Ottawa’s Green Spaces: A Guide to Parks and Gardens

Ottawa, Canada’s capital, is celebrated not only for its historical significance and cultural richness but also for its dedication to preserving green spaces within the urban landscape. This guide invites you to discover the serene parks, lush gardens, and scenic natural areas that contribute to Ottawa’s reputation as a green and environmentally friendly city.

Gatineau Park: The Great Outdoors at Your Doorstep

Nature’s Playground

Just a short drive from downtown Ottawa, Gatineau Park offers over 361 square kilometers of woodlands, lakes, and trails. Whether it’s hiking, cycling, or skiing, this park provides a perfect escape into nature for all seasons.

The Rideau Canal: A Linear Park in the City

Ottawa’s Historic Waterway

The Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, doubles as a linear park running through the heart of the city. Its banks are a popular spot for walking, jogging, and cycling, offering picturesque views and a peaceful retreat from city life.

Major’s Hill Park: A Historic Landscape

Beauty and History Intertwined

Overlooking the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal, Major’s Hill Park is one of Ottawa’s oldest public parks, offering not only lush landscapes but also a panoramic view of the parliamentary precinct and the Ottawa skyline.

The Dominion Arboretum: A Living Museum of Trees

Botanical Diversity on Display

Located within the Central Experimental Farm, the Dominion Arboretum covers about 26 hectares and houses a diverse collection of trees and shrubs, including rare and experimental species. It’s a place for leisurely walks and botanical education.

Commissioners Park: The Tulip Festival’s Home

Colorful Blooms by Dow’s Lake

Commissioners Park is best known for its stunning display of over 300,000 tulips during the Canadian Tulip Festival in May. The park’s meticulously landscaped beds also feature annual and perennial flowers throughout the growing season.

Andrew Haydon Park: Riverside Tranquility

A Park by the River

Situated along the Ottawa River, Andrew Haydon Park is an ideal spot for picnics, bird watching, and enjoying sunsets over the water. Its pathways and scenic views make it a favorite among photographers and families.

Exploring Ottawa’s Urban Oasis

Ottawa’s commitment to green spaces enriches the city’s urban environment, offering both residents and visitors a chance to experience nature’s tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle. These parks and gardens are not just spaces for recreation and relaxation but also crucial habitats for wildlife, contributing to biodiversity and environmental sustainability.