By Air

Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport offers over 125 non-stop flights daily to more than 30 destinations in Canada.

Taxis, car service and car rental are just steps outside the airport. Given on-going labour disputes, avoid using Uber to get from the airport to downtown. The distance to downtown is approximately 14 km and will take about 20 minutes (without traffic). Cost will be about $35.

OC Transpo bus service to downtown is by route 97. A single ride will cost $3.55, a day pass (good for unlimited use in one day) will cost $8.30. Purchase the Day Pass from a driver on your first ride of the day. For all rides, bring the exact amount as the driver cannot make change. Seniors 65 and older ride OC Transpo FREE on Wednesdays.

By Train

Via Rail offers numerous daily departures to Ottawa from all major cities in southern Ontario and southern Quebec. Ottawa’s Central Train Station is located 10 minutes east of downtown. Another VIA Rail station is located 25 min west of the downtown at Fallowfield-Barrhaven. If you are headed downtown from points west, do not get off there. The Central Station is another 15 minutes on the train.

From the Central Train Station, you can take either taxis or the bus downtown. Taxis are lined up outside the main entrance of the Train Station. Route to downtown is approximately 6 km and will take about 10 minutes (without traffic). Cost will be about $20. There is also an OC Transpo Transitway station just outside of the Train Station. Follow the signs that say TRAIN STATION 2A and indicate Bus Route 95. The WESTBOUND 95 runs about every 2-3 minutes at peak period and every 5-9 minutes otherwise. The trip downtown will take about 10 Minutes. A single ride will cost $3.55.

By Bus

Greyhound Voyageur offers numerous daily departures to Ottawa from all major cities in North America. The Central Bus Station is located right downtown, close to Bank Street.

OC Transpo bus service along Bank Street is through routes 1, 2, and 7. If you are going to a hotel in the ByWard Market area, those routes will take you there – get off at Rideau Centre. If you are going to a hotel in the Elgin Street area, take one of those buses to the corner of Bank Street and Gladstone Avenue, then change to a 14 ST. LAURENT on Gladstone going east; that route takes you onto Elgin Street. A single ride will cost $3.55.

By Road

The major highways into Ottawa are the 417 (also known as the Queensway), 416, 174, 7, 16 and 31 in Ontario; and the 148, 50 and 5 in Quebec. Many streets in downtown Ottawa are one-way. Plan your trip to your final destination accordingly. There is a three-hour parking limit on all City of Ottawa streets unless otherwise marked. During rush hour (7am to 9am, 3:30pm to 5:30pm), many downtown streets prohibit parking and stopping. Pay attention to signs!

If you are driving and do not have hotel parking, please note that most (if not all) on-street parking is metered. Download the Pay-by-phone app (iPhone, Android) to manage your time remotely.

Using the transit system

Ottawa has an efficient, frequent and well-used transit system, the experience of which is part of soaking up the spirit of the city. Do not be surprised to find packed buses full of singing students at 9-10 pm going up Bank Street or down Rideau Street. Also, do not be surprised to see parents with children, strollers, and businessmen and women in suits and briefcases sharing seats with skateboarders and construction workers.

The Transitway (North America’s first true BRT system), now 35 years old, is served by 10 lines and has 68 stations. The O-Train (Trillium Line) is an LRT line with 5 stations. The 90-series bus routes serve the Transitway – good system maps posted at major stops and all stations show which lines serve which stations. The 95 is the main east-west line; the 97 is the main north-south line and reaches the airport. Transitway service is 24 hours. Peak service is every 2-3 minutes; during the day it’s every 5-9 minutes; at night every 15-20 minutes.

Inside the city, all mainstreets have frequent service. From the Byward Market to Lansdowne, you’ll take the bus on Rideau Street at stop 4A in front of McDonald’s/Tim Hortons, near the entrance to The Bay. The routes to take to Lansdowne are the 1 SOUTH KEYS, 1X BILLINGS BRIDGE or 7 CARLETON. Returning from Lansdowne, the 1 OTTAWA ROCKCLIFFE or the 7 ST-LAURENT. Those routes will take you along Wellington Street, right by Parliament Hill, and down the entire length of Bank Street.

From an Elgin Street area hotel, take the 14 CARLINGTON to the corner of Bank & Gladstone, then change to a 1 or 7.

Those routes run with a 5-10 minute frequency in the morning and afternoon peaks.

To know where your bus is, download the Ottawa Bus Buddy app (iPhone, Android) and it will pinpoint your location, then show you the GPS location of the next 2 or 3 buses and give you real-time information on the next arrival.

The Presto card that comes with your registration is good for Thursday and Friday.

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