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Parking Cupid > Blog > Ottawa Airport And Parking: Everything You Need To Know

Ottawa Airport And Parking: Everything You Need To Know

An Introduction To Ottawa Airport Parking

YOW's parking is designed with convenience in mind, making it easy for travelers to access the terminal building from any of the on-site lots. This makes it a breeze to get to your flight!

Short-term Parking

If you're away for just a few hours or even a couple of days, Ottawa Airport's multi-story Parkade is the perfect place to park. It's secure and fully covered, plus it has accessibility priority areas on each floor. Plus, there's a direct walkway from the Parkade that takes you straight to the terminal in two minutes! Just one thing to note - the Parkade has a height limit of 7.2 feet (2.25 meters). If your vehicle is taller than that, there's a long-stay facility nearby that you can use instead.

Long-term Parking

If you're going away for a week or more, Ottawa Airport's on-site long-stay parking is the perfect option. It's just a seven minute walk from check-in and it's usually cheaper than the Parkade, making it great for budget travelers. There are also lots of independent long-stay parking lots near the airport, some of which offer shuttle bus services so you can get to the terminal without lugging around all your luggage. It's a great solution if you're looking for budget-friendly long-term parking!

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Pick-up/drop-off Bays

If you're driving to or from the Ottawa Airport, there's dedicated pick-up and drop-off bays right outside arrivals and departures. Just remember that parking or waiting in these bays is a big no-no - it can create congestion so make sure your visit is short!

Cell Phone Lot

Are you looking to give your passengers an extra special send-off or are you eager to pick them up before their scheduled arrival time? If so, YOW's Cell Phone Lot is perfect for you! It's free to park here, and then it'll just take two minutes to get from the lot to the terminal. You can be sure your passengers will have the best start to their trip!

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Guide To Ottawa Macdonald-cartier International Airport

Ottawa Airport (YOW) is a bustling hub for travellers in Canada, welcoming almost five million domestic and international passengers each year. With two runways and over 150,000 aircraft movements, it's the sixth-busiest airport in the country. It's also known as Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport after Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George-Étienne Cartier, two of Canada's founding fathers. There are plenty of options for international flights too - more than a dozen airlines offer direct connections to over 50 destinations around the world! So if you're looking for a convenient hub in Canada to connect you to the rest of the world, Ottawa Airport (YOW) is the place to go. Safe travels!

What Are Ottawa Airports Contact Details?

Address: 1000 Airport Parkway Private, Ottawa Airport, ON K1V 9B4, Canada. Phone: +1 613-248-2125 Website:

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Location Of Ottawa Airport

If you're looking for a convenient way to get from downtown Ottawa to the airport, Route 79 (aka Airport Parkway) will take you there in just 15-20 minutes. Better yet, there's a dedicated bus that runs along its own transitway every 15 minutes and takes only 30 minutes! Even though there isn't a rail station at YOW, airport buses make frequent stops at nearby Trillium Line stations. Plus, plans are in the works to build a rail station inside the terminal as part of a future expansion. So, if you're traveling to or from Ottawa Airport, there are plenty of easy and fast options!

History Of Ottawa Airport

Ottawa Airport, known as 'Uplands' back in the day, has quite the history. It was first established by the Ottawa Flying Club in the late 1920s and during World War II it operated as No.2 Service Flying Training School for Commonwealth countries. After the war, it underwent major expansion to become a civilian/military airport and was the busiest in Canada. By 1959, YOW had two runways capable of handling big jet airliners and a brand new terminal was built. This terminal lasted until 2003, when they upgraded to a modern facility due to the higher number of passengers. It's now one of only eight airports with preclearance facilities from the US and is set to become the world's first airport to use facial recognition technology at check-in. Pretty cool, right? Pretty impressive for an airport with such a humble beginning! Pretty impressive indeed! YOW's history is certainly something to be proud of. With the continuous investment and innovation, it looks like there's no stopping them now!

Ottawa Airport Facilities

Ottawa International Airport (YOW) has a lot to offer travelers, whether they're popping in for a quick layover or staying awhile. The award-winning retail hall is full of shopping options - from last-minute vacation necessities to exclusive Canadian souvenirs and the latest sports merchandise. And if you’re looking for something to eat, their food court has something for everyone. You'll find fast food outlets, local cafés and independent restaurants - all ready to cater to your hunger-pangs! Whether you want a quick snack or a full dinner, YOW is the place to be.

