The best places to park your car with a view in Ottawa are Queen Elizabeth Drive, Kìwekì Point, Champlain Parkway, Sir John Macdonald Parkway, 1000 Islands Parkway, Gatineau Parkway, Meech Lake Road, and Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway.
|Queen Elizabeth Drive||$1.50|
|Kìwekì Point||N/A (Temporarily closed)|
|Champlain Parkway||N/A (Temporarily closed)|
|Sir John Macdonald Parkway||$0 - $3.50|
|1000 Islands Parkway||$7.25|
|Meech Lake Road||$0+|
|Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway||Free|
We’ll discuss each driveway in detail so that by the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what makes these locations so special.
Who knows, we might just convince you to drive out to them on your next day off.
Queen Elizabeth Drive
For fans of scenic waterfront views, Queen Elizabeth Driveway could be your dream come true.
It runs along the edge of the Rideau Canal, starting from Laurier Avenue in the north up until Dow’s Lake, where it transitions into Prince of Wales Drive.
Because it’s situated just along Rideau Canal, you can expect to see a lot of flourishing greenery that changes depending on the season. In winter, rather than the calm waters of the canal, you’ll find the world’s longest skating rink instead.
Lansdowne Park is just one of the many available parking options, and you’ll be paying $1.50 for every half hour.
Formerly known as Nepean Point, Kiweki Point is located just behind the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and is known as one of the most breathtaking lookouts.
It covers 1.27 hectares and was last developed in 1967 for Canada’s centennial.
Because of where it’s situated, you’re guaranteed to get the best panoramic photos and views of Parliament buildings and even Fairmont Chateau Laurier.
Unfortunately, it’s temporarily closed by the National Capital Commission as it’s being redeveloped in order to create a lively, 21st-century park.
Still, you can at least put it on your bucket list and give it a visit once development has finished.
Champlain Parkway is on this list because this uphill route has at least 3 famous lookouts that’ll take your breath away.
There’s Champlain Lookout, Étienne Brûlé Lookout, and Huron Lookout for you to look forward to.
It’s located just off Gatineau Parkway, and the first lookout you’ll encounter is Huron Lookout. You’ll be getting a great view of the Aylmer section of Gatineau and the west end of Ottawa from here.
If you brought your family along for the drive or a significant other, then you’ll be glad to know that Étienne Brûlé Lookout is an awesome spot for picnics!
It also offers a great view of the Ottawa River, plus it’s connected to mountain biking and hiking trails.
At the top of Eardley Escarpment, which is along Champlain Parkway, is Champlain Lookout, and it offers the best-known and most popular view in all of Gatineau Park.
Gatineau Park doesn’t have any parking fees and has a lot of parking options.
Unfortunately, Champlain Lookout, Étienne Brûlé Lookout, and Huron Lookout are currently closed due to vehicle traffic, according to the National Capital Commission.
Sir John Macdonald Parkway
Formerly known as the Ottawa River Parkway, Sir John Macdonald Parkway is a four-lane parkway and is located just along the Ottawa River. It starts from Carling Ave. near Connaught Ave. and up to Booth St. by the Canadian War Museum.
This scenic drive also serves as a way for commuters hailing from the west end of Ottawa to reach their jobs located in the downtown area of the city.
The lush trees, clipped grass, and trimmed bushes complement the clean flowing waters of the river and look especially beautiful during sunrise and sunset.
Every day from 7 AM to 7 PM, you’ll have to pay $3.50 for every hour you’re parked, with a maximum of 3 hours.
However, you can enjoy the sunrise here for free because the hours outside those mentioned are free of any charges and restrictions.
1000 Islands Parkway
Thousand Islands Parkway is one of the best scenic parkways, particularly because you can travel through here by car, motorcycle, or even go along the bike path.
Plus, the uniqueness of the little islands that dot the water makes it all the more stunning.
Thanks to the Thousand Islands Bridge, which actually connects the northern part of New York in the US and southeast Ontario, citizens from either country can visit easily.
If you plan on staying, there’s a daily parking fee of $7.25 per vehicle.
Located within Gatineau Park, Gatineau Parkway gives you a terrific view of Pink Lake. It’s yet another beautiful scenic nature spot that’ll tempt you to get out of your vehicle and just camp for the night instead.
The flowing blue waters of Pink Lake look especially striking if you visit during the Autumn season, as shades of orange and brown only further highlight its blueness.
Gatineau Park itself has no entrance fees, but certain parking lots and trails have small fees to access them, but that also depends on the time of the year.
Meech Lake Road
Meech Lake is located within Gatineau Park, and Meech Lake Road offers the best view of this as it passes through Old Chelsea and even Camp Fortune.
With how expansive the park is, you’re guaranteed an abundance of natural sights to behold, from its rolling hills and calm lakes to indigenous flora & fauna.
There’s no entrance fee into Gatineau Park, but depending on the season and where you’ll park, there may be additional fees.
Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway
Formerly known as the Rockcliffe Parkway, the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway begins at the end of Sussex Drive and follows along the Ottawa River.
You’ll pass through sights like Rockcliffe Park and the Canada Aviation Museum.
You can enjoy a smooth and scenic drive thanks to its well-paved roads and picturesque views, from Gatineau Hill up to the stunning architecture in Rockcliffe. This natural waterfront view, coupled with the estates that dot this area, is a treat.
The National Capital Commission maintains the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway, and parking here is thankfully free of charge.
There are a lot of incredible sights near Ottawa that are just a car ride away, with some even within the city itself.
The hard part is knowing exactly which roads lead to them, but we do hope we’ve helped in that regard.