If you are a blogger or photographer in Ottawa, you probably have your own secret photo locations that you know will guarantee you an awesome shot. I do too, and after lots of questions about where I take my pictures, here’s a roundup! The funny thing is, I went back to all my favourite spots a few weeks ago to take fresh photos for this post, but the pictures came out crazy blurry. Blame the weird lighting scenario created by a setting sun and cool weather taking over the steadiness of my photographer’s hand. Yah. The good news is most of the places I had on my list, I’ve already used. Have a look at my other styled looks in the STYLE section and if you have a question about any other location I haven’t included, drop me the name of the post in the comments and I’ll be sure to respond. There are a lot of great places in the city I didn’t mention for the sake of the post length. So here we go, here are some places to take blog pictures in Ottawa, with bonus indoor locations you’ll thank me for on the -30, 30CM snow days.
RIDEAU CENTRE ROOF
(After the staircase to the balcony on the Transit-way, before the second set of steps) ^
(Overlooking bus lane)^
Don’t you just love a versatile location?! Seriously, have a look below at some of my other shoots at this location, they all look so different depending on where I decided to stand. This location is great for photo shoots that won’t take a long time. Let’s just say I’ve had a few run ins with the Rideau Centre Law (lol). If you want to have pictures taken for an extended period of time you’ll apparently you have to register yourself with the mall. As much as I love to follow the rules, if you want to drop by for a quick blog or Instagram picture GO FOR IT.
HOW DO I GET THERE? Address: 2 Mckenzie King Bridge | Head down Mckenzie King bridge (on the mall side sidewalk towards Elgin street) and take the staircase to your right up to the balcony once you pass the bus station. Then go explorer crazy, there are lots of cool corners to choose from!
(Facing Vimy Place) ^
(Facing Vimy Place in front of windows)^
(Uphill ramp walkway facing Vimy Place)^
(On the street baby, right on Vimy Place)
(Across from Vimy Place in the square in front of the museum)
This location has got to be one of my favourites. Although I could say that about all of them lol. I’m a fan of what the architecture of this space lends to my pictures. It’s also relatively low traffic on Sunday evenings when I do my shoots for the week which is perfect in my opinion. I can make all the diva faces I like without families looking on in bewilderment.
HOW DO I GET THERE? Address: 1 Vimy Place | I like to shoot in front of the building facing Vimy street and occasionally facing Booth street.
NATIONAL ART GALLERY
(Staircase square opposite of the large black spider, picture taken from the top of the stairs)
(Front of the NAG facing Alexandra Bridge)
BACK of the National Art Gallery
(Back entrance of NAG in the gravel facing Sussex drive)
(Back entrance of NAG facing Sussex drive right before the gravel)
Ok, this one is my favourite. I think I shoot here the most because there are so many ways to make this venue look different. The front and back side of the building will all give you the opportunity to get a fantastic shot and there is even a stair case opposite of the infamous NAG black spider.
HOW DO I GET THERE? Address: 330 Sussex Drive | When you get there explore ever corner of the building. There are other spots on the NAG property I wasn’t able to show. Also, you’re allowed to grab some pictures inside the permanent collections and public spaces inside the gallery. Admission is FREE on Thursdays between 5-8.
WELLINGTON CONDO COMPLEX
(The back of the condo complex)
(Tunnel beside parking garage door on Patricia Ave. The garage door I’m standing in front of isn’t the one that goes into the garage, so please don’t stand in front of the wrong door. This one must be a storage area for the building. You’ll know which is which because the one I’m in front of doesn’t lead to the road. )
(Underpass beside the main lobby entrance)
If you are looking for an intimate location where you’ll likely run into NO ONE, this is for you. I’ve shot here twice and can say I barely have seen a soul. The complex is a new build and not completely occupied and I’m sure is part of the reason why the grounds are quiet when I go.
HOW DO I GET THERE: Address: 88 Richmond Rd | This one is a little hard to explain, but i’ll try my best. Find the underpass that leads to the condo lobby entrance and start with the area underneath the underpass. There is also a vast area behind the building with a staircase and a lot of open space. If you are able to find the door to the parking garage which is to the right of the front of the building from Richmond, there is also another tunnel with awesome lighting and a great depth of field if you are into blurry backgrounds in your pictures (That’s where I took the second to last picture for this location seen above).
LANDDOWN PARK TD PLACE
(Area facing the stands in between the PetsSmart and Condominium complex from Bank St. Go up the stairs and you’ll see where I’m standing)
(This area is directly to the left of the first picture. I think it’s the lanes for lines taking fans to their seats. Anywho, you should be able to make the connection once you are there!)
