Biking from Downtown to the Ottawa International Airport and/or the EY Centre

The Ottawa International Airport is a comfortable 13-15 km ride from downtown. The following route is my favourite. The EY Centre is a huge convention space used for various events and is very close to the airport, so I’ve included a slight detour that’ll get you there as well (orange line on the map).

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Starting off from the corner of Laurier Avenue and Percy St, head south along the Percy bike lane. (Percy and Laurier is an intersection easily accessible from many points within the downtown core via the Laurier Bike Lane).

Bike lane along Percy

Percy continues on the opposite side of the Queensway sans bike lane.

Percy south of the Queensway

Turn right on Fifth Avenue and cross Bronson Avenue at the intersection.

Traffic lights at Fifth Avenue heading across Bronson
Traffic lights at Fifth & Bronson

Once across Bronson continue down Madawask Drive, then onto the pathway that cuts through Commissioners Park.

Access to path through Commissioners Park from Madawaska Drive
Lovely path through Commissioners Park. Always lots of flowers.

Follw this path to the intersection of Preston Street and Prince of Wales Drive.

Approaching Prince of Wales and Preston

Cross the lights to get to the bike path that runs through the Arboretum along the edge of Dow’s Lake and the Rideau Canal.

Path through the Arboretum along the Rideau Canal
Path through the Arboretum

Pushed you bike over the canal locks opposite Carleton University and turn right along the Rideau Canal Pathway as far as Mooney’s Bay.

Up & over the locks

The path continues over the Rideau River along Hogs Back Road. Once over the Hogs Back Falls bridge take the path to the right that goes through Mooney’s Bay park

Once over the Hogs Back Falls bridge take the path to the right that goes through Mooneys Bay park
Path to the right that goes through Mooney’s Bay park

On the other side of Mooney’s Bay Park the path continues along Riverside Drive for a short distance until it ends at Walkley Road. Riverside Drive is a very busy street with lots of speeding traffic. There are raised paved shoulders along Riverside beyond Quesnel Drive, but not between Walkley Road and Quesnel Drive. To avoid this section, ride on the packed grass beside the sidewalk along Riverside for a short distance and cross Riverside to the parking lot of the Anglican Church.

Intersection of Walkley and Riverside Drive
Entrance to church parking lot off Riverside

Ride through to the opposite side of the church parking lot to the short path that cuts through to Otterson Drive.

Path from church parking lot to Otterson Drive

Turn right onto Otterson, and take the short path that links to Quesnel Drive. Follow Quesnel Dr that ends at Riverside Drive. Get back on Riverside Drive and continue south along the previously mentioned raised paved shoulders. They extend from Quesnel to Uplands Drive.

Paved shoulder along Riverside Drive

Turn left onto Uplands Drive and follow it for a short distance before turning right along Bowesville Road.

Mid way down Bowesville there’s a NO THROUGH TRAFFIC sign, and a smaller green one below it that asks pedestrians and cyclists passing through to remain on the road. That’s because it cuts through the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club. There’s a steel gate a bit beyond the signs, however there’s space to ride by just to the right.

Signs midway down Bowesville, and gate a bit further on.
Signs midway down Bowesville, and gate a bit further on.

Once beyond the golf club property cross Hunt Club Road at the lights and continue south along Paul Benoit Driveway. This is a very pleasant road to ride along. Traffic isn’t too speedy, the posted limit being 50km/h. There is also a paved path that runs along the west side of the road.

Path along Paul Benoit Driveway

Normally, to get to the terminal turn right off of Paul Benoit Driveway onto Kiowa Pr, cut through the employee parking, then left at the end of the parking lot, which becomes a lane airport employees use to walk back and forth to their cars. This lane leads right to the arrivals doors in front of the terminal. At the time of writing they were constructing the O-Train connection to the airport, which required a slight deviation to the normal route, as per the green line indicated on the above map. i.e., rather than cut through the employees parking, ride to the end of Kiowa Pr to Clear Skies Pr, then turn left onto Clear Skies Pr, which leads to the aforementioned lane that brings you to the entrance to the terminal.

Turn right onto Kiowa Pr
Connection from Clear Skies Pr to path leading to front of airport terminal

There are bike racks infront of the concrete pillars located just outside the entrance to the airport.

Bike racks
Bike racks

Accessing the EY Centre

If you are heading to the EY Centre (orange line on the above map) turn left off of Paul Benoit Driveway onto Breadner Blvd, which has ample room for cars and bikes.

Breadner Blvd

Turn right onto Uplands Drive, which is a busy street, but also has wide paved shoulders. The entrance to the EY Centre is a short distance further along Uplands.

Uplands Dr

Follow the same route heading back to Ottawa, except for the last stretch north of the Queensway where the bike lane follows Bayswater versus Percy, as indicated by the purple line on the above map.

Et voila!

Author: ottawavelo

bicycler

6 thoughts on “Biking from Downtown to the Ottawa International Airport and/or the EY Centre”

  1. Arriving at YOW with a bike is also simple. Arrivals are on the main floor. Go out the main door and cross over the street to the multilevel parking garage. Walk or ride through the garage to the back and out onto the short vehicle ramp onto Airport Parkway Private. Watch for coming cars then go against the flow for about 30 feet and down onto the ramp to Tracker Private (Check it out on Google maps) Proceed North on Tracker Private then turn right onto Silver Star Private. Turn left on Paul Benoit Driveway and continue through the Hunt Club Golf course. Turn left onto Uplands drive then Right on Riverside Drive. Continue to the bike path through Mooney’s Bay park. From there continue to Ottawa on the bike paths along the canal or the Rideau River…. Enjoy biking in Ottawa.

    1. We are flying into YOW with bikes in Aug. 2019 and will be cycling into town. Any changes or updates to this route that we would find useful? We are staying in the Byward Market area.

      1. Hi Kathleen. That’s great you are biking into town from the airport! To get to the Byward Market I suggest staying on the path along the north side of the canal, then crossing back over the canal at the pedestrian/bike bridge across from Ottawa U. This path ends about 2 blocks from the Byward Market. (normally you could ride all the way along the path that runs along the south side of the canal, rather than crossing at the Hartwell Locks but they are repairing a section of the canal wall closer to downtown and the detour isn’t great). Unfortunately there are no bike lanes from the end of Rideau Canal Pathway for the two blocks leading into the market area so, depending on the traffic, you might want to walk your bike along the sidewalk for these 2 blocks. I will try to post this route in June before you get here.

      2. Thanks for the info. Any update before August would be most appreciated. I am especially interested in the piece along Riverside drive. Is there still just the elevated shoulder and/or sidewalk? Happy summer pedalling.

      3. This post is great! Good directions so we shouldn’t get lost or run over. Thanks so much for posting it for us. We would love to buy you a beer for your efforts🚴‍♀️😎. We are in Ottawa Aug 25-28.

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