Best Parks

10 of the Best Parks in Ottawa

Whether you’re tired from being cooped up inside all day and need to unwind with some fresh air, or maybe looking for an ideal picnic spot, Ottawa’s parks are a great choice!

One of the best things about living in Ottawa is that we have so many green spaces available for us to make use of and enjoy. Regardless if you’re raring to do some high-energy outdoor activities or just relax, our parks are just waiting for our visit.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at Ottawa’s best parks and answer the most common questions about them. So, get off of your office chair or your couch, and let’s go get some fresh air together!

1. Major’s Hill Park

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Address: Mackenzie Ave, Ottawa, ON K1N 1G8, Canada

Contact Details: +1 800-465-1867

Major’s Hill Park is nestled close to Ottawa’s bustling ByWard Market and surrounded by iconic landmarks, such as Parliament Hill, Rideau Canal Locks, etc. This tranquil oasis is the city’s oldest park, boasting a rich history spanning nearly two centuries.

Thanks to its great location, it offers sweeping views of Ottawa’s most renowned landmarks that you can admire while taking in some fresh air. 

And if you’re planning on visiting after work and bringing your vehicle, take advantage of the free parking after 5:30 p.m. in the nearby ByWard Market. 

With convenience and charm in abundance, Major’s Hill Park has long been Ottawan’s go-to park throughout the years, and for good reason too!

2. Andrew Haydon Park

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Address: 3127 Carling Ave, Nepean, ON K2H 5A6, Canada

Contact Details: +1 613-580-2595

At the west end of Ottawa in Nepean lies Andrew Hayden Park, which boasts stunning views of the Ottawa River. With its three ponds connected by charming wooden bridges, this park is a haven for both nature enthusiasts and families alike.

During the warmer months, the ponds come alive with the sight of Canadian geese and their adorable goslings, adding to the park’s natural charm. Families flock to the playground area, where children can frolic and play to their heart’s content.

Furry friends are also welcome to join in on the fun, just remember to keep them on a leash while within the park. Andrew Haydon Park isn’t just about its scenic beauty—it’s also a hub for community events and performances. 

A dedicated stage hosts local performances and outdoor concerts, providing entertainment for visitors of all ages. 

Despite its tranquil ambiance and recreational offerings, Andrew Haydon Park remains one of Ottawa’s hidden gems that’s just waiting to be discovered!

3. Mooney’s Bay Park

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Address: 2960 Riverside Dr., Ottawa, ON K1V 8N4, Canada

Contact Details: +1 613-580-2595

Mooney’s Bay Park is situated along the picturesque shores of the Rideau River and is a beloved oasis for Ottawa residents seeking a day of relaxation and fun in the sun. 

Whether you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely picnic, fire up the barbecue, or simply soak up some rays on the sandy beach, this park has it all. In the summertime, it hosts two major events: the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival and the Hope Volleyball Tournament. 

One of the park’s standout features is a big playground, which has a collection of twenty play structures representing different provinces and regions of Canada. 

It’s no wonder why kids of all ages are drawn to this playground—it’s a miniature Canadian adventure right in the heart of Ottawa!

But the fun doesn’t stop there, because Mooney’s Bay Park offers something for everyone, whether you’re a nature enthusiast or just looking for a relaxing day out. 

You can take a stroll along the shoreline and admire the serene beauty of the Rideau River, or venture further to explore nearby attractions like Hog’s Back Falls.

With ample parking and a host of amenities, including washrooms and picnic areas, Mooney’s Bay Park is the perfect destination for a day of fun! 

4. Confederation Park

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Address: Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5J2, Canada

Contact Details: +1 613-239-5000

Confederation Park sits within the heart of Ottawa’s bustling downtown core and stands as a vibrant testament to the city’s rich culture and historical significance. 

As one of the city’s premier event venues, this iconic park plays host to a diverse array of festivities throughout the year. 

From the dazzling ice sculptures of Winterlude to the soulful melodies of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival, there’s always something fun happening! My personal favorite is soaking up the sun during Canada Day or watching live music performances.

