1. Major’s Hill Park GardensLocation: Major’s Hill Park Address: 1 Rideau St., Ottawa ON K1N 8S7 Services for Visitors: Parking $ Nearby – Bicycle Racks – Wheelchair Accessible – Child Friendly – Dog Friendly (on leash) – Tavern on the Hill& Eating Areas Description: The park is a calm oasis in downtown Ottawa, and the perfect spot to take a break between visits to the ByWard Market and nearby museums and galleries. This park features some of the best lookouts in Ottawa, offering stunning views of the Ottawa Locks on the Rideau Canal, the Ottawa River, and the Parliament Buildings. Major’s Hill Park is the Capital’s first park, used as such since 1826 when the building of the Rideau Canal began. In 1867, fireworks and bonfires in the park marked the Capital’s first Canada Day celebrations. It was formally established as a park in 1875. Also, in the park, Tavern on the Hill, a seasonal outdoor canteen, patio, cocktail lounge, and ice cream shop that offers up locally sourced food. Major’s Hill Park covers 5.06 hectares of land across from the Embassy of the United States of America on Mackenzie Avenue in Ottawa. The park is located between the National Gallery of Canada to the north and the Fairmont Château Laurier to the south.
2. Confederation Park GardensLocation: Confederation Park Address: Laurier Ave W & Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5J2 Services for Visitors: Parking $ nearby – Bicycle Racks – Wheelchair Accessible – Child Friendly – NCC Bistro – Moulin de Provence & Eating Areas Description: The park hosts Winterlude activities, Canada Day celebrations, and the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. When not being used for events, Confederation Park is an urban oasis away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Ottawa. Located at the corner of Elgin Street and Laurier Avenue, Confederation Park occupies an area of 2.63 hectares. The park opened in 1967 as part of Canada’s centennial celebrations, and today is a popular feature of Confederation Boulevard, the Capital’s ceremonial, and discovery route. Confederation Park hosts several sculptures and monuments, like the South African War Memorial, the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument, and the memorial fountain honoring Colonel By, which stood for nearly a century in Trafalgar Square in London, England.
3. Manulife GardenLocation: Manulife Place, corner of Metcalfe St. and Queen St. Address: 55 Metcalfe St, Ottawa, ON K1A 1M5 Services for Visitors: Parking $ – Moulin de Provence, kitty-corner Description: Serene corner garden in the heart of downtown Ottawa. Beautifully tended plants as well as sculptures and benches for you to be able to sit down and enjoy this urban oasis.
4. Sparks Street Container GardensLocation: Sparks Street (K1P 5B7) Services for Visitors: Parking $ nearby – Washrooms nearby – Wheelchair Accessible – Child Friendly – Café and Eating Areas Description: Sparks Street, just a block from Parliament Hill, has been turned into a pedestrian mall, lined with shops, restaurants – and in the summer, beautiful container gardens and hanging flower baskets. As North America’s first Pedestrian Promenade, Sparks Street has evolved significantly as a year-round pedestrian-friendly destination with special events, boutique retail, dining, entertainment, arts, and culture.
5. Bank of Canada Plaza GardensLocation: exterior of Bank of Canada (corner of Bank St. and Wellington St.) Address: 30 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G9 Services for Visitors: Parking $ nearby/Street Parking – Washrooms in Bank of Canada Museum– Wheelchair Accessible – Child Friendly – Eating Areas Description: The Bank invested significantly in public spaces as part of the recent renewal of its head office. The Bank of Canada plaza is prominently located along the ceremonial and discovery route called “Confederation Boulevard.” The plaza was redesigned to improve accessibility, safety, and functional qualities. It now serves as a vibrant, outdoor presentation space – landscaped with bleacher-style seating and greenery – where residents, visitors, and Bank employees can gather and enjoy the outdoors. The plaza was originally built as part of the Bank’s renovations in the 1970s, under the direction of renowned architect Arthur Erickson. However, Erickson’s original vision for this outdoor space was never fully realized. The new iteration, completed by architectural firm Perkins + Will in 2016, was influenced by the Canada Pavilion designed by Erickson for the Osaka World Expo in 1970. The dark bronze metal and angled glass of the three pyramid structures are inspired by the glass towers of the Bank’s head office, while the green-black granite (sourced from Quebec) is a nod to Erickson’s original design for the plaza. Lastly, two glass columns add visual interest and night lighting.
6. Minto Vertical GardenLocation: Minto Place Address: 355 Slater St, Ottawa, ON K1A 0S4 Services for Visitors: Parking $ – Wheelchair Accessible – Child-Friendly – Café and Eating Areas Description: Minto Place is the primary shopping centre in downtown Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. The architect wanted to give the living wall a strong, interesting look for all building employees and visitors to enjoy. The Green Wall design from the architects features unique rectangular shapes filled with similar plants of different colours. The rectilinear areas incorporated stainless steel separators that framed each section like a piece of art. It contains low-light plants because the atrium’s skylight did not provide much (especially in winter). Installed: February 2010. Size: 512 square feet. Architect: Queens Quay Architects. Plant Designer: Queens Quay Architects, Plant Selection by GSKY.
7. Garden of the Provinces and TerritoriesLocation: Wellington Street at, Bay St, Ottawa, ON Address: Wellington Street west of Bay Street, Ottawa | Bounded by Wellington Street to the north and west, Bay Street to the east, Sparks Street to the south Services for Visitors: Street Parking – Partially Wheelchair Accessible – Child-Friendly – Dog Friendly (on leash) – Tulip Restaurant at the Hilton Garden Inn across the street and other Café nearby and Eating Areas Description: This garden commemorates the union of Canada’s provinces and territories. Its design includes a mixture of long-flowering and strong-stemmed perennials, as well as ornamental grasses, mimicking the landscape of the prairies, the tundra, and rocky shorelines of Canada’s coasts. It is one of Canada’s foremost Modernist landscapes. Designed in 1960 by landscape architect Donald W. Graham (1930-2017), the Garden of the Provinces was created to celebrate the provinces of Confederation in anticipation of Canada’s centennial year. In 2005, it became known as the Garden of the Provinces and Territories. The Garden is composed of two parts: a one-acre park of formal terraces and plantings at the corner of Sparks and Bay streets, and an adjacent 4-acre park with a picturesque landscape of lawns and plantings sloping westward.