Getting to The ByTowne and Parking
Choose directions based on where you start:
Driving From East
1. From Orleans and other areas quite far from downtown, use the 417 or 147 westbound to get to the Riverside Drive/Vanier Parkway exit, and take the Vanier Parkway north to Montreal Road. (If you live in Vanier, New Edinburgh, Rockcliffe or Manor Park, just get yourself to Montreal Road and skip to step 4.)
2. Turn left from Vanier Parkway onto Montreal Road (that's where the red line on the map, right, begins).
3. Continue straight as Montreal Rd. goes up and over the Cummings Bridge (over the Rideau River). Magically, you are now on Rideau Street. Go through the first set of traffic lights and move over into the left lane. At the second set of lights (Charlotte), turn left.
4. After one very short block, turn right onto Besserer. Don't worry if you miss it, you can also turn right onto Daly.
5. Besserer (and Daly) runs parallel to Rideau through the Sandy Hill neighbourhood. There are stop signs at almost every intersection, and you shouldn't hurry, because this is a quiet residential street. But you'll move smoothly along without much interference, and after four blocks you'll cross Friel.
You are now in prime position for free street parking. The block between Friel and Nelson, and the next block between Nelson and King Edward, always seem to have an open space or three. And when you get out of your car, you'll be just one short block to the ByTowne's front door!
And even if there are NO available spaces, it's easy to go to Plan B (see the blue arrows).
B1. After the last chance at Besserer parking, you'll be at King Edward. Turn right, go down King Edward past Rideau to the next side street, which is York.
B2. Turn right on York, right again on Nelson, and voila! You're at the Loblaws parking garage, where $3 (flat rate evenings and weekends) buys you a place to put your car, peace of mind, and quick access to the ByTowne.
For more details on good parking etiquette at Loblaws, read this.
Driving From West or South
If you use the 417 Queensway to get to the downtown area, you might be accustomed to taking the Nicholas St. exit to get to the Market, the Rideau Centre, Ottawa U and (of course) the ByTowne.
But that's not the best way to go these days.
Because of the new work going on along Nicholas (part of the LRT construction), it's actually easier and faster to get to us by using the Vanier Parkway/Riverside Drive exit.
From the west end, go past the Nicholas exit and go one exit farther. Get off the 417 at Vanier Parkway and follow the signs north along the Vanier Parkway to Montreal Rd. Then go to Driving From East, Step 2 and follow the directions.
If you come from the south end or anywhere near the Rideau River, it's easiest to follow Riverside Drive north until it crosses over the 417 and becomes the Vanier Parkway. Then refer to Driving From East, Step 2 and follow the directions.
Driving From Gatineau
From Québec, the best bridges to take are the MacDonald-Cartier (blue line on map) and the Alexandra (red line).
If you use the Macdonald-Cartier bridge, get on King Edward and move over to the left lanes. Don't follow King Edward all the way up to Rideau as you might have done in the past. Instead, turn left at St. Patrick as shown on the map.
From the Alexandra Bridge, go past the National Gallery and continue straight on Murray. At King Edward, go straight.
You've now met up with traffic that used the other bridge.
Follow St. Patrick to the first traffic light (Beausoleil) and turn right. From there, the route is a bit convoluted -- Beausoleil to York, right on York to Nelson, left on Nelson -- but the streets are well marked and they're not busy, so you have plenty of time to slow down and figure things out.
As you wiggle through Lower Town, you might spot a vacant space to park on York or Nelson. If not, no problem. Immediately before you get to Rideau St., you'll see the entrance to Loblaws' parking garage, where the flat rate is just $3 in the evenings and on the weekend.
Alternate notion (not shown): To try for free street parking in Sandy Hill, get on King Edward southbound and continue past Rideau. As you go up the hill, the second street on the left is Daly. Turn left onto Daly and hunt for a vacant space on that block or the next, or use a side street to turn back north and look for parking on Besserer. The closer to Besserer and Nelson you can get, the shorter the walk. It's just one really short block from there to the ByTowne!
Taking OC Transpo
Four OC Transpo routes (routes 7, 12, 14 & 18) cruise frequently along Rideau St. and stop within steps of the ByTowne. And you can transfer to any of those routes at the Rideau Centre. If you get downtown via the Transitway, get off at the Rideau Centre stop and walk through the shopping mall to get to the Rideau St. routes.
Walking And Biking
Always the most inexpensive and eco-friendly way to get here, bikes and "boot leather express" work great. There are new bike racks along Rideau, too!