Volunteer for Bike Park at RBC Bluesfest 2023!

Did you know? RBC Bluesfest Bike Park is Bike Ottawa’s biggest fundraiser of the year!

Scroll down for info on how to volunteer.

Ride your bike to RBC Bluesfest, park it securely for free at #OttBikePark!

North, east, south, or west… wherever you’re coming from there are safe and easy routes to ride your bike to RBC Bluesfest, and you can relax while your bike is safely stored at Bike Park. Bike Park is located on the east side of Booth Street, across from the War Museum, and next to the Ottawa River Pathway. Did you know that Booth Street now has cycle tracks all the way from Albert Street to Chaudière Island, and they will soon connect to Gatineau?

How do I park my bike at Bike Park?

It works just like a coat check: we’ll get you to sign in, we’ll park your bike, we’ll give you a tag, and when you come back, you give us the tag and we give you the bike! We’re open daily during RBC Bluesfest from 2:30 to 11:30 p.m. You can leave your lock, bags, and helmet with your bike.

If you are a festival volunteer on a shift that ends at or after 11:30pm, please inform the Bike Park volunteers and they will make arrangements so that your bike is taken care of.

When you’re done enjoying RBC Bluesfest, show your tag to a Bike Park volunteer and hold onto it until you get your bike back. If you come after the last show ends, there may be a lineup, but we promise it moves fast! (Make sure you line up at the same place you dropped your bike off! Each line has a designated colour that corresponds to your claim tag colour.)

How much does Bike Park cost?

It’s free! We want you to ride your bike to RBC Bluesfest, and we want to give you a safe place to park it while you’re there. 

But if you like… we do collect donations, which go to Bike Ottawa and to Bluesfest’s educational programmes, Blues in the Schools (BITS) and Be in the Band (BITB).

Who can use Bike Park?

Anybody can check their bike into Bike Park during our opening hours, including Bluesfest volunteers and people not directly connected to Bluesfest. 

We also accommodate nonstandard bikes, e-bikes, and skateboards. We’ll give you a purple tag to handle your special vehicle.

When dropping off an e-bike, the bike must be shut off so our volunteers do not accidentally activate the accelerator.

Volunteer for RBC Bluesfest Bike Park and see shows for free!

Yes, you can see free shows… if you volunteer! 

Register to volunteer at volunteers.ottawabluesfest.ca as early as you can before the festival and choose “Bike Park” as the area where you want to volunteer. Especially helpful are people who want to see a show before their late shifts ending at 11:30 or midnight. You need to sign up for a minimum of 4 shifts over the 9-day festival, and then you can see shows on days where you don’t have a shift or before/after your shift on days that you do. 

By volunteering at Bike Park (the most fun volunteer area at Bluesfest!), you’ll get an RBC Bluesfest volunteer t-shirt and receive a volunteer meal voucher for each shift. Your wristband can also be used on OC Transpo for a couple of hours before and after festival hours. Bike Park volunteers get extra perks, like cake, but you’ll have to sign up to find out the details! Plus, you’ll be helping out at Bike Ottawa’s biggest fundraiser of the year!

Volunteer for Bike Ottawa and talk bikes!

Bike Ottawa is also looking for volunteers to chat with festival attendees about what we do!

Headed to a late show (or are signed up to volunteer on a late shift at Bike Park)? Spend some time talking with people arriving by bike about their experiences cycling in Ottawa, what would make it possible for them to make more trips by bike, and how they can get involved in advocating for safe and sustainable transportation options.

Contact events@bikeottawa.ca with the evenings you might be interested. New to volunteering with Bike Ottawa? We’ll pair you with someone who can help!

How do I get to RBC Bluesfest by bike?

Note: most NCC pathways are not lit at night. 

You can use Bike Ottawa’s route finding tools at maps.bikeottawa.ca to find a route, but here are general suggestions:

From the south/west: 

  • Take the Ottawa River Pathway east, then cross Booth Street to Bike Park!
    • Note: The Ottawa River Pathway behind the War Museum may have reduced access during festival hours.
    • Note: The ORP is closed at Westboro Beach, and pathway users are detoured through the neighbourhood to rejoin the path at Island Park Drive. As of this writing, the detour can be a bit hard to follow, so leave extra time!
  • Take the Trillium Pathway north to the Ottawa River Pathway, then turn right to head east on the ORP until you get to Bike Park!
    • Note: The Trillium Pathway connecting from Dow’s Lake is closed at Carling Avenue, and pathway users are detoured via Champagne Ave and Hickory St.
  • OR: From Bayview Station, take the pathway east on the river side of the LRT tracks. After passing under Pimisi Station, keep left to follow the pathway to Lett Street, then turn left on Fleet Street. Turn right at Booth Street and take the cycle track north until you get to Bike Park!
    • Note: On the way home, take the Booth cycle track south to Albert Street, then turn right and turn right again onto the pathway under Pimisi Station, then turn left on the pathway to Bayview Station.

From the east:

  • Take the Laurier Avenue bike lane west past Bay Street, then turn right through the Ottawa Tech field and continue down the hill along Slater Avenue. Cross to the pathway on the river side of the street at Empress Avenue and keep heading west. Turn right at Booth Street and take the cycle track north until you get to Bike Park!
    • Note: The Ottawa River Pathway behind Parliament Hill is closed. The NCC suggests Wellington Street as a detour, but be aware that this involves mixing with motor vehicle traffic. If you are coming through the Byward Market, taking the Alexandra Bridge to Gatineau and crossing back on the Portage or Chaudière Bridges as described below may be an option.

From the north/Gatineau:

  • Take the Voyageurs Pathway to the Chaudière Bridge and cross the river to the Ottawa side. At the intersection with the Ottawa River Pathway, cross Booth Street to Bike Park!
    • Note: The Chaudière Bridge is currently under construction, and the pedestrian and cyclist routes may move around.
  • Take the Voyageurs Pathway to the Portage Bridge and cross the river to the Ottawa side. Turn left on the pathway before the Gather Ring, then stay left and continue back under the bridge to the Mill Street Brew Pub parking lot. Head west along the Ottawa River Pathway until you get to Bike Park!

O-Train/Rack & Roll:

  • Line 1: Get off at Pimisi Station, take the elevator on the downtown side of the bridge up to Booth Street, then take the cycle track north until you get to Bike Park!
  • Line 2 (R2 Bus): Get off at Bayview Station and take the pathway through the tunnel to the river side of the LRT tracks, then proceed as though you were approaching from the south/west.