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The Best Sunset Views in Ottawa to End a Day

The Best Sunset Views in Ottawa to End a Day

As the sun bids adieu, Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, bursts with a rich tapestry of colours. Thankfully, the city boasts a stunning array of spots where you can see this beautiful view.

From tranquil waterfront spots to elevated lookouts, this city has it all! Let’s explore the top locations where you can witness the most unforgettable sunset views in Ottawa.

Dow’s Lake

Photo credit: richardkbethell


Address: Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-232-1001

Located south of the Ottawa CBD, Dow’s Lake offers serene beauty you can’t miss. Named after Abram Dow, an American settler, this man-made lake emerged from a filthy swamp after the Rideau Canal transformed it into a navigable waterway. 

The change has improved this area, and it’s now considered one of Ottawa’s most famous attractions. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to bask in the sunset, as there are no tall buildings here to block the sun’s rays.

Dow’s Lake also has plenty of pathways where you can take a walk or ride a bike as the sun sets over the area. Hungry? You can buy some takeout from the nearby restaurants in the area and have a simple picnic here as the day ends.

Pro tip:
If you want a more romantic way to experience the sunset in Dow’s Lake, there are rental paddle boats, kayaks, and canoes available here that can accommodate up to two people. 

Visit this website to learn more about these boat rental services.

Rideau Canal

Photo credit: ottawatourism

Address: Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Ottawa, ON, Canada

After your visit to Dow’s Lake, it’s a good idea to continue and see more of Ottawa’s majestic sunset from the Rideau Canal. This captivating waterway was constructed between 1826 and 1832 by more than a thousand workers.

Today, it’s an iconic part of the city and is actually one of Canada’s 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Along its sides, you’ll find other historic sites in Ottawa, like the Commissariat Building, the oldest stone building still standing in Ottawa.

A key reason why this place is one of the best places to see the sunset is because the canal is oriented northwest, so you’ll have a clear view of the sun as it dips behind the Gatineau Hills.

Pro tip:
Before visiting the Rideau Canal itself, it would be a great idea to learn more about it and Ottawa’s history by visiting the Bytown Museum, which is located near the part of the canal connecting to the Ottawa River.

Visit their website to learn more.

The Dominion Arboretum

Photo credit: ottawatourism


Address: Arboretum, Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-759-1982

Another awesome sunset viewing spot you can visit is The Dominion Arboretum, nestled between Prince of Wales Drive and Dow’s Lake. Established in 1889, it stands as the oldest arboretum in Canada today.

With a total area of 99 acres, this place was built to test the hardiness of woody plants in the Canadian climate. Currently, there are over 4,000 different species of trees and shrubs inhabiting this arboretum.

Thanks to being north of the 45-degree latitude, The Dominion Arboretum enjoys extended twilight hours that let you see the sunset far longer than usual. This is especially true during the summer when daylight hours are extended.

Pro tip: There’s more than one spot in the arboretum where you can see the sunset without any obstructions. For the best sunset views, make sure to visit the North Lookout, the South Lookout, and Hosta Garden.

Major’s Hill Park

Photo credit: dedeclic


Address: Mackenzie Ave, Ottawa, ON K1N 1G8, Canada

Contact details: +1 800-465-1867

The best way to see the sunset is from one of Ontario’s most prominent green spaces. Major’s Hill Park, located on Mackenzie Avenue, was founded in 1826, which was the same year when construction on the Rideau Canal began.

This green space offers an unparalleled view of the sky and nearby attractions in the area, like the Ottawa River and the iconic Parliament Buildings. Once sunset arrives, the park turns into a majestic place covered with golden hues.

While you’re here, there are plenty of activities you can do as the sun begins to set. In fact, Major’s Hill Park has plenty of picnic spots, and it also boasts a winding pathway that will take you through the park’s lush greenery.

Pro tip: Make sure to visit Major’s Hill Park during the spring season. That’s because springtime is when the park’s tulips are in full bloom!

ByWard Market

Photo credit: xungkhauv


Address: 55 ByWard Market Square, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9C3

Contact details: +1 613-244-4410

Our next sunset viewing spot will take us along the bustling paths of ByWard Market. Established nearly 200 years ago, this historic district has been a hub for commerce and culture ever since the construction of the nearby Rideau Canal.

Today, this market has over 600 businesses where you can buy a diverse range of products, from fresh produce to arts and crafts. When the sunset arrives, this place turns into one of Ottawa’s busiest parts as people come here to have fun after work.

While you can enjoy the sunset from ground level, I find the rooftop bar atop Andaz Ottawa to be the best place to see the sunset in ByWard Market. From there, you can sip some cocktails while taking in panoramic views of downtown Ottawa.

