We lived in Ottawa for 2.5 years and we absolutely loved it! I especially loved friendly and quite neighborhood and very welcoming community. If you are an expat in Ottawa, you will definitely enjoy your stay. Our daughter was just 2 months when we moved to Ottawa and I was amazed with the nature, parks, playgrounds for kids and all the comfort for moms :)) Honestly, I still miss our life in Ottawa.
I’m not sure if one post would be enough to tell you about lovely Ottawa, but let’s start. Today I would like to share with you parks and places to go for a walk or just hang around with kids.
- Commonwealth Park
This is a nice park at downtown Ottawa where you can stroll around your baby, take a cup of coffee or just read a book enjoying beautiful weather. I will tell you more about weather in another post, be ready for a freezing cold in winter. But if you happened to be in Ottawa from May to October then, it’s perfect time to be outside. Commonwealth Park is on the cross roads of Elgin street and Laurier avenue. It’s not a big park, but I used to spend lots of time in this park. There’s usually held Jazz Festival in summer and Winterlude in winter.
- Dundonald Park
This is a nice park to play around with kids and pets. It’s on Somerset street crossing with Lyon or Percy streets. It’s also a center-town park. There are held some community activities on weekends like yoga, painting, charity events etc. You can check the Center-town Community Center for more events.
- Major’s Hill Park
One of my favorite places in Ottawa. It’s a very green park right behind the Fairmont Hotel. It has a perfect view to Parliament and Ottawa river. You can make picnics or just stroll around. There’s a Tulip Festival every May in Ottawa and this park is the perfect place to enjoy the fresh tulips. You can also visit National Gallery and Notre Dame Cathedral of Ottawa in that area, they are right across the street from the park. They are all situated on Sussex street.
- Walking along the Rideau Canal
Rideau Canal is making a big circle connecting Rideau River with Ottawa River. It’s used as open-air rink for skating in winter when it’s frozen. The frozen Rideau Canal is the longest open-air rink in the world and it’s really a great fun to skate or sleigh on the canal in winter. It’s the best winter entertainment in Ottawa. But from Spring to Fall it’s perfect to walk or cycle along the canal. I used to stroll with my daughter along this canal every day enjoying the landscape.
- Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau
It’s a host for the winter fun activities and a very peaceful place in summer. Though it’s on Quebec side of Ottawa, it’s very easy to get there from downtown. It’s close to the National History Museum of Ottawa, where you can find Kids Museum also. If you take a walk around the History Museum don’t forget to take a picture on a small square behind the museum close to the bridge with the beautiful view of parliament and river.
- Rideau Falls Park
Rideau Falls is one of the places that you should visit while being in Ottawa. If you are headed from the downtown, it’s on your left side on Sussex street. You can watch the waterfall and cross the road on Sussex street for another peaceful park for strolling, jogging or just walking around. The park is at the river bank and very quiet place with a kids’ playground. By the way, Sussex street is one of my favorite streets, there are embassies, parks, museums and a tremendous view of the river. You can just take a ride on this street to have gorgeous views.
- Mooney’s Bay
The best beach of Ottawa is on Mooney’s Bay park. It’s also very hard to find a parking spot here as it’s always crowded in summer. You can take a bus or come earlier to grab a spot J. The beach is very clean, lots of playgrounds and warm sand. Perfect place to go on a summer day. There are many other activities in winter too, but I loved it in summer.
- Vincent Massey Park
If you walk around 1.5 km from Mooney’s Bay you will reach Vincent Massey Park. Our favorite barbeque spot! There are lots of barbeques and tables to have a great picnic and have an outdoor activity with kids. We used to organize picnics here pretty often with our friends. While my husband and friends were trying to make “kabob” on barbeque I used to walk along the river with my daughter trying to put her to sleep in the stroller J. What can be better than eating fresh kabob, summer veggies and greens with the sunshine, river running peacefully and birds tweeting. Uh, fun times!