The route I followed to get to the bridge was the same as the one described in this post, as far as Leikin Drive. Mid way along Leikin I turned east and worked my way along paths and residential streets to get to the Chapman Mills Conservation Area which lies just north of the bridge. There’s a pedestrian boardwalk that meanders through the Conservation Area along the edge of the river, with lookouts and interpretive panels that describe the area’s natural environment.
I walked my bike along the boardwalk to the southern edge of the Conservation Area where the path opens up onto this impressive side view of the bridge.
The path circles under the bridge, which affords some great views of it’s ribbed underbelly and massive footings.
This path leads up to the sidewalk along Strandherd Drive which runs alongside the bike lane over the bridge. I decided to video the momentous occasion, so without further ado, here is the Ottawa Velo Outaouais Peddle Powered Crossing of the new Strandherd Bridge!
Once on the other side of the river I cut through a residential area along paths and roads, rode along Spratt then Limebank to Leitrim Road, then along High Road beside the airport. From here on in I followed the same route described in this post.
n.b. Prince of Wales Drive is a busy street which I don’t recommend biking along at anytime other than early mornings on weekends, as described in this post. Hopefully this will be improved upon as soon as possible, because Manotick could be a great bike tourism draw if there was a safer way to get there from downtown along the west shore of the Rideau River.
While sharing a pint with my friend Glenn some weeks back, he mentioned how great it would be to go on an organized bike tour of some of the microbreweries around town. Yes indeed! So I came up with the following route that includes stops at a fair number of those presently in operation. Thus was born the First Annual Ottawa/Gatineau Microbrew Bike Tour! We managed to assemble four riders including myself, Glenn, Robert and Giacomo to test it out.
All of the breweries serve small 8 oz samplers. I also brought along plastic shot glasses which gave us the opportunity to divide the samplers into four smaller portions. That way we could taste and appreciate the brewmaster’s craftsmanship, while avoiding any wibbly-wobbly riding. I was amazed at the selection and variation of brews in the region. It was great to see how the local craft is thriving and expanding.
The blue line on the following map below identifies the planned route.
And away we go! Robert, Giacomo and I started off from the Clocktower Brew Pub on Bank St. Good place to begin our adventure – nice patio, fine place for cyclists to assemble. Great service too.
For the first leg of our journey, we cut across the Glebe towards Dow’s Lake and headed up Prince-of-Wales Drive towards our second destination: Broadhead Brewing Company, located in a business park along Auriga Drive. Super friendly folks with an obvious passion for their craft – making delicious beer.
Glenn joined us at Broadhead, completing our touring foursome.
We then headed off towards our next stop – the Big Rig on Iris St. We followed the bike lane along West Hunt Club Road to a bike path that starts west of Merivale Road. The path took us to Woodroffe which we followed north until Navaho Drive where we crossed over the transit way to get on the bike path.
The short section of red line line on the map is a slight deviation we should have taken. That’s because, contrary to what Google Maps suggests, the bike lane along Woodroffe suddenly ends at Norice St. There’s a path on the west side of Woodroffe where Norice meets Woodroffe that leads to Centrepoint Drive – a much safer option.
We rode up to the Big Rig Kitchen Brewery at the end of Iris, across from the entrance to Ikea. Perfect timing, because we were all getting pretty hungry. We settled in to a table on the patio and had burger type meals to accompany our sudsy samples.
Next stop – Kichesippi Beer Co. To get there we rode east along Iris until it crossed the NCC Experimental Farm Pathway. After climbing the path behind the Carlington Heights Reservoir we cut north by riding down the old ski hill. I had recently tested out riding down the hill and knew that, although a bit steep, it is very manageable on a bike. Once arrived at the bottom of the hill, however, it was suggested that I owed replacement brake pads to my fellow tourers.
We then rode under the Queensway along Clyde into a small industrial park where lives the Kichesippi Beer Company. We missed their 2 o’clock tour, as we were quite a bit behind schedule, but both Glenn and Giacomo had already toured the place. Suffice to say, they do give tours to those interested. They also have a custom built bike on display that can be used to serve beer on tap. Bravo!
