Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon Sightseeing Tour

Running the Scotiabank Ottawa Half Marathon? Your tour is here!

The Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon course is 42.2km of scenic running. There’s so much history in the City of Ottawa and runners get to see a lot of it as they take on the challenge of the marathon. Here’s a few spots to look out for along the way. There’s everything from nice neighbourhoods to museums and government buildings to see.

War Memorial (0.3km)

Right off the start you’ll pass the National War Memorial on your left. Originally dedicated in 1939, it commemorates the Canadians who died in World War I. Later it was re-dedicated to include World War II and the Korean War. In 2000, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added in front.

Pretoria Bridge (2.8km)

This bridge brings you back over the Rideau Canal for the trip south to Dow’s Lake. You’ll cross this twice on the marathon route. Once at 2.8km and then again with just 1.3km to go.

Dow’s Lake (6.8km)

Look to your left as you sweep around the edge of Dow’s Lake, a man-made lake that’s part of the Rideau Canal system. The big building next to the lake is Dow’s Lake Pavilion.

Wellington St. W. (9km)

This quaint village setting is lovely to run through with shops and restaurants lining the street here. Expect good spectator support!

Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway (16km)

This out and back section along the Ottawa River can be tough, but there’s lots to look at with the river off to your right on the way out, and your left on the way back. Look for your running friends here going out as you come back (or vice versa).

Canadian War Museum (19.5km)

Look to your left as you pass this spectacular museum dedicated to Canada’s military history. Built in 2005, it’s drawn praise for it’s sustainable design including a green roof and architectural features that are meant to evoke a bunker.

Chaudière Bridge (20.5km)

Across the bridge into Quebec we go. The Ottawa Marathon is unique in that it takes place in two provinces! Make sure to look left over the bridge for a view of the Chaudière (Cauldron) Falls. It’s quite the sight!

Montcalm Bridge (23.9km)

This beautiful bridge takes you over Brewery Creek before you make your way south to the Ottawa River again, and then towards the bridge that will take you back to Ontario.

Alexandra Bridge (26.5km)

Some of the most spectacular views of the entire race are here. To your right before you get on the bridge is the Canadian Museum of History. Then once you cross the bridge, look to your right and up the river bank for a stunning view of the Library of Parliament and the Peace Tower.

24 Sussex Drive (29km)

Who knows? Maybe Prime Minister Harper will come out to cheer you on. He’d only have to walk to the end of his driveway to cheer.

Sir George Étienne Cartier Parkway (32.3km)

This part of the course is a bit desolate in terms of spectators, but still beautiful to run. The right turn to Birch means you’re heading back south and also just 10km from the finish.

Rideau Falls (36.8km)

Over the Rideau River and the falls are to your right here. You can’t see them, but you might be able to hear the water flowing over the edge down to the Ottawa River below. Almost home! The crowds along the Canal await just a couple of kilometres ahead.

National Gallery (38km)

Look for the giant spider out front of the National Gallery, called Maman. If you are afraid of spiders, use this as motivation for the last 4km.

The Finish (42km)

The crowds here will be nuts, pushing you to the finish. It’s the greatest finish line anywhere in Canada. Draw energy from the crowd as you push through the last 200m to collect your marathon medal!

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