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.

World Bicycle Day

This year, on Saturday, June 3, the NCC will host World Bicycle Day in Ottawa with its partners. A family- friendly event will take place on Queen Elizabeth Driveway, from 11 am to 3 pm.

  • 11 am: A group ride organized by NCC’s partners starts at Marion Dewar Plaza. Please note that the group ride will begin on a multi-use pathway that is a bit steep for very young or inexperienced bike riders. Please share the path.
  • Noon to 3 pm: Make the most of the activities for all ages happening between Fifth Avenue and Somerset Street. There will be free bike check-ups, biking gear giveaways, art stations for kids, discussions with experts on bike safety, eco-friendly tips and more.

Pop by our NCC tent at Pretoria Avenue to get free safety gear and enter a contest to win a $50 gift certificate to the NCC Bistros.

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.

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.

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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