Major’s Hill Park

Photo of Major’s Hill Park in fall with coloured leaves on trees and Peace Tower
Major's Hill Park

Major’s Hill Park is one of the Capital’s main event parks, hosting major events like the Canada Day celebrations. When not holding events, Major’s Hill Park is a calm oasis in downtown Ottawa, and the perfect spot to take a break between visits to the ByWard market and nearby museums and galleries.

The park offers some of the best lookouts in Ottawa and has many historical interpretative panels. Major’s Hill Park features stately trees, rolling lawns and winding pathways, making it a beautiful spot for a stroll. From Major’s Hill Park there are wonderful views of the Rideau Canal locks, the Ottawa River and the Parliament Buildings.

Major’s Hill Park is the Capital’s first park and has been a green space since 1826 when the building of the Rideau Canal began. In 1867, fireworks and bonfires at Major’s Hill Park marked the Capital’s first Canada Day celebrations.

The park features the remains of the house where Colonel By lived during the building of the Rideau Canal. It also features Header House, the last remaining section of the Major’s Hill Park greenhouse complex, which was dismantled in 1937–1938.

Inside Header House can be found the Blink Gallery, a non-profit artist collective that supports artists from the Ottawa region and beyond, providing a space to experiment and extend their art practices. The exhibitions are free to the public, and run from May to October, on Thursday to Sunday afternoons.

Major’s Hill Park was formally established as a park in 1875. It covers 5.06 hectares of land by Mackenzie Avenue in Ottawa. The Park is behind the Chateau Laurier and across from the National Art Gallery and the American Embassy.

Site opens early May and closes end of October.

Washrooms May to October
Open 8 am to dusk (no later than 9 pm), daily
Parking Free and paid parking is available in the ByWard Market and there is paid parking in the National Gallery of Canada’s underground parking lot.
Picnic Areas There are picnic areas in the park.

For more information see the Parks, Paths and Parkways visitor information.