Remembrance Day Bike Tour (updated)

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Many Canadians are drawn to the November 11th Remembrance Day Ceremonies held at the National War Memorial to pay tribute to those who have fought and given their lives in the service of our great country. There are also a number of lesser known Canadian war memorials throughout the capital commemorating groups within the Canadian military, or specific struggles in which Canadian soldiers have served. The following bike tour visits these memorials, starting from the National War Memorial and ending at the National Military Cemetery. This tour was originally posted last Remembrance Day and has been updated as a result of improved bike infrastructure introduced since last year, some detours as a result of construction, and a newly unveiled addition to one of the monuments.

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The National War Memorial was unveiled in 1939 to commemorate those who served in the armed forces during World War 1. Subsequently it has come to symbolize the sacrifice of all Canadian Armed Forces in times of war.

National War Memorial

National War Memorial

Immediately in front of the Memorial is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This tomb contains the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who died near Vimy Ridge during the First World War and represents the many Canadian soldiers who have no known grave.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

There are bronze panels on the east and west sides of the War Memorial that describe the significance of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the main sculpture – The Response.

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Bronze interpretive panels

Leaving the War Memorial, Head down to the Rideau Canal behind the National Arts Centre, which is presently under renovation. There are two very short flights of steps just before reaching the walkway path along the canal that have troughs to push your bike. Head south along the canal for a short distance until you are past the National Arts Centre and have crossed under the Mackenzie King Bridge and turn in to Confederation Park to where the South African War Memorial is located.

South African War Memorial

South African War Memorial

Continue through the park to the sidewalk along Elgin Street where one can see the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument.

National Aboriginal Veterans Monument

National Aboriginal Veterans Monument

The tour crosses Elgin Street at Laurier Street and follows the Laurier Bike Lane heading west before turning north along the bike lane that runs along Bay Street. After crossing Wellington at the northern end of Bay, head east for one block to Lyon St. There is a gravel path through the park just to the east of the National Archives building that leads to Lyon. Looking across Wellington up Lyon Street, one sees the Veteran Memorial Buildings. Beneath the arch connection the two buildings across Lyon St there is a stone relief carved by Ivan Mestvovic in honour of those Canadians who fought in the First World War.

Veterans Memorail Buildings

Veterans Memorail Buildings

Head west along Wellington, which has a bike lane beginning at Lyon Street. This bike lane continues across the Portage Bridge. Just before heading over the Ottawa River there is a path off to the right that leads down to the Ottawa River Pathway. From the edge of the path one can see the Royal Canadian Navy Monument across the narrow stretch of river. The site where the monument is located is usually accessible but this year it is inaccessible due to construction.

Navy Memorial

Royal Canadian Navy Monument

Head back up to the Portage Bridge and cross over to the Quebec side of the river, then turn east along the Voyageurs Pathway that hugs the shore of the Ottawa River. One of the finest views of Parliament Hill can be seen from this section of path. The Memorial Chamber, located inside the Peace Tower, contains the Books of Remembrance recording every Canadian killed in service from Canada’s first overseas campaign, the Nile Expedition, to the present.

View of Parliament Hill from the Voyageurs Pathway

View of Parliament Hill from the Voyageurs Pathway

Our route heads back to Ottawa over the Alexandra Bridge to our next stop, The Peacekeeping Monument, dedicated to Canadians who have served as peacekeepers around the world. It is located on a traffic island along Sussex Drive between the national Gallery and the American Embassy. You can meander through the centre of this monument.

Peacekeeping Monument

Peacekeeping Monument

View through Peace Keeping Monument

View through Peace Keeping Monument

The next section of the tour continues north along Sussex Drive which has a bike lane. The Defence of Hong Kong Memorial is located at the corner of Sussex and King Edward Avenue. This Memorial is dedicated to those Canadian Soldiers who served in the defence of Hong Kong during the Second World War.

