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Getting around Ottawa

Public transport

OC Transpo (tel: +1 613 741 4390; www.octranspo.com) provides public transport in Ottawa in modern single and articulated buses, including a rapid transit system that uses Transitway dedicated bus lanes and roadways for fast service around town. You can use transfer tickets to travel on both the light rail O-Train (operated by OC Transpo) and buses. Day passes and books of discounted tickets are available. You can also use a reloadable PRESTO smartcard.

OC Transpo is integrated with Gatineau's public transit system across the river in Québec, allowing for efficient transportation in the whole Ottawa-Gatineau region. The intercity bus service offers hourly departures to Montreal, and several daily commutes to Toronto.


Numerous taxi companies serve the Ottawa area, including BlueLine Taxi (tel: +1 613 238 1111) and Capital Taxi (tel: +1 613 744 3333). They are easy to hail downtown.


It's easy to get around by public transport. If you are driving however, on-street metered parking and city-run car parks are free at weekends. Otherwise, pay-and-display machines accept coins and credit cards.

Car hire

The main car hire companies include Avis (tel: +1 613 238 3421; www.avis.ca), Budget (tel: +1 613 232 1527; www.budget.ca) and Thrifty (tel: +1 613 238 8000; www.thrifty.com). Drivers must be over 21 years of age and carry a valid driver's licence from any country.

Bicycle hire

Ottawa is a cyclist's dream city, with several hundred kilometres of cycle paths up and down challenging hills and past scenic bluffs, river views and gardens. Pick up a map of bike paths at any of the numerous shops hiring or selling bicycles. Many OC Transpo buses have bicycle racks on the front and only charge a cyclist the regular passenger fare.

RentABike, Plaza Bridge, East Arch, 2 Rideau Street (tel: +1 613 241 4140; www.rentabike.ca) hires out a variety of bikes including tandems and trail-a-bikes.

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels


Fairmont Château Laurier

Reminiscent of a French chateau exuding old world elegance and luxury, the historic Château Laurier is a favoured destination of dignitaries and celebrities. Ideally located next to the Parliament Buildings, the hotel has 426 newly renovated rooms filled with antiques, three restaurants, a business centre and a spectacular art deco swimming pool.

The Metcalfe Hotel

A serene oasis in the heart of the city, this brand new boutique hotel, formerly Hotel Indigo, features soaring skylights, cool colours, running water and scents that change with the season. Plush bedding, hardwood floors, spa-inspired showers, indoor pool, high-speed internet and an adjoining gourmet, fast and casual restaurant provide for every need.

Rideau Inn

This Edwardian home offers budget accommodation amid elegant surroundings. There are 10 classically furnished rooms, some of which have ensuite bathrooms; a smart dining area for breakfasts and a cute decked area for a drink in the summer. The inn is located in a leafy downtown residential neighbourhood known as the Golden Triangle close to lively Elgin Street, home to restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs.

Econo Lodge Downtown

The Econo Lodge Downtown offers air-conditioned rooms, some of which feature fridges, microwaves and whirlpool baths. Free continental breakfasts and internet access are offered. The lodge itself is close to Parliament Hill, the Royal Canadian Mint, the National Arts Centre and the National Gallery of Canada.


Nestled in Ottawa's Silicon Valley North, this boutique hotel overlooks the Marshes Golf Club, cross-country ski trails and jogging paths. Relax in spacious, sleekly elegant rooms, dine in two upscale contemporary restaurants or soak up the pampering at the Naturel Wellness Spa.

Avalon Bed and Breakfast

This simple but friendly B&B is located close to major attractions and bistros, cafes and restaurants. It offers three rooms plus a spacious, two-room suite on the third floor. Parking is available and a full breakfast is included.