Summer is here so it’s time to start getting outside more and enjoy the warm weather. Summer always feels too short in Ottawa so it’s good to try and get out and smell the roses, or in this case canoe a water maze? That’s right, there is an awesome experience just 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa in Wakefield, Quebec called the Éco-Odyssée Water Maze. Here you can canoe, paddle boat or paddle board through a lush water maze. It’s a really fun activities, I went last summer on a rainy day with my family and I highly recommend.
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.
Île d’Orléans is a small island just outside of Québec City known for its amazing produce and rich francophone history. All over the island you’ll find little villages and big farms growing some of the best strawberries and blackcurrants in the summer and apples in the autumn. Although not very big there are many great places to discover and it’s an easy day trip only 30 minutes Québec City.
After visiting Québec City a few times in the last several years we decided to go a bit further on our little summer road trip and drive up through the Bas-Saint-Laurent region of Québec. We took the day and drove from Québec City to Grand-Métis where we visited the Jardins du Métis the next day. We made many stops along to way to eat, explore and hike. We really only scratched the surface on what there is to do in this region since we only had the day but here is our road trip through the Bas-Saint-Laurent.
Another summer of mostly staying close to home means lots of walks around the city. Golden hour walks around downtown Ottawa are the best when the light changes, the weather cools down a bit and people are chilling in the park and on patios. My favourite places are along Wellington Street, Major’s Hill Park, around the National Gallery of Canada and the Byward Market, down along the Rideau Canal close to the NAC and of course the Ottawa Locks by the Chateau Laurier. Here are some snapshots of summer evenings in Ottawa.
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!
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.
On our way home from a weekend in northern Québec we detoured to historic Québec City for a couple hours to wander the old city. Suffice to say, 3 hours is not enough time and we’ll be back soon to see more of this beautiful place. Until then, there are some snapshots for around beautiful Vieux-Québec.
Read my updated 2021 PEC travel guide here! Prince Edward County is one of Canada’s best (and littlest) wine regions with so much to offer, and only 3 hours from Ottawa. This was our second year visiting the County and we got to explore even more of 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 Prince Edward County Winery Guide!