Updated on June 16, 2020

Now that warm weather is here to stay, many of us are looking for opportunities to spend a little more time outdoors — and nothing says summer like picnics!

The NCC protects and manages 23 stunning urban parks in Ottawa–Gatineau, most of which boast great picnic areas.

Discover seven of our top spots for a perfect summer picnic.

Major’s Hill Park

Located between the National Gallery of Canada and the Fairmont Château Laurier.

Major’s Hill Park is a calm oasis in downtown Ottawa. It offers some of the best lookouts in the region. This park is the perfect spot to take a break between visits to the ByWard Market and nearby museums and galleries. Choose a picnic table, or set out your blanket on the rolling lawns, or in the shade under one of the park’s large trees.

Bring your own picnic or stop by Tavern on the Hill, a seasonal outdoor canteen and patio that offers locally sourced food.

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Confederation Park

Located at the corner of Elgin Street and Laurier Avenue.

Confederation Park is a true urban oasis, conveniently tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Ottawa streets. The park is the site of several sculptures and monuments, including the memorial fountain honouring Colonel By. Fun fact: this fountain stood in Trafalgar Square in London, England, for nearly a century.

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Leamy Lake Park

Located on Fournier Boulevard in Gatineau.

Leamy Lake Park is the largest urban park in Canada’s Capital Region. Surrounded by Leamy Lake and the Gatineau and Ottawa rivers, this park is an excellent spot for a day trip. It has a supervised beach for swimming, two volleyball courts, a playground for children, a sheltered picnic area and BBQ pits.

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Hog’s Back Park

Located on Riverside Drive and Heron Road.

Hog’s Back Park is the ideal place for a quiet afternoon picnic. Enjoy the park’s natural beauty and the spectacular views of Hog’s Back Falls and the Rideau River. The park offers plenty of grassy areas, perfect to spread out a blanket and grab a bite.

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Vincent Massey Park

Located on Riverside Drive and Heron Road.

Just north of Hog’s Back Park, Vincent Massey Park offers quiet wooded walking paths, rolling meadows and open grassy areas. With its picnic tables and BBQ pits, Vincent Massey Park has all the amenities for an enjoyable picnic, large or small.

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Remic Rapids Park

Located on the shore of the Ottawa River, along the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway (between Parkdale and Carleton).

Remic Rapids Park is renowned for its balanced rock sculptures and exceptional views of the Capital core area and Gatineau shoreline. The Capital Pathway passes through the park, making it an excellent starting point for exploring the Capital on foot or by bike.

In the summer, the park hosts an NCC Bistro, providing an opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to stop, refuel and enjoy the view.

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Rockcliffe Park

Located on the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway, between Princess Avenue and Acacia Avenue.

Rockcliffe Park and the Rockeries is the perfect spot for a picnic. The Rockcliffe Pavilion is an open-air gazebo nestled among mature trees and overlooking the Ottawa River. No wonder it’s a popular location for outdoor weddings!

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Which of these urban picnic spots will you hit first?

If you have a little more time on your hands, check out the Greenbelt and Gatineau Park picnic areas.