunrise. 

To reach the Nepean Sailing Club, parking is available in designated areas, with a specific reminder to avoid parking in spots allocated for vehicles with boat launchers. 

This is also another spot where biking is a viable option, as visitors can conveniently traverse from the Ottawa River Pathway to the site.

9. Eagles Nest Lookout

Address: Greater Madawaska, ON K0J 1H0, Canada

Eagles Nest Lookout has to be part of this list because watching the sunrise here is really something despite its approximately one-and-a-half-hour drive west of Ottawa. 

The longer journey to this spot warrants either an early morning departure during the summer or a slightly delayed start in the winter. 

Notably, the popularity of Eagles Nest lookout as a prominent scenic destination adds to its appeal, making it an ideal site for watching the sunrise free from bustling crowds. 

To ensure a safe journey to the lookout, it’s advisable to bring along a headlamp, especially if you plan to arrive before the first light of dawn. 

Now, if you’re planning on heading to Eagles Nest lookout, you can park your vehicle at the trailhead.