Travel

Driving to parliamenthill/downtown from city

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 22nd, 2017 12:40 pm
[OP]
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Apr 9, 2008
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Toronto

Driving to parliamenthill/downtown from city

How is the driving to Parliament hill/downtown ottawa from across the ottawa river over Portage bridge or Chaudiere Crossing on Saturdays?
google map shows 5 minutes drive, but I want to know how is the city traffic and the ease of parking near parliament hill on saturday afternoon?

I have heard the parking is free in the downtown on weekends too. So if driving in, can park on the streets till late in the evening?

Its over half an hour walk from where i am staying but walking may or may not be practical for my situation.
14 replies
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Feb 7, 2017
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I see you are from the GTA...

Rest assured that any "traffic" there is in Ottawa is a blip compared to what you are used to (even a Weekday Rush Hour during Game Day)...

The Weekend is a breeze... I'd say that Google is about right coming across any of the Bridges and into the downtown core near Parlament Hill 5 to 15 Minutes depending on the bridge you cross.

Street Parking is good... But do read ALL the signs (there can be several covering one piece of a block... Corner to Corner). Some allow open parking, while others have restrictions (ie most commonly 1 or 2 Hours).

Most locals just do the safer thing and pay to park... Using Pay & Display at City Lots or Indoor Parking Garages.

A good place that many locals use is the Underground Parking at The World Exchange Plaza (hourly pay / flat rate) which is nice & central to Parliament Hill. Or if visiting the Byward Market, one of the City Lots / Garages, or Parking at The Rideau Centre (hourly pay / flat rate).
Member
Nov 19, 2007
290 posts
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Ottawa
Ottawa downtown is very walkable if you are able. Alexandra bridge is a nice walk, but I think it is closed to traffic in one or both directions at the moment, depending on the time of day.
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Feb 7, 2017
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Depending on your starting point (Hotel in Hull ?)... There is also the bus ... As OC Transpo does provide service to points just across the river

http://www.octranspo.com/
Deal Guru
Aug 22, 2011
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Ottawa
Not going to be an issue.
Drive to the market and look for parking on the street and leave your vehicle there all day.
You can park at the World Exchange Plaza for free also.
[OP]
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Apr 9, 2008
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Toronto
PointsHubby wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 2:40 pm
I see you are from the GTA...

Rest assured that any "traffic" there is in Ottawa is a blip compared to what you are used to (even a Weekday Rush Hour during Game Day)...

The Weekend is a breeze... I'd say that Google is about right coming across any of the Bridges and into the downtown core near Parlament Hill 5 to 15 Minutes depending on the bridge you cross.

Street Parking is good... But do read ALL the signs (there can be several covering one piece of a block... Corner to Corner). Some allow open parking, while others have restrictions (ie most commonly 1 or 2 Hours).

Most locals just do the safer thing and pay to park... Using Pay & Display at City Lots or Indoor Parking Garages.

A good place that many locals use is the Underground Parking at The World Exchange Plaza (hourly pay / flat rate) which is nice & central to Parliament Hill. Or if visiting the Byward Market, one of the City Lots / Garages, or Parking at The Rideau Centre (hourly pay / flat rate).
upvote for you and others for great replies.

A follow up, is parliament hill tour ticket available for same day only? or u can get for the next day in advance as well?
Sr. Member
Feb 11, 2009
841 posts
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bsobaid wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 10:35 pm
upvote for you and others for great replies.

A follow up, is parliament hill tour ticket available for same day only? or u can get for the next day in advance as well?
I'm pretty sure you get to the tour office and ask for a ticket the same day.
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2017
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Have not done this myself for some time...

But as I recall, it is a case of so many spots per tour, and so many tours per day...

Given out on a first come first served basis for SAME DAY only

They have a website... Let me see if I can find the link
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.
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Here ya go
https://visit.parl.ca/visit-e.html
[OP]
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Apr 9, 2008
2702 posts
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Toronto
PointsHubby wrote:
Sep 14th, 2017 12:52 am
Have not done this myself for some time...

But as I recall, it is a case of so many spots per tour, and so many tours per day...