Beyond its role as a hub for seasonal events, Confederation Park boasts a wealth of permanent attractions that offer insight into Canada’s past and present. For example, the South African War Memorial, and the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument. 

These monuments and sculptures serve as powerful reminders of our nation’s history and heritage. So, take a moment to leisurely stroll along the park’s paved pathways, and pause to admire these iconic landmarks and reflect on their significance.

For those needing a tranquil escape from the urban hustle and bustle, the park’s open lawn provides the perfect spot for relaxation and rejuvenation. 

You can find a cozy bench by the fountain and indulge in some prime people-watching, or maybe soak up the serene ambiance as you unwind amidst the beauty of nature. 

5. Hog’s Back Park

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Address: Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5J2, Canada

Contact Details: +1 613-239-5000

If you’re planning on visiting Hog’s Back Falls anytime soon, then you might as well visit Hog’s Back Park too! It’s a picturesque meeting point of the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal, particularly during the spring thaw or the icy embrace of winter. 

Whether you’re marveling at the cascading waters or taking a leisurely stroll along the winding walking paths, there’s no shortage of natural wonders to explore.

In addition to its stunning natural scenery, Hog’s Back Park boasts a range of amenities to enhance your outdoor experience. From convenient picnic tables to well-maintained restrooms and ample parking, the park is designed with visitor comfort in mind. 

With its rich history and cultural significance, the park serves as a beloved gathering place for community events, outdoor concerts, and celebrations throughout the year. 

6. Britannia Park

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Address: 2805 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON K2B 8K6, Canada

Contact Details: +1 613-580-2595

Brittania Park can be found along the serene banks of the Ottawa River, situated in the picturesque neighborhood of Britannia in the city’s West end. 

Once home to summer villas for Ottawa’s elite in the 19th Century, Britannia Park now welcomes locals and visitors alike to enjoy its many recreational offerings.

At the heart of Britannia Park lies the beloved Britannia Beach, one of the city’s most popular waterfront destinations. As the sun sets over the horizon, be sure to witness the breathtaking spectacle of one of the city’s best sunsets from the park’s vantage point.

During the summer months, Britannia Park comes alive with activity, attracting beachgoers, picnickers, water sports enthusiasts, and dog owners. 

The park’s expansive green spaces provide ample room for leisurely strolls, family picnics, and outdoor games, while the dog off-leash area allows pups to frolic freely. 

For a delightful culinary treat, be sure to stop by Britannia Coffeehouse for a steaming cup of java or indulge in a sweet treat at The Beachcombers for some cool ice cream.

7. Vincent Massey Park

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Address: Heron Rd, Ottawa, ON K1V 2E4, Canada

Contact Details: +1 613-239-5000

Vincent Massey Park is situated in front of Carleton University, and nestled alongside the Rideau River. With the largest number of picnic tables in any park in Ottawa, it’s the perfect spot for company gatherings, community events, or just a small, leisurely picnic.

One of the park’s standout features is its diverse landscape, which includes both forested areas and open grassy expanses. 

You can wander through the lush forest trails and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of nature, or gather your friends for a game of frisbee or soccer on the grassy fields. 

The park’s extensive network of bike paths also makes it an ideal starting point for exploring the city by bike, offering easy access to Ottawa’s scenic waterfronts.

While dogs are not permitted in the picnic area, they’re welcome to join you for a leisurely stroll on a leash along the park’s scenic paths. 

8. Rockcliffe Park

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Address: 1495 Sir George-Etienne Cartier Pky, Ottawa, Ontario K1K 4Y5 Canada

Contact Details: [email protected]

As you’d expect, Rockcliffe Park is located along the historic neighborhood of Rockcliffe and offers a picturesque retreat along the banks of the majestic Ottawa River. 

It boasts stunning views of the river and the scenic Gatineau Hills beyond, and one of our favorite spots here is its lovely pavilion. This picturesque venue is actually regularly booked for outdoor weddings and special events. 

