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Downtown Rideau


The Underpass



Weekend Artists Alley in Downtown Rideau

Please be advised that the 2016 Underpass program has been cancelled due to ongoing construction projects impacting the site.


The award-winning Underpass Weekend Artists Alley is a creative re-use of a busy downtown pedestrian passage that animates the Western Gateway of Downtown Rideau where the city’s urban core connects with Ottawa’s Parliamentary Precinct. Located under a roadway ramp at the corner of Rideau and Colonel By streets, this former wasteland has been transformed into a unique urban performance and exhibit venue where professional and emerging artists sell and perform. With fabulous views of Parliament Hill and landmarks, it’s a great downtown outdoor spot to catch some rays, buy a hot dog or art, listen to live music and people-watch during the summer.

The City of Ottawa and National Capital Commission have assigned exclusive programming and vending license authority of The Underpass to the Downtown Rideau Business Improvement Area (DRBIA) in 2009. The DRBIA brands the space as an Artists Alley with Live Music series. Located across the street from the new Ottawa Convention Centre, Westin Hotel, Rideau Centre, and UNESCO World-Heritage Rideau Canal; The Underpass accommodates thousands of pedestrians daily at this high profile corner in Downtown Rideau providing a captive audience for Underpass artists and vendors.

Hours of Operation are every weekend (Friday thru Sunday) from Father’s Day until Labour Day:

  • Artisans & Vendors:       11am-7pm Live Music:
  • Lunchtime Live               12-2pm
  • Live at Five                       5-7pm

The Underpass has won two awards:

  • International Award of Distinction for Public Space Improvement from the International Downtowns Association (2010).
  • Business and Community Safety Program Award from the Ottawa Crime Prevention Council (2009).

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