Defence of Hong Kong Memorial

Defence of Hong Kong Memorial

Cross Sussex and follow the path overlooking the Rideau Falls. There are three memorials on Green Island located between the two sets of falls. The first is dedicated to members of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery who gave their lives in battle. A sculpture of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, created by artist Ruth Abernethy has been added to the monument this year. John McCrae was a doctor who participated in the First World War. He was moved to write the poem In Flanders Field in memory of fellow Canadian soldiers killed during the Second Battle of Ypres. It is from this poem that the red poppy was drawn to become the symbol of Remembrance Day.

Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery

Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery

Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, sculpture by Ruth Abernethy

Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, sculpture by Ruth Abernethy

Across the park are the Commonwealth Air Forces Ottawa Memorial, and the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion Memorial dedicated to Canadian volunteers of the Mackenzie–Papineau Battalion during the Spanish Civil War.

The Commonwealth Air Forces Ottawa Memorial

The Commonwealth Air Forces Ottawa Memorial

Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion Memorial

Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion Memorial

The tour continues along the path overlooking the second set of falls, then back across Sussex. On the opposite side of Sussex is the CANLOAN Monument, dedicated to Canadian soldiers who died while volunteering with the British army during the Second World War.

Canloan Monument

Canloan Monument

Head east along Stanley Avenue and the Rideau River Eastern Pathway. Then take the short gravel path that leads to Crichton Street and weave your way along Vaughan and MacKay Streets to where the bike lane along Beechwood Avenue begins. Further along one arrives at the entrance to Beechwood Cemetery. The National Military Cemetery is located within the grounds, as indicated on the above map.

National Military Cemetery

National Military Cemetery

the poem In Flanders Fields is cast onto a bronze plaque and mounted on a simple elegant plinth facing the rows of white tombstones.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McRae, 1915

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields

New Bike Path Along Rue Jacques-Cartier in Pointe-Gatineau

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The recently completed section of bike path along the shoreline of the Ottawa River, just east of the confluence of the Gatineau and Ottawa rivers, allow for spectacular views across the water. Previously this stretch of Rue Jacques-Cartier consisted of two narrow lanes with lots of potholes and speeding traffic, making it a challenge for cyclists to concentrate on anything but survival. Now users of all ages visit and cycle along the shoreline, testament to the huge success of this new bike infrastructure.

The blue line on the following map shows how to get there entirely along bike paths starting from Centretown in Ottawa. The purple line is the new stretch of path along Rue Jacques-Cartier, described in more detail below. The red line is a temporary construction detour.


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Upon crossing the Gatineau River over the steel truss Lady Aberdeen Bridge, one arrives in the old town of Pointe-Gatineau with the Saint-François-de-Sales church to your right. This is where the new section of path heading east along Rue Jacques-Cartier begins.

View of Pointe-Gatineau from the Lady-Aberdeen Bridge

View of Pointe-Gatineau from the Lady-Aberdeen Bridge

New path along Rue Jacques-Cartier

New path along Rue Jacques-Cartier

The re-design of the shoreline has included gathering nodes for people to pause and take in the scenery. Many of the stops have interpretive panels that describe the history of the area.

Lookout over the river

Lookout over the river

The design of the various furnishings appear to have been inspired by the lumber industry so prevalent in Point-Gatineau’s past.

Pathway bench

Pathway bench

Not only has this new bike infrastructure created a fantastic destination well worth the visit, it also provides an important link to the Route Verte recreational path network that runs across Quebec. It also encourages bike commuting for hundreds of residents living in Pointe-Gatineau and beyond.

Eastern end of the new bike lane

Eastern end of the new bike path

et voila!

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Swap Box Tour

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My son did a thorough clean&purge of his bedroom in preparation for his first day back to high school. Result: lots of books, toys and trinkets he has long outgrown and was prepared to part with. Swap boxes are great for such occaisions. Here’s how they work: always streetside, passersby are enticed to open them up. If something in there strikes their fancy they can exchange it with something else.

We were inspired to put up a swap box in front of our place a few years ago after discovering a number of others around town, created by the late street artist Elmaks. Since then many more swap boxes have appeared. Most of them are more specific to the exchange of books, but they work on the same premise. There is even an online group you can register your book swap box called Little Free Libraries. Here’s an article in the Kitchissippi Times on some local little libraries.

