Getting Around in Ottawa

Moving around the city is something everyone needs to do, so while you are at it, why not add some fun and physical activity on the way? Walking, cycling, and transit are simple ways to add activity into your day without even noticing it!

Thinking of Walking More?

Are you looking to rediscover Ottawa? Give walking a try! 

The "pulse" of Ottawa is best experienced on foot, and some areas are only accessible by walking. Here is a list of our Top 5: Underrated Walking Spots in Ottawa.

Slow Down Your Life with a Walk

In our fast-paced world, slowing down can help you feel better. Whether it is during your commute or in the middle of the day, walking away from stress is an effective strategy to wind down. Like all types of physical activity, walking can reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.

Add Steps by Taking Transit

Using transit may not be an obvious way to add physical activity into your life but it has been proven to add more steps into your day. Consider beating crowds by getting off a stop earlier to add even more steps into your day. Take advantage of the many rebates that OC Transpo offers.

Be Safe, Be Seen

Nighttime can be a great time to walk. Wear reflective clothing, and stay on sidewalks when possible. Most university and colleges have Foot Patrol programs where volunteers help you get you where you need to go.

Thinking of Biking?

By reading this you are taking the first steps towards a fun, healthy, and cheap way to get around Ottawa. There are lots of great reasons to get into biking. Our favourites include:

  • Getting some physical activity
  • Being "green"
  • Affordable
  • Reduces stress
  • Seeing Ottawa from the view of a bike is priceless

Changing Gears

What is holding you back from biking? There are probably many excuses that you can think of to not go biking, so let's take a look at some biking myths:

Myth: "Biking gear is expensive" 

Fact: Biking will cost some money, but compared to driving there is no competiton. Buying a bike, helmet, and safety gear cost just a fraction of the price of a car, gas, maintenance, parking, and insurance. Luckily, Ottawa is home to many second-hand bike stores, and the used market is always full of quality goods. Still hesitant? Try borrowing a bike first, Ottawa has many bike share programs.

Myth: "Biking is slow"

Fact: The average commute time in Ottawa is 26 minutes. On a bike, you would be able to go from uOttawa to Carleton or to Algonquin in that time. Map out your commute using Google Maps' bike icon!

Myth: "I am out of shape"

Fact: The first time on a bike may leave you sore, but it gets better every time you ride. It is a clear sign that you are getting in better shape! Coasting on a bike is a great way to take a break while getting to your destination!

Myth: "I will always be sweaty" 

Fact: Sweating is hard to avoid, but biking at a slower pace can feel more like a stroll instead of a jog. You are in control. Try to start your commute in the morning when it is cooler.

Want to bike more?

Are you biking once or twice a week? Looking for more? Here are some tips to help you bike more often.

  • Take a course - mixing with traffic can seem scary but a course may make you feel more at ease;
  • DIY maintenance - save time and money by doing basic maintenance yourself! Many local bike shops run courses and the City has installed a number of bike repair stations
  • Extend your cycling season - Just like getting on your bike for the first time, cold weather cycling may feel daunting but it gets easier every time you ride. The City has a plowed winter cycling network and provides great tips to get started;
  • Find friends to ride with - Ottawa has a vibrant biking community, whether you are looking to compete, fix up your bike, or just get together with people who bike there is a group for you!

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