This 44km ride starts at the statue of Queen Victoria on Parliament Hill and heads up along the Ottawa River before weaving it’s way north through Gatineau Park to the small Chelsea Pioneers Cemetery where lies Private Richard Rowland Thompson, the sole Canadian recipient of a Queen’s Scarf of Honour, one of eight scarves crocheted by Queen Victoria in her final year of life.
Victoria Day is a distinctly Canadian holiday, celebrated on the Monday that lands between the 18th and 24th of May, in honour of Queen Victoria born on May 24, 1819. One legend says she chose Ottawa as the nation’s capital by jabbing a hat pin into a spot on a map between Toronto and Montreal to stop the two cities from squabbling over which one deserved to be the capital. Another suggests her appreciation of landscape paintings of the region inspired her to choose this location. There may be an element of truth to both when she ultimately acted on the reccomendations of John A MacDonald, prime minister at the time, and made the final decision.
The statue of Queen Victoria is located just to the west of the Centre Block on Parliament Hill.
Exit Parliament Hill heading west and turn right after passing through the RCMP bollards. Then take Vittoria Street that passes behind the Confederation building and infront of the Supreme Court, before turning left to get to Wellington St .
There’s a bike lane along Wellington that starts infront of the National Archives. Follow this lane across Portage Bridge to the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. Once across the bridge follow the Voyageurs Pathway by circling under the Portage Bridge. Follow the path all the way to a fork just in front of a hydro site. Head right at the fork.
This leads to Rue Belleau, a quiet street with bike lanes leading to the intersection at Boulevard Alexander-Taché. The start of the Gatineau Park Pathway is immediately across this intersection.
Follow the beautiful Gatineau Park Pathway up through the park all the way to Chemin de la Mine.
Access Chemin de la Mine from the pathway and head north along the bike lane on the shoulder of the road.
Turn right onto Notch Road which also has bike lanes.
Turn right onto Chemin de Kingsmere then right onto the bike lane along Chemin Old Chelsea east heading over the Gatineau Autoroute, all the way to Route 105.
Turn left up the 105 and ride along the abutting bike lane all the way to the small sign indicating the entrance to the Chelsea Pioneer Cemetery .
Down this short dirt road you will arrive at the small cemetery where lay the remains of Private Richard Rowland Thompson who was awarded the Queen’s Scarf of Honour for saving the life of a wounded colleague and staying with him throughout the Boer War Battle of Paardeberg. He also attempted to save another as the fighting raged about him.
The graveyard itself is very simple and serene, a quiet place to rest before getting back in the saddle.
Exiting the cemetery continue north along the 105 before turning onto Chemin Scott which also has bike lanes heading into Old Chelsea.
Chemin Scott intersects Chemin Old Chelsea which you can hop back onto and retrace your route back to Ottawa.
The most amazing display of trilliums I’ve happened upon in our region can be found in a section of forest near the southern edge of Gatineau Park, and they are in full bloom right now! Here’s a bike route to get there.
This ride begins on the Portage Bridge over the Ottawa River. The route travels along a combination of surfaces including paved pathways, roads, stone dust paths, and packed dirt trails through the forest.
If anyone needs a route to get to the starting point please let me know.
On the Gatineau side of the bridge follow Voyageurs Pathway by turning left under the bridge.
The path continues alongside Rue Laurier before veering closer to the river’s edge through Parc des Portageurs.
Continue along the Voyageurs Pathway which weaves up and down through trees with great views towards the Ottawa River. The path is named after the Voyageurs who portaged their canoes past this section of rapids.
Just beyond the small beach in Parc Moussette take the exit off the path to Boulevard de Lucerne, then to Rue St-Dominique, then ride across the intersection of Boulevard Alexandre-Taché. Follow the bike path along Boulevard Alexandre-Taché linking Rue St-Dominique to the Moore Farm Pathway.
Ride up along the stone dust path through the heritage farm. The stone dust is pretty loose in some stretches, so if you have skinny tires you may have to push your bike along those short sections, or ride on the grassy edge of the path.
