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Safety in Ottawa Tips (12)

Not dangerous, but always keep an eye open

Ottawa is generally a fairly safe city; the federal presence within the capital makes the city heavily policed and patroled. However, it's always best to be on the look out--just in case. The areas around the Rideau Centre along Rideau St. at night are sometimes filled with bored teens and wannabe drug dealers. Homeless people also are found along the area. It's usually best to ignore these crowds.

If any unlikely trouble does happen, please contact the Ottawa Police Service or the Ontario Provincial Police. The RCMP (the Mounties) also operate in Ottawa, but are involved more in federal law enforcement. Always contact the local authorities first.

MDH's Profile Photo
Apr 04, 2011

Stay away of Rideau center and King Edward

Ottawa is pretty safe all the time but I would suggest (if you are alone) to stay away of the entrance to Rideau center and Ling Edward street past 10:30 pm. There is lots of gangs and they beg you for money, drugs and alcohol!
Other than that it is fine!

AlexeRoy's Profile Photo
May 27, 2006

Police presence in downtown Ottawa

Ok, Here is something you have to remember when partying in downtown Ottawa. The Police is not sleeping, They are everywhere and watching and looking for troublemakers. Some folks think they can do and say whatever they want because all the party that?s going on in downtown. Also keep in mind, calling the Police is very easy in Ottawa and does not cost anything. Just call 911 from any phone in case of emergency. Police in Canada in genera is not corrupted, so don't even try bribing them with cash!
On the this image you see the top of a police cruiser at the Byward market.

janika's Profile Photo
Mar 25, 2006

A surprise to some

Ottawa tends to be racist and classist (as you can tell from some of the posts here).

Don't be surprised that if you are black or from Africa you will get treated differently here.

The homeless/mentally ill people never bother no need to worry in the Byward Market. Most of the crimes here have been commited by your average white man (law of averages I guess)

Women, don't walk around by yourself at night...other than that....Ottawa is not a problem.

Dec 02, 2005
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Traffic calming measures

Some years ago, the city has implemented a bunch of "traffic calming measures" including speed bumps, wavy lanes, extended curbs ... This is usually not a problem, but if the lane markings are obscured by dirt or snow in the winter, or if you are not paying close attention to the road you may be surprised. You will find these in the downtown areas. For example, Bank St has a wavy centre line and blocks of parking on alternate sides of the street. Be careful

u4ria's Profile Photo
Jan 01, 2004

Immagration was Terrible

Customs were assholes. All they wanted to do was check out who I was. They didn't care what I had. All they wanted was to know about me and my past. They ran background checks and kept me held there for 2 hours.

Good tip be in the middle of the line going thru immagration

Jonnyshark's Profile Photo
Sep 27, 2003

pretty tame city

Ottawa is a fairly safe city overall. I spent a week around the downtown area (O'Connor St.), and I didnt experience anything bad. There are a few homeless around, and if they ask for money, just say "Sorry, not today" and they'll leave you alone, and usually walk away. Also, there are a few "night girls" around. Use common sense, feel free to walk during the day, there's always tons of business people, and just people in general walking around. However, when night comes, and it's fairly deserted, keep safe, don't go to any deserted dark areas or anything. Enjoy yourself. The fun outweighs crime and bad!

Jul 18, 2003

Dont' linger

There is a road, Colonel By Drive i *think* that goes over the Rideau Canal leading from west end of downtown to the Byward Market, past the Chateau Laurier hotel and the old CN rail station (now a convention center). Under neath it, there is a walk way along the canal for a little way. There are a few benches to sit out of the sun but it appears that this somewhat secluded area is used by prostitutes for quickies and probably drug deals as well. My friiend and i sat there for a rest in the early evening and were given a few odd looks by men that walked by. I guess we didn't "look the type".... Climb the stairs up to the main road and take the street.

tvor's Profile Photo
May 24, 2003
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"My Home town.....a work in progress : o ]"
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"O t t a w a"
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"Definitely A Tale Of Two Cities!!"
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"Ottawa, Ontario! The Canadian Capital!"
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Safety in Numbers

Generally speaking, Ottawa is a fairly safe city; just use your common sense. In particular, be careful about walking alone in the less lively sections of the Byward Market / King Edward St. Area after dark. The market has been cleaned up a lot in recent years, but there are still a number of.. er.. 'ladies of the evening' (you know, the kind of ladies with thigh-high vinyl platform boots?) and their pals hanging around the quieter streets in the northern end of the market. And there are several halfway houses for the mentally disturbed along King Edward, so there are likely to be some interesting creatures hanging around there. Just stay in a group and don't do anything stupid, and you'll be fine.

Canadian_girl's Profile Photo
Apr 25, 2003

A Fairly Safe City...

Ottawa seemed to be really safe, as far as Canadian cities go. There are some street people in Ottawa, although far fewer than other large cities. Be aware that they do exist and can be found begging for money. As always, just be aware of your surroundings and be smart about certain situations.

Lisser's Profile Photo
Apr 04, 2003

there's safety in numbers. ...

there's safety in numbers. Just because it's Canada, doesn't mean there aren't crazys walking around. There are plenty and they reside RIGHT downtown in amidst the pretty sights. in the market especially.

shotgunsally's Profile Photo
Aug 26, 2002

Spring time: Melting icicles

When winter changes into construction season, finally the ice will melt, causing a new danger:

falling icicles!

pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
Mar 06, 2009

Things To Do Near Ottawa

Things to Do

Parliament Hill - Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada was established in 1875. It is Canada´s highest court. There are guided tours, free of charge, of the Supreme Court of Canada. The guided tours are offered from early May...
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Things to Do

National Arts Centre

I have been to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on two occasions, once for the extraordinary performance of the Phantom of the Opera and in May 2011 for a Rachmaninov´s Rhapsody orchestra. Both...
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Things to Do

Parliament Hill

Established as the capital of the British province of Canada in 1859, The current structures here were completed in their present form by 1927. The Canadian Parliament buildings sit on a limestone...
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Things to Do

National War Memorial

The National War Memorial was originally dedicated in 1939 by King George VI to honour the Canadian war dead of the First World War. It was designed by Vernon March. It features a high 21m arch which...
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Things to Do

Byward Market

In hidden away courtyards by Byward market are several lovely works of art. My first photo is of the Tin House (2003), which I find awesome. It is the facade of a house of tinsmith Honoré Foisy. He...
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Things to Do

Rideau Centre

The Rideau Center on Rideau street. This is the main shopping center in Ottawa and to me the only place of interest on that street wich is FILLED with pan-handlers, punks, drugged out folks and the...
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Getting to Ottawa


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