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Staying in downtown Ottawa - car necessary?

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Staying in downtown Ottawa - car necessary?

I'm going to be staying in downtown Ottawa. Is a rental car necessary if I want to see the major sights? How far is the train station from downtown? Thanks in advance for your reply.

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1. Re: Staying in downtown Ottawa - car necessary?


You'll be fine in downtown Ottawa without a car; I've done it several times. Here's another thread for help with the train station: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g155004-i181-k3763…


Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Staying in downtown Ottawa - car necessary?

Train Station is about 15 min bus ride from downtown.

To get downtown from the Train station take the 95. It runs every 5-10 min.

Most of the major attractions are right downtown, and the rest are close by.

You will need to take a bus to get to the Aviation Museum or the Science and Tech museum. Go to www.OCtranspo.?? for schedules and routes to take to get to the other places.

Go to the Capital Info Centre on Wellington, across from the Center Block, they will have info on all you want to see.

northern Ontario
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3. Re: Staying in downtown Ottawa - car necessary?

I used to live in Ottawa and visited the downtown area many times. I would agree that a car is not necessary, and may actually cause more difficulties.

If you need to go somewhere a little further you can also take a city bus (OC Transpo). Here is a link to their schedules etc.


Good luck.

Ottawa, Ontario...
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4. Re: Staying in downtown Ottawa - car necessary?

I agree - car will cause you more trouble finding parking for most major tourist sites. For the few exceptions - Rideau Hall, Aviation Museum, Museum of Civilization, War Museum - cabs are very plentiful in Ottawa - or, as an alternative, Grey Line offers guided tours to major sites and includes a hop on, hop off service:


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5. Re: Staying in downtown Ottawa - car necessary?

Agreed with all. If you are staying downtown you really don't need a car. Most of the tourist sites are downtown and can be reached on OC Transpo (public transit) or can be walked to depending on where you stay.

Walking Distance


Art gallery

Museum of civilization


Supreme Court

The Market area (restaurants, small stores)

Rideau Shopping center

The Canal

Locks on the canal as they head down to the ottawa river

Nation Arts Center (shows, ballets, opera, orchesta and so on)

The mint

Sparkstreet mall - another promenade for walking, shopping, eating




War Museum

Science and tech

Museum of man (i think it might go by another name now)

Rideau Hall



Many restaurants will have patios in the summer. The market area has lots of restaurants and is nice to walk around.

The National arts center (NAC) also has a nice upscale restaurant (le cafe) and it has a patio alongside the canal.

Other Things


You might be able to rent bikes (not sure but check online) . There are a tonne of bike trails including one behind parliament hill along the water.

There's other stuff to do, but since I live here I tend to forget about the touristy stuff.

ps. be sure to try a beaver tail in the market

6. Re: Staying in downtown Ottawa - car necessary?

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