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Confederation Park

Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON

A green, peaceful oasis in the centre of downtown Ottawa.



Neighbourhood | Centretown
Cross Street | Laurier Avenue East

Profile Last Updated: August 25, 2008

At the Heart of the City
A green, peaceful oasis in the centre of downtown Ottawa, Confederation Park is also home to several major festivals throughout the year. Bordered by Elgin and Laurier Streets, the Mackenzie King Bridge and the Rideau Canal, this park is truly at the heart of the city. With City Hall on one side and the Lord Elgin Hotel on the other, this park was the original site for the Roxborough Apartments. Many famous Canadians lived in those apartments, including William Lyon Mackenzie King and Louis St. Laurent. In 1965 it was decided that the apartments would be moved and part of the site was used to build the National Arts Centre. Two years later the rest of the site was turned into a park, named to commemorate the Canadian Centennial.

Some of the Sights
The central fountain, festooned with fish that spit shimmering arcs of water into the pool, once stood in Trafalgar Square in London, England. It was given to the city of Ottawa as a gift by the National Art Collections Fund in 1955, to honour Colonel John By, founder of Bytown, and is said to be haunted. Other interesting artefacts in the park include a totem pole given to Ottawa in celebration of British Columbia’s centennial in 1971.

Party in the Park
Each year in February, Confederation Park is transformed into a fantasy of ice and snow, as sculptors and artists from around the world gather to carve blocks of ice into fantastical creatures and images during Winterlude. Bundle up, grab a hot chocolate and Beavertail, and walk through the park in the evening, when the sculptures are lit up with colourful lights and music is piped into the air. In the summer, the park becomes the home of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival where big-name artists from around the world perform in the open air.


Perfect for a Picnic: In the warmer months, grab a seat at the fountain or throw down a blanket and enjoy the sun on your lunch break.

Wheelchair accessible: Yes