Ottawa is Canada’s national capital. The greater Ottawa area, which includes Gatineau, Quebec, is home to about 1 million residents. It is a fantastic city for running, with hundreds of miles of off-road pathways looping around the city’s important sites and along the Ottawa River, the Rideau River, and the Rideau Canal. The best places to run in Ottawa, Ontario include the Capital Pathway, consisting of more than 100 miles of mostly paved trails linking sites, parks, and waterways in the ‘National Capital Region’, as it is known, from the heart of Ottawa out to the Gatineau hills in Quebec. Ottawa is a modestly sized, quiet city. There are few high-rises, and 20 minutes outside the city it is countryside.
Running highlights in Ottawa include a tour of the main National Capital sites and important museums; lovely paths on either side of the Rideau Canal; paths along the Rideau River and the Ottawa River; and trail running in Gatineau Park. Most of the running right in Ottawa is generally flat, but it becomes progressively hillier out toward Quebec and the Gatineau hills. The Ottawa River separates the Ontario and Quebec sides: eastern side is Ontario, and western side is Quebec.
Ottawa is fairly compact, so most of the iconic routes are accessible from the main downtown hotels. Public transportation consists mainly of bus routes, run by OC Transpo on the Ontario side. There is also a light rail system called the O-Train, which consists of a couple of lines and is currently being expanded.