So, panniers loaded with swapable stuff, I headed out on a tour of local Swap Boxes. If I’ve missed any others please feel free to send me a note and I’ll include it on the map.

UPDATE – September 23: Added a whole bunch more boxes, and there are still a few more to come that people have told me about. Stay tuned!

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First stop – Cambridge St North, just north of the Chinatown Arch. This box even has it’s own Twitter handle .

Cambridge St N Swap Box

Cambridge St N Swap Box

Next stop, corner of Primrose & Arthur. Now THIS is a multi-compartmental swap box extravaganza!

Primrose & Arthur Swap Box

Primrose & Arthur Swap Box

Down Nanny Goat Cliff, at the corner of Preston and Elm, there sits the cleverly converted newspaper box Book Exchange. There’s even a bike rack, lest you wish to dwindle while perusing the selection of swappable tomes, or pop in to the Preston Food Market for a Kit Kat.

Preston & Elm book exchange

Preston & Elm book exchange

This next box on Melrose Avenue is a clever take on the ‘A-frame’.

a-frame

A-Frame Box on Melrose Avenue

Next stop is in the heart of Hintonburg, near the corner of Oxford & Pinehurst BUT it may not be there for long. Someone complained about this bungalow style design to city by-law and the owners have been told to take it down by September 16th. Hopefully there will be a last minute stay of execution.UPDATE September 12: Hintonburg swap box got a reprieve.

Hintonburg Swap Box

Hintonburg Swap Box

Heading west, we discover our next swap box on Garrinson St just west of Carleton Ave. This one is all about books. Gotta admire the use of re-cycled roof shingles to ward off the elements which paperbacks are especially prone to.

Garisson Box

Garisson Box

A short distance away, just south of Wellington on Mayfair, sits another super sweet Little Free Library. This one is hosted by one of the finest elementary school teachers we’ve had the good fortune to get to know.

Madame Vicky's Swap Box

Madame Vicky’s Swap Box

Another great Little Library box can be found on Kenora St.

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Kenora St. box

The next one is a super sweet little swap box on Cole Avenue.

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Cole Avenue Swap Box

The box on Mansfield has a bench to rest on while prusing the shelves, one of which can accept tall books.

Mansfield Box.jpg

Mansfield Avenue Bench & Box

The tour now heads south of the Queensway to our next, most excellent box, on Bowhill Avenue.

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Box on Bowhill Ave

(NOTE: tour being updated to include a new – stay tuned!)

The next few boxes to discover are in the Glebe. This one’s on Fourth Avenue, just east of Bronson. (I don’t reccomend riding along busy Bronson. Walk your bike along the side walk for a short block after crossing Bronson at the Madawaska/Fifth Avenue lights).

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Little Library on Fourth Avenue

Next swap box is one block over and a bit east on Fifth Ave. This one cleverly recycles hidden Ikea hinges to avoid the door being left ajar.

Glebe Little Library

Little Library on Fifth Avenue

Our next box is just a few blocks south on Broadway Avenue.

hopewell-box

Broadway Little Free Library

Up and over the Rideau Canal along the Bronson bike lane brings us to Old Ottawa South. This lovely clear coated box along Hopewell Avenue had a chalkboard leaning up against it onto which a poem by Gwendolyn MacEwen was transcribed. Don’t know if the chalkboard is always there, but it is a nice addition to this discovery of swap boxes.

old-ottawa-south-box

Box & board along Hopewell Avenue

Next, a short side trip over the Rideau River to visit this robust Little Library on Pleasant Park Road. The most convenenient access to Alta Vista along this route is along the awful narrow Bank Street bridge over the Rideau River. Walking your bike along the sidewalk bridge is usually the safest option.

box-on-broadway

Box along Pleasant Park Road

 

Back on the north shore of the Rideau River,  our next stop brings us to 146 Sunnyside Avenue. Big footprint shaped concrete pavers invite passersby to peruse the shelves.

sunnyside-box

Just direct your feet to the Sunnyside of the street

A bit north east on Belgrave Road lives this fine box, cleverly modeled after the house infront of which it sits.

belgrave-box

Box on Belgrave Road

Further east on Bower Street we find another fine box.

bower-box

Bower St box

Close by on Drummond Street there sits this dynamic box-within-a-box.

