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Travel to downtown during Canada Day

Richmond Hill
Level Contributor
4 posts
10 reviews
Travel to downtown during Canada Day

Can someone tell me how easy or difficult it is to travel to/from downtown during 1st July? I will be staying around the airport hotel with small children. Thx!

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
1,326 posts
110 reviews
1. Re: Travel to downtown during Canada Day

Hi creature778,

First... which hotel exactly are you staying at?? There are several hotels which call themselves "airport hotels"... some of which are much closer to the airport than others.

Second... Will you have a car and are looking to park somewhere? Or are you interested in public transportation options?

that said... With a huge chunk of downtown closed to vehicle traffic, I would *not* suggest trying to drive and park.

A taxi will be an "easy" option... but may cost $25-30 per trip.

Cheapest (and relatively quick) option would be to take the hotel's shuttle-bus (should be free) back to the airport, and jump on OCTranspo bus #97... it runs every 15 minutes all day, and takes about 22 minutes to the heart of downtown. The bus runs on a dedicated transitway, so there is no chance of getting caught up in traffic congestion.

Happy trails :)

Richmond Hill
Level Contributor
4 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: Travel to downtown during Canada Day

I should be staying at the Holiday Inn Express. Would this work?

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
1,326 posts
110 reviews
3. Re: Travel to downtown during Canada Day

If you are refering to the airport shuttle, the Holiday Inn express offers a free one.... around a 5-6 minute ride to the airport...


Taxi would be fastest, easiest, but most expensive.

Shuttle Bus to Airport then bus #97 would take a little more time, but still be relatively quick and save you quite a bit of money. I believe the buses are even free after the 10pm fireworks... but they'll be *really* crowded..

Hope this helps :)

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
13,856 posts
47 reviews
4. Re: Travel to downtown during Canada Day

Hi Creature778,

Welcome to the OTTAWA (Canada’s Capital City Region) TRAVEL FORUM

And I see that you are also brand NEW to the TA FORUMS… so a BIG Welcome Aboard as well !!

Good info here from my esteemed colleague TRAVELINMAN314… let me add some more.

Getting around by car can prove to be quite difficult in Downtown Ottawa during Canada Day… not only is it difficult to find parking, but also many many streets are closed-off entirely, and getting OUT of the Downtown area AFTER the Fireworks can literally take hours !!

The best solution is to use public transit… and OC Transpo is well practiced in getting folks around for Canada Day… added to the fact that our city bus system is set up much like a subway system in other cities… with dedicated roads (known as Transitways), main corridors, central hubs, and stations.

There are several Holiday Inn Express Hotels in the Southend of the City… when you say “Airport” I am also guessing that you are referring to the one at 2881 Gibford Drive (http://www.hiexpress.com/hotels/us/en/ottawa/yowuh/hoteldetail )... some other Hotels do market themselves as being “close to the Airport” (ie the Holiday Inn in Bells Corners) so do double-check on which location you are actually at as it’ll make a BIG Difference on your public transit options.


IF it is the Holiday Inn on Gibford, then as stated, your best may indeed be catching the Hotel Shuttle over to the Airport, and then taking the # 97 Bus from there to Downtown. The Hotel to the Airport Terminal is aprox 2 Kms, and about a 3 Minute Ride… the Airport to Downtown on a # 97 (which BTW is a Rapid Transit Bus Route… so the Buses run very frequently)… make a NOTE however that the HI Hotel Shuttle has limited hours of operation, and most likely will not be running by the time you make the return trip after the Fireworks (expect to get back to the Southend of Ottawa WELL AFTER Midnight).

In which case, you’ll need to catch a cab from somewhere to your Hotel. As Ottawa has a flight restriction (for noise reasons) on flights coming into Ottawa, or flying out of Ottawa after Midnight… then getting an # 97 Bus marked “Airport”… that goes all the way to the end of the line and the Airport, or finding a cab at the Airport itself after the “witching hour” might be problematic.


Therefore, for these two reasons alone, I will suggest that you look at using a different tactic for Canada Day… and IF you have a car, just proceed to one of the city’s Park & Ride Stations OR one of the large Shopping Malls (which are CLOSED for Canada Day) and catch one of the Rapid Transit Buses to Downtown.

South Keys Mall and Transitway Station is the closest to the HI Airport location… aprox 2 Kms due EAST along Hunt Club Road (near Bank Street) and about a 6 Minute drive… from here you’d be looking to again take the Bus # 97 Downtown. BUT… it is the one Transitway Station in Ottawa that has had some serious issues with safety… so I am somewhat reluctant to suggest this location as a possibility for either catching a cab from late at night (as per Option # 1) or leaving your car at (as per Option # 2).

*NOTE – I’m open to feedback on this from others… as I don’t reside in the South Keys area of the city. Canada Day Night and the Transitway Station should be busy… so safety concerns and using it may be a non-issue entirely. (On the return trip from Downtown you’d be looking for either a # 97 Bus marked South Keys OR Airport… as both make a stop at this Transitway Station).

Baseline Station and Park & Ride is a bit farther… aprox 10 Kms to the NORTHEAST (corner of Woodroffe & Baseline) and about 20 Minutes to drive there from the HI Airport location. This is an EXCELLENT Choice if you have a vehicle… as it is a major Transitway Station and served by Rapid Transit Bus # 95.

--- --- ---

As mentioned by TRAVELINMAN314… OC Transpo typically offers FREE Transit after 10 PM on Canada Day so to make it easy for everyone to get home after the Fireworks.

To get to Downtown on OC you’ll need $ 3.25 EXACT FARE… or if you are travelling with your Family, then Canada Day qualifies for the purchase of a Family Day Pass (covers 2 Adults and up to 4 Children Under 12 Years Old) with UNLIMITED TRAVEL for the day. You can purchase a Family Pass direct from the Driver for $ 7.50 EXACT FARE. Good value… especially if you want to explore a bit further afield than just to Parliament Hill (ie go see one of our National Museums).

For more info see the OC Transpo (Tickets & Passes) Website = http://www.octranspo1.com/tickets-and-passes

You’ll find a whole lot of good info on their Website as well in regards to the Park & Rides, Scheduling, Route Planning etc.

Hope this is helpful,



5. Re: Travel to downtown during Canada Day

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