Sorry, this content is not currently available in the mobile view. Switch back to desktop view to access this page.

HI Ottawa Jail

75 Nicholas St, Ottawa, K1N 7B9, Canada

See us on a map

Overall Rating 88%

From 12 Reviews

Hostel rating (12)

Rating category Satisfaction percentage
Staff 92%
Cleanliness 85%
Location 97%
Security 92%
Service 83%
Comfort 77%
Green rating 87%

Ottawa Jail Hostel offers a unique blend of shared and private jail cells as well as traditional shared and private hostel style rooms.

  • Dorm
    From $26.79
  • Private
    From $38.27
10 or more people?

Ottawa Hostel

Hostel Ottawa

Hostelling International

Welcome to our hostel

Formerly the Carleton County Gaol jail, Ottawa Jail Hostel is a historic landmark that offers you the unique opportunity sleep in a former jail cell. This downtown hostel has bags of character and charm and makes a great base to explore Canada's capital.

HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel offers a unique blend of shared and private jail cells as well as traditional shared and private hostel style rooms. There’s free Wi-Fi, free breakfast and a large fully equipped kitchen. There are also areas that are still set up as they were when prisoners occupied the jail, including death row and the gallows.

Museums, galleries, festivals, national historic sites, bustling city activities and scenic recreational paths all are located close to the hostel, and your HI membership will get you discounts at many local restaurants and businesses designed to enhance your experience.


Prices are non-member prices

Dorms - Per guest per night


Private - Per room per night


Important info

  • Additional tax is payable at check-in.
  • Government-issued photo ID is required to check in.
  • Children under the age of are unable to be accommodated under all circumstances.
  • Children under the age of must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Unaccompanied children under the age of 18 can be accommodated only with a letter from a parent or legal guardian providing permission for the child's unsupervised stay.
  • Children under the age of 5 are unable to be accommodated in shared dormitories
  • Children under the age of 5 stay free.
  • Membership can be purchased on arrival at hostel.
  • Rates quoted assume guests are not members of Hostelling International or a National Youth Hostel Association
  • A discount of CAD 10 per person per night is available to members on arrival.
  • Pets are not permitted in the hostel.
  • Prices and product availability is as accurate as possible but may be subject to change during checkout



Leisure & Fitness

  • Common room
  • TV room
  • Terrace / patio


  • Not suitable for wheelchair users

Food & Drink

  • BBQ
  • Self-catering kitchen
  • Vending machine

Facilities - Internet Access

  • Computers
  • Computer Charges - Free
  • Wifi
  • WIFI Charges - Free

Facilities - In-Hostel Services

  • Air Conditioning
  • Air Conditioning Type - In selected areas
  • Car Parking at Hostel
  • Car Parking at Hostel Type - At a cost
  • Booking Centre for HI hostels worldwide
  • Cycle Rental
  • Cycle Storage
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Library / Book Swap
  • Lockers Available
  • Locker Type - In Room
  • Luggage Room
  • Luggage Room Availability - Available during hostel reception times
  • Travel / Tour Desk
Opening times

Opening times

Open all year

Open 24 hours
Open 24 hours

Get in touch

Get in touch

Tel. 1-613-2352595

Fax. 1-613-2359202

Main attractions

Main attractions

  • Parliment Hill (1 to 2km)
  • Rideau Canal (500m to 1km)
  • Canadian Museum of Civilization (3 to 5km)

See the full list of attractions



I have stayed in many hostels but this is the most interesting hostel because of the past history as a jail. Great location too!


Avatar for Ryoichi


Tue 07 Jan 2020

Pas très pratique pour les travailleurs de ne pas pouvoir brancher un réveil matin dans les cellules parce que la prise s'éteint avec la lumière de la pièce. Il faisait également beaucoup trop chaud sur l'étage (4e). Sinon, belle expérience.


Avatar for Guillaume


Mon 09 Dec 2019

We have given a low review to the staff and service because in our experience the staff were not willing to help. Local and hostel advice was not given when requested and at times they were actually short to the point of being rude in their interactions with us and other guests. Cleanliness also receives a low score because for the duration of our stay the same hair balls were in the showers and the floors were filthy. The kitchen did not look like the kind of place I would want to prepare food. Plug sockets were not working in the kitchen and there was no signage to indicate this to users. With regard to security we could see that you have a system in place but it was inconsistently applied with door codes being repeatedly given out. Also the tiny room keys with no kind of lanyard attached are a nightmare to work with. The handle on our bedroom door was very difficult to use. We also felt very unsure about the co-Ed bathroom where only curtains were provided for privacy in the showers. We liked that the room was spacious and the beds were actually very comfortable. The location is excellent. We hope you find this useful as your hostel has all the potential to be absolutely excellent, it just needs refining.


Avatar for Hollin


Thu 31 Oct 2019

Hi Hollin, I am very sorry to hear you had an unpleasant experience here at the hostel. We have recently trained quite a few new staff and we are working to help them explore the neighborhood to better advise guests on what to do in the area. We also have a number of upcoming renovations scheduled for this winter including our kitchen area and our bathroom facilities. As for our bathrooms, some of them are co-ed but some are single gender. I will be sure to have our front desk staff advise guests of this going forward. Thank you for your feedback, it is truly appreciated! -Erin, Experience Curator.

Manager avatar

HI Ottawa Jail Hostel,

Sat 02 Nov 2019

The entire building was HOT. Because of the way noise travels in the building, I would only book a private room ensuite. There was confusion with my billing; I would have paid an extra $116 if I hadn't spoken up. Loved the jail tour and the placards all around the building.


Avatar for Kathleen


Sun 27 Oct 2019

Hi Kathleen, thank you for the review! Unfortunately because it is an old building with old pipes we do tend to have a hard time getting the temperature just right when we are in between seasons. Thank you for your patience with that! We also provide free earplugs at the front desk as we know it can get a little noisy on the cell floors. We are currently working on better signage to ensure guests know about the earplugs and other amenities offered at the front desk. I hope you otherwise enjoyed your stay! -Erin, Experience Curator.

Manager avatar

HI Ottawa Jail Hostel,

Tue 29 Oct 2019


Around the hostel

Around the hostel

Nearby attractions

  • Amusement / Theme park (5 to 10km)
  • Cinema (2 to 3km)
  • City Centre (At or next to the hostel)
  • Cycle trails (At or next to the hostel)
  • Golf course (More than 10km)
  • Gym (Less than 500m)
  • Hiking / Walking trails (At or next to the hostel)
  • Local market (Less than 500m)
  • Museums / Art Galleries (500m - 1km)
  • Nightlife (At or next to the hostel)
  • Parks / Green Area (Less than 500m)
  • Restaurants (At or next to the hostel)
  • River / Harbour / Lake (500m - 1km)
  • Shopping area / Mall (At or next to the hostel)
  • Ski area (5 to 10km)
  • Swimming pool (1 to 2km)
  • Supermarket / Food store (1 to 2km)
  • Theatre (1 to 2km)
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site (Less than 500m)
  • Water park (More than 10km)
Getting to us

Getting to us

Bus #97 to Rideau Centre (MacKenzie King stop). Or take the Airport Shuttle to the Novotel Hotel.
Bus #1 or 7 (Downtown) from the corner of Bank and Catherine St. to the Rideau Centre.
Parking at hostel (chargeable)
Bus #95 (Fallowfiled) to the Rideau Centre (MacKenzie King stop).

Recently Viewed

HI Ottawa Jail