The Ottawa Rickshaws Blog

Street-level Perspective of Ottawa
4 Summer Advertising Opportunities in Ottawa Your Company Shouldn’t Ignore

4 Summer Advertising Opportunities in Ottawa Your Company Shouldn’t Ignore


By Adam Slight

Ottawa is very much an outdoor city, with events and activities held in the great outdoors 12 months of the year. These events draw not only thousands of Ottawa consumers outdoors to centralized locations, but also attract thousands from out of town, comprising Ottawa’s large tourist population.

As a small business or advertiser, you should be looking at these outdoor events and activities as an opportunity to reach thousands of demonstrated consumers all at once. These are people who are engaged enough to step outdoors and enter the public, culturally sensitive enough to participate in cultural events in the city, and demonstrate themselves as willing consumers spending money on luxuries such as food, drink, and music.

While social media may put your message in front of many eyes, nothing compares to the chance to interact with and impress potential customers at outdoor opportunities like these:

Ottawa’s Thriving Tourist Scene

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, with rich historical roots, frequent cultural festivals, national museums, a nearby major casino, the National Art Gallery, The Parliament Buildings of Canada among countless national monuments and historical landmarks. It is no surprise that Ottawa sees millions of tourists each summer, aside from the thousands of local tourists who like to adventure on their home turf.

Official City of Ottawa statistics state that 7.3 million people visit Ottawa each year, spending $1.18 billion dollars while they are here; A large portion of these tourists visit during summer months. With millions visiting Ottawa in the summer, spending this kind of cash, you would be mistaken to ignore the advertising opportunity presented.


The Byward Market

The Byward Market often finds itself at the hub of tourist activity. As the country’s oldest farmer’s market, there is much to be said about its cultural appeal. It is also within close vicinity of many of Ottawa’s tourist attractions and home to an operating Beavertail stand, and the “Obama Cookie” (two extremely common tourist destinations in the Byward Market).

The Byward Market sees 50 000 tourists per weekend in the summer, and over 3 million visitors throughout the warm seasons. These are people visiting Ottawa for a good time, looking to spend money on local culture with minimal planning.

The Byward Market keeps tight control over outdoor advertising opportunities available. Outdoor billboard space is sparse, restricted to bus stops and transit advertising available on the outskirts. Rickshaw Media Group, however, offers mobile advertising in the Byward Market on rickshaws and OttBikes.

Ottawa’s Summer Nightlife

Ottawa is home to a thriving nightlife scene, that only heightens in popularity during Ottawa’s warm summer nights. Night life activity begins on Wednesday nights in the Byward Market and Elgin Street entertainment districts, increasing in intensity throughout Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. These areas begin to get busy with night life crowds at around 7:30pm and continue to bustle until 3am. Sunday night also shows activity on Bank Street and on long weekends during the summer.

This busy nightlife presents an opportunity to advertise to a large number of young, culturally active locals, who regularly spend money on luxuries, and hold influence over their peers. Rickshaw Media Group regularly operates rickshaws with billboard ad space during these hours, allowing businesses to advertise to these active consumers.

ottawa advertising - bluesfest

Ottawa’s Summer Events and Festivals

During the summer, Ottawa is the site of countless events and festivals that draw millions of attendees from Ottawa and abroad. Prominent events include Ottawa’s Canada Day celebrations (that frequently feature high profile visits made by royal family members), the ever popular Blues Fest, the Ottawa Marathon and more. These events often have sponsorship opportunities, which is fine if you want to advertise by having your name placed among others on a sponsorship board. However, if you want to stand out at these events, a creative and attention-grabbing campaign could go a long way to create a name for yourself.

Here is a list of some of Ottawa’s busiest summer events and festivals (Rickshaw Media Group offers unique interactive advertising solutions at all of them):

  • The Tulip Festival
  • The Great Glebe Garage Sale
  • The Ottawa Marathon
  • The Ottawa Jazz Festival
  • Franco Fest
  • Italia Fest
  • Canada Day Celebrations (over 3 million attendees)
  • Escapade Electronic Music Festival
  • Ottawa Blues Fest (over 3 million attendees over two weeks)
  • Capital Hoedown
  • Ottawa Reggae Festival
  • Ottawa Pride Festival


Ottawa presents endless opportunities for memorable outdoor advertising for your business. Contact us to see how we can help you make an impact on millions in Ottawa this summer.


adamAdam Slight is co-owner of Rickshaw Media Group and Ottawa Rickshaws.