No one does summer quite like Ottawa. Whether you want to visit world-class museums, enjoy natural vibes in a trendy garden, hike to scenic lookouts, laze around the beach, or want an adrenaline rush at whitewater adventure, Canada’s capital region has it all.
Check out 25 of the best options for an adventure at Ottawa’s many water-oriented activities – there is simply nothing more refreshing on a warm summer’s day.
**All locations mentioned are located within 90 minutes of Downtown Ottawa. You can easily stay in Ottawa and plan day trips around some of the activities. **
Explore Rideau Canal
What’s better than seeing the city you love by water? Especially on Canada’s engineering marvel – the Rideau Canal. Whether you want to explore on your own or go on guided cruises, there are plenty of options.
Hop aboard the glorious Rideau Canal boat and enjoy a 1.5 tour of the sights and sounds, including the Ottawa Locks, National Arts Centre, Lansdowne Park and more.
Ottawa City Rafting & Tubing
Are you looking for a heart-pumping outdoor activity this summer?! Look no further than Ottawa City Rafting, an exciting 3hour white-water rafting trip on the Ottawa River. Or, perhaps, you’re more interested in the urban tubing adventure, a super fun 2-hour float along the river with a guide. Both are a brilliant way to spend the day!
Address: 102 Greenview Ave, Ottawa
Cost: Prices vary
Relax by Ottawa Beaches
Relax by the water’s edge, enjoying the wonderful nature, have a dip in the water, enjoy a drink from the café and play a game of beach volleyball with some friends.
- Petrie Island Beach, 727 Trim Road.
- Britannia Beach, 2805 Carling Avenue.
- Mooney’s Bay Beach, 2926 Riverside Drive.
- Westboro Beach, 745 Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway.
- Meech Lake (O’Brien and Blanchet beaches)
- Philippe Lake (Parent, Breton and Smith beaches)
- La Pêche Lake
- Leamy Lake
Swim in Lakes
Would you rather swim in the fresh cooling waters of the Capital region’s lakes? Then, go swimming at Meech Lake, in Gatineau Park, and at Leamy Lake, in the Hull sector of Gatineau. Remember, there are no lifeguards at these places. This open water swimming is a new pilot project for 2021 by National Capital Commission.
Ahoy! Check out Ottawa’s creative offering as you imagine, play and create with your family while aboard a real pirate ship on the sea! Dress like a pirate, face paint, fire up the cannon, and much more, and you enjoy the pirate’s life. Pirate Life is available for birthday parties and special events, too.
Cost: Prices from $29.00
Address: 588 Hog’s Back Rd, Ottawa
Commonly referred to as “SUP,” stand-up paddleboarding is a relaxing activity that also burns those calories. It’s great for all family members and friends, including the furry kind and all levels. Ottawa SUP offers lessons and yoga classes by sup too!
Cost: Prices start from $20
Address: 1314 Bank St, Ottawa
Providing a connection to nature since 1976, Wilderness Tours truly has something for everyone. When it comes to hitting the water, you can stand up paddleboard, white water raft, sea kayak, and canoe. Have a lesson or not, and you can opt to even spend the night at the resort by RV, camping or cabin. Connect with nature! Prices vary.
Address: 1260 Grants Settlement Rd, Foresters Falls
One of Eco-Odysses’ most popular adventures is their “water maze!” Enjoy an immersive water adventure, approximately 2 hours, where you traverse the maze via paddleboat, canoe or paddleboard by day or by sunset. Learn about the habitat and home of the beavers as you seek to identify the different intricacies of the marsh and its interesting surroundings.
Cost: Prices start from $35.
Address: 52, Chemin Les Sources, La Pêche (Wakefield), QC
Ottawa Water Ski Club
The longest-standing water ski club in Ottawa offers water skiing activities at two parks. The Eccolands site offers you a chance to ski on the river and/or a slalom course, while the Carp site has a tournament-ready course protected from the wind. They welcome both first-timers of any age or well-practiced veterans.
Address: 3119 Carp Rd and 334 River Rd, Ottawa
Experience the great Canadian river trip – this is a travel path forged by First Nations, traversed by fur traders since the 1600s and fostered by foresters at the turn of the last century. An introduction to whitewater is a full-day natural roller coaster where you’ll paddle as a team – your experienced guide steers from the stern – all you have to do is listen for directions, join in and have fun.
Cost: $107 & up
Address: 40 OWL Lane, Forrester Falls
Ottawa River guiding Fishing
Guiding folks since 2010, Ottawa River guiding Fishing is excited to take you to the peaceful waters of Ottawa River for some fishing. Your guide will be an expert in the area, with a particular passion for fishing the area and ensuring you have the best time possible. Trips range from half-day to full weekend adventures.
Cost: Prices range.
For fishing on your own from shore:
- West Carleton—Morris Island Conservation Area, Fitzroy Harbour, Fitzroy Provincial Park, MacLaren’s Landing, Buckham’s Bay Port of Call marina
- Nepean North—Shirley’s Bay, Crystal Beach, Dick Bell Park, Champlain Bridge
- Ottawa East—Rockcliffe Yacht Club, Blair Road
- Orléans East—Petrie Island
- Vanier Parkway—New Edinburgh Park, Riverain Park
- Downtown—Dow’s Lake, Brewer Park, Billings Bridge Plaza area, Windsor Park, Brantwood Park, OC Transpo Bridge (between Lees and Hurdman Stations)
- Hunt Club Bridge South to Manotick—Eccolands Park, Black Rapids locks, Chapman Mills Conservation Area, Riverside Park
- Manotick Area—Walter Upton-Collins Park, Rideau Township marina
- Kars and Osgoode Area—Long Island marina, Kars recreation area, Kars public wharf, W.A. Taylor Conservation Area
- Dilworth Road, off Highway #416—Baxter Conservation Area, Reeve Craig boat launch
- Kemptville and Kemptville Creek—Rideau River Provincial Park, Muldoon Launch, Pirate Cove Marina, Curry Park
While you can’t exactly go in, Rideau Fall falls under the category for simply being as mesmerizing as it is! It is certainly a “must-see “and notable landmark of the province. It is a great place for a walk and visit.