Given out on a first come first served basis for SAME DAY only

They have a website... Let me see if I can find the link
.
.
.
Here ya go
https://visit.parl.ca/visit-e.html
Thats what I thought but when I checked the website only self-guided tours have same day ticket mentioned on them. Guided tours description dont say any such thing.
[OP]
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so looks like they are same day only. window opens at 9am and canadians do their favourite thing i-e line up from atleast an hour early, so the tickets end fast.
Everyone has to be present to get the tickets, so probably even the kids have to line up.

Lines everywhere and anywhere. sweet.
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Feb 7, 2017
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bsobaid wrote:
Sep 14th, 2017 12:16 pm
so looks like they are same day only. window opens at 9am and canadians do their favourite thing i-e line up from atleast an hour early, so the tickets end fast.
Everyone has to be present to get the tickets, so probably even the kids have to line up.

Lines everywhere and anywhere. sweet.
I hear you... But look at it from another perspective.

1- Guided Tours are FREE

2- If they did this any other way (ie pre-booking) then there would be a higher percentage of NO SHOWS
(research shows that NO SHOWS go down when a cost is incurred... In this case no cost, so no shows don't care so much)

3- Pre-Booking & No Show issues would no doubt mean a lot more tours would run half empty

4- The system they have now fills up the Tours consistently... So if they don't have enough Guests to run a Tour they probably don't
(ie End the Day Early... Cancel Last Two Tours of the Day)
Means that the Guides for those Tours clock out early.

5- It is what it is.
A nice Tour... Basically for free... Well your tax dollars at work
If Tours ran half empty then this program would cost even more money to run... YOUR MONEY / MY MONEY
This is probably the most efficient / cost effective method.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 9, 2008
2702 posts
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Toronto
Ottawa is a lovely city from traffic point of view. You can drive downtown weekday weekend no problem. no crazy jams or yelling and swearing drivers.

Weekend parking is easy to find. Its all free on streets and world plaza.

Weekdays parking also not hard to find but its not free. $12+ near parliament.

Driving in and out of the downtown/city is a breeze office hours or outside.

most restaurants even tim hortons downtown closed on sundays.
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Feb 7, 2017
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bsobaid wrote:
Sep 19th, 2017 1:47 pm

most restaurants even tim hortons downtown closed on sundays.
Depends where you are / go.

YES a lot of quick eat places that are in the office blocks to the south of Parliament Hill are closed at some point during the weekend (more so not in the Summertime) cause quite frankly there is not enough demand to keep them open (coffee shops - sandwich shops - small Mom & Pop Restaurants)

But to say MOST RESTAURANTS... Is just plain wrong.

Great eats to be found in lots of downtown areas the whole week long... You just have to know where to look / go.

certainly would not recommend Ottawa's Office Tower Neighbourhood as a must see for a Tourist but would:
The Byward Market - Elgin Street - Somerset West - Bank Street

As well as points just a tiny bit farther afield:
New Edinburgh - Somerset (China Town) - Little Italy / Preston Street - Dows Lake - Landsdowne - Bank Street South - Hintonburg - Westboro

Not to mention... Old Hull on the Gatineau side of the river
(or Aylmer or Chelsea... Great if the OP finds themselves exploring Gatineau Park during their visit)

The thing about Ottawa is it is a "grouping" of neighbourhoods so ya really have to know where to look. Residents enjoy having vibrant walk to places in their neighbourhoods... While at the same time the city is small enough to easily get from one area to the other by car or public transit in relatively short order.
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bsobaid wrote:
Sep 14th, 2017 12:16 pm
so looks like they are same day only. window opens at 9am and canadians do their favourite thing i-e line up from atleast an hour early, so the tickets end fast.
Everyone has to be present to get the tickets, so probably even the kids have to line up.

Lines everywhere and anywhere. sweet.
Call your MP's Ottawa office and ask them to reserve tickets for you. You'll still have to line up at the office to pick them up, but you can have a specific time reserved this way. No cost.
[OP]
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Apr 9, 2008
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CorSter wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2017 11:40 am
Call your MP's Ottawa office and ask them to reserve tickets for you. You'll still have to line up at the office to pick them up, but you can have a specific time reserved this way. No cost.
thx for the info.
but I guess lining up is not a big deal. wont bother MPs.

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