Mural - Little Italy - Preston BIA

Little Italy

Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood offers more than your favourite pasta or gelato, it’s a multi-ethnic neighbourhood centered around the vibrant Preston Street. With plenty of incredible Italian restaurants to choose from, you’ll be able to satisfy all your pasta and pizza cravings. Nestled between Chinatown, Hintonburg and Dow’s Lake, it’s easy to enjoy a full day in this area.

Food + Drinks

Transport yourself to the heart of Italian culture is Little Italy, Ottawa’s hub for incredible Italian food. Delightful trattorias, charming cafes and quaint gelato shops line Preston Street. Indulge in savoury plates of pasta and thin crust pizza and immerse yourself in Canadian-Italian culture. The culinary experiences don’t stop there, with Japanese, seafood, and vegetarian options, Little Italy is a culinary adventure like no other. Preston Street is also full of plenty of pubs and cocktail bars. Don’t miss out on this must-visit culinary destination!

Arts + Culture

Little Italy isn’t just a culinary haven, it’s also a vibrant hub of arts and culture. Preston Street is adorned with murals and art installations that create a contemporary flair. Galleries and artisan boutiques showcase a range of local and international works, from classic to avant-garde. Throughout the summer, you can experience festivals, live music and other events taking place in the neighbourhood.

Outdoor activities

Situated next to Dow’s Lake and the Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa’s Little Italy neighbourhood is an outdoor enthusiast’s haven. In the summer months, you can rent stand up paddle boards, canoes, kayaks and peddle boats and enjoy a day on the iconic Rideau Canal. In the winter months, you can strap on a pair of skates and glide along the world’s largest outdoor skating rink. The Dominion Arboretum provides lush greenery with walking/cycling paths and plenty of space for picnics.  


Little Italy transforms into a dynamic nightlife destination as the sun sets. Preston Street, the heart of the neighbourhood, lights up with an array of vibrant bars, pubs and entertainment venues, creating an electric atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for live music, live comedy, some of the best food the city has to offer or something in between, you’ll find it in Ottawa’s Little Italy.

Major annual events + sports

Ottawa’s Italian Week Festival has been celebrated every year since 1975! The June event includes live music, a cycling race, a vintage car parade, Ferrari Festival and more.

Every May, the Ottawa-Gatineau region blooms during the annual Tulip Festival when close to one million tulips decorate the nation’s capital. With a sound and light show, walking tours, movies in the park and more, this festival is fun for the whole family.

You can see live entertainment including live music and live comedy year-round.

Explore Little Italy

Tavern on the Falls
Great patios by Ottawa neighbourhood
Looking for the ultimate patio spot in Ottawa? Check out some of the best restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs with outdoor spaces, by neighbourhood.
Library of Parliament in Spring
Explore Ottawa’s gardens
Explore beautiful urban landscapes full of colourful flora spring through fall, including over 140 garden sites with garden beds, dedicated trees and rare plants.
Paddle Boarding on the Ottawa River
Paddling paradise - flatwater fun in Ottawa
Looking for perfect paddling options this summer in Ottawa? Check out rentals, lessons and access points on the many waterways in the region.

How to get to Little Italy

Discover businesses in Little Italy

Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
Delight your kids at this farm within the city, where they can meet farm animals and learn where their food comes from.
Le Boat
Le Boat
Explore the entire length or a section of the scenic Rideau Canal between Kingston and Ottawa from the comfort of a private, self-drive luxury houseboat.

Find more businesses on the Preston Street BIA website.

Upcoming events in Little Italy

BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival
BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival
Each year during Winterlude, the world's largest ice dragon boat racing event attracts participants and spectators on the Rideau Canal Skateway.
Canadian Tulip Festival
Canadian Tulip Festival
Welcome spring at the world's largest tulip festival! This popular annual event features massive tulip displays, family fun and more.
Disco Inferno Live at Sala San Marco
Get ready to boogie the night away at the hottest disco party in town! Join in on Friday, June 14, 2024. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting…
Ecuador: The Origins of Cacao
Did you know that every Canadian eats an average of six kilograms of chocolate per year? That’s the same as 160 chocolate bars! Do you know where…
FCA Ottawa Ferrari Festival
See some of Italy’s most beautiful cars and enjoy the fine dining of Little Italy.
Navy Bike Ride
Navy Bike Ride
Family Fun at Ottawa's Navy Bike Ride presented By BMO.

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Other neighbourhoods you might be interested in

ByWard Market Square
ByWard Market neighbourhood and Rideau Street
The ByWard Market neighbourhood boasts many boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops and bars making it a must-visit destination.
Lansdowne, Glebe
Glebe and Old Ottawa South
Visit the Glebe neighbourhood in Ottawa for great restaurants, shopping boutiques and green spaces.
Somerset Street Chinatown BIA
Ottawa’s Chinatown is a multicultural community bursting with flavour, art, street festivals and more. Explore the many restaurants and shops in this neighbourhood.

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