Free Public WiFi Spots in Ottawa

So you’re strolling up Bank Street and all you need is to veg out at the nearest Starbucks over a caramel macchiato while listening to your favourite streaming music mix over some free local WiFi.

Public WiFi is available in 25 City of Ottawa facilities, as illustrated in this map, although it does not account for the 33 Ottawa Public Library locations across the city that also offer free WiFi with the registration of a library.
Courtesy: City of Ottawa | Public WiFi is available in 25 City of Ottawa facilities, as illustrated in this map, although it does not account for the 33 Ottawa Public Library locations across the city that also offer free WiFi with the registration of a library.

Courtesy: City of Ottawa
Courtesy: City of Ottawa

Hang on a minute, if you need to buy a drink to get access to that WiFi, is it really free? No one’s stopping you from hanging out at Starbucks and accessing the Internet for free, but do you really want to be that guy or gal who’s going to steal WiFi from a business without buying anything? Gourmet coffee companies charge a premium for the experience.
So where in Ottawa can you go to get free access to the Internet?

In 2014 the city Launched free WiFi access as part of the Community Champions Program, a partnership initiative that invites businesses, community organizations, foundations and individuals to sponsor City of Ottawa facilities, programs, services and community initiatives. As a result, free public WiFi is available at 25 City facilities, also providing a city-wide map illustrating where the hotspots are. These city-owned locations extend from Richcraft Recreation Centre in Kanata on the city’s west end to François Dupuis Recreation Centre in Orleans to the east.

“Ottawa residents have been calling for Wi-Fi access in City buildings and today we are able to answer that call,” Mayor Jim Watson stated in a media release on February 7, 2014. “This Community Champions partnership gives residents a service they need, at no cost to the City, and generates $63,000 in revenue per year. It is truly a win-win deal.”

Increased WiFi access provides greater functionality for families who spend a lot of their time at city facilities while kids get laced up and family members are cheering on their loved ones.
But, wait, there’s more!

This may not seem like that many locations for city-wide accommodation, but just for fun we’ll include the 33 Ottawa Public Library locations that provide free WiFi access. All you need is a free library card, which may thicken your wallet another few millimetres but at least makes you entitled to their WiFi. Besides, all the cool people use libraries for all they’re worth.

That makes 88 locations across Ottawa that you can get free access to the Internet and check out the latest selfies on Facebook or hi-tech scrambled eggs on Pinterest.

“Whether at work or at play, Ottawa residents want to stay connected to each other and to the world, and technology helps us do that” said Councillor Tim Tierney, Chair of the Information Technology Sub-committee. “I’m pleased that upgrades to our City’s infrastructure, like this one, help give Ottawa residents that connectivity they deserve.”

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