Getting to The ByTowne
From The East
- 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.)
- Turn left from Vanier Parkway onto Montreal Road (that’s where the red line on the map, right, begins).
- 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.
- After one very short block, turn right onto Besserer. Don’t worry if you miss it, you can also turn right onto Daly.
- 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).
- 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.
- Turn right on York, right again on Nelson, and voila! You’re at the Loblaws parking garage, where $4 (flat rate evenings and weekends) buys you a place to put your car, peace of mind, and quick access to the ByTowne.
From The West or South
From the west end, go to the Nicholas exit (north to downtown is the only option). Nicholas is smooth sailing all the way to Laurier Ave. East. Go straight through that intersection, and through three more traffic lights, bringing you to a “T” intersection with Rideau Street. Turn right onto Rideau and follow it two blocks to King Edward. As soon as you drive straight through the King Edward intersection, look for the ByTowne’s splendid 1947 marquee on the left, before you get to Loblaws. (Pro tip: turn left on Nelson St. just past the ByTowne, where you’ll find the entrance to the Loblaws parking garage about 100 metres down. Parking there is just $4 flat rate after 6pm and on weekends.)
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. Go to Rideau St. and turn left to find the ByTowne, or turn left at St. Patrick and follow the blue arrows to get to street parking on York or Nelson.
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 $4 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 or the LRT
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.
The LRT station that’s closest to us is Rideau Station, which puts you at the Rideau Centre. From there, it’s just a five-minute walk east to the ByTowne, or you can jump on one of the buses listed above.
Walking And Biking
Always the most inexpensive and eco-friendly way to get here, bikes and “boot leather express” work great. There are lots of bike racks along Rideau, too!
When you visit the ByTowne, there are paid parking lots you can use, and there are some opportunities for free street parking. See the map for some of your choices.
If you’ve arrived in good time, try for free street parking! After 6 pm, metered spots on Rideau are free (Sundays, too). And there’s lots of on-street parking on Besserer and Nelson.
Admittedly, there are NOT a lot of free options when you’re attending a movie on a weekday afternoon (i.e. before 6 pm). Rideau Street curb lanes are for buses at that hour, and most neighbourhood street parking is limited to one hour. You can take your chances with the authorities, or you could consider some of the reasonable options to….
Pay For Parking
Try any of the lots marked on the map. Our favourite is the covered parking garage at Loblaws, which is accessed from Nelson St., less than a block north of Rideau. It’s well lit, clean and safe, and the prices are reasonable.
The flat rate at Loblaw’s garage is just $4 after 6:00 pm, and all day Saturdays and Sundays. But note that you’ll be ‘on the clock’ if you attend a weekday afternoon movie, and the price per hour can add up. There’s a terrific workaround for that, though. If you shop at Loblaw’s before or after the movie, the first two hours of your parking are FREE. For most films of ordinary length, that means you’ll spend only about an hour or so at the hourly rate and you’ll get some of your weekly shopping done, too!
Note that this is publicly available parking offered by Loblaw’s, and we have no formal relationship with them.