A bit further along the path just beyond the barn, turn right onto a smaller dirt path.
A short distance further along it becomes a packed gravel path. My guess is that it once was an railway bed.
The gravel path enventuaqlly veers left and becomes a a dirt trail through the woods. There are a few roots and rocks to negotiate along this path, but for the most part I found it to be well worn and easily negotiable on my hybrid bike.
I started to notice a few trilliums immediately upon turning onto this dirt path. Gradually more and more appeared as I rode along, as they began to spread out on either side of the path. Absolutely magical.
Eventually the path arrives at an intersection. Unfortunately these paths aren’t marked. By heading straight ahead the path becomes more rugged and there’s a fenced off compound on the right. That’s a prison. Don’t want to go that way. Instead I turned left at the intersection.
The trail continues under some power lines. This monstrous hydro pole confirmed I was heading in the right direction.
Not too far along from the hydro lines the path gets a little rocky. I suggest walking your bike through this short section leading down to the paved Pioneers Pathway.
Continue along the Pioneers Pathway under the bridge and up to where it intersects the Gatineau Park Pathway. Turn left onto the Gatineau Park Pathway and followed it all the way back down to Boulevard Alexandre-Taché.
There are lights to get across Boulevard Alexandre-Taché to Rue Belleau, which has bike lanes.
At the end of Rue Belleau there is a link to the Voyageurs Pathway . Followed Voyageurs Pathway back to our starting point atthe Portage Bridge and across the river.
It’s not too late to take in the wonderful display of blooming daffodils strewn throughout the Rockcliffe Rockeries. The Rockeries is a lovely public park tucked in the eastern edge of the Rockcliffe neighbourhood overlooking the Ottawa River. Once arrived there’s a path you can follow that cuts through the park. Here’s a 9km bike route to get there from Centretown.
This route follows bike lanes or paths for most of the way. The only spots missing bike lanes are the short connection along Colonel By Drive between the end of the Rideau Canal Eastern pathway to Sussex, and the section of Princess Avenue between the two round-abouts. N.B. – While riding along the Ottawa River pathway, just before arriving at the Rockeries, do NOT cross the Sir George-Étienne-Cartier Driveway (indicated by the red marker on the map) but continue along the paved path on the right side of the road.
There are other flowers and curiosities to discover there as well.
Here is a 14km bike tour to three big waterfalls that are particularly awesome in the spring! The ride starts at Hog’s Back Falls, then visits the Chaudière Falls and ends at the Rideau Falls. The spring runoff is, of course, what makes the falls so powerful at this time of year, but the higher volume of water also causes flooding along parts of the Ottawa River and Rideau river shorelines. This route avoids bike paths that are flooded, and also takes into consideration ongoing construction detours.
Hog’s Back Falls was originally a set of rapids known as the Three Rocks Rapids, but the building of the Rideau Canal created the more spectacular version we have now. More on the transformation from rapids to falls can be found in these two links:
Next stop – the Chaudière Falls on the Ottawa River, just west of Parliament Hill. When french explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived at the falls he noted how its elongated curved form and volume of water flowing over it ressembled a boiling cauldron, or chaudière. More on the history of the Chaudière Falls can be found here.
The above map shows three great locations from which you can view the falls.
Last stop – the Rideau Falls! The Rideau River ends by spilling down into the Ottawa River in most spectacular form resembling a huge curtain of water, or in French a ‘rideau’ of water.
The Ottawa River timber trade was the nineteenth century production of squared timber along with other wood products. As the major industry of the historical colonies of Upper and Lower Canada, the trade was instrumental in establishing communities on both sides of the river that became Ottawa and Gatineau. This 3km ride along bike paths and multi-use pathways visits various interpretive displays along the Ottawa River that help describe the history and significance of the timber trade in the region.
