Sparks Street Downtown Ottawa's Linear Town Square

Beyond Sparks Streets modern glass buildings is a street with deep roots in Ottawa's past.

Sparks Street is Downtown Ottawa's linear "Town Square" and Open Air Mall in the center of Canada's Capital. Discover historical architecture, amazing shopping, great dining, and awesome events, including some of the Ottawa's biggest festivals such as Ribfest, Poutinefest and the International Busker Festival.

Located in the Parliamentary Precinct, Sparks Street is one of Ottawa's most significant heritage streets. It was founded in the early 1800's by Nicholas Sparks - one of the City Fathers of Ottawa. He cut a path through the woods that would eventually become Sparks Street.

After Queen Victoria selected Ottawa to be the Capital of Canada, Sparks Street became the thriving commercial centre for the Ottawa valley and home for government offices and parliament members. In 1868, D'Arcy McGee, a noted Politician, was assassinated outside of his home at the corner of Sparks and Metcalfe.

Sparks Street began to thrive in the early twentieth-century. During that time a number of Beaux-Arts buildings were built - many of which still stand today.

In an attempt to improve business, a plan was introduced in 1961 to temporarily close Sparks Street to vehicular traffic, thus transforming Sparks Street into a pedestrian mall.

The plan was a huge success and it convinced the City of Ottawa to permanently close the street to vehicles creating North America's first permanent outdoor pedestrian mall.

Today, Sparks Street is a thriving commercial centre comprising many blocks and is home to some of Ottawa's best shopping and a wide variety of events and activities throughout the year.

Shopping on Sparks Street is a shoppers' paradise. From trendy clothiers and jewelry boutiques to national chain stores and local businesses that have been part of Sparks Street's history for decades. Discover shopping on Sparks Street. It's like nowhere else.

If you like food, you'll love Sparks Street's dining experiences. From casual & contemporary to small cafes and coffee shops you will find a taste that pleases. During warmer months enjoy happy hour at one of our many outdoor restaurants & pubs.