Parc Omega has been on my to-do list for quite some time, so on this autumn trip to Ottawa we came ready to visit this incredible place. Located in Quebec, about an hour from Ottawa, Parc Omega is essentially a Canadian Safari featuring the True North’s most iconic wildlife: deer, caribou, moose, elk, bison, mountain goats, wolves and more, all roaming around “in the wild”. If you live in the GTA, you are unlikely to ever see these creatures in the wild (unless you head north, of course), so Parc Omega is a great opportunity to get up, close and personal with them.
When you arrive at Parc Omega and pay your entrance fee (which is pricey but worth it, in my opinion, because you can spend HOURS here), you’ll reach a gate house with a souvenir shop, bathrooms, picnic tables, and bags of carrots for sale. Do yourself a favour and bring a few bags of carrots so you don’t have to pay tourist prices. It was 3 of us in the car so we brought 3 bags of carrots, which was more than enough to feed the wildlife. After having a toilet break, a quick snack and a stretch, we were ready for safari.
Fourteen different species of animals have over 2000 acres to call home – each in its own habitat, of course, so that the bear don’t attack the wild boar and what not. You drive through in your car and visit the different habitats, and the animals hang around waiting for you to feed them tons and tons and TONS of delicious carrots… seriously there are carrots everywhere. The staff warn you not to put your window down more than a few inches because the taller animals can and will stick their heads right into your car and give you a big kiss! You are guaranteed to get deer and elk slobber all over your windows! And most definitely do not get out of your car – as the saying goes, if you mess with the bull you’ll get the horns!
The animals are absolutely EVERYWHERE… standing in the middle of the road, lining the side of the road, blocking your car, lying down and napping in the road… I suppose that is the luxury of knowing you will never run out of food. The animal that you see the most is for sure the deer and the elk. They will approach you as soon as you drive up and aren’t afraid of humans. It’s carrot time, all the time! You can really see eye to eye during this experience.
Such funny faces! Love it. They are all saying the same thing…. GIVE ME CARROTS!
But it’s not all just driving. Parc Omega also has designated areas where you can get out of your car to take a hike, go to the bathroom, or have a picnic. If you’re bringing lunch with you, I highly recommend enjoying the picnic area at the Land of the First Nations rest area which has a lovely small lake that you can hike around and lots of tables. It’s a very pretty hike with lots of beautifully carved totem poles and information about the First Nations people of the area.
This is also where the park staff have some display areas where you can feel the antlers and horns that fall off from the animals, some of which are surprisingly heavy! The staff also told us an interesting tidbit of information, that they have to give estrogen injections to the male bucks, using a gun, so that they don’t go insane with testosterone and attack everything that moves. No wonder those big guys just stand there eating carrots all day!
The star of the show are for sure the deer and elk. The wolves were mostly lounging in the sun and not doing much, the bears were sitting around rubbing their tummies, and the bison were hanging around eating. The only animals that truly approach your cars are the deer and elk (but they are still very cool), and the weird looking ibex which have a truly huge horn.
Parc Omega is really an excellent day trip and you can spend many hours here. The driving path is about 12km long with many different areas to explore so take your time to see everything. Pack a big picnic, enjoy the whole park, and of course, don’t forget the carrots!
Extra bonus tip: If you have a few hundred dollars lying around, stay overnight in their Wolf Cabins to hear the pack howling at the moon