Ottawa Biking

Ottawa Biking

This is the page for all things to do with Ottawa Biking. The city of Ottawa is big on "going green". As we become more environmentally-conscious, it’s little wonder that the City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission have consistently promoted cycling in the Capital Region. Some things that are available in the Ottawa area for example, include: Alcatel-Lucent Sunday Bikedays, the Capital Bixi programme, over 200 kilometers of bike trails, bike shops, bike rentals, Google bike maps, and OC Transpo buses with bike racks.


Alcatel-Lucent has put together a beautiful biking map and brochure with a clear outline of the biking trails available to those in the Ottawa area. Click here to see the pdf version of the cycling capital map and brochure.


During the summer, the National Capital Commission encourages Ottawa biking on parkways in Ottawa and Gatineau Park.

Every Sunday morning, from Victoria Day weekend to Labour Day, over 50 kilometers of parkways along the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River in Ottawa and in Gatineau Park are emptied of cars, and reserved for cyclists, in-line skaters, runners and walkers.


The Ottawa River Parkway

Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Length: 5.5 kilometers

The westbound lanes of the Ottawa River Parkway (on the south side of the Ottawa River, west of downtown) are closed to car traffic from Vimy Place (Canadian War Museum) to Carling Avenue.

Colonel By Drive

Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Length: 7.6 kilometers

Both lanes of Colonel By Drive, (on the east side of the Rideau Canal) are closed to traffic from Laurier to the Hog’s Back Bridge.

Rockcliffe Parkway

Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Length: 8.4 kilometers

Both lanes of the Rockcliffe Parkway, (on the south side of the Ottawa River, east of downtown) are closed to car traffic from the Aviation Parkway to St. Joseph Boulevard in Orleans.


Gatineau Park

Time: 6 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Length: 27 kilometers

The Gatineau, Champlain and Fortune Parkways are closed to car traffic. If you enjoy steep hills, this is the destination for you!

Time: 6 a.m. – 1 p.m.

North of Meech Lake Road is ideal for families with young children. Use parking lot P8 to access this section.



If you’re looking for an interesting way to incorporate biking into your downtown routine, Capital BIXI is a public bike system that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from April to November. There are 25 stations (17 in Ottawa and 8 in Gatineau) scattered approximately 500 meters apart with 250 bikes in operation. There are plans to implement 50 stations with 500 bikes at a later date.


Please check their website for the most up-to-date pricing and for a in-depth explanation of their pricing structure. I only include a (very general) explanation of their plan here.

Using the Capital Bixi system involves two types of fees: 1) system access and 2) usage and other fees
For system access, they have four available package/subscription types: one-year subscription, 30-day subscription, 72-hour access and 24-hour access (all for under $100). The payment of these fees gives you access to their system. The second part of the fees, the usage and other fees, are charged for the block of time that you have their bikes out. These are charged in blocks of 30 minutes.


5 Hawthorne Avenue (at the Pretoria Bridge)

Cyco’s is an Ottawa biking store that provides year-round sales, service and rentals of bikes, inline and ice skates. They are located next to the Rideau Canal, at 5 Hawthorne Avenue (at the Pretoria Bridge). Their hours are Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Bikes and rollerblades are available for rent. Bike styles include: hybrids, mountain bikes, road bikes, tandems, child trailers, and trail-a-bikes. Bike rentals also include a helmet and bicycle lock. Prices start from $8 an hour.

Skate rentals include all sizes of men’s and ladies’ skates (recreational soft boot style, hockey skates and figure skates), toboggan and Bob skates for kids.


Plaza Bridge, East Arch
2 Rideau Street (by Colonel By Drive)

Open April – June (9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
July – August (9:00 a.m. – 7 p.m.)
September – October (9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

Rentabike by the Rideau Canal offers bike rentals that start at $9 per hour. They also offer add-on trailers and a variety of bike styles from Pathway Comfort, Tandem, Off Road, to Road bikes. A neat service they offer is Ottawa biking tours: escorted tours for youth + adults that take between 1.5 hours – 4 hours and cover the Rideau Canal, Ottawa River, Rockcliffe, or Gatineau Park. They are also happy to offer options for self-guided tours and routes. New bicycles are introduced each spring and are backed by a constant and thorough maintenance program. In the fall, this is a great place to purchase used bikes. They also offer sales and service during the season.


In addition to the Capital Cycling map and brochure mentioned above, try out this cool new feature for Ottawa biking paths available on Google!

  1. Go to
  2. Type in "downtown Ottawa, Ontario" into the Search Maps box
  3. Move your mouse over the "Traffic box" inside the map
  4. Click on "Bicycling"

Voila! Instant access to Ottawa biking paths, routes that are friendly to cyclists, and roads with minimal hills!


OC Transpo does its part to try and keep Ottawa biking alive. 350 of our city’s buses are installed with bicycle racks on the front. The bike racks are available for about six months each year–they are removed from the buses by October 31st.

According to OC Tranpo’s website, racks are installed on the front of most buses (including articulated buses) servicing routes: 12, 85, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 101, 106, and 110.

Follow this link to read more about their bike policy. (Opens in a new window).

There is no additional cost for bringing your bike on your OC Transpo ride (just regular bus rate applies). Their website also has some tips on how this works.

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