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Box on Drummond Street

Next, back in the Glebe, we find this sweet box located at the corner of Strathcona and Metcalfe.

Library Bibliothèque at the corner of Strathcona and Metcalfe

Library Bibliothèque at the corner of Strathcona and Metcalfe

The next box located on Argyle is a little tricky to get to by bike. I walked on the sidewalk along Metcalfe under the Queensway, and along Argyle half a block to the Box. Access should be much easier once they complete the bi-directional bike lanes along O’Connor. But what a treat of a box it is! There’s a little clock in the gable, and the surrounding landscaping is beautiful. There are also garden chairs to sit on while contemplating a potential swap.

Box on Argyle

Box on Argyle

Last stop is the Mini Library, corner of Cambridge St N and Christie. This one takes taller books.

Mini Library at Christie & Cambridge St N

Mini Library at Christie & Cambridge St N

Et voila!

Bike tour of Ottawa Flower Gardens

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Flowers are in bloom! There are a number of wonderful gardens that are open to the public and maintained with lots of tender loving care throughout the National Capital Region. Here’s a ride I took to visit a few of them, starting along the O-Train path between Carling and Scott.

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First stop – Maplelawn, located at 529 Richmond Road. The NCC describes it as ‘…a rare example of a well-preserved 19th century walled garden, very few of which have survived.’, the Friends of Maplelawn Garden who play a large role in maintaining the garden are inspired by how it looked when it was built in the 1830’s.

Maplelawn  garden

Maple lawn Garden

Maple lawn Garden

Second stop – the First Unitarian Meditation Garden, located at 30 Cleary Ave beside the very cool looking modern church. As the name implies, this horticultural gem has a more organic groove to it with lots of wonderful discoveries to be made along its meandering paths. It is also maintained by a volunteer group of garden enthusiasts.

First Unitarian Meditation Garden

First Unitarian Meditation Garden

Third Stop – The Central Experimental Farm Ornamental Gardens, just off Prince of Wales Drive south of the round-about. Here’s a link to a detailed map that shows it’s location, along with a number of other gardens on the Farm. The layout of this garden is strict but the flora is fantastic! Another volunteer group plays a big role in maintaining the garden.

Ornamental Garden1

Central Experimental Farm Ornamental Garden

Central Experimental Farm Ornamental Garden

Fourth stop – Beyond the Edge: Artists’ Gardens, located across the street and a short distance further south along Prince of Wales Drive. The three art garden installations are located along a path that circles around a big Agriculture Canada research plot. This annual display is organized by the Candenses Botanical Garden Society.

Engelina Schmitz: Bee Haven

Engelina Schmitz: Bee Haven

Final stop – Fletcher Wildlife Garden, accessible by path just to the east of our previous stop. Lots of volunteers help maintain this magical network of paths that run through a mixture of natural habitats and gardens. Well worth a visit any time of the year.

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Fletcher Wildlife Garden

Fletcher Wildlife Garden

Et voila!

An Enchanted Evening of Totem Poles and Landmarks Bike Tour!

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Indigenous Walks is ‘A guided walk & talk through downtown Ottawa that presents participants with social, political, cultural & artistic spaces from an Indigenous perspective‘. I put together the following bike tour for Indigenous Walks with Alanis King.  Alanis is a published playwright and theatre director, as well as past Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts and Saskatchewan Native Theatre. If you are interested in taking this tour I suggest calling Indigenous Walks to see if they are planning any future group rides.

Here’s a map of the route, starting in front of the Totem Pole on Victoria Island, and ending in the plaza looking in to The Grand Hall of the Museum of History.

If anyone would like to come along for the ride, check out the link on the Indigenous Walks website to register.

