From May to October, the NCC reserves some of its parkways in Ottawa for active use. Whether you’re biking, walking, in-line skating, using a wheelchair or pushing a stroller, this program is for you!

These car-free roads are a great way to experience the beauty of the National Capital Region in a fun, safe, and environmentally friendly way.

Schedule and location

Both lanes of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway, located on the west side of the Rideau Canal, will be reserved for active use, between Fifth Avenue and Somerset Street (2.4 km), from 8 am to 8 pm:*

  • May 13 to June 25: Weekends and holiday Mondays
  • July 1 (Canada Day) to September 4 (Labour Day): 7 days a week
  • September 9 to October 9 (Thanksgiving): Weekends and holiday Mondays

* It can take up to one hour to safely clear the parkways. Access to private vehicles will be restored by 9 pm.

Program interruptions

The active use program may be interrupted during certain major events such as the Escapade Music Festival and Ottawa Redblacks games. Queen Elizabeth Driveway will reopen to vehicles three hours before and three hours after the scheduled game or event. The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) shuttle service will be in operation for major events. Program interruption advisories will be posted to our social media channels.

Planned interruptions:

  • Saturday September 30th – Suspended from 1 p.m. to end of day. (Program will run from Saturday 8am until 1pm.)
    • Due to the Redblacks game.
  • Sunday October 1st – Entire day
    • Due to Panda game.
  • Monday October 2nd - Holiday - National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30th )
    • All programs will not take place on Monday October 2nd. Therefore, Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Kichi Kichi Zībī Mīkan and Sir George-Etienne Cartier parkway will be open to motor vehicles.

    Rest areas

    • Enjoy the CAA rest area between Fourth Ave. and Fifth Ave, weather permitting.
    • There will also be an NCC rest area near Pretoria Bridge daily from July 1 to September 4.

    Good to know

    • The open roads are available to all active users, whether they’re on wheels or on foot. Please be respectful of others: ride at safe speeds, be predictable, and share the path.
    • While you’re on the parkway, take a break at Confederation Park to enjoy food and drinks at the NCC Bistro.

    About the program

    Since 2020, Queen Elizabeth Driveway has been reserved for active use from May to October, during weekends and seven days a week during the summer. This provides space for thousands of people to enjoy the National Capital Region from a different perspective.

    There have been over 100,000 visits each year during the Driveway’s active use program from people experiencing the Rideau Canal car-free, in a fun and environmentally friendly way.

    We care about making active transportation enjoyable for all, by creating spaces that are fun, accessible, safe, and environmentally friendly.

    Check out our other car-free parkway programs on NCC Weekend Bikedays and in Gatineau Park.

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