The neighbourhood of Champlain Park, located just west of Tunney’s Pasture, is home to some of the oldest forest born trees in Ottawa, including a number of magnificent bur oaks that are more than 200 years old. A recently installed interpretive exhibit on the exterior wall of the Champlain Park field house, titled ‘Trees as Witness to History’, displays a section of one Champlain Oak that grew along Northwestern Ave up until 2011. I highly recommend riding by and checking it out.
Here’s a winter ride to get there from Chinatown. Once beyond the Somerset bridge over the O-train tracks, the route weaves it’s way along quiet residential streets.
Clicking on this link takes you to a map showing the location of surviving trees from the bur oak forest in and around Champlain Park.
On Saturday I biked over to Sandy Hill to visit the studio of my friends Janet and Mitchell to see their latest paintings and sculptures. Here’s the route I followed across town and back. Blue line is how I got there. Purple line is how I got back.
The Laurier bike lane heading east will be kept clear of snow for the winter. Most of the bike lane heading west is to be kept clear as well, however the section heading west between Bays St and Bronson had lots of snow piled in it. I joined the bike lane at Bronson and followed it as far east as it goes to Elgin St.
UPDATE Sept 2014 – the Laurier Bike Lane has been extended east of Elgin in front of the Provincial court house and City Hall.
The Rideau Canal pathway is also cleared in the winter.
I turned off the pathway at the car-less bridge over the canal at the end of Somerset St W. Be careful crossing this bridge as it can be icy even with the spattering of sand strewn across its path.
Here is a view from the top of the bridge, including just a few of the many love locks hanging from the railing.
I crossed the driveway at the crosswalk and follow the path under the transitway bridge right up through campus.
There is a bike lane to follow as far as King Edward Ave. The street opposite is Somerset St E, which isn’t too busy, and cuts right across Sandy Hill. I followed it as far as Blackburn Ave, and turned right up Blackburn to get to the studio.
On the way back, after crossing the bridge over the canal, I decided to continue straight along Somerset W. It can be a busy street, particularly in the winter when the snowbanks leave you with little option but to take the traffic lane. The traffic tends to be a little calmer between the canal and Bank Street than between Bank and Bronson.
Et voila – two ways to bike across town in the wintertime.