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Start - Totem Pole sculpted by Walter Harris on Victoria Island

Start – Totem Pole sculpted by Walter Harris on Victoria Island

First stop - Totem sculpted by Henry Hunt, Confederation Park

First stop – Totem Pole sculpted by Henry Hunt

2nd stop - The Lost Child by David Ruben Piqtoukun

2nd stop – The Lost Child by David Ruben Piqtoukun

3rd stop - Anishinabe Scout

3rd stop – Anishinabe Scout

4th stop - Lookout across over the Ottawa River

4th stop – Lookout over the Ottawa River

5th stop  - The Three Watchmen by Chief James Hart

5th stop – The Three Watchmen by Chief James Hart

Exterior view of the totems within the Grand Hall

Last Stop – Exterior view of the totems within the Grand Hall

Last stop - Museum of History, Namaxsala (To Travel in a Boat Together) by sculptor Anne Barkhouse

Museum of History, Namaxsala (To Travel in a Boat Together) by sculptor Anne Barkhouse

Discovery ride through Gatineau

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Here’s a bike ride that works it’s way westwardly through the centre of Gatineau, starting from Jacques Cartier Park on the edge of the Ottawa River to just within the southern tip of Gatineau Park. The route follows a series of connecting paths along which there are a number of interesting sculptural installations and interpretive panels that describe the history of the area.


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Our adventure begins just to the east of Maison Charon facing a trio of bronze and stone interpretive displays. These describe, in turn, the entrepreneur Philemon Wright who settled in the area during the 1800’s and developed the logging industry; the importance of the Ottawa River as a trading route and meeting place throughout time; and the history of Maison Charon.

Maison Charon

Maison Charon

Interpretive displays at Maison Charon

Interpretive displays at Maison Charon

The Voyageurs Pathway runs behind Maison Charon. I followed it south a short distance to another grouping of panels that describe the Ottawa as a ‘River of many Stories’, including those of the First Peoples, the coureurs de bois, loggers and log drivers.

River of Many Stories

River of Many Stories

I followed the path that circles away from the river, up towards a landing overlooking Jacques Cartier Park and a series of panels that describe how the area has transformed from an industrial site in the 1930’s to the public space that it is now.

View overlooking JCP park

View overlooking JCP park

Jacques Cartier Park interpretive panel with view towards the Alexandra Bridge and the National Gallery

Jacques Cartier Park interpretive panel with view towards the Alexandra Bridge and the National Gallery

I spun around and headed straight out of the park to the corner of Boulevard des Allumettières and Rue Laurier, where there’s huge bronze sculpture of Montreal Canadiens hockey legend Maurice Richard.

The Rocket

The Rocket

The De l’ile pathway starts on the other side of Rue Laurier and winds it’s way west. Just before reaching the intersection of Boulevard Maissoneuve and Boulevard des Allumettières there is an interpretive panel describing who the Allumettières were: female labourers who worked in the local EB Eddy factories making matches, and their struggles for workers rights.

Les Allumettières

Les Allumettières

In the above photo one can see the huge stained glass installation by Montreal artist Hal Ingberg that allows for some spectacular shadows, depending on how sunny it is.

Inberg shadows

Inberg shadows

At the corner of Rue Laval and Boulevard des Allumettières sits a metal sculpture inspired by origami. Created by a group of local artists from the Tripode Group, it was commissioned to celebrate the International Year of the Family in 1994.

Monument to the Family

Monument to the Family

The next section of the De l’ile pathway is a pleasant meander through the local community as far as Rue Saint Rédempteur.

De'l'ile Pathway

De’l’ile Pathway

There is a signalized crosswalk to get across Rue St Rédempteur before the path continues between a high school and the Robert Guertin arena where the Gatineau junior hockey team Les Olympiques play.

Robert Guertin Arena

Robert Guertin Arena

The path eventually meets up with the Ruisseau de la Brasserie Pathway. Turning left where the two paths meet leads to a bridge with some fine views overlooking the stream (or ruisseau).

View from the bridge over the Ruisseau de la Brasserie looking north

View from the bridge over the Ruisseau de la Brasserie looking north

The path continues alongside the ruisseau. Part way down the path there is a french interpretive panel describing the biodiversity found in this area.

