Multi-use pathways in the Capital

Canada’s Capital Region is home to the Capital Pathway network, one of the largest in North America. More than 600 kilometres of multi-use paths link superb natural areas, parks, gardens, museums and attractions.

The NCC manages 236 kilometres of these pathways, which extend from Gatineau Park, through Ottawa and into the Greenbelt. The network links the Capital to hundreds of locations across Canada via the Trans Canada Trail, which will extend to 24,000 kilometres by 2017. The pathways in the Outaouais are also part of the 5,300-kilometre Route verte network.

Pathways Map

Getting around

The Capital Pathway network, which is great for many activities such as cyclingwalking, running and in-line skating, is marked on the following map.

Launch the Interactive Map

The NEW Ottawa–Gatineau Cycling Map is now available.

This map is brought to you by the NCC, in partnership with the City of Ottawa, the Ville de Gatineau, Outaouais Tourism and Ottawa Tourism. 

  • at one of the bulletin boards along the Capital Pathway network
  • at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre (33 Scott Road, Chelsea)
  • at the Capital Information Kiosk (90 Wellington Street, Ottawa, across from Parliament Hill)
  • at the Maison du tourisme (103 Laurier Street, Gatineau, across from the Canadian Museum of History)
  • at Ottawa City Hall (110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa), or at one of the City of Ottawa’s Client Service Centres
  • at the welcome desk of the Maison du citoyen (25 Laurier Street, Gatineau), or at a Ville de Gatineau client service centre or public library. 

Universal accessibility

Most of the pathways are accessible for people with impaired mobility. However, other than the paths along the Ottawa River, the Gatineau side of the network is very hilly and is therefore not recommended.

Safety and the pathway patrol

The Capital Pathway is shared by many users, and very popular for commuting to work. Keep the paths safe by following the rules for courtesy and safety on the pathways:

  • Share the paths by keeping to the right so that other users can pass.
  • Obey the speed limit of 20 kilometres per hour.
  • Keep your dog close by your side and use an appropriate leash that does not exceed two metres.

Pathway patrollers help ensure that your outing is safe and enjoyable. They can provide directions, information, first aid and emergency care, and basic equipment repairs. Pathway patrollers include the Ottawa Police, Gatineau Police, RCMP and volunteers from the City of Ottawa’s volunteer pathway patrol and Vélo-Services’ volunteer pathway patrol.

Pathway maintenance, rehabilitation and expansion

Every spring, as soon as the snow melts, the recreational pathways are cleaned and repaired by our maintenance teams to be ready for use. The pathways are not maintained during the winter, with the exception of those on both sides of the Rideau Canal. The NCC oversees rehabilitation work on the 236 kilometres of the Capital Pathway network for which it is responsible.

Planning a bike-friendly capital

Because a green city depends on sustainable transportation, cycling is important for Canada’s Capital Region. The NCC is working closely with the City of Ottawa and Ville de Gatineau to learn from world-class cycling cities. Cycling will be an important part of the Plan for Canada's Capital 2017-2067.

Report pathway problems

Help us keep the pathways safe and pleasant. Let us know about anything that needs repair or maintenance, by calling us at 613-239-5000 or emailing us at info@ncc-ccn.ca

Emergency

The NCC has a 24-hour emergency assistance line