6 Best Places to See the Sun Set in Ottawa, ON
Ottawa is known for its stunning sunsets that turn the sky vivid hues of pink, purple, and orange as evening falls. The area's high clouds reflect the rays more brilliantly than foggier areas, such as those along the coast. The gentle slope of the Ottawa Valley makes it possible to see the natural skyline without any obstructive city views. Further, Ottawa has just the right level of air contamination to produce what some call "Goldilocks" conditions, making the sunset especially brilliant. Check it out for yourself at one of these beautiful spots.
The Ottawa Locks provide a majestic sight at any time of day. This series of eight locks connect the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa River, nearly 24.4 metres below. Standing above the locks, you can see the Fairmont Château Laurier hotel on the right and Parliament Hill to the left, with the Gatineau Hills creating a charming backdrop behind the entire scene. The red Parks Canada chairs along the locks offer some of the best seating in the area for watching the sunset.
If you'd like to enjoy dinner with your view, consider dining at La Terrasse , which looks out over the locks and river. This restaurant is an ideal choice for date night thanks to its extensive menu of decadent shareables. Split a charcuterie board, cheese board, or warm milk bread with house-churned butter. If you're in the mood for a larger plate, you can order gourmet meals, such as crab mafaldine, chorizo and almond-crusted cod, and steak frites.
Location: 3 Canal Lane, Ottawa
Dow's Lake sits in Commissioners Park along the Rideau Canal and offers picturesque views of the Dominion Arboretum and surrounding landscape. The park hosts the annual Canadian Tulip Festival each May, adding to the stunning scenery. In winter, the man-made lake freezes over, giving you the chance to behold a sparkling seasonal delight beneath the setting sun.
You can view the sunset from one of the red chairs along the bike path. Or, if you're in the mood for more of an outing, you can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle down the Rideau Canal, taking in the sunset views from the water.
If sunset coincides with dinnertime, you can watch the sun go down while dining at one of the restaurants in the Dow's Lake Pavilion. Lago caters to special events, such as weddings and private parties. The Umbrella Bar serves casual bites, such as burgers, chicken wings, tacos, and nachos. Mexi's serves California-style Mexican food, such as tacos, burritos, fajitas, and nachos.
Location: 1001 Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Ottawa
The Summer Pavilion sits behind the Centre Block on the west side of Parliament Hill. The pavilion is a replica of the original building that was constructed in 1877. From here, you can watch the sun set over the Ottawa River and city skyline as it casts a breathtaking golden glow over the picturesque scene. Bring along a picnic blanket and a light snack for an unforgettable experience watching the Ottawa sunset.
The Summer Pavilion is conveniently located just steps from the Ottawa River Pathway, which leads to the Ottawa Locks. This makes for a great stroll before or after sunset to tie together your lovely evening. Projects along this stretch of the Ottawa River Pathway will take place through fall 2023, and the trail is closed while these improvements take place.
Location: 111 Wellington Street, Ottawa
You'll find Bate Island on the Ottawa River, bisected by the Champlain Bridge. This Ottawa gem has water on all sides, making it the perfect place to go kayaking or fishing. Ample picnic tables make this a popular place to dine al fresco on a spread from home. Keep in mind, however, that Canadian geese are abundant on the island, so be cautious if you have small children.
Bate Island also offers several trails for a pleasant hike , complete with historical markers and interpretive signage to help you fully enjoy all this destination has to offer. You can easily spend a few hours exploring Bate Island, so plan accordingly to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings before sunset.
Location: Off Champlain Bridge, Ottawa
Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market
On the 16th floor of the Andaz Ottawa Hotel, you'll find Copper Spirits & Sights , a sophisticated cocktail lounge with some of the best sunset views in the city. With the tallest rooftop patio in the city, you'll find no better vantage point for watching the sky change color over the copper-topped buildings in the surrounding cityscape. If you can't find a spot on the patio, or the weather is too chilly for a drink outside, you can take in the sunset from the glass-enclosed indoor lounge.
Location: 325 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa
Hog's Back Park and Falls
Hog's Back Park offers a charming natural retreat in the heart of the city. The park is open from May through December, making it a great choice for summer fun in Ottawa . You'll find a 0.8-mile loop that's ideal for bird watching, fishing, and even cross-country skiing. It takes about 20 minutes to traverse, so you can easily make the stroll after sunset and before dark.
The waterfall at Hog's Back Park provides a stunning setting for watching the sunset. The rushing water offers a powerful soundtrack for the sight of the vibrant sky as the sun dips. Though you'll have your back to the falls during the sunset, make time to turn around and enjoy the opposite view in this picturesque spot.
Location: 600 Hogs Back Road, Ottawa
Do you know of another great place to watch the sunset in Ottawa? Get in touch with the team at Jim Tubman Chevrolet and let us know. We love having all the best recommendations to give our customers so they know where to take their new vehicle for an impromptu adventure as they head off the lot.
The Locks by Matt Wiebe is licensed with CC BY 2.0