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The ultimate Ottawa cycling guide

A bike locked to a rack at the University of Ottawa campus. Photo by Devyn Barrie/Flickr.

With an expansive network of routes, pathways and lanes operated by the City of Ottawa and National Capital Commission, and with a strong community base for it, Ottawa is very much a cycling city.

While it’s possible to bike through the winter — something more people than you think do in Ottawa — spring is definitely the most popular time of the year to start hitting the road and pathways. So, get the tires pumped up and have fun!

Additions or corrections? Please contact us.

Maps and route planning

The City of Ottawa and National Capital Commission operate their own paths, routes, lanes etc.

  • The official biking network map is posted on the city’s website as a very large PDF download. You can also get a printed brochure at city client service centres.
  • You can also see stuff the City of Ottawa operates on geoOttawa, including recommended routes outlined in yellow when you enable the cycling network layer.
  • Here’s another city map (and dataset) for all trails, pathways and lanes for both the city and NCC, within the municipal boundary.
  • The NCC has a really useful map with over 800 kilometres of cycling, including its own trails as well as the City of Ottawa, Ville de Gatineau, Outaouais Tourism and Ottawa Tourism.
  • Bike Ottawa has a planner that can help you find a route based on your skill and comfort level.

Major routes

  • The Trans-Canada Trail is the major bike pathway network that connects west Ottawa through downtown.
  • The NCC’s 236-kilometre pathway network is known as the Capital Pathway.
  • NCC: Cycling in Gatineau Park and the Greenbelt.
  • NCC: Cycling in The Greenbelt.
  • Richmond Road has on-road bike lanes between Carling and Ancaster Avenues. There’s also a multi-use pathway (MUP) in the Byron Linear Park along the same corridor, between Woodland and Golden Avenues.
  • Laurier Avenue offers a cross-downtown route via separated bike lanes between Bronson and Elgin Streets. The corridor continues with regular bike lanes across the Mackenzie King Bridge, north on Cumberland and then continuing east via either Stewart or Wilbrod Street. The lanes end in the east at Cobourg Street.
  • A continuous corridor with regular bike lanes on O’Connor Street begins at 1st Avenue, then switches to separated lanes that run from Pretoria to Laurier.
  • Bike lanes on Mackenzie King Avenue and Sussex Drive are widely used.

Bikes on transit

The Rack and Roll program sees every bus equipped with a bike rack annually from late spring to fall. During the winter, only the double-decker buses have bike racks. OC Transpo notes that the bike racks cannot accommodate fat tire bikes.

You can also roll your bike onto the O-Train Line 1 using the specially-marked bike boarding zone at the first car.

Here is a list of transit stations with bike parking, via the City of Ottawa:

  • Baseline
  • Bayshore
  • Bayview
  • Billings Bridge
  • Blair
  • Canadian Tire Centre
  • Carleton
  • Carp Park & Ride
  • Chapel Hill
  • Cyrville
  • Dominion
  • Eagleson
  • Fallowfield
  • Greenboro
  • Hurdman
  • Innovation
  • Iris
  • Jeanne d’Arc
  • Lees
  • Leitrim
  • Lincoln Fields
  • Lyon
  • Marketplace
  • Millennium
  • Nepean Woods
  • Parliament
  • Pimisi
  • Place d’Orleans
  • Pleasant Park
  • Queensway
  • Rideau
  • Riverview
  • South Keys
  • St-Laurent
  • Strandherd
  • Terry Fox
  • Tremblay
  • Trim
  • Tunney’s Pasture
  • uOttawa
  • Westboro

Get a bike

Here’s a few ideas where you can buy or rent a bike.

Cycling groups

More info