Our ride begins just off the Ottawa River Pathway behind the War Museum. Here you will find an interpretive display describing the 19th century origins of the local lumber industry. You can stand on a crib, multiples of which formed a timber raft. Interpretive panels describe how in the 1800’s you would have seen giant rafts made up of cribs in the river before you. The interpretive panels also describe how these timber rafts, composed of hundreds of logs, would become temporary floating villages for the Raftsmen delivering the timber down the Ottawa River.
Further east along the Ottawa River Pathway you will happen upon Mill Street Brew Pub located in an old grist mill built in 1842. On the east side of the building, looking out across the river, you will see a timber slide. This is where the aforementioned cribs would float down to avoid the Chaudière Falls. In 1972 the V shaped slide visible from this spot replaced the wider square shaped slide that originally accomodated the width of the cribs. More on the history of the slide can be found here.
Ride under the Portage Bridge and follow the paths that circle up and onto the bridge. Take the segregated bike lane across the bridge to the Gatineau side of the river, then turn down to the right along the Voyageurs Pathway that runs along the waters edge.
Along this pathway you will happen upon this interpretive panel describing the history of this shoreline, providing context to when the lumber trade was dominant.
A short distance further along the path you will find this vertical display celebrating log drivers whose job was to break up piles of logs to avoid log jams.
Continue along the Voyageurs Pathway under the Alexandra Bridge into Jacques Cartier Park. A short distance into the park you will find a display of three interpretive panels, one of which hi-lites the story of Big Joe Mufferaw, a legendary lumberman from the era of the timber trade.
Further along the pathway beside a small heritage house called Maison Charon you will find another display of three panels, one of which describes Philemon Wright the first settler who started up the local lumber trade. Included in this display is a scale reproduction of a broad axe. This important tool was used to square logs so that they may be assembled into crips and rafts before floating down river.
For those who would like to read more about the era of the Ottawa River timber trade I recommend checking out this link.
The Ottawa International Airport is a comfortable 13-15 km ride from downtown. The following route is my favourite. The EY Centre is a huge convention space used for various events and is very close to the airport, so I’ve included a slight detour that’ll get you there as well (orange line on the map).
. Starting off from the corner of Laurier Avenue and Percy St, head south along the Percy bike lane. (Percy and Laurier is an intersection easily accessible from many points within the downtown core via the Laurier Bike Lane).
Percy continues on the opposite side of the Queensway sans bike lane.
Turn right on Fifth Avenue and cross Bronson Avenue at the intersection.
Once across Bronson continue down Madawask Drive, then onto the pathway that cuts through Commissioners Park.
Follw this path to the intersection of Preston Street and Prince of Wales Drive.
Cross the lights to get to the bike path that runs through the Arboretum along the edge of Dow’s Lake and the Rideau Canal.
Pushed you bike over the canal locks opposite Carleton University and turn right along the Rideau Canal Pathway as far as Mooney’s Bay.
The path continues over the Rideau River along Hogs Back Road. Once over the Hogs Back Falls bridge take the path to the right that goes through Mooney’s Bay park
On the other side of Mooney’s Bay Park the path continues along Riverside Drive for a short distance until it ends at Walkley Road. Riverside Drive is a very busy street with lots of speeding traffic. There are raised paved shoulders along Riverside beyond Quesnel Drive, but not between Walkley Road and Quesnel Drive. To avoid this section, ride on the packed grass beside the sidewalk along Riverside for a short distance and cross Riverside to the parking lot of the Anglican Church.
Ride through to the opposite side of the church parking lot to the short path that cuts through to Otterson Drive.
Turn right onto Otterson, and take the short path that links to Quesnel Drive. Follow Quesnel Dr that ends at Riverside Drive. Get back on Riverside Drive and continue south along the previously mentioned raised paved shoulders. They extend from Quesnel to Uplands Drive.
Turn left onto Uplands Drive and follow it for a short distance before turning right along Bowesville Road.
Mid way down Bowesville there’s a NO THROUGH TRAFFIC sign, and a smaller green one below it that asks pedestrians and cyclists passing through to remain on the road. That’s because it cuts through the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club. There’s a steel gate a bit beyond the signs, however there’s space to ride by just to the right.
