City Cruising: Staying Active in Lockdown (Ontario)
Under the current provincial stay-at-home order, outdoor exercise is permitted. Recognizing the importance of safely enjoying healthy outdoor exercise, we have compiled a few routes across the city along NCC pathways and parkways that are easily accessible and safe for users. The following routes are ideal for all cyclists, experienced and novice alike— the routes remain pretty flat and can be accessed from one's local pathway/ parkway entry points, or from the highlighted NCC parking spaces, listed below. Please note, the NCC is requesting the public to follow public health directives, as well as its preventative measures, at all times; more information can be found here. Additionally, these are just recommended routes to stay active under what is currently permitted under recent frameworks, for up-to-date COVID-19 guidelines, click here.
East End Cruising
With beautiful views of the Ottawa River, it is clear why so many from around the city enjoy riding out here. These routes highlighted are ideal for those living in Ottawa East, whether you prefer riding along the city's multi-use pathways, some adventure, or even some light gravel, there's a little for everyone's preferences. Additionally, the 8km parkway between the Aviation Museum and St-Joseph Blvd. is now closed to motorists daily from 8am-4pm.
This route starts out of Green's Creek Toboggan Hill (P26), the route is mainly on NCC and city dedicated bike lanes, in addition to multi-use pathways. Please note, the section between Ogilvie and Innes are on the roadways which are not along multi-use pathways.
This route is ideal for those who live in the East end who want to be more immersed in nature. Starting out of P23 Dewberry Trail's parking lot, the beginning of the Prescott Russel Trail is only a 2km bike ride away from the parking lot; the ride loops back to the parking lot around the city's perimeter.
Starting out of P8 (just off of the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway), takes you along a scenic route to see the National Art Gallery of Canada. This route is along NCC bike lanes and multi-use pathways throughout.
Between beautiful views of the Rideau falls, scenic river views from the pathways, and more while being incredibly accessible, these routes sure pack a punch! While the starting point for these routes are the NCC's parking lots around Hog's Back Fall's, they remain easily accessible for those who live close to the pathways. To note, a 2.4km section of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway is closed to motor vehicle circulation between 9am to 5pm.
Starting out from the parking lot near the Hog's Back Fall's, the route takes you up towards downtown's Major's Hill park through riding along one side of the canal riding up. Turning back once reaching Major's Hill park, the route takes you back to Hog's Back on the other side of the canal! This loop of the canal is planned exclusively along the city's multi-use pathways.
West End Cruising
Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about all of you West end folks! While the West end is quite large, we have attempted to make routes for the major identified Western regions within the city's boundaries. These routes are ideal for anyone living out in the West end wanting to get out and try a different route or who are perhaps unsure which routes are safer and more ideal for riding. While the multi-use pathways in the West end aren't fully interconnected, we have attempted to select lower traffic routes or roads with wide shoulders/ bike lanes to accommodate this. Additionally, a 9km section of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway has been closed to motor vehicle traffic from 8am to 4pm.
This route starts out of the NCC's Remic Rapids parking lot. Looping around Centrepoint, Craig Henry, Carlington Woods, and the Bayshore regions along the city's multi-use pathways, this route is sure to pack a punch! Additionally, the route is pretty flat and easily accessible, so it is ideal for anyone at any age and skill level!
Starting off from an NCC parking lot around Crystal Bay, this route loops you around Bells Corner's and Kanata mainly through multi-use pathways. The sections along roads ways highlighted are either bike friendly or have bike lanes.
This route is ideal for those who live around Centrepoint or Barrhaven. The route starting out of Britannia beach, takes you down to Barrhaven through a mix of multi-use pathways and roads with wide shoulders or cycling lanes. Similarly, once looping back to Britannia from Barrhaven, the roads that will take you to the pathway sections follow roads that are bike-friendly.