Pro tip: Since you’re already in the area, it’s a great idea to try out some of the famous restaurants in ByWard Market after seeing the sunset. 
A couple I recommend you visit are Luxe Bistro, Joy on Sussex, and The Keg Steakhouse + Bar.

Ottawa Locks

Photo credit: juliaxweber

Address: Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Ottawa, ON, Canada

If, for some reason, you can’t explore most of the Rideau Canal, you can instead visit only its most iconic part: Ottawa Locks. Built in 1832, these locks serve an important role, as they are responsible for connecting the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa River.

The locks’ continuous staircase design is an engineering marvel that’s already a sight to behold on its own. At sunset, the locks transform into a magical spot where you can watch the changing colours of the sky.

Thanks to the lack of skyscrapers nearby, the Ottawa River reflects the sunset, which perfectly complements the silhouette of the locks against the twilight backdrop. The scene paints a picture of a serene moment, so don’t forget to bring your camera!

Pro tip: Aside from admiring the sunset, the Ottawa Locks is also one of the best places to do boat watching. There are plenty of benches along the canal’s banks where you can relax and observe boats passing through the locks.

Britannia Beach

Photo credit: dhoinkx

Address: 2805 Carling Ave, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 9C3

For those interested in a classic sunset viewing experience, come down to Britannia Beach. Originally referred to as Britannia Park in 1900, it was once an amusement park aimed at increasing the usage of the nearby trolley line during weekends.

Today, the beach has transformed into a serene spot where people can watch the sunset in peace. Here, you’ll be able to see the tranquil waters of the Ottawa River create a picturesque backdrop as the sun’s rays gracefully reflect on them.

Aside from taking in the sunset view, you can also have a quick dinner here, as there are plenty of picnic spots available. Britannia Beach is also a popular place for swimming and paddling, so make sure to bring swimwear before visiting!

Pro tip: The Capital Pathway, one of Ottawa’s longest bike paths, actually runs beside Britannia Beach. You can set this place as your final destination for one of your biking adventures and arrive just in time to see the sunset.

Parliament Hill 

Photo credit: franektomas


Address: Wellington St, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A9, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-992-4793

Our next destination is the seat of Canadian democracy, Parliament Hill. Perched on the southern bank of the Ottawa River, this place evokes a sense of history and purpose thanks to its Gothic-style buildings and well-maintained grounds.

Here, you’ll have plenty of chances to see the sunset, as most areas of Parliament Hill have little to no obstructions that may block the sunlight. For the best views, I find ascending the Peace Tower a great option as it offers a vantage point over the river.

Alternatively, you may also enjoy a good view of the sunset in the Summer Pavilion. You’ll find this charming open-air gazebo by walking past the Parliament Hill grounds and continuing on behind the Centre Block.

Pro tip:
Aside from its stunning sunset views, Parliament Hill also has many events you should check out! 

A couple of them are the Changing of the Guard ceremony held here every day during the summer and the Fortissimo Sunset Ceremony, which is typically held on a July evening.

Kiweki Point

Photo credit: punkodelish

Address: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4, Canada

Another beautiful sunset viewing spot you should consider is Kiweki Point, located behind the National Gallery of Canada. Formerly known as Nepean Point, this place once served as a military base before it was repurposed into a park in 1909.

This captivating hilltop offers panoramic views of the Ottawa River, Parliament Hill, and the Ottawa CBD. During sunset, the park transforms into a majestic place as the river and its surrounding areas are bathed in warm hues.

Aside from its panoramic views, Kiweki Point also offers its visitors an array of public art and natural scenery to help them relax before the day ends. Furthermore, it also has plenty of open spaces where you can enjoy a fun picnic with friends and family.

Pro tip: Aside from within Kiweki Point itself, you can also enjoy an amazing view of the sunset by visiting the back of the National Gallery of Canada that’s looking towards Gatineau.

Gatineau Park


Address: 33 Chem. Scott, Chelsea, QC J9B 1R5, Canada

Contact details: +1 613-239-5000

Distance from Ottawa CBD: 17 minutes

If you prefer to enjoy the sunset away from the bustling streets of Ottawa, Gatineau Park is your best bet. Located northwest of Ottawa, this sprawling sanctuary offers plenty of spots where you can fully see the setting sun.

Some particular areas in the park that are the best to see the sunset are Champlain Lookout, Pink Lake, and Meech Lake. These places overlook the Ottawa Valley and offer a spectacular view of the sun as it sets behind the city.

If you want, you can enhance your sunset viewing experience by paddling a boat on either of the two lakes I’ve mentioned. Furthermore, this park also has 170 kilometres of hiking trails and plenty of hidden caves that you can explore and enjoy. 

Pro tip:
Please remember that most areas of Gatineau Park don’t have artificial lighting. 

Since it will most likely be dark by the time you’re done admiring the sunset, it’s a good idea to bring a flashlight with you to assist you on your way back to the park’s entrance.