Once beyond the golf club property cross Hunt Club Road at the lights and continue south along Paul Benoit Driveway. This is a very pleasant road to ride along. Traffic isn’t too speedy, the posted limit being 50km/h. There is also a paved path that runs along the west side of the road.
Normally, to get to the terminal turn right off of Paul Benoit Driveway onto Kiowa Pr, cut through the employee parking, then left at the end of the parking lot, which becomes a lane airport employees use to walk back and forth to their cars. This lane leads right to the arrivals doors in front of the terminal. At the time of writing they were constructing the O-Train connection to the airport, which required a slight deviation to the normal route, as per the green line indicated on the above map. i.e., rather than cut through the employees parking, ride to the end of Kiowa Pr to Clear Skies Pr, then turn left onto Clear Skies Pr, which leads to the aforementioned lane that brings you to the entrance to the terminal.
There are bike racks infront of the concrete pillars located just outside the entrance to the airport.
Accessing the EY Centre
If you are heading to the EY Centre (orange line on the above map) turn left off of Paul Benoit Driveway onto Breadner Blvd, which has ample room for cars and bikes.
Turn right onto Uplands Drive, which is a busy street, but also has wide paved shoulders. The entrance to the EY Centre is a short distance further along Uplands.
Follow the same route heading back to Ottawa, except for the last stretch north of the Queensway where the bike lane follows Bayswater versus Percy, as indicated by the purple line on the above map.
Swap Boxes and Little Free Libraries are a great way to share books and other items amongst neighbours and passersby. Here’s how they work: usually streetside, people are enticed to open them up. If something inside strikes their fancy they can take or exchange the item with something else. I started this route back in 2016, updating the map annually with boxes as they come and go, or as they have been modified. Everyone who has one loves the joy and sharing that they contribute to the community!
We were inspired to put up a swap box in front of our place after discovering a number of others around town that had been created by the late street artist Elmaks. There is also an online group you can register your book swap box called Little Free Libraries. Here’s an article in the Kitchissippi Times on some of those local little libraries.
First stop – Cambridge St North, just north of the Chinatown Arch!
Our next box is Down Nanny Goat Cliff on Rochester St. Some great flowers are painted on the sides.
One square block south-west there sits this converted newspaper box at the corner of Preston and Elm.
Next it’s over to this great swap box at 249 Loretta Avenue. n.b. If any box is full, I suggest not leaving items outside the box, especially on the ground in dog pee zone.
A couple of blocks west at the corner of Beech Street and Bayswater Avenue you can’t miss this colourful Little Free Library/Boîte à livres.
South on Bayswater brings you to this fine box whose design imitates that of the home infront of which it sits.
A few blocks up a hill you will find this very well constructed Little Free Library on Gwynne Ave.
Head over to this clever ‘A-Frame’ box on Melrose.
This beautifully painted box is just a few yards further up Melrose.
Then it’s over to 94 Spadina Ave. where sits this tall red box, another fine imitation of it’s host house.
This generous box on Garland sits comfortably on a wall.
Heading west through Hintonburg brings you to this big one at 50 Ladoucer. Unfortunately the text that was originally on the front of this unit explaining that it it was a swap box has almost completely faded leaving no indication for those that don’t already know.
A bit further west in Hintonburg you will find a box near the corner of Oxford & Pinehurst. This one has quite a history. In the Fall of 2016 someone complained about it’s original sprawling bungalow styling to city by-law and the owners were told to take it down by September 16th. Fortunately there was a last minute stay of execution and it got a reprieve. It was then replaced it with a more compact design, and has since gradually grown and evolved into the multi-unit that is there now.
Across the transitway sit’s this fine tall box on Northwestern Avenue.
A short distance south on Northwestern you will find this sweet box nesteld amongst the vegetation.
A little bit west proudly stands this most excellent Swap Box crafted at the Ottawa Tool Library!
This ‘Bibliothèque’ can be found on W Village Private.