Interpretive panel along the pathway

Interpretive panel along the pathway

I turned off the Ruisseau de la Brasserie Pathway just before it continued under the Boulevard des Allumettières, and followed the path that goes alongside les Allumettières.

Exit up to Boulevard des Allumettières

Exit up to Boulevard des Allumettières

The path along Boulevard des Allumettières is generous and physically separated from the busy boulevard, however a few intersections along the way can be a bit nerve wracking. These include on & off ramps to highway 50, and a couple of round-abouts.

Path along Allumettières at seen from under highway 50

Path along Allumettières at seen from under highway 50

At the first round-about there is a french interpretive panel that describes the struggles and efforts members of the local population undertook to minimize the impact Boulevard des Allumettières would have on their community. The Boulevard was eventually completed in 2007.

Round-about panorama. Left side of image is where I came from. Right side is where I'm heading.

Round-about panorama. Left side of image is where I came from. Right side is where I’m heading.

The path continues west with sound dampening walls separating it from Boulevard des Allumettières. This stretch of path is interrupted only by a second round-about intersection before reaching the exit ramp to the Lac-des-Fées Parkway.

Path along Boulevard des Allumetteèrres

Path along Boulevard des Allumetteèrres

The route gets a tad wonky once arrived at the exit ramp. The end goal is to continue west along Boulevard des Allumettières, however to do so one must follow a distorted figure 8 by first riding down alongside the Lac-des-Fées exit ramp, then winding your way back up on the other side of the ramp. Wouldn’t be too confusing it was uninterrupted, but it intersects the Lac-des-Fées pathway heading north-south at two spots. Best rule to maintain is to stay right.

Riding down alongside Lac-des-Fées down ramp, before first of two right turns back up to Promenade des Allumettières

Riding down alongside Lac-des-Fées down ramp, before first of two right turns back up to Promenade des Allumettières

Once back up beside Promenade des Allumettières there’s another french interpretive panel describing the history and surroundings of the viaduct over which the path continues.

Le viaduc Oscar-Duquette

Le viaduc Oscar-Duquette

View north from the viaduct

View north from the viaduct

Crossing over the viaduct brings you into Gatineau Park. A short hill once across the viaduct leads to the Gatineau Park Pathway where our discovery ride ends.

Intersection with the Gatineau Park Pathway. Arrivée!

Intersection with the Gatineau Park Pathway. Arrivée!

For a fine alternative return route back towards the starting point, I would suggest one described in part on this post, Biking from Gatineau Park to Ottawa.

Et voila!

Bike route from Greenboro to Downtown

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Greenboro is a residential community located just south of Johnston Road and west of Conroy Road. Here’s a route I tested out that’ll get you from Greenboro to downtown.

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I started off from the Greenboro Community Centre and headed west towards Bank Street, following a selection of the many multi-use paths that weave their way through the community.

Path through Greenboro

Path through Greenboro

After crossing Albion Road and cutting through Pushman Park, I turned right on Pebble Road then Left on South Keys Place to Clearwater Crescent. Across Clearwater Crescent there are a series of paths that cut through to Southgate Road.

Shortcuts

Shortcuts

I rode north on Southgate for half a block before turning into the lane heading into a housing complex called Southgate Square. This I followed a short distance to Bank Street.

Laneway into Southgate Square

Laneway into Southgate Square

The next section of the route is less than stellar. That’s because there is no clear safe way to bike across Bank Street to access the Sawmill Creek Pathway on the opposite side of the South Keys Shopping Mall.

Once at the end of the driveway there is a shortcut that I took up and on to the sidewalk along Bank.

Path to Bank St at the end of Southgate Square laneway

Path to Bank St at the end of Southgate Square laneway

I followed the sidewalk south a short distance to the traffic lights across Bank Street into the South Keys Mall parking lot. The only crossing is on the south side of the intersection. I stayed along the sidewalk on the other side until I was able to access the parking lot.