With its elegant architecture and idyllic setting overlooking the Ottawa River, the pavilion provides the perfect backdrop for creating cherished memories with loved ones. 

Additionally, Rockcliffe Park boasts numerous lookout points where visitors can take in panoramic views of the river and surrounding landscape.

For those looking to enjoy a leisurely picnic amidst the beauty of nature, Rockcliffe Park offers several picnic tables where visitors can relax and unwind. The park is also conveniently located near Rideau Hall. 

Aside from its riverside amenities, it’s also home to an off-leash dog park, providing a safe and spacious area for furry friends to run and play to their hearts’ content.

For those eager to explore, the nearby Caldwell-Carver Conservation Area beckons with its tranquil lake and scenic pond.

9. Commissioners Park

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Address: Preston Street and, Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Ottawa, ON K1S 4N7, Canada

Contact Details: +1 613-239-5000

You’re probably already familiar with Commissioners Park, and if you’re not, it’s renowned for its stunning display of tulips during the annual Tulip Festival

As the main hub of the festival, the park comes alive with vibrant colors as thousands of tulips burst into bloom, which attracts all kinds of visitors from all around the world. 

From delicate pastel hues to bold and vibrant shades, the tulips paint a picturesque backdrop against the tranquil waters of Dow’s Lake.

While the Tulip Festival draws crowds to Commissioners Park each spring, the park also offers plenty of attractions and activities year-round. 

On weekends, the park bustles with activity as visitors flock to enjoy picnics, take leisurely strolls along the scenic pathways, or go on bike rides through the pathways. 

For dog owners, the park provides a charming setting for leisurely walks with furry companions.

You also have easy access to Dow’s Lake, where the Dow’s Lake Pavilion provides kayak and canoe rentals for visitors eager to explore the lake’s tranquil waters. 

Throughout the warmer months, the park serves as a popular destination for family walks.

10. Stanley Park

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Address: 183 Stanley Ave, Ottawa, ON K1M 1P2, Canada

Contact Details: +1 613-580-2400

Stanley Park is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered that’s located in the charming New Edinburgh neighborhood. It’s situated close to the majestic Rideau Falls, the park boasts picturesque views of the serene Rideau River. 

One of the park’s most notable features is the iconic white Minto Bridge, a historic landmark dating back to 1900. It’s made up of three bridges that span the Rideau River and add a touch of timeless elegance to the park’s scenic landscape.

The park has quite a sizable area, providing ample space for recreational activities such as soccer, tennis, and baseball. 

Stanley Park’s well-maintained sports facilities and expansive green spaces offer the perfect venue for friendly matches and outdoor workouts. 

The playground also provides endless entertainment for young visitors, with swings, slides, and climbing structures to explore.

For dog owners, Stanley Park features an unfenced off-leash area where fur babies can romp and play to their heart’s content. With plenty of room to run and explore, it provides a safe and enjoyable environment for dogs to socialize and burn off energy.

What parks in Ottawa have washrooms?

Most parks in Ottawa don’t have full washroom facilities, but some do have portable toilets in field houses that are available for rent. Mooney’s Bay Park, Commissioner’s Park, and Rockcliffe Park have washrooms available.

How much green space is in Ottawa?

Ottawa has around 4,300 hectares of green space and is actually above average for hectares of parkland per population. To be specific, Ottawa boasts 4.5 hectares per a thousand people.

Can I rent a park in Ottawa?

You can rent a park in Ottawa by securing a permit to hold an organized activity or event at any of the city’s parks. This includes events like community picnics, fundraisers, sports events, weddings, birthdays, and other special events.

Simply fill up the park rental application form, and provide alternate locations in case your preferred park isn’t available or suitable for your proposed event. Just send the completed application form by fax to 613-580-2683 or by email to [email protected].

More information about your event may be required, and the whole process varies in length of time. You can expect a contract and payment information through email, which you should review, sign, and send back to the email provided. 

The contract will only be valid once you’ve made the required payment and sent back a signed copy of the contract. Don’t forget to bring a copy of your contract and your receipt on the day of your event.