This ‘Children’s books only’ box on Garrison St sits low to the ground making it easier for young’uns to access.
Just south of Wellington on Mayfair there is not one, but TWO boxes safely distanced apart.
A few blocks south brings us to this little library at 436 Mayfair.
Our route goes another couple of blocks east to visit this great Little Library on Kenora St. that has started to lean a bit over time.
A block south on Java St it’s pretty hard to miss this extremely well built monster ‘little’ library.
Then it’s under the Queensway over to this colourful box at the edge of St Stephen’s church on Sherwood.
A few blocks south on Hamilton Ave S you will find this fine box.
Right around the corner on Inglewood you will find this friendly offering.
Further west on Ruskin there sits this beautiful cedar shingled little library with a cute little swap box addition. This box has a sad story associated with it: in 2017 someone set fire to it’s original incarnation. Undeterred, the builders got to work and like the legendary Phoenix, this wonderul replacement rose from it’s ashes.
Over to Island Park Drive where this super sweet ‘petit bibliotheque’ has mini toad-stools for little ones to rest upon.
Then there’s this fine box at the corner of Mayfair and Iona.
Two boxes are at the corner of Brennan and Iona, one dedicated to kids.
Over to this very beautifuly painted box on Evered Ave.
Over to this one at Edison & Kenwood where locals can grab their mail AND a book! The note infront asks that books not be left outside the box.
This box on Melbourne is a very nice design. A paintedlandcape on the front is intersected by the round window.
A detour north brings us to this little library on Atlantis Ave.
Over to 571 Roosevelt to visit this fine box.
The next one has a corregated metal roof! Very clever.
A vintage window with mullions serves as the front of this box on Rowanwood Ave making it easier to peruse the selection before without exposing the books to the elements. Very handy during inclement weather!
This big red row boat shaped box can be found on Deschênes St.
Next one is in New Orchard Park.
You can find this book box on Midway Ave near Ancaster. Based on similarites in design with the last box I have a sneaking suspicion they came from the same source.
A slight detour south to the Glabar Park neighbourhood brings you to this double-duty Little Library on Lenester Avenue. The upper box has stained glass windows!
Down Woodland Avenue brings you to this fine box.
Here is a converted sticker decorated newspaper box on Chambers Ave.
The route branches off south-westerly to visit the next three boxes. First stop is at the corner of Ryan and Southwood Drive with a bench to relax and peruse the offerings!
The second is at 30 Harrison St that uses the JUTIS frosted cabinet door from Ikea and a cord to keep it closed.
The third is at 32 Abingdon Dr with a traditional styled hinged door.
This box on Charing Road is set a ways back from the curb but the owners kindly put down a series of flagstones to help you get there.
Over on Côte-des-Neiges Rd you will find this elegant box.
Next box is on Ainsley Drive with a very clever log base.
Heading back east brings usto this swap box at the corner of Sherman and Navaho Drive which has a little path leading up from the intersection. The original clear solid plastic window has been replaced plastic wrap and newspaper so you’ll have to open it up to see what’s inside.
This bright red box can be found on Marygrove Circle.
Just around the corner on Terrebonne Drive there is this colourful unit with a curved concrete bench to sit on while you peruse your selection.
Over to Caldwell Ave to visit this generous book exchange that unfortunately has lost its doors.
This playful box is located a bit further north at the corner of McBride and Woodward.
This fine box on Laperriere isn’t going anywhere soon, with it’s solid specially poured concrete base! It also has a note in the window reminding users that leaving the door ajar lets rain in, thus ruining the books.
This sweet box is a bit further east along Laperriere.
The Alexander Community Centre has this fine big box on a stable wooden base. Unfortunately it has had it’s door ripped off as well, so best to put your books as far back as possible to avoid the elements.
A few blocks over on Emperor St you will be able to sit on this nice bench while perusing this box’s offerings.
Over to 28 Sutton Place. This box is special as it was built and installed by one of Ottawa’s most passionate cycling advocates, Hans On Bike.
