City Profile

Population: 1,001,077

  • Ottawa is just above the average for hectares of parkland per population for cities over 500,000 with 4.5 hectares per thousand people.
  • Ottawa is one of 50% of cities with a community park group program.
  • Ottawa is one of 63% of cities that has a seniors strategy that includes parks.
  • Ottawa’s very first Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan is under development. As part of the city’s new Official Plan, the parks plan will lay the foundation for the development of municipal parks and recreation facilities over the next ten years to best serve the diverse needs of residents of Ottawa.
  • By redeploying recreation staff, the city created the Park Ambassadors program in 2020. Six pairs of ambassadors strolled through a total of 24 Ottawa parks each day to encourage safe park use and answer questions. The program was reinstated in spring 2021.
  • Somerset West Community Health Centre hosts activities including an after school program and seniors drop-in program from Laroche Park Field House. The city does not charge the organization rent for the use of the building and will be constructing a new space in the park in 2021 for these programs to continue.
2021 Data



ha parkland per 1000 people

4466 ha of total parkland


of total parkland is natural area

1510 total ha


of total city land is parkland

279,600 ha of total city area



dog parks



Community gardens/urban farms

400 m or 5 minute walk

Parkland provision goal (distance to park / ha per 1000 people)


Policy to waive permit fees for groups with financial need.


Provincially legislated tools available for parkland dedication, acquisition and/or development

Municipalities are able to require up to 5% of the land area of a residential development for parkland or, through an alternate rate bylaw, one hectare in land per 300 units or the equivalent in cash-in-lieu of one hectare per 500 units. Municipalities are also able to require 2% of commercial or non-residential development for parkland or the equivalent in cash-in-lieu. Municipalities may also fund eligible parks improvements through Development Charges and may choose to collect funding for parkland through a Community Benefits Charge, but overlap between these tools must be avoided.

¹This number doesn't include provincially or federally owned/managed parkland, which is significant in Ottawa and estimated at 1,600ha ²2 additional off-leash areas on NCC property. ³There are an additional 103 community gardens not on city-owned land, for a total of 129. ⁴Community garden fund offered in partnership with Just Food.

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Thirty-two cities participated in this year's report and we hope more will join us next year.