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  • Smoking areas

  • Prayer room

  • Postal services

  • Pet collection

  • Pharmacy

  • Free WiFi

  • Family facilities

    • Nursery

    • Toys/books

  • Currency exchange

  • ATM machines

  • Visitor information booth

  • Terminal car park

  • Long-term car park

  • Drop-off zone

  • Toilets

  • Disabled access

  • Baby-changing facilities

  • Shopping

    • Duty free

    • Convenience stores

    • Newsagents

    • Designer brands

    • Souvenirs

  • Food

    • Restaurants

    • Cafés

    • Chocolate shops

  • Drinks

    • Bars

    • Alehouses

    • Coffee shops

Ottawa Macdonald-cartier International Airport Hotel And Parking

If you're looking for somewhere to stay near Ottawa Airport, there's plenty of options - from chain hotels to independent motels and B&Bs. Adam's Airport Inn is a great budget-friendly spot that's only a five minute drive away, and even offers two weeks' free 'park and fly' parking with one night’s stay. Alternatively, Days Inn Ottawa Airport is a great option if you want to be closer, with free parking and an airport shuttle bus service. For something more luxurious, the Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport is just 1.4 kilometers away and has everything you need for a relaxing pre-flight experience - think pool, fitness center and herb garden! The hotel's complimentary shuttle runs regularly between the lobby and the terminal, so parking at YOW is also a great option. Enjoy your trip!

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Canadian Cuisine

Heading to YOW airport and need something to eat? From freshly brewed coffee and donuts to pub grub, pizza and poutine, Ottawa Airport has it all. Whether you're wanting a quick bite on the go or a heartier meal before your flight, there's plenty of local and international options to choose from. Even if you're flying real early or late, there's no need to worry - the café in the arrivals hall is open 24 hours a day for that much needed pick-me-up. Bon voyage!

Top Shopping

Heading to Ottawa Airport? You're in luck! With over a dozen shops selling travel essentials, international newspapers and magazines, snacks, drinks and souvenirs, you'll find everything you need for your journey. Need a spare battery for the plane ride? No problem – there's convenience stores around the terminal building with batteries (and lots more!). Plus, you can check out the luxury goods crafted by local artisans and pick up some iconic Canadian maple syrup for a sweet treat! Whatever your needs, Ottawa Airport has it covered. Have a great flight!

A Walk Of Art

The Ottawa Airport terminal was designed to be a comfortable and enjoyable experience while also showcasing the region’s rich culture. Look around and you’ll see copper, limestone and other highlights that reference Ottawa's iconic Parliament Buildings, plus a beautiful water feature symbolizing the convergence of three rivers. Throughout the airport, artwork from renowned and up-and-coming Canadian artists is displayed. One of the highlights is a breathtaking carved glass sculpture by Warren Carther. You can also find a special inukshuk - an arctic North American stone landmark - and an extremely rare traditional birch bark canoe crafted by one of the last master craftsmen, an indigenous Algonquin leader. The other canoe was presented to the late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Enjoy discovering all these amazing elements the Ottawa Airport has to offer!

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Get Your Shoes Shined

Want to look your best when you fly? Get your shoes shined at YOW before takeoff! Located just past security, this airport shoe-shining spot is open from 6am to 8pm daily for domestic and international travelers. No matter the type of footwear - leather, suede, nubuck or patent - their experienced staff will have your shoes looking and feeling good in no time. So take a few minutes to put your feet up before you board and strut confidently to the gate!

Gotta Get Them All

Love collecting? Get your hands on Ottawa Airport's special Airport Trading Cards! YOW is one of over 60 North American airports taking part in the series, offering free and unique sets featuring iconic images of the airport and its surroundings. Plus, you can learn interesting facts about the airport and community connection. Don't miss out - get your cards now!

Fancy Yourself A Firefighter?

Are you curious about the firefighters and equipment at Ottawa Airport (YOW)? The on-duty crew offers firehall tours to give visitors a peek into their world. You can learn about the specialized equipment and vehicles they use, as well as important fire safety information. Plus, get demonstrations of their impressive jets fuel firefighting capabilities – their trucks can shoot out four tons of flame-retardant foam per minute! The tours are suitable for families and kids 6+; just check YOW's website to book. This is a great way to learn more about the hardworking firefighters at the airport, who are specially trained in aircraft rescue and use state-of-the-art technology. Don't miss out!

Be A (Paper) Pilot

Heading to Ottawa Airport? Keep the kids entertained and test their aeronautical skills at the same time with the airport's official paper airplane! Download the design, print it out and then see how far and how fast your plane can fly. It's a fun way to pass the time before boarding your flight.

