For the best places to go shopping in Ottawa, you’re in for a treat because the Canadian capital has got it all. From glitzy megamalls to hip retail districts and organic farmers' markets, the city has a slew of shopping options that cater to virtually every budget and taste.

    Whether you’re searching for a quintessential Canadian souvenir or a few trendy additions to your wardrobe, you’ll find it somewhere in the city. This guide shows you where to shop in Ottawa and what to buy.

    1

    ByWard Market

    Ottawa’s premier retail and entertainment district

    ByWard Market is a bustling entertainment hub and open-air retail district in Ottawa. Situated near Parliament Hill, the vibrant central neighbourhood attracts well-to-do public servants and everyday Ottawans. As it spans multiple blocks, expect to spend hours exploring its street art-strewn nooks and crannies.

    There are plenty of places to shop, from hip urban fashion outlets to authentic organic produce providers and the historic indoor ByWard Market building. Start your shopping day with some piping-hot street food or a sweet fried pastry from the ever-popular BeaverTails. The neighbourhood’s rustic taverns and lively bars do a roaring trade come nightfall.

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    2

    Sparks Street

    Upmarket retail strip set on a historic old pedestrian street

    Sparks Street is Canada’s oldest pedestrian thoroughfare – but that doesn’t mean it’s old-fashioned. Located just south of Parliament Hill, this Downtown strip houses chic boutiques, high-end designer stores, and shopfronts full of intriguing artisanal goodies. From luxury attire to vintage jewellery and fine art, you’ll be surprised at the variety on offer.

    The heritage-listed street also has an array of gourmet restaurants and breweries, each adding extra energy to the atmosphere. It’s a relatively upmarket spot to shop, so don’t expect to snag a bargain here. 

    Location: Sparks St., Ottawa, ON K1P 5A5, Canada

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    photo by Tony Webster (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    The Glebe

    Trendy shopping and urban hub south of Ottawa’s CBD

    The Glebe is a trendy inner-city neighbourhood with a solid selection of unique boutiques and attractive stores. A broad range of businesses flogs vintage wares on Bank Street, from vinyl records to rare books and odd collectables. There’s also a sizable array of fashion outlets stocking in-vogue apparel for various tastes.

    The small, tight-knit community is awash with heritage-listed Victorian-era homes, making it a pleasure to explore on foot. Pop into one of its trendy speciality roasters for a quick caffeine hit during your shopping adventures. Bank Street also serves as Ottawa’s central LGBTQ+ hub – it gets very lively during Pride Month.

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    4

    Wellington West

    One of Ottawa’s trendiest boho haunts

    Wellington West is Ottawa’s leading hipster hub, thanks to its eclectic collection of art galleries and bohemian-friendly boutiques. Quirky antiques, organic sourdough bread, gourmet cupcakes, and handcrafted jewellery are just some of the offerings you’ll find here.

    The trendy district is around an 8-minute drive from Parliament Hill. Most of the action revolves around Wellington Street West, near the Holland Avenue intersection. Stop by one of its celebrity chef-owned restaurants or lively cafes to refuel your retail adventures.

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    5

    CF Rideau Centre

    Ottawa’s trendy, centrally located mall

    The CF Rideau Centre is one of Ottawa’s most celebrated shopping malls – some 20 million people frequent its 200+ stores each year. Within the 3-storey structure, you’ll find many stores stocking big-name brands in fashion, entertainment, beauty, and more. 

    You can find a Zara flagship store, with floor space spanning over 2,700 square metres. Other well-known labels include Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, and Forever 21. If you feel peckish, the massive ground-floor food court serves dishes from around the globe. The CF Rideau Centre sits just outside the ByWard Market district, making it a logical pitstop for sightseers exploring Downtown.

    Location: 50 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 9J7, Canada

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 613-236-6565

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    photo by Jeangagnon (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    6

    Bayshore Shopping Centre

    One of the largest shopping centres in Ottawa

    The Bayshore Shopping Centre spans over 82,000 square metres, making it one of Ottawa's largest malls. The sprawling megamall is in the Nepean district, about a 15-minute drive west of Downtown. Shoppers who make the trip will find a wide range of well-known retailers, from American Eagle to Aritzia and Hudson’s Bay to H&M.

    Outdoorsy types should pop into Roots, a home-grown athletic lifestyle brand. For the ultimate kiddies’ Christmas gift, order a fully-customised stuffed animal at the Build-A-Bear Workshop. Hungry shoppers can find an impressive selection of international flavours at the sizeable downstairs food court.

    Location: 100 Bayshore Dr, Ottawa, ON K2B 8C1, Canada

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 613-829-7491

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    7

    Carp Farmers’ Market

    Lovely rural farmers' market near Ottawa

    The CARP Farmers’ Market is a worthy excursion for foodies looking for fresh artisanal produce. It's located in the tiny town of Carp, about 30 minutes from Downtown Ottawa. The charming produce market has been luring scores of city slickers for over 30 years. Local lady Hildegarde Anderson founded it to recreate fond memories of her childhood on a Saskatchewan prairie farm.

    Every Saturday morning, locally sourced meats, dairy products, and fresh fruit and veggies exchange hands in the crisp rural air. If you fancy an instant feast, check out Leah the Baker, the Pizza Farm, and Sharpley’s Popcorn. Aside from food, numerous local vendors sell handcrafted wares, from pottery to pet toys, and everything in between.

    Location: 3790 Carp Rd, Carp, ON K0A 1L0, Canada

    Open: Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm

    Phone: +1 613-786-1010

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    8

    Ottawa Farmers’ Market

    An alliance of farmers' markets

    The Ottawa Farmers’ Market is a fresh food collective with 4 locations throughout the city: Lansdowne, Westboro, Orléans, and Barrhaven. Each branch has distinct seasons and opening times, so check the official website before heading out.

    Whichever you visit, you’ll find farm-to-table food and produce. All products are purveyed by the hands that produced them, ensuring authenticity is guaranteed. The Lansdowne Market is your best bet for fresh produce, but pop by the others if you crave handmade pastries, pies, salsas, sweets, or slow-roast coffee.

    Phone: +1 613-417-3595

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    9

    Stittsville Carp Road Flea Market

    Fabulous Sunday flea market just outside Ottawa

    The Stittsville Carp Road Flea Market is a great place to shop for second-hand goods and assorted antiques in Carp. Although it’s some 20 minutes from Downtown Ottawa, this expansive semi-enclosed swap meet is well worth the drive. Bargain hunters can find incredible deals on various wares, from furniture and fine china to memorabilia and homemade jams.

    The popular event attracts thrifty Ottawans every Sunday, so rock up early to snag the best deals. Most vendors are happy to give discounts on their wares – just remember to bargain with a smile. Vintage gamers mustn’t miss TND Video Games' massive collection of old-school classics.

    Location: 2079 Carp Rd, Carp, ON K0A 1L0, Canada

    Open: Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 613-875-7269

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    10

    Tanger Outlets Ottawa

    An enormous factory outlet store outside the city

    Tanger Outlets Ottawa offers top-quality apparel at rock-bottom prices. The Ottawa edition of this large, multi-national chain has an impressive selection of designer brand stores – Ralph Lauren, Old Navy, Columbia, Gap, Levis, and Adidas, to name a few.

    The direct manufacturer-to-consumer model means prices are lower at this factory outlet than most shopping malls. As Tanger Outlets Ottawa is a solid 20-minute drive from the city, you might need to spend big to make the trip worthwhile.

    Location: 8555 Campeau Dr, Ottawa, ON K2T 0K5, Canada

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9.30 am to 9 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 613-435-0850

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    Harry Stewart | Contributing Writer

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