Sidewalk along Bank to lights....crosswalk at the lights to South Keys Mall

Sidewalk along Bank to lights….crosswalk at the lights to South Keys Mall

Access to the Sawmill Creek Pathway is though a tunnel under the O-Train tracks at the south end of the mall, so I rode through the mall parking lot to get there. The sign at the entrance to the tunnel is confusing, however I have Tweeted confirmation from OC-Transpo that it is meant to be interpreted as ‘no riding your bike’, versus ‘no bikes allowed at all’.

Tunnel under Otrain to Sawmill Pathway..and it's confusing sign

Tunnel under Otrain to Sawmill Pathway..and it’s confusing sign

Beyond the tunnel is the Sawmill Creek Pathway, which is wonderful to ride along all the way to where it intersects the Brookfield Pathway.

Sawmill Creek Pathway - I stayed right

Sawmill Creek Pathway – I stayed right

I turned left at the Brookfield Path intersection which eventually brought me to the Brookfield Road round-about.

Brookfield path towards the round-about

Brookfield path towards the round-about

I negotiated the round-about and continued west along Brookfield Road, which isn’t the greatest of roads to ride along. It’s four lanes to Riverside Drive that most drivers tend to speed along. There is no bike infrastructure, even though there is ample room for bike lanes on either side, which would be a huge asset toward encouraging cyclists, particularly since Brookfield High School is half way along this stretch of road. Rather than ride along the road, many riders continue along the round-about to the sidewalk on the south side of Brookfield, which may be a multi-use path considering it is paved and wider in stretches, but I’m not sure. Here are a couple of riders along Brookfield using both methods.

Brookfield Road. Some go on the left, some stay on the right

Brookfield Road. Some go on the left, some stay on the right

I crossed Riverside Drive and continued along the path beside Hog’s Back Road, which is identified as a shared pathway. That said, the path on the south side is commonly used by riders heading west as it is also paved and twice as wide.

Path along Hog's Back Road

Path along Hog’s Back Road

I stayed on the pathway heading north along Hog’s Back Road. Once arrived at Hog’s Back Falls, one may take the path that goes under Hog’s Back Road and pops up along the multi use path on opposite side over the falls. I’ve hi-lited this option in purple on the above map. This tends to be the more popular option.
I sometimes prefer to cross the falls on the east side as it affords a spectacular view over Hogs Back Falls. Only inconvenience is the requirement to carry your bike down a short flight of stairs.

Hogs Back Falls

Hogs Back Falls

The path dips under Hog’s Back Road then down along the Rideau Canal.

Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway

Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway

I then crossed the canal at the locks near Carleton University. There is a metal u-channel to push your bike up the flight of stairs that gets you to the locks.

Up the stairs...to the locks

Up the stairs…to the locks

I then rode down the hill along the canal before taking the first gravel path inland. Normally I would continue along the paved path beside the canal, as suggested by the red line on the above map, but at the time I rode this route there was construction along the Champagne Path beside the O-Train so I needed to detour west of the path before joining up with it further north. UPDATE: May 13 – Path has been re-opened between Carling and Young St, so the red line on the above map is accessible. 

Path through the Arboretum

Path through the Arboretum

 Young St access to the get to the path beside the O-Train

Young St access to the get to the path beside the O-Train

I then rode along the path to it’s northern end before it turned right and headed up to where it links to the path along Albert Street.

Path along the O-Train just before it heads right up up to Scott St

Path along the O-Train just before it heads right up up to Albert St

I followed the path along Albert Street as far as the crosswalk that leads towards the Laurier Bike Lanes.

Crosswalk along Albert St

Crosswalk along Albert St

The path continues through the intersection at Bronson & Slater before eventually cutting through to the Laurier Bike Lanes.

Bronson & Slater intersection

Bronson & Slater intersection

The laurier Bike Lanes cut west to east across downtown as far as City Hall.

Laurier Bike Lane heading east

Laurier Bike Lane heading east

Et voila!

N.B. Here is another route I have ridden, however there are a few spots to beware of:

  • Conroy Road has bike lanes, but it is a major arterial road with lots of speedy traffic
  • There is lots of construction around Hurdman Station and Ottawa University for the LRT expansion, requiring some not-so-pleasant detours. These detours are described in the post immediately preceding this one, i.e. Bike Route From Centretown to CHEO