The next most excellent box is on Bowhill Avenue.
Head on south to Tennyson St to visit this double box. Note how it’s colours match the home.
Next stop is over the river on Uplands Drive where you will find this great box called the Oak Tree Free Library.
Over to Cahill St.
Next, over to this great box on Colman St.
Next is this tree mounted model on Hobson Road.
Next check out this fine unit on Springland Drive.
Over to this wide unit on Upper Otterson Pla. It has two small solar powered units that I’m guessing are lights. Will have to go back when it’s dark to confirm.
This one on Revelstoke Drive is supported by a re-purposed bbq stand.
The next few boxes to discover are in the Glebe. This one’s on Fourth Avenue, just east of Bronson.
This box is on Fifth Avenue.
A bit further down 5th you will find this fine box.
A few blocks north on First Ave the Glorious Glebe-St James United Church hosts find this colourful box.
This next box over on Thornton has great vertical proportions!
Half way down the block on the opposite side of Thornton you will discover this great Book Sharing Zone.
A bit further south on Queen Elizabeth Place you will find this Dr Zeuss inspired little library.
Next two boxes are on Broadway Ave. First,this Little Prince box.
Then, this ampersand box.
Over to Ottawa South where this can be found on Ossignton Avenue.
Next is a short side loop 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.
One block south on Mountbatten Avenue you will find this wonderfully painted box.
Over on Blossom Drive you will find this very welcoming box.
A short loop through the Alta Vista neighbourhood first brings us to this beautifully painted box on Featherstone Drive.
Further west you will find this double-decker unit!
Our next stop on our Alta Vista loop brings us to this one at 1647 Pullen Ave. Tons of TLC has been put into the painting details.
Continuing on our loop through Alta Vista brings us to this cleverly designed mobile unit on Knox Crescent.
Head back on over to the north shore of the Rideau River and follow the path along to the river to Belmont Drive where you will find this super sweet box.
On Riverdale Ave you will find this delicately painted two level unit.
Walk your bike one block north to our next stop along Riverdale.
A couple of blocks over you will see this great little library at 146 Sunnyside Avenue. Big footprint shaped concrete pavers invite passersby to peruse the shelves.
This nicely crafted box is located a bit further north on Glencairn Avenue.
Our next great box can be found just around the corner on Riverdale Ave. This one also has a generous concrete bench infront of it.
A bit north east on Belgrave Road lives this fine box, cleverly modeled after the house infront of which it sits.
A similar design approach is taken at our next box on Clegg St where the box imitates the house infront of which it stands. It even has a piece of the stone panelling left over from the contruction of the house incorporated into the base of the box.
Over on Mason Terrace there’s this nice blue box.
Close by on Bower Street we find another fine box.
Nary a block over is this great box on Mutchmor Road.
Close by on Merritt Ave you will find this great little library.
Up on Drummen St you will find this beauty.
Just a few meters down Drummond Street there sits this box-within-a-box.
Just a couple of blocks north you can find this box on Glanora Street.
On Evelyn Ave you will find this glorious tower of a library.
Along Echo Drive in front of The Church of the Ascension you will find this fine box.
Ride north along the Rideau Canal pathway then cut through the Ottawa U campus. Once you cross King Edward, push your bike a short distance along the east sidewalk to this forlorn box, bravely located on one of the craziest streets in the city.
Head back to ther lights and continue east along Somerset E through the Sandy Hill neighbourhood. At the corner of Templeton and Chapel Streets sits this big blue box.
Next there’s this box on Marlborough Ave.
You will find this Book Library near the north/east corner of Stewart. It has a stepping stone to allow smaller readers to peruse the titles.
Over to Wurtemburg St to check out this sweet box.
After crossing over the Rideau River this next branch visits three boxes. The first is this box on Mark Ave.
A couple of blocks nouth gets you to one of the same design on Greensway Ave.
Last of the three boxes on this branch is this fine little unit at the corner of Vachon and Dagmar with some paving stones to keep your shoes clean while you peruse.
