Canada’s capital is a blast to visit on your own, with a loved one, or with friends – even the canine kind! Traveling with your pup can make some experiences even more enjoyable. Here are some suggestions for dog-friendly hotels, outdoor sites, events and breweries that you and your best furry friend will love in Ottawa.
Note: This article refers to pet dogs specifically. Service animals, such as guide dogs, are usually allowed in any space accessible to the public.
Dog-friendly Ottawa hotels
Many hotels in Canada’s capital welcome dogs and other pets. For instance, the Westin Ottawa offers dog beds, bowls and special mats upon check-in! The hotel also periodically hosts adoptable rescue dogs as part of the Westin Wags program. Guests can even request to walk the foster pups!
Stroll, bike or rollerblade with your pooch on the hundreds of kilometres of multi-use pathways that wind through the city and the countryside. In and near the city centre, you can enjoy waterside views along the Rideau Canal (a UNESCO Heritage Site), the Ottawa River and the Rideau River. Along the rivers, you’ll encounter rest areas and sandy beaches (read signs carefully to determine where dogs are allowed).
Many dog-friendly green spaces are within walking distance of downtown hotels, including Confederation Park and Major’s Hill Park. Dogs can also roam free at off-leash locations including Jack Purcell Park off Elgin Street and Sylvia Holden Park near Lansdowne in the Glebe neighbourhood.
Suburban and rural parks
Ottawa’s urban core is surrounded by a Greenbelt which boasts beautiful conservation and recreation areas – many of which permit dogs! Your pooch can roam free at two large off-leash locations: Bruce Pit (part of the Pine Grove trail, southwest of downtown), and Conroy Pit (south of downtown). Dogs on leashes are allowed year-round (including winter) or from April to November at most other Greenbelt sites. Consult the all-seasons trail map for details.
Just 10-minutes north of downtown Ottawa in Gatineau, Quebec, is a year-round outdoor playground called Gatineau Park. Its many trails feature forests, lakes and panoramic viewpoints – a dog’s dream. Leashed dogs are allowed on the Sugarbush, Lauriault and Pioneers trails year-round, and on most other trails from April to November. To protect the park’s fragile ecosystems, dogs are not permitted on the Pink Lake, King Mountain and Luskville Falls trails, or on beaches, picnic areas and campgrounds.
Festivals and events
Ottawa hosts innumerable festivals and events throughout the year, many of which are pet-friendly! Here are just a few of the celebrations you can enjoy with your canine companion:
- Sound & Light show
- Christmas Lights Across Canada
- Canadian Tulip Festival
- Capital Pride
- Westboro Fuse
- Capital Ribfest
You can take your dog with you on Au Feel de l’Eau’s Aqua-Taxi, a fully accessible electric boat which takes passengers and pets across the Ottawa River between the Bytown Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, as well as Richmond Landing near the Canadian War Museum. Longer boat cruises, like World Famous Paul’s Boat Line and Rideau Canal Cruises, also welcome small dogs, as long as they stay on your lap. All these boat journeys provide beautiful views!
Dozens of local craft breweries are scattered throughout the Ottawa area. They’re the perfect place to sip beer, socialize, play games, and also spend time with your pooch! Here are a few local pet-friendly breweries and where they allow dogs:
- Stray Dog Brewing Company: Taproom
- Kichesippi Beer Co.: Taproom and outdoor beer garden
- Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.: Taproom and outdoor spaces
- Bicycle Craft Brewery: Taproom
Visit our dog-friendly sightseeing walking routes page for handy circuits that you can follow to explore some of the sites mentioned above and more!
We want to see how much your dog loves Ottawa! Take adorable pics and tag #MyOttawa on your social platforms.