Active transportation

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Walking in Ottawa

Walking plays a crucial role in creating an attractive, accessible, liveable, safe, equitable and healthy city. Walking is the only form of transportation that is universally affordable, and allows children, the elderly and people of all abilities to travel independently. Recognizing that everyone is a pedestrian, Ottawa’s Pedestrian Vision is: “Transform Ottawa into a world-class pedestrian city where an equally vibrant and functional pedestrian realm encourages people to walk all year-round”.

Additional information on walking-focused policies, programs and resources includes:

Cycling in Ottawa

Ottawa was the first Ontario city to receive the Gold Bicycle Friendly Community Award from the Share the Road Cycling Coalition at the 2012 annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference. The number of people choosing to cycle to work, to school, for errands and for recreation continues to grow every year in Ottawa, across the city.

Cyclists waiting at an intersection

Data counters on the city’s first segregated bike lane installed on Laurier Avenue in 2011 have already recorded over 3 million trips. The numbers continue to increase as residents and visitors enjoy Ottawa’s network of on- and off-street routes.

The Ottawa Cycling Plan 2013 Vision is to:

Develop a city-wide, connected network of cycling facilities actively used by all types and ages of cyclists to meet their transportation needs. This network will be supported by policies and programs that establish Ottawa as having one of the best cycling networks in North America, while maximizing the synergy of transit and cycling. Cycling facilities will be selected to complement local land uses and match the needs of all areas of the city.

Ready to ride? Follow the links for more information on cycling in Ottawa.

Winter Cycling Network

Since winter 2015/2016, a modest network of cycling facilities has been winter-maintained within Ottawa’s central area. The network has expanded since it’s inception as new cycling facilities have been constructed. The network is currently approximately 60 kilometres in length. Cycling facilities on the winter network are maintained to the same standard as the neighbouring sidewalk or vehicle travel lanes.  

On-street cycling lanes will be plowed following 2.5 to 5.0 cm of accumulation within the timelines identified in the Maintenance Quality Standards (within 24 hours following the completion of snow accumulation). Raised cycle tracks and multi-use pathways will be also be plowed following 2.5 to 5.0 cm of snow accumulation, however they are maintained to a snow packed standard with the exception of those adjacent to arterial roadways. Snow removal will be scheduled when snow banks are encroaching on to 50% of the existing width of the bike lane.

The winter cycling network also can be found on the City's GeoOttawa website in the Layers List tool under Cycling > Existing Cycling Network > Winter-maintained network.

Data and Bicycle Counters

The City of Ottawa has 22 permanent bike counters including Mackenzie Avenue, O’Connor Bikeway, Trillium Pathway, and Laurier Avenue to name a few. Interested in viewing the numbers? The City posts the data quarterly.