Are you planning a trip to Ottawa? It’s a beautiful city to visit in any season, for its architecture and its parks. While developing our Ottawa Tourist Scavenger Hunt, we identified many public squares and parks in Ottawa that bring charm and history to this city.
7 Squares and Parks in Ottawa
- Confederation Park
- Confederation Park opened in 1967 to commemorate the centennial of the Canadian Confederation. Other monuments can be found in this park, including one for Aboriginal veterans, as well as the fountain in honor of Colonel By, founder of ByTown which became Ottawa.
- Confederation Park presents several monuments, sculptures, a totem, and a fountain. There are several festivals and events presented here each year.
- Confederation Place
- This triangular park is at the intersection of Elgin on the east and west, and Wellington on the north. In the center is the Canadian War Memorial with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. King George VI dedicated this monument named Response in 1939.
- It originally commemorated fallen Canadians from the Great War (1914-1918). In 1982, we further honored soldiers from the Second World War (1939-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953). Then in 2014, we also honored those who participated in the Boer War (1899-1902) and in Afghanistan (2001-2014).
- The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier appeared in 2000 in front of the memorial.
- Trans-Canadian Trail
- It is a walking trail along the Ottawa River. In fact, this network of recreational trails is the longest in the world, covering 23,000 km joining the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans. It started in 1992, on the 125th anniversary of Canada.
- Napean Point
- Napean Point is located on the Ontario point where the Alexandra Bridge runs from Ottawa to Gatineau, behind the National Arts Galery.
- You can see here a few large art installations from the National Arts Galery.
- Near the summit, you’ll find one of the original bronze border marker posts located on the 45th parallel between the Canada-United States border. New border markers are made of granite.
- On the summit, the grand statue of Samuel de Champlain is unmistakable. He explored and mapped the Ottawa River to the site of Ottawa in 1613. It is located where Samuel de Champlain took his solar observations during his 1615 expedition.
- Rideau Canal
- The Rideau Canal’s construction began in 1832 under the direction of Colonel By, who simultaneously founded Ottawa, called Bytown then. It connects the Ottawa River in Ottawa to the St. Lawrence River in Kingston, 202 kilometers away. Its original purpose was to transport logs to Kingston for ship-building to prevent a war against the United States, which never happened.
- Today it mainly serves pleasure boaters in the summer and ice-skaters in the winter. It is the oldest lock system, in continuous operation in North America.
- Major’s Hill Park
- Major’s Hill Park is located behind the Chateau Laurier hotel, between the Rideau Canal and Mackenzie Avenue.
- In this park, you’ll find statues of Colonel By, Major Bolton who succeeded him, after whom this park is named, and their successors in establishing this town.
- At one end of the park, near the National Arts Gallery, is the Tavern on the Hill where you can have a drink on the terrace while enjoying the awesome view of Parliament Hill.
- Jacques-Cartier Park
- Located in Gatineau, on the edge of the Ottawa River between the Alexandra and Macdonald-Cartier bridges, Jacques-Cartier Park presents the Mosaïcultures exhibition in 2018 – grand sculptures made with living plants.
- Established in 1933, this park covers 22 hectares. On the grounds is House Charron, built in 1826. You can see the National Arts Gallery and Parliament Hill from it.
We invite you to try our Ottawa Tourist Scavenger Hunt. It is a 2-hour self-guided walking tour of the downtown area that you do with your smartphone (how it works). It costs $35 for a group of 2 to 6 persons. You’ll come across most of these parks and plazas. Moreover, you’ll enjoy solving the various challenges at each step of the way while learning the history of Ottawa.