News Release

Published on May 4, 2022

National Capital Region—This year, the National Capital Commission (NCC) is offering you more ways to explore your #SummerCapital, with more parkway space open for active use, a new Gatineau Park shuttle service and equipment rentals.

Our summer activities interactive map will help you find things to do and places to explore all over the National Capital Region. Whether people want to bike, walk, hike, roll, camp, discover a shoreline, have a picnic, swim, relax on the beach or enjoy local fare, there’s something for everyone in our #SummerCapital.

Here is an overview of our offerings.

NCC Weekend Bikedays, presented by Nokia

Every weekend, from May 14 to October 10 (Thanksgiving), active users will have exclusive access to the Capital’s scenic riverfront parkways for their physical and mental well-being.

Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway (9 kilometres): 8 am to 4 pm

Both westbound lanes of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, located on the south side of the Ottawa River just west of the downtown core, from Vimy Place to Carling Avenue.

Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway (8 kilometres): 8 am to 4 pm 

Both lanes of the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway, running along the south side of the Ottawa River, just east of the downtown core, between the Aviation Parkway and St. Joseph Boulevard in Orléans.

NEW: This year, users will be able to enjoy the CAA Rest Area on most weekends on the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway, near Island Park Drive. There will be picnic tables and parasols to take a break, and a bike tune-up service and repair station for those in need of a quick fix.

A big thanks to our sponsors, Nokia, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and ServicePlus, and Claridge Homes, for their support.

Queen Elizabeth Driveway

This year’s pilot project, building on the previous two summer seasons, will see both lanes of the Queen Elizabeth Driveway between Fifth Avenue and Somerset Street open to active users and closed to motor vehicles at the following times:

  • May 14 to June 25, weekends from Saturday at 8 am through to Sunday at 8 pm
  • July 1 (Canada Day), at 8 am to September 5 (Labour Day) at 8 pm (24 hours a day, seven days a week)
  • September 10 to October 10 (Thanksgiving), weekends from Saturday at 8 am through to Sunday at 8 pm

Gatineau Park: More accessible and equitable ways to explore the Park!

The NCC is pleased to offer new ways to explore Gatineau Park, aboard the NCC’s Gatineau Park shuttle. The shuttle will be in service on weekends, from June 25 to August 28, offering two-way service from Ottawa–Gatineau and the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, in Chelsea, with stops at popular locations along the parkways. The service will be free this year, and the shuttle will be accessible to people with reduced mobility.

Schedule and routes  

  • From Ottawa–Gatineau toward the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre: 9:10 am to 3:10 pm, every 30 minutes
  • From the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre toward Ottawa–Gatineau: 9:45 am to 4:45 pm, every 30 minutes

      Visit our website for more details about the free NCC shuttle routes, stops and schedule.

      To enhance your visit, look for our student team of visitor experience officers at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre and at some locations throughout the Park, to learn more about the natural and cultural history of the Park, and get information on wayfinding.

      Gatineau Park parkways schedule

      The Gatineau Park parkways summer schedule will be in effect as of May 7. Active users (cyclists, pedestrians, roller skiers, people using mobility devices and so on) have exclusive access to the parkways all day on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. In the afternoons and evenings (1 pm to 30 minutes after sunset) on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, the parkways will be open to private vehicles, while the shuttle program will operate all day Saturdays and Sundays starting June 25.

      To increase accessibility in Gatineau Park, the NCC, in partnership with the Relais plein air, will be offering free rentals of four-wheeled electric scooters to people with reduced mobility. Power-assisted bikes will also be available for rent both at the Relais plein air, as well as at a planned second location in Chelsea.

      Summer camping in Gatineau Park

      Starting May 13, enjoy a relaxing stay in Gatineau Park in any of a variety of accommodations: from a campsite close to the beach, to a rustic waterfront site on a peaceful lake, or even a canoe-camping site. Sites are still available to reserve.

      Mackenzie King Estate

      Take a step back to the early 20th century at this magnificent country estate, which features beautiful gardens, historic ruins and scenic trails. After being closed for two years, cottages (museums) are set to reopen on weekends starting May 21, then Wednesday to Monday beginning at the end of June. Parking fees are in effect at the Mackenzie King Estate starting May 21. Seasonal parking passes are now available for purchase.

      Tulips: Admire close to one million tulips

      As the official gardener of Canada’s Capital, the NCC plants close to one million tulips of over 100 varieties, in 120 designed flower beds, across 30 different locations. Use our Tulips in the Capital interactive map to explore the best spots for tulip gazing. The Canadian Tulip Festival will celebrate its 70th Anniversary Platinum Jubilee with the return of in-person festivities from May 13 to 23 at Commissioners Park.

      NCC Bistros: More space to enjoy

      Take in the exceptional views at one of the many NCC Bistros while enjoying assorted fresh foods and refreshments. New for this year, the NCC Bistro at Remic Rapids Park will double its seating capacity. The bistros at Remic Rapids Park and Patterson Creek Park will open in mid-May and the NCC Bistro at Confederation Park will open in early June.

      Capital Pathway network: Over 200 kilometres of pathways in both Ottawa and Gatineau

      The multi-use pathways are shared by pedestrians, runners, cyclists, in-line skaters and people with mobility impairments. We ask that all users share the path, and follow the rules (including the 20 km/h maximum speed limit) to help keep the pathways safe and enjoyable for everyone.

      Greenbelt: 20,000 hectares of green space

      Explore farms, forests, wetlands and shorelines in Canada’s Capital Greenbelt. There’s over 150 kilometres of natural trails, linking to the Capital Pathway network, the Rideau Trail and The Great Trail of Canada for all to enjoy. Please remember to keep dogs on a short leash and clean up after them when visiting the Greenbelt.

      Urban parks: Key features of the Capital experience

      Take in the stunning views of the Capital skyline and waterways at one of our urban parks in Ottawa and Gatineau. These quiet jewels of the Capital are home to historical displays, lookouts, picnic tables, gardens and much more.

      Beaches: Soak up the sunshine at NCC beaches

      NCC beaches in Gatineau Park and at Leamy Lake Park will open on June 17, 2022, for the summer season. Lifeguards will be on duty at the O’Brien, Blanchet, Breton, Parent, Smith, La Pêche and Leamy Lake beaches, from 10 am to 6 pm (7 pm at Leamy Lake). Various facilities such as washrooms, change rooms and picnic tables will be available to visitors. Parking fees apply at the beaches starting June 17. Seasonal parking passes are now available for purchase.

      QUOTES

      This year, the NCC is once again increasing its offering, and providing more space for residents and visitors in the National Capital Region to safely enjoy shorelines, green spaces and symbolic landmarks while staying active. The new Gatineau Park shuttle will improve accessibility to the Park’s attractions for all residents and visitors in the National Capital Region. The success of these programs is due to the efforts of our sponsors, partners, employees and the community. We thank them wholeheartedly.”

      - Tobi Nussbaum, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission

      It’s important to Nokia that people can safely enjoy being active in the National Capital Region. We are very happy to once again be part of the expanded Weekend Bikedays program. Our ongoing partnership with the National Capital Commission allows for more safe outdoor spaces for people to enjoy throughout the season.

      - Andy Thompson, Vice-President, Transformation, Nokia

      Media Information: 

      Maryam El-Akhrass
      NCC Media Relations
      343-551-6149
      maryam.el-akhrass@ncc-ccn.ca

      Kathleen Black
      NCC Media Relations
      343-549-7203
      kathleen.black@ncc-ccn.ca