Biking to Bernard Grand Maître Arena in Vanier

My son had a hockey game out in Vanier last night, so I biked there. Here’s how.

Sandy Hill is full of big old beautiful houses. That’s because Louis Besserer, who owned most of it when Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the capital in 1857, decided to develop Sandy Hill into THE place to live for rich folk like lumber barons, diplomats and politicians. And it worked. Laurier, MacDonald, Pearson and Mackenzie King each set up residence there at one time. Now a bunch of embassies have settled into a number of these old gems scattered throughout the area, like Poland, at 443 Daly Street, which looks great at night. They light their ornate front porch with its panelled copper ceiling to great effect.


Polish Embassy
Polish Embassy

Biking along Montgomery Street in Vanier I noticed a mural on the side of this building, depicting how a Dr Harris’ property along the Rideau River might have looked like back in 1870.

Mural along Montgomery St
Mural along Montgomery St

Then I noticed this very funky 60’s style canopy and decorative detail on the same side of the building that have survived the test of time.


Modernist details along Montgomery St
Modernist details along Montgomery St

Just before I got to the arena I passed this modernist church on Cyr Avenue, graced with big panels of stained glass.


Author: ottawavelo


2 thoughts on “Biking to Bernard Grand Maître Arena in Vanier”

    1. Yes indeed, biking on the Montreal Road bridge into Vanier is pretty scary. There is a bike path on the side heading back, but not on the side heading East. It’s four lanes as well, which always seems to make drivers want to drive fast and recklessly. You may want to walk your bike along the sidewalk. The South Eastern corner is pretty scary too. It is a long corner, making bikes on the side and pedestrians waiting to cross difficult to see by drivers that have just zipped over the bridge and are anxiously looking to turn right on the red onto North River Road.

      An example of where the city got it right is the Somerset Bridge over the O-train beside City Centre. As you may recall, that used to be four lanes, and hell to bike over, and terrifying to walk along the narrow sidewalk, especially with the kids to school. They’ve since narrowed it to two lanes, taking up the old outside lanes with a wider sidewalk and bike paths on both sides, and it’s PERFECT for all, cars included!

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