The University of Ottawa Bike Co-op is a great big work space with stands, tools, and on-site expertise to help you fix your bike. It’s free for undergraduate students and a mere $5 annual membership for everyone else. Lots more info can be found on their website, including hours, by clicking here.
The tricky part is getting there, as it’s tucked around the back of the Lees Avenue Campus building. Here are a couple of routes to get there, starting from the main campus on King Edward Ave. The first route (blue line) is more direct and accessible in the winter, while the second is slightly longer route (purple line) but is much more picturesque, taking advantage of the Rideau River Western Pathway. It also avoids a couple of testy traffic spots encountered on the first route.
Both routes start off from the entrance to the main campus at the intersection of Marie-Curie and King Edward Ave.
OPTION 1 – THE MORE DIRECT ROUTE (blue line on the map)
I crossed King Edward and headed straight down Somerset St East. There are bike lanes along Somerset which dissapear intermittently for a couple of blocks, then re-appear at the bottom of the hill.
I turned right onto Chapel St, a quiet residential street.
At Wiggins Private I crossed onto the sidewalk on the left hand side which becomes a multi-use pathway after a few meters.
I continued along the pathway as far as the signalised lights across Lees Ave. For some strange reason the bike lane along Lees starts a few meters beyond the crosswalk so I made sure I had time to cross and get to the bike path before the light changed.
Lees Avenue curls over the Queensway before reaching the traffic lights heading onto the Lees Avenue campus.
I rode into the campus, past the front entrance to the main building.
I then turned right onto the path between the building and the Gee-Gee’s football field.
I continued around to the back of building to where the path joins the Rideau River Western Pathway. There you will notice some spray painted signs in the window facing the path indicating you’ve arrived at the Co-op.
I continued around the corner to where the entrance door is located. There are no signs identifying this entrance, but there is a track on the side of the stairs to help push your bike up the stairs.
Once through the exterior doors there is a sign pointing to the Co-op.
And quite the Co-op shop it is.
An alternative to riding around the building is to enter through the main doors of the Lees Avenue Campus building and push your big through the hallways to the Co-op shop.
OPTION 2 – THE PICTURESQUE (& SAFER) ROUTE (purple line on the map)
This second route starts at the same location as the first route and similarly heads down Somerset, however rather than turning onto Chapel, it continues along Somerset all the way to Strathcona park on the edge of the Rideau River.
I took the path leading straight into the park, then turned right along the Rideau River Western Pathway, rather than over the Adawe Bridge (the one with the silver sphere sculptures).
It’s a very pleasant ride along the Rideau River Western Pathway.
The path goes under the Queensway and up beside the Gee-Gee football field to the Co-op with the signs in the window anouncing you’ve arrived.
Et voila! If anyone needs a different route to get to the co-op please send me a starting point and I’ll figure one out for you!