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7 Spots in Downtown Ottawa to Capture Jaw-Dropping Wedding Photos

Couple in Majors Hill Park

Published on February 11, 2022

If you’re getting married in downtown Ottawa, you might be brainstorming photo opportunities other than the backdrop of your venue. This city has many picturesque options to choose from, such as historic buildings and beautiful green spaces that will allow for the perfect photo. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite photo ops in the downtown core that will surely take your breath away and take your photos to the next level.

Wedding Party walking in Major's Hill Park

Photo Credit: Chelsea Mason Photography

Major’s Hill Park

In the downtown core’s hustle and bustle, this park is a calming oasis to escape with its lush greenery and well-maintained pathways. It also offers stunning views of the Ottawa River, The Ottawa Locks on the Rideau Canal, and the Parliament buildings.

This park is a site for the Canadian Tulip Festival, so if you’re getting married in the spring, or more specifically in May, the park will be blooming with tulips; your photos will truly look like a fairy-tale! For the autumn brides, it’s very colourful in the fall as it has many maple trees. If you’re looking for an earthy element to your photos, we highly recommend Major’s Hill. The park covers 5.06 hectares and is located between the National Gallery of Canada to the north and the Fairmont Château Laurier to the south, just minutes from the Shaw Centre.

Bridal Party at Ottawa Locks

Photo Credit: Mitch Lenet Weddings Photography

Ottawa Locks

Located next to Major’s Hill Park is the historic Ottawa locks, which was once one of the most dominant features in Ottawa. These photos will tell a story, as this isn’t another green space or historic building and poses for a truly unique scene. The eight locks connect the channel of the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa River. Take photos from the Plaza Bridge or walk down to the locks and strike a pose! You might even get to see a boat making its way into the Ottawa River.

Couple in Confederation Park

Photo Credit: Low Key Weddings

Confederation Park

This park is another haven in the city, offering 2.63 hectares of land. So there’s plenty of space for your photographer to capture those special moments! In addition, a gorgeous fountain lies in the middle of the park, providing a unique aspect to your photos. It honours the memory of Lieutenant Colonel John By, builder of the Rideau Canal and founder of Bytown, which was renamed Ottawa in 1855.

The park has many lush trees and pathways leading to Elgin Street or further into the downtown core. It also has a grand staircase leading to Mackenzie King Bridge, another perfect photo opportunity.

couple standing along water

Photo Credit: Union Eleven

Rideau Canal

This UNESCO world heritage site must be on your photo list. Due to the Centre’s close proximity to the canal, it’s a no-brainer. You can take photos from anywhere along the canal, but you’ll get the perfect backdrop with the parliament buildings from our vantage point. You might even catch a couple of boats on the canal or the perfect Ottawa sunset!

Couple Kissing on Love Lock Bridge

Photo Credit: LW Imaging

The Love Lock Pedestrian Bridge

Or otherwise known as the Corktown Footbridge or the Somerset Street Bridge, it is built across the Rideau Canal. It’s 70 meters long and located just 400 meters south of the Laurier Avenue Bridge. Many Ottawa residents and tourists have performed this historic and romantic ritual. What better way to seal the deal than by adding your personalized lock to the bridge and throwing away the key! For more candid photos, have your photographer document every moment. This is a spectacular photo op, and you can revisit the scene time and time again and remanence about your special day! The view here is stunning; take in the sights as you look onto the Canal, Chateau Laurier, and Parliament.

couple kissing outside

Photo Credit: Stephanie Mason Photography

The Senate of Canada Building

Take advantage of Ottawa’s historic buildings and the beautiful architecture that comes with it! This one isn’t a prominent location, but its clean lines, edges, and stunning arches make it feel like you’re in a European country! Its neutral tones will bring out any pops of colours you’re wearing. The Senate building of Canada is located at 2 Rideau Street, also located across from the Shaw Centre.

couple kissing outside

Photo Credit: Julia Garcia Prat Photographie

Byward Market

For the urban bride, the Byward Market should not be missed! This Ottawa neighborhood has many architectural features that will enhance your photos. After strolling through Major’s Hill Park, a gorgeous staircase known as the York Street Steps will link you to the Byward Market. The stairs are painted quarterly, typically in bright and vibrant colours. The view from the top of the staircase looks out onto the market, and it’s simply the perfect backdrop! Once you’ve made your way down the steps, take a photo by the Ottawa sign, or allow a moment for yourselves to walk through the market. That way, your photographer can capture any natural moments.