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The Heart Of The Country

Parliament Hill, home to the Parliament of Canada, is something to behold! It's located right in the heart of Ottawa, just 8 miles (13 kilometers) away from YOW airport. The iconic Gothic architecture overlooks the Ottawa River and beyond, and it welcomes over three million visitors per year. It’s free to take guided or independent tours, which showcase the stunning architecture and take you through the offices of some of Canada’s most famous figures. Parliament Hill was vital in shaping modern-day Canada, so be sure to check it out while you're visiting!

A Watery Wonder

If you’re looking for a stunning view of Ottawa, then Hog’s Back Falls is the place to be! Just 6 miles north of the airport, the Rideau River and Canal part ways - with the canal now a UNESCO World Heritage site. This natural wonder has been harnessed to help lift and lower boats with ease. Hog’s Back Falls is surrounded by a beautiful park with plenty of walking and cycling paths - allowing you to take in the cityscape from its riverside views. There are also special events all-year-round, such as Ottawa FolkFest in the summer or cross-country skiing throughout winter. It’s definitely a great spot to explore!

Get Back To Nature

Head to the Canadian Museum of Nature for a fun and educational experience before your flight! Just 15 minutes from the airport, you'll find an incredible collection of natural history and science artefacts - dating back over 14.6 million specimens! Among these artefacts is a truly remarkable 85-million-year-old fossil exhibition, as well as interactive galleries featuring Canada's native mammals, marine life, birds and bugs. You won't want to miss it - plus, it's also budget-friendly! Enjoy your time at the Canadian Museum of Nature!

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Life On The Farm

The Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa is a must-visit if you're in the area. It's a National Historic Site of Canada, and it's full of fascinating things to explore. The Canada Agriculture Museum, observatory with the largest telescope ever installed in Canada, an arboretum, and ornamental garden all make it worth your while. Plus, it's just 8 miles from the airport, so you can fit in a quick visit before your flight! The gardens are free to enter and always worth a peek. Go stretch your legs and get some fresh air before you take off!

National Treasures

The National Gallery of Canada is an incredible art gallery with a vast collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography and other artefacts from both Canadian and international artists. You can find classical works here but it's also very well known for its contemporary art - think Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Piet Mondrian and Jackson Pollock. It's no surprise that the gallery is so renowned, showcasing some of the most iconic artworks in modern times.

Going Underground

Are you curious to explore a four-story, 100,000-square foot bunker hidden deep underground? Ottawa has just the thing for you! The Diefenbunker is an incredible former top-secret base designed to protect over 500 people in case of nuclear attack. Now it's Canada's only Cold War museum and located just an hour away from YOW. You can explore the weird and wonderful experience of life underground, including toilets capable of surviving a nuclear blast - plus, it's the perfect place for an epic game of hide and seek! Run as a not-for-profit museum by local volunteers for over 20 years, this is definitely worth the visit.

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An Axe To Grind

Ever tried axe throwing? It's a beloved Canadian national pastime that has recently seen a resurgence in popularity. Just like darts, but with hand axes instead of lightweight darts and wooden targets instead of cork dartboards. In Ottawa, you can find commercial axe-throwing establishments where you can learn the ropes in a safe environment. Why not give it a go? Who knows, you might have a hidden talent!

Market Value

Heading to Ottawa and looking for a bite to eat? Why not check out the Ottawa Farmer’s Market – it's just a 15-minute drive from the airport! Year-round, you can find all kinds of locally-grown produce here. From bread and cheese to cured meats, fruit and vegetables, there's something for every taste. And if you're really hungry, pick up some baked goods and sweets for a delicious snack! Enjoy the best that Ottawa has to offer – all within 100 kilometers of the city. Bon appétit!

Which Terminal?

Flying to and from Ottawa? YOW, otherwise known as Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport, is the place to be! It's part of Canada's busiest air corridor between Toronto and Montreal, so it's served by major airlines like Air Canada, First Air, Delta and United. Whether you're looking for a flight within Canada or a journey to the USA or Europe, you'll find it here. Head to their website for a full list of airlines flying through Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport. Bon voyage!

How To Get To Ottawa Macdonald-cartier International Airport

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Heading to Ottawa International Airport? Route 79 is the direct route from downtown, and it leads straight to the Trans-Canada Highway after a 20 kilometer drive. When you're coming from outside of Ottawa, plug 'K1V 9B4' into your GPS for easy navigation. Depending on where you're starting from, it usually takes two hours to get to the airport from Montreal, and four hours if you're coming from Toronto. That's a 271 mile (437 kilometer) drive! Have a safe trip!


If you're looking to get around Ottawa, OC Transpo is your best bet! Route 97 runs from the airport north to downtown and out into the suburbs. The buses run 24/7, with service as frequent as every 10 minutes – so it's a quick 30 minute trip along Airport Parkway to the city center. Check out their website for fares, timetables and route maps – you'll be zipping around Ottawa in no time!


The Ottawa Airport doesn't have its own train station, but there are plans to build one in the terminal. If you need to get to and from the airport by public transport, you can take the OC Transpo Trillium line along Airport Parkway or the Route 97 bus which stops at various stations on its way - Greenboro is the closest, just three miles (five kilometers) away.

Useful Tips

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Arrive In Plenty Of Time

Planning on flying out of Ottawa Airport? Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to check in! For domestic flights, it's a good idea to arrive two hours before boarding, and three hours prior if you're taking an international flight. With over 450 flights coming and going each day, the terminal and parking lots can get pretty busy during peak hours. So don't wait too long — get to the airport and get ready for your flight!

Opening Hours

YOW is open all day and night, every day of the week! But if your flight leaves early in the morning, security checkpoints will have closed for the night – no worries though, airline and security staff will be there to lend a hand at least two hours before take-off. So make sure you plan ahead!

Midnight Snacks

Wondering what to do if you're looking for a midnight snack at the airport? Don't worry, there's a 24-hour café located landside in the food court on level 1 where you can grab Canada's favorite hot drinks and sweet treats! Even though the airport is open through the night, most of the food and drink vendors close after the last flight of the day, so make sure you get there before then. Enjoy!

Check Your Vehicle Height Before You Book Your Parking

If you're flying out of YOW, check the height of your vehicle before booking a spot in their multi-story Parkade. The whole lot has a 7.2-foot (2.25-metre) height restriction, so if you're over-height or not sure, head to the airport's long-stay parking lot instead. It's just a few minutes' drive away and still only seven minutes on foot to check-in. Easy!

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Bring Your Phone

If you're picking someone up from YOW, it's a good idea to use the Cell Phone Lot instead of trying to find a spot in the drop-off/pick-up bays. It's completely free while you wait for them to call and only takes two minutes to get to their terminal after that. So why not head to the Cell Phone Lot and make things easier!

Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport FAQs

How Do I Get To Ottawa Airport?

Getting to Ottawa Airport (YOW) is a breeze! It's just a 15-minute drive south of downtown Ottawa via Route 97, which runs parallel to the Trillium rail line. Plus, it's easily accessible from the Trans-Canada Highway. Check out our 'How to get to Ottawa Airport' section for more info and head over to YOW’s Transportation page for details on taxis and transfers. It'll be no time at all before you're in the air!

Where Can I Find Information About My Flight?

At YOW, we have all the flight information you need. If your airline hasn't sent you what you need or things have changed, our flight timetable has the details of the day's flights – arrival and departure times, along with your airline, flight number and gate. Check it out for easy access to all the updated info!

I’ve Lost Something - What Do I Do?

If you've left something on your plane, be sure to reach out to your airline right away. Likewise, if you lost something while en route to the airport - whether it was in a taxi, bus or train - contact the company you used.

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Are There Accessibility Facilities At Ottawa Airport?

If you need help during your time at YOW, let your airline know in advance and they'll make all the necessary arrangements for you. We want to ensure that everyone enjoys their stay here at Ottawa Airport! So don't hesitate to reach out if there's anything we can do to make your experience more comfortable.

What Destinations Can I Fly To And From Ottawa Airport?

Flights from Ottawa Airport can take you to all sorts of exciting destinations, either directly or with connecting flights! Planning your next getaway has never been easier. Where will you go?

  • Sydney

  • Melbourne

  • Brisbane

  • Canberra

  • Newcastle

  • Perth

  • Gold Coast

  • Cairns

  • Hobart

  • Sunshine Coast

  • Launceston

  • Ballina-Byron

  • Auckland

  • Wellington

  • Christchurch

  • Nelson

  • Los Angeles

  • LaGuardia

  • Gatwick

  • London City

  • Fiumicino

  • Venezia

  • Barcelona El Prat

  • Madrid

  • Buenos Aires

  • Zurich

  • Frankfurt

  • Hamburg

  • Cape Town

  • Dublin

  • Calgary

  • Toronto

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