Ottawa Cycling Maps

There is a number of Ottawa cycling maps available for the region both on line and on paper/PDF. Each has its own purpose. The City of Ottawa produces a large folding map you want to have, but perhaps not when you are biking as it is big and cumbersome. You also don’t always want to stop and check a route on a 4 inch screen in the bright sun. Here are some tools.

Map of pathways in Ottawa by Hans on the Bike
A stylized Ottawa cycling map by Hans on the Bike showing the multi use pathways in Ottawa inside the Greenbelt

Start with this map that I created for those who are less familiar with the cycling network in Ottawa. Read more on why and how I created it in this background document). I created a map that shows less detail but comes in very handy to understand where the paths are and how they connect. You can print it on an 8.5″ x 11″ paper and take it with you. It gives you a good overview of the network of multi use pathways because I only drew the MUPs that are connected to each other. The map covers an area of 25 km x 15 km (15 miles x 9 miles). Use the map to design your own routes. Note I am not showing on road bike lanes, just pathways away from roads, with a few exceptions in residential areas to close a loop.

Print or save the PDF version here.

Multi Use Pathways Ottawa Cycling maps, node based

We have more pathways but they tend to be stand alone pathways, which doesn’t help you if you want to go for a nice loop. I choose to base the map on nodes, like in the Netherlands. As there are no wayfinding signs in Ottawa to speak of, I used nearby landmarks to name the nodes much like metros and subways systems do.

Joint Ottawa/Gatineau/NCC map

The City of Ottawa, together with the NCC and the Ville de Gatineau print a map covering the entire region. In spring, they appear along the pathways in a special stand, where you can also find a map behind Plexiglas to orient yourself. An electronic version can be found here.

Detailed cycling map of Ottawa
2018-19 City of Ottawa/Gatineau/NCC map (Ignore the open in Acrobat message)

Heritage Canada map

Available at tour operators such as Escape Bicycle Tours when you rent a bike, this Heritage Canada map is actually printed for drivers, but comes in handy for cyclists too. It does’t include the cycling network, but the map covers an area around the core and is not too big to carry with you. Here is a copy below if you are interested (photo of a Heritage Canada map). Tourism Ottawa might give them out too.

map of central Ottawa and Gatineau
photo of a map from Heritage Canada for drivers, but useful for cycling too for orientation, but not for finding bike infrastructure

Electronic Ottawa Cycling maps

Bike Ottawa, Ottawa’s local bicycle advocacy group, has a number of very useful maps available if you are looking for a level of stress. The interactive maps allow you to choose easy and quiet roads, or more challenging ones traffic wise etc. Choose level 2 if you want to play it safe. Go to the Bike Ottawa Maps site here. There is also a route planner, a winter cycling map and even a ‘desire line’ map.