This great box can be found on Shakespeare St.
There are two fine boxes back over in Overbrook. Weave your way along a few residential streets to this fine Little Library on Queen Mary Street.
Just a few blocks north there sits this generous little library on Ontario Street.
Over on the corner of Frontenac & Lacasse you will find this fine box.
Next, over to 770 Claude St
Heading further east for a spell, one finds this robust box at 20 Appleford St in the Cardinal Heights neighbourhood.
Heading back west you will discover this fantastic box on Roanoke Street!
Next, over to Pauline Charron Place. This one has had a bottom unit added since it first appeared.
Back to the bike path along St Laurent, head north a touch and turn right onto Meadow Park Place where you will discover this fine specimen.
A bit further north you will happen upon this next box on Braemer.
Next, ride towards and along Hemlock Road that’ll get you to this fine little library.
Ride over to New Edinburgh where you will find this big colourful box outside the MacKay United Church.
Cross the river over the St Patrick Street bridge towards this bright red box at the end of Old St Patrick St. in Lowertown.
Over to the corner of Rose and Bruyère to visit this jaunty box. It has had a kids box addition installed as well.
A block over is our next box at 260 St Andrew St. nestled in the surrounding greenery.
Further along St Andrew, on the opposite side of King Edward Ave, there sits this elegant little box.
Time to retrace our route back to the Rideau Canal and ride south. On Fourth Ave there’s this very clever box with clear acrylic panes on the front and back, allowing the residents on whose property it sits to be able to see if it is full from the comforts of their home.
This sweet little library is located on O’Connor Street near Patterson Creek.
Heading north you will find this Library/bibliothèque at the corner of Strathcona and Metcalfe.
The next two boxes are neighbours on Argyle which is accessible via the bi-directional bike lanes along O’Connor. The first is this brightly painted number.
The second box on Argyle has beautiful landscaping.
Cut through the Museum of Nature parking to visit this box on McLeod.
This box a bit further west on McLeoad is a converted cast iron stove.
You can find this box on Florence St.
This box is just outside the kids playground in Dundonald Park.
A third box on Mcleod can be found near Bronson.
Another fine Little Library can be found on Arlington a few blocks west of Bronson. There is a solar panel powering a light that turns on once you open the door to the box when it’s dark out. TRÈS cool!
This loving box can be found on Eccles.
Our final stop is this Mini Library, corner of Cambridge St N and Christie. This one takes taller books too!
A final special mention for this super sweet little swap box that was once located on Cole Avenue. It was a favourite so here’s a photo in memory of all the joy it provided.
I’ve been adding new boxes throughout a number of years as they are installed. If I’ve missed any please feel free to send me a note and I’ll include it on the route.
Stay tuned for an updated Swap Box route on the Quebec side of the rover.
I rode out to Ikea and Lee Valley to pick up some items for this summer’s production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, being performed by A Company of Fools. I designed the set. It opens next week and will be performed in parks around the city throughout the summer. Check out their show calendar to see when there is a performance in a park near you!
This bike route is an update to one originally posted in the summer of 2012. I followed the Ottawa River Pathway and the Pinecrest Creek Pathway as far as Iris Street on the way there, and then the Experimental Farm Pathway back. A lovely loop.
The overall route hasn’t changed much over the last ten years, however the ongoing construction of the LRT extension heading west along the SJAM Parkway, and then south along the transit way, has resulted in a dog’s breakfast of mini-detours along the Pinecrest Creek Pathway. The detours aren’t too drastic, just very zig-zaggy and choppy. I hope the bike infrastructure will be the same as before, or better, once all construction is completed. Until then, I anticipate this messy bit will remain for a couple of years to come.
Love these service pavilions at Westboro Beach, designed by architect James Strutt. They remind me of Don Quixote’s windmills. Check out other bike tours that visit buildings Strutt designed around the region by clicking here.
The Ottawa River Pathway isn’t being drastically affected by the construction. If you like construