Best Things to Do on the Ottawa River: Recommendations from a Local Expert!

Published: août 16, 2022
Last updated: janvier 9, 2023

Whether you’re visiting Ottawa-Gatineau as a family, with friends, or as part of a solo adventure, there are so many exciting ways to enjoy the Ottawa River. And while the bars and restaurants overlooking the water are wonderful, and picnics in Major’s Hill Park are a joy, we think being out on the river itself is the best of all.

At Locations Escape Rentals, we are located right on the river bank, at the South westernend of Jacques-Cartier Park, beside the Canadian Museum of History and under the infamous Alexandra Bridge. Because we’re in the thick of the action, we can help you get the most out of your time in the city we call home.

We make canoe, kayak, SUP and bike rentals in Ottawa-Gatineau easy. With 1-hour, 10-hour, 24-hour, and weekly rental options available, we offer the ultimate in flexibility so you can have plenty of fun on the Ottawa River.

If you have any questions about rental options or any other aspect of our service, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

For now, though, let’s focus on some of the best things to do on the Ottawa River.

Fun ways to experience Ottawa with family and friends

Take in Ottawa’s Sites While Drifting Down the River

It’s always rewarding to see things from a new perspective. Whether you’re familiar with our city or you’ve recently arrived on your first visit, jumping into one of our canoes,  kayaks, or  paddleboards, lets you view Ottawa’s sites from the river itself.

You can find unique and beautiful views of our city’s famous sites as you float along at your own pace, including:

  • Canadian Parliament Buildings
  • Canadian Museum of History
  • Fairmont Château Laurier
  • Rideau Canal Locks
  • Rideau Falls
  • Victoria Island

Our central location right on the Ottawa River near downtown puts us in the heart of the city. With various kayak rentals in Ottawa-Gatineau to choose from, not to mention canoe rental options on the Ottawa River, there’s no better way to see Canada’s capital in a new light.

Start to Master Stand Up Paddleboarding

Are you looking for stand up paddleboarding (SUP) lessons in Ottawa-Gatineau? If you’ve seen us having a blast out on the river, or you’re simply looking for the perfect way to get outdoors during the summer, we’d love for you to join us.

Our SUP lessons in Ottawa-Gatineau have become a staple of the summer, both for locals and visitors.

Of course, there’s the opportunity to see the city from a new perspective, as mentioned above. But SUP offers an array of personal benefits too.

In order to stand upright on your board, you have to engage your core as well as muscles in your back, shoulders, arms, legs, and torso. It’s an amazing whole-body, low-impact workout.

SUP helps you to lower stress levels, clear your mind, and boost your cardiovascular health. And because we can help you paddleboard, you can count on us to build the skills and confidence you need to take your passion to the next level.

Fun ways to experience Ottawa with family and friends

Sunset Kayak Tours on the Ottawa River

Very little beats the calm, sultry ambience of a summer evening. At Locations Escape Rentals, we capture the magic of these warm, vibrant nights with our sunset kayak tours on the Ottawa River.

Our tours start at Jacques-Cartier Park and take in Ottawa-Gatineau’s many picturesque and instagrammable spots.

The route starts with a tour around the Parliamentary basin. We then pass the Rideau Falls before heading towards the Gatineau River. The group then returns to the original departure point.

For families, meetup groups, and small corporate outings, this is without doubt one of the best things to do on the Ottawa River.

Paddle on the River Under Ottawa-Gatineau’s August Fireworks!

In the month of August, the night sky over Ottawa-Gatineau explodes into life with awesome firework displays. And what better way to view this highlight of the summer than from the comfort of your very own boat on the Ottawa River?

Locations Escape provides an unforgettable, VIP experience that lets you paddle out under the stars before they give way to the fireworks spectacular.

With over an hour on the water, you won’t miss a second of the action!

We prioritize your safety and enjoyment in equal measure. As such, our August Firework Paddle Night tours on the Ottawa River include a headlamp, safety kit, lifejacket, paddle, and boat.

Our team is always happy to provide more safety tips for renting a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard in Ottawa-Gatineau.

August Fireworks on the Ottawa River

Explore Riverside Areas on the Capital Pathway

While paddling is a great way to explore the Ottawa River, you can use pedal power to see the riverside areas. Ottawa-Gatineau is home to part of the Capital Pathway, one of North America’s most extensive pathways.

Known locally as “the bike path”, sections of this 220-kilometer network pass our city’s museums, gardens, and parks, making it one of the most fun things to do on the Ottawa River.

Multi-use pathways run along both banks of the river. On the north bank, this is the Voyageurs Pathway; the Trans Canada Trail spans the south bank.

In fact, Locations Escape Rentals is located right next to the Voyageurs Pathway. Our sister company, Escape Bicycle Tours and Rentals, is a stone’s throw from the Trans Canada Trail on the Ottawa side of the river.

Our bike rental options in Ottawa-Gatineau are one of the best ways to tour the city’s riverside sites.

Kayak Rental in front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Let Us Help You Explore Everything Ottawa-Gatineau Has to Offer!

Whether you’re planning to explore Ottawa-Gatineau by river or on land, our canoe, kayak, SUP and bike rental options have something for everyone. Whichever mode of transport you prefer, we can bring you closer to all the best things to do on the Ottawa River.

For your peace of mind, we only stock equipment of the highest quality. To ensure your comfort and safety, all our rentals undergo regular maintenance.

If you’d like to discuss our rentals in more detail, or for more information about specific tours, please get in touch.

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