Here are the more popular Ottawa and area parks
Andrew Haydon Park
Acres Rd and Carling Avenue, Nepean
This west end park on the Ottawa River has a beautiful view of Britannia Bay, Picnic area, artificial lake, food concession , washrooms, and yacht club. Swimming not recommended. Named for a former mayor of the City of Nepean. (OC Transpo #166)
Central Experimental Farm
The Driveway at Maple Drive
Canada’s largest urban working farm and research station for central Canada, with over 500 hectares (1200 acres). The Experimental Farm was established in 1886, and is the headquarters of Agriculture Canada. The farm has animal barns, an arboretum, and ornamental gardens, and is also home to the Canadian Agricultural Museum. (OC Transpo #3,6,85, 99)
Commissioners Park (Dow’s Lake)
Carling Avenue @ Queen Elizabeth Driveway
This park is home to the Dow’s lake boathouse, with food concessions and restaurants, and is especially popular during the Tulip Festival in May, and the Winterlude winter carnival in February. (OC Transpo #6, 85,99)
Elgin St @Laurier Ave
This park, across the street from the New City Hall, is the site of major events like Winterlude, the Jazz Festival, Canada Day, and other celebrations throughout the year. The fountain here once stood in Trafalgar Square in London, England. (OC Transpo #3, 5,6,8,14,85,86,87,95,97)
Carling Avenue at Prescott Street
This lake was created during the construction of the Rideau Canal, to cover a former swamp with navigable water. Its proximity to Confederation park, the Central Experimental Farm., and of course the Dow’s Lake Boathouse make it a fun spot for picnickers and boat lovers. You can rent canoes and pedal boats in summer, skates and sleighs in winter. (OC Transpo #3, 6, 85,99)
Festival Plaza & Confederation Park
Laurier Avenue @ Elgin Street
This outdoor park is host to many of the city’s festivals, and lies across the street form the new city hall. (OC Transpo 1 to 97)
Garden of the Provinces
Wellington Street at Bay St
Across from the National Library and National Archives, commemorates the union of ten provinces and the territories with their flags, bronze plaques featuring the provincial flowers, and a symbolic fountain overlooking LeBreton Flats and the start of the Ottawa River Parkway. Also on the south end of the park are two historic churches. Park is dramatically lit at night. Open 24 hours.
Hog’s Back Falls
Hogs Back Road at Colonel By Drive
A this point, the Rideau Canal passes through the first locks in Ottawa, with a swing bridge to enable sailing boats to pass under the roadway. The water held by to create Mooney’s Back tumbles over rocks toward Carleton University, just down river. The falls are especially spectacular during spring runoff. Hogs Back Park and nearby Vincent Massey Park are popular picnic spots.
Jacques Cartier Park
Rue Laurier (Hull)
Located in Hull, between the InterprovincialBridge and the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, this park has great views of downtown’s Nepean Point and the Rideau Falls. Also a popular festival events location. The Outaouais Tourism office is kitty-corner, and the Canada Museum of Civilization is just across the street, Recreational pathways connect to Leamy Lake and the Gatineau River. (OC Transpo #8, STO #31, 67, 77)
Leamy Lake Ecological Park and Archaeological Site
Leamy Lake Parkway, accessed from Boulevard Maissoneuve (Hull)
This park lies where the Gatineau River meets the Ottawa River. This was a popular stopping-off point for first nations peoples as well s the voyageurs (fur traders), which is being unearthed by archaeologists at a dig site in the park, The park also has a lake with swimming, windsurfing and concession stand. Across from Leamy Lake beach is the New Casino de Hull. (STO #67, 77)
Major’s Hill Park
Mackenzie Avenue behind the Chateau Laurier Hotel
This is the city’s oldest park, and was developed in 1874, to exploit its view of the Parliament Buildings, and is the site of the noon gun, fired daily off Nepean Point, as well as the Astrolabe Theatre. (OC Transpo #1-97)
Mer Bleue Conservation Area
Anderson Rd, off Innes Rd (Gloucester)
This unique parkland is a peat bog, more typical of Canada’s north, but just to the southeast of the city.
New Edinburgh Park
Corner of Stanley Ave & Dufferin Rd
This peaceful natural park on the eastern Bank of the Rideau River has plenty of wildlife, including blue herons, muskrats, turtles and butterflies, In the winter, there is an outdoor skating rink.
Pine Grove Forest
Hunt Club Rd @Conroy Rd (Gloucester)
This 12 square kilometre urban forest, managed by the National Capital Commission(NCC), combines natural and planted forest offers wide and level trails for hiking.
Sussex Drive at Stanley Avenue
The Rideau River, just having passed Ottawa’s old city hall (now the Canada and the World Pavillion), tumbles into the Ottawa River, cascading over a dramatic sheer waterfall. On June 4th 1613, explorer Samuel de Champlain named the river for the French word for curtain, “Rideau.” The viewing spot provides great photographic opportunities not just for the Rideau Falls but of the Leamy Lake Ecological Park and the Gatineau River on the opposite Quebec shore. (OC Transpo #3)
Rockcliffe Parkway @ Princess Avenue, 3 km east of Parliament Hill (Rockcliffe)
This park is just east of Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s residence, and snakes along for 3 kilometres above the Ottawa River. The western portion includes the Rockcliffe Lookout, and is home to the Canoe Club and the RA Sailing Club. The eastern portion is home to the NCC Rockieries, a splendid rock garden, and is adjacent to the RCMP Training Centre (where they train the participants for the world famous Musical Ride). The surrounding community is home to many of Ottawa’s business elite (including Corel’s Michael Cowpland), and many of the ambassadors’ official residences (identified by the flags of their respective countries)
Stony Swamp Conservation Area
Moodie Drive @ Knoxdale Road (Nepean)
This Greenbelt park in the city’s west end is known for its wildlife, sheltered by the Area’s swamps, forest, fields and ponds. There are 38 kilometres of hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing trails. These trails connect into the Rideau Trail system, which continues all the way to Kingston.
Range Rd @Laurier Avenue East
This inner city park is on the east edge of Sandy hill residential district alongside the peaceful Rideau River. This park has a children’s wading pool, a playground, and benches under the mature trees. A great spot for watching the city’s Royal Swans on the river. The park also features concrete castle ruins, along with statues f rabbits, pigs and various other animals.
This trail passes through the Ottawa area, moving from Stittsville in the city’s western countryside to the Ottawa River Parkway, to Hull, and then up the Gatineau River to historic Wakefield Quebec. There are two pavilions marking the trail, one in Jacques Cartier Park (Hull) and one by the Portage Bridge.
Vincent Massey Park
Heron Rd (west of Riverside Drive), 7 km south of downtown
613-733-7704 for reservations
This park, just north of Hog’s Back Park & Mooney’s Bay, is ideal for events involving large groups. It has hundreds of picnic tables, fireplaces, softball fields, horseshoe pits, a bandstand, recreational paths, a concession stand and washrooms. Parking fee of $4 is charged from May to October. (OC Transpo #87, 111, 118, 140 ,146, 175)