Winter in Ottawa can be cold, snowy, icy, slushy and just miserable after 3 months in with still more to go. But there is one amazing and fun bright spot in it all, the Rideau Canal Skateway. I’m not a fan of winter. The long nights and endless cold really take their toll on me. Sure snow can be pretty but I’d be happy only to see it at Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ottawa but we get pretty harsh winters here. Thankfully we also know how to have fun in winter when the 7.8km long Rideau Canal gets turned into the world’s longest skating rink every winter (for as long as the weather is cold enough to keep it frozen). I only learned to love skating a few years ago and I’m still not very strong so I’ve yet to skate the entire length of the canal but the section around Patterson Creek in the Glebe is so pretty that I don’t really feel like I need to. This winter I’ve managed to make it over to the canal a few times and here are some of my photos. Also find my tips for visiting the Rideau Canal Skateway at the bottom of this post!
Prince Edward County is one of my favourite little vacation destinations, and you’ll know that all ready if you’ve ever read this blog since a large number of posts are devoted to this little wine region in Ontario. After a day trip to the County earlier in the summer we spend another weekend exploring with our family at the end of September when the region was in full harvest mode.
Prince Edward County has quickly become one of my favourite and most visited travel spots. Over the last four years I’ve visited this little picturesque wine region six times. I’ve been in summer, fall, holiday weekends, with a group, as a couple, with dogs, stayed in Airbnbs, B&Bs, and visited a good chunk of the wineries here. I wouldn’t call myself an expert and I definitely don’t have the same amount of knowledge that a local would but I’ve learned a lot about how to visit PEC and what to expect. So here are my top tips for visiting and making your vacation hopefully a little easier.
If you’ve visited this blog before you’ll know that I love Prince Edward County, it’s the perfect country escape in Ontario with wineries, breweries and good food galore! Although we have plans to visit at the end of September with family we couldn’t resist doing a little day trip in PEC. We told ourselves it was to scout places to visit with our family but that was really just a lame excuse. On this trip we did make a point of visiting some new places, or at least new to us. So come along for a little review of our day in PEC. I’ll also be updating my full PEC Travel Guide and my PEC Winery Guide in September after our next visit.
Prince Edward County is one of Canada’s best (and littlest) wine regions with so much to offer, and only 3 hours from Ottawa. We’ve visited the County 4 times and there is still so much to explore in this great area. Now that I’ve had the chance to try more wineries and breweries, some great restaurants, do some shopping and spend some time just exploring the region I’m ready to share my favourite spots in PEC! You can also check out my complete updated Prince Edward County Winery Guide!
Prince Edward County has now become an annual trip with so much to do and so many lovely places to visit. The region has really exploded in the last 5 years and now there is just so much to do. One of the big draws is all the wineries, there are now over 40! Between my four trip I’ve visited a good number of wineries and vineyards. This guide has my favourites, some other solid places, ones we won’t be back to and ones I hope to go to on my next visit. I’ve also thrown in a cider house, distillery and brewery that are too good to miss. Be sure to check out my complete PEC travel guide too!
Back in the fall we visited beautiful Prince Edward County. It’s one of our favourite places to travel and it was the perfect little getaway during the pandemic where we could easily spend time outdoors and distanced from people. This was our fourth time in PEC (you can see my other posts here!). You can also read my PEC Travel Guide and Winery Guide updated for 2021 with full details on the best places to visit. But here’s a rundown of our lovely weekend in Prince Edward County (better late than never!)
Since I’ve been unable to travel for over a year I’ve enjoyed exploring my own city. Even though I’ve lived in Ottawa my whole life there are areas of the city I’ve never explored and new things that I’ve discovered. One of the fun things I’ve been doing is seeking out public art around the city. Unity by Yasaman Mehrsa is a recent installation on the steps down to the Rideau Canal in between the National Arts Centre and the new Senate of Canada building. This beautiful artwork has a lovely message too. The houses represent humans and the pathways represent nature, but together they symbolize unity. Ottawa has so much to offer and there is so much to explore in this wonderful city, especially at times like these. Now that the weather is getting warmer I can’t wait to get back out exploring.
When we visited Prince Edward County last summer we decided to stay at the new Skyward Cabin at The Edward B&B. When we visited PEC in 2019 we had the most amazing stay at The Edward but with the pandemic, accommodation options become a bit more limited since they were now renting the entire B&B instead of individual rooms to limit contact between guests. Luckily The Edward recently opened a beautiful glass walled cabin in the woods on their property. This little cabin in the woods was the perfect getaway, especially a time when you want to be a bit more secluded and away from other people.
Now more than ever it’s important to support your local arts institutions. Covid-19 has had a major impact on the tourist industry and the arts. When the National Gallery of Canada reopened in July I visited and it was so nice to be back at one of my favourite places. With limited capacity and mandatory mask wearing I felt very safe visiting. During normal times I find it easy to visit the NGC without crowds and now it’s even less busy. If you have the chance please go out and support your local arts institutions (as long as you feel safe doing so and don’t have any symptoms of course). Also be sure to check the National Gallery of Canada’s website for up-to-date information about opening hours and regulations. Continue reading for some photos of the beautiful empty gallery spaces.