The next section travelled between Kichesippi Beer and Beyond The Pale took us close to Glenn’s so he seized the opportunity to switch bikes, while Giaccomo unloaded a couple of growlers at his place. The map shows the route as planned, versus these slight detours, in case someone else wants to try the tour.
Beyond The Pale is located on Hamilton Ave N close to the Parkdale Market. UPDATE 2017: Beyond the Plae has moved! They are now a few blocks east in City Centre! The map up above has been updated accordingly. Started up in 2012 by a couple of friends from the neighbourhood, it’s got a great friendly atmosphere, and a nice selection of some fine brews.
We rode down Parkdale and got on the Ottawa River Pathway which took us right to our next stop, the Mill St Brew Pub. UPDATE – 2017: Mill St was bought out by Labatt’s, so not sure it qualifies as a micro-brewery anymore… Located in a 140 year old heritage building that was once a grist mill, it has a fine selection of home brews, a beautiful patio, and is easily accessible by bike, situated as it is right off the bike path.
Our final destination was Les Brasseurs du Temps on Rue Montcalm in Gatineau. It too is a brewery/restaurant located in a 19th century heritage building along the Ruisseau de la brasserie, a stream that flows from the Ottawa River towards Lac Leamy. It houses a brewing heritage museum, which we didn’t have time to visit, but I will definitely try to check out soon. It is normally accessible from the Ruisseau de la Brasserie bike path, which is presently being repaired along the stretch between the brasserie and the Voyageurs Pathway. We had our final samplings of the day on it’s recessed terrace.
So there you have it – the First Annual Ottawa/Gatineau Microbrew Bike Tour! Lots of fun had by all. Having underestimated the time we wound up spending at each brewery appreciating their craftsmanship, methinks next years tour, already in in the planning stages, will have fewer destinations. Four, maybe five. We’ll see. Cheers!
For the second instalment of Architects on Bikes Checking Out Buildings I asked Sarah Gelbard to recommend buildings she admires within our region, and she accepted! Sarah is a graduate of architecture at Carleton, and is heading off to McGill to do her doctorate on Urban Planning in the Fall. She’s very active within the local design community, as evident in her YOWLAB initiative. She’s also one of this year’s organizers of Architecture Week AND she loves to cycle! My architect-sister-Sue had so much fun on our first instalment of Architects on Bikes Checking Out Buildings, she jumped at the occasion to come along for the ride.
Sarah’s first choice was The Sister’s of Notre Dame campus off Heron Road, while her second choice was The Old City Hall on Sussex Drive. We met up at Art Is In Bakery in City Centre early Saturday morning and headed off. Here’s the route we followed.
We wove our way south-east along bike paths and quiet streets until we reached the Sister’s of Notre Dame campus. This series of buildings were designed by Tim Murray of Murray and Murray Associates, and completed in 1965 for the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame. The Sisters operated it as an educational facility up until the 1970’s, at which time it was purchased by Canadian Government and renamed the Federal Study Centre. We were able to meander our way through the campus and admire the various buildings.
The brick work was interesting. In contrast to smooth glazed finishes popular in the ’60’s when these buildings were constructed, these bricks were roughly poured resulting in wall surfaces of richly varied textures.
We then worked our way over to Pleasant Park Road, and biked north to the Rideau River Eastern Pathway, which we followed down river all the way to our second destination: The Old City Hall on Sussex Drive. We approached the site from the back, via the Minto Bridge. The arch to the right in the photo below was designed by Moshe Safdie and added to the site along with a number of other additions when the original building was expanded upon in 1992-93.
To get to the front of the building on Sussex we rode along the contour of these additions on the northern perimeter of the building, also introduced by Safdie, that bulge out into the Rideau River. I love how they appear to float on the river’s surface.
Sarah mentioned being particularly fond of the original building,designed by John Bland of the office of Rother, Bland and Trudeau, 1955-58, as seen in this shot she took of the front facade. She also mentioned a great Urbsite Post that includes original photos of the original building designed in the International Style in 1958, which you can check out by clicking here.
We then rode along a path on the south side of the building. There are many wonderful nooks and architectural details to be discovered throughout this site – definitely worth a visit.
Architectural exploration complete, we rode back across town for well a deserved break at Raw Sugar Cafe. UPDATE 2017: Hélas, Raw Sugar closed down a couple of years ago.