I don’t have many pictures for this location because they mostly came out sucky and blurry, but guys it’s a good one. There are a lot of photo opportunities when there isn’t anything going on. My advice again is to explore to get your creative juices flowing.
HOW DO I GET THERE Address: 1015 Bank Street | This is not the main entrance for Landsdown, but if you are on foot you can access the park here. To get to the locations pictured above, take the Bank Street route and park on one of the residential side streets. Walk up the small staircase between the PetsMart and the condominium complex and voila, you’re there!
(Ledge, facing Sussex Drive)
This historic building spans a good part of Sussex Drive and there are two sides of the building I typically shoot at. In the pictures above I’m siting on one of many ledges facing Sussex as well as sitting on the stairs right in front of the building’s large wooden door. It reminds me of an old church, but this building belongs to the Government of Canada. Below you’ll see pictures on the side of the building exactly at the corner of George Street and Sussex Drive. There’s some beautiful moulding accents in the concrete on the building that adds something really special to my pictures.
(At the corner of George Street and Sussex ^)
Address: 550 Sussex Drive | You can park in the market in the parking lot on George street and walk to this location. From the market you’ll be crossing the road at Sussex and it’ll be to your right. If all else fails, Google maps can walk you there!
My examples of this location are scare because once again the pictures I took came out blurry. Here are some examples of how some photographers have used the space. This bridge tunnel is cool and mysterious, you can get a lot of really great pictures from a variety of angles. It’ll be a great location for rainy day shoots that you can for-go since it’s under the bridge! It does get cold down there, so if you are shooting an outfit of the day, make it a warm one.
HOW DO I GET THERE: There isn’t a formal address. The entrance to this bridge is directly across from the Chateau Laurier Rideau street entrance. Once you cross the street at the crosswalk heading away from the Chateau towards Elgin street you will see the stairs to the right. You can also stay on Rideau Street once you cross the street and there will be a staircase to your left leading down to the underpass.
ALGONQUIN CENTRE FOR CONSTRUCTION EXCELLENCE (INDOOR LOCATION)
It’s inside and it’s warm, need I say more? I know it looks like I’m outside but I promise I’m not. The Construction excellence building is located at the Baseline bus station. I like the first floor of the building in front of one of many indoor garage doors. I choose to shoot here because it matches my Instagram aesthetic which I always keep in mind, but there are other places on the stairs or upstairs. The second picture above is upstairs against a concrete wall. Try to find corners of this building where it isn’t too busy. This IS where the construction students study so there can be a lot of building materials and classrooms in the background, but you’ll find something that works for you. It’s a quiet location on the weekends with little traffic, so you can have all the fun you want!
HOW DO I GET HERE: Address: 1385 Woodroffe Ave. (At the Baseline bus station) | There are a number of entrances. One on the Woodroffe Avenue side and one that faces the transit way at Baseline. This building is vast and by all means you should use whatever sticks out to you. There is a plant wall that I’ve used before for fun, BUT if you like the place I’ve taken the pictures above then you’ll have to make your way to the hall way where classes are held on the first floor by the washroom (Take a look here with a Google tour). If you come from the OC Transpo transit way entrance, make a left and you’ll see the hallway I’m talking about. Have a walk around the entire hallway and take the steps upstairs to find the perfect spot.
WALTER BAKER COMMUNITY CENTRE or Your local community Centre (INDOOR LOCATION)
Now, if you’ve seen me lately you know this picture is OLD lol. I don’t have long red locks anymore, however I have been thinking about buying them again. HMM. Anywho, this is a location I used to shoot in all the time when I started blogging. I just loved how my pictures would turn out in this little corridor at the Walter Baker Community Centre in Barhaven. If you’re not from Ottawa you may not know where Farhaven, I mean Barhaven is. If you are from Ottawa you might have just cringed at the sound of travelling all the way here to take some pictures. Have no fear, there are many other community centres dear, here’s a list! Find one in your area and go have a look. Walk around and determine whether there is ANYWHERE you could possibly take pictures this winter in your local centre.
HOW DO I GET THERE: 100 Malvern Drive | I cant remember exactly where this was taken or how to get there, its been years. BUT … I do challenge you to have a walk in the sports centre and find it. It’s a long hallway with white walls at Walter Baker, and I believe there is more than one of these hallways in the centre. Another options is the one I gave earlier, explore your local community or sports centre and find places you can use!