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Where to Take My Date in Ottawa; Top 4 Spots- Part 1

Published: June 23, 2020
Last updated: April 1, 2021
Date in Ottawa image of two guests at Rockeries during their Ottawa bike tour with escape

2021 Update: Looking for a social distance date idea in Ottawa? Why not go for a biking date! We are open for bike rentals and bike tours this spring – taking the necessary Covid-19 precautions.

Looking for a place to go with your date in Ottawa? Here are some great places to go to spend an afternoon in Ottawa together. Surrounded by nature, these trips are easy and safe to get to with your date in Ottawa.

  • The Rockeries
  • Arboretum
  • Hog’s Back Falls
  • Remic Rapids

The Rockeries: “olde-worlde” charm

In spring the Rockeries in Rockcliffe Park offers thousands of blooming daffodils and several flowering trees. A popular spot for outdoor weddings, this “olde-worlde” place is steeped in history. The Park once belonged to Thomas McKay; he was a Scottish master stonemason of the Rideau Canal and later built Rideau Hall. Enjoy the views and the natural settings from this unique nearly 200-year-old vantage point.

How to get there: Head east of downtown to the Rockeries. Bike to the canal, cross the Rideau Locks and find your way to Sussex Drive. Bike along Sussex Drive to Rideau Hall past several embassies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s home at 24 Sussex Drive. Just after Rideau Hall, you will find the Rockeries on your left. Your date in Ottawa will be impressed.

Arboretum: blooms, bridges and butterflies

Mid to late May you’ll find the crab-apple trees in bloom at the Arboretum on Dow’s Lake. Romantic pathways lead you to the water, over small bridges and along ponds. Don’t forget to hike up to the lookout to enjoy a view over the city. Bring a picnic for a lunch underneath the willow trees. And when you are out there with your date, don’t forget to walk up to the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, with its native species of plants, birds and butterflies. If your date in Ottawa is into birds, this is the place to go. Try to find the colourful Baltimore Oriole or the apple tree in the small ravine!

How to get there: From downtown, bike along the canal on the west side on the separate pathways until you see Dow’s Lake. Cycle around Dow’s Lake, pass the Pavillion that appears to be built in the water and the Arboretum appears right in front of you on the west side of the lake. You could bike the same way back or continue along the Trillium pathway and the Ottawa River.

Hog’s Back Falls: where the river and the canal split

Further south from the Arboretum, you will find Hog’s Back Falls, where the Rideau River thunders down into a narrow natural rocky channel. It is here where the Rideau Canal and the Rideau River split into two different streams. See boat owners navigate the locks while enjoying the afternoon sun. The manicured lawns at the Hog’s Back locks are a stark contrast from the wild falls, especially in spring when the snow melts. In the summer the recently restored modernist pavilion at the edge of the Falls sells snacks to enjoy in the surrounding park. Beautiful and serene, this is a really nice place to take your date in Ottawa too. Let’s just whisper this in your ear: some couples actually propose at this place. We’ll leave it here.

How to get there: Bike along the canal and around Dow’s Lake. Cycle through the Arboretum, while keeping the canal on your left. The path goes up to the Hartwells Locks. Cross the locks and continue further south on the other side of the canal, until you hit the Hogs Back Locks. The Falls are a bit further on your left. Bring your bathing suit if you want to go for a swim at the adjoining Mooney’s Bay beach.

Remic Rapids: attention, artist at work

The Remic Rapids are not so much known for its modest rapids but for the artist John Felice Ceprano, who has been creating works of art in (yes: in), the Ottawa river for decades. His incredible stacked and balanced stones are an attraction as he is not using any cement or glue; it is all based on balance and gravity. Great photo opportunities await you, but don’t knock over the structures: you’re bound to get some really disapproving looks.

Several free to use Adirondack (We call them ‘Muskoka’ chairs in Canada) chairs are positioned so that you can overlook his art as well as enjoy the views over the Ottawa river. What better place to hang out together to watch the sunset over the mighty Ottawa River? By the way: all John’s art disappears in winter, due the ice, so he starts all over again in spring. Talking about stamina!

How to get there: Bike to the canal from downtown, head north to the Ottawa River. Cycle west behind Parliament Hill. Follow the path with the yellow line. You will cycle through two tunnels. After the second tunnel you will see Mill Street brewery on your right hand. Keep following the path, cycle underneath the old train bridge and eventually you will hit the sculpture area along the shore of the Ottawa River. Insider tip: On the way back, stop at the Brewery for a cold drink on the magnificent patio.

Four places to take a date in Ottawa

So there you have it. Four great places to take a date to in Ottawa. Surrounded by beautiful nature, these spots are excellent places to hang out, chat, bring a drink and well, perhaps…..uhmmm…..propose? We’re not suggesting anything here.

Renting a bike or book a tour for your date and you

We have a large selection of bikes, from cruisers to upright bikes to e-bikes and e-scooters and even a tandem. (Note, for now you can only use e-scooters at certain pathways). Call or text us today at 613 608 6407 or book online. If you rather go for a guided or even a private guided tour, we are there for you too. Book a tour here or rent a bike here. Call or text Maria at the shop at 613 608 7407.

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