Address: 50 Sussex Drive, Ottawa
Millennium Water Park
All it takes is one visit to Millennium Water Park to see why it’s a favoured destination for Ottawa children. With a pirate-themed splash pad including a tipping bucket, dragon spray, fountains, sprays and tons of amazing play structures, including a castle – it’s the perfect summer destination right in the city.
Address: 358-500 Millennium Blvd, Orléans
Aqua Limo & Aqua Taxi
If you are looking for the cheapest option for crossing the Ottawa River on water, take Aqua Taxi. You’ll see some of our capital’s most famous landmarks – all from the vantage point of the river!
Want to splurge? then enjoy a memorable trip on the “Aqua Limo!” Private and by reservation, the Aqua Limo boat takes up 10 passengers for a 1hr30 jaunt. The boat is very stylish and covered, giving you a real VIP feeling. You can even rent the boat for Canada day fireworks special or other events like the fireworks festival.
Cost: $5.74 to $6.89 for taxi. Prices start at $260 for limo.
Address: 555 Wellington St, Ottawa
Boreal River Adventures
Boreal River Adventures is set up to take you on an unforgettable, water-based experience. Pick a customizable adventure perfect for you and your thrill-seeking level that will also teach you, keep you safe and keep you laughing and wanting more and more.
Cost: Prices range.
Address: 78 George St, Suite 204, Ottawa,
Calypso Water Park
Ready for some family-friendly fun? An easy 20 minutes from Ottawa, Calypso Waterpark is truly the best place to build exciting new memories with the ones you love as Canada’s largest waterpark. There are unbelievably 35 slides, 100 water games, 2 theme rivers and a massive wave pool! There are activities for every age and interest. Spend the whole day with VIP cabanas and restaurants to enjoy.
Prices start at $39.99
Address: 2015 Calypso Street, Limoges
Ahola! Gear up for a totally tropical trip with Tiki Tours. Tiki Tours is a new water-based adventure in Ottawa, ready to whisk you away for a relaxing tour along the Ottawa River in a Hawaiian-style tiki hut, aptly named Lilo and Moana. Each trip is 1.5 with a provided captain and bartender for a memorable trip! With space for 12 people, grab friends, a work adventure or a romantic date – they can even do weddings.
Cost: Prices start from $60
Address: Ottawa River Pathway, Ottawa
Voted top pick for Ottawa’s outdoor/adventure activity, Urban Ocean welcomes anyone interested in trying, learning or continuing with stand-up paddleboarding. Urban Oceans offers rentals, lessons, sessions, yoga, and much more.
Cost: Prices range.
Address: 411 Dovercourt Ave, Ottawa
Evolution Wake Park
Check out Ottawa’s only wakeboard cable park. You can take lessons, wakeboard, kayak, standup paddleboard, or take it easy on the beach at Evolution Wake Park.
Address: 3119 Carp Road, Carp
Cost: Prices range, starting from $35.00
Calabogie Peak Resort
Pleasing the people of Ottawa since 1969, Calabogie Peaks Resort is a premier destination to enjoy the lovely Calabogie Lake. Here you can boat, paddle, swim, play beach volley or simply soak up the sun on the wonderfully sandy beach. With a few on-site restaurants, you can round off a great summer day with some great food. Prices vary.
Address: 30 Barrett Chute Road Calabogie
Just 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa and you will reach Mont Cascades, a terrific, expansive waterpark! The park features 16 waterparks (for adults, children and both), waterfalls, a swimming pool, picnic benches and a full serviced restaurant—a fun spot for people of all ages looking for a rocking day out.
Cost: Prices start from $25.99
Address: 448 Chemin du Mont-des-Cascades
Splash around at Ottawa’s outdoor pools. There are lots of sessions available for publics swims for your fitness or recreation visit!
Cost: Reservation required; prices vary.
Paddle at Dow’s Marina
Are you a DIY-er and would rather explore the Ottawa river on your own but don’t have the necessary water toys? Then you can rent them at Dow’s Marina. Summer rentals include Canoes, Kayaks, Stand Up Paddle Boards and Paddleboats. They are available between May and early October.
Paddleboats: $25.00 for the first hour, $12.00 for every additional hour; Kayaks, Canoes vary.
Address: 1001 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Ottawa
Whisk away on your speedy chariot! Hit the water with a jet ski from “The Region’s Most Reliable Jetski Rentals,” Jetski Ottawa. Renter must be 18+ with a valid driver’s licence – that’s it! Details
Cost: Prices start at $99/hr Monday – Thursday and $109.99/hr on weekends.
Address: 1009 Trim Road, Ottawa
Ottawa Private Yacht Rentals
Ottawa Private yacht rentals have you covered for a kind experience enjoying the waters of Ottawa for those seeking first-class accommodations. Available in the summer months, opt for a day rental, have an extended vacation, swim in the pristine waters, and cook what you catch! Find complete solitude and enjoy the stunning surroundings on a beautiful private yacht. Go with a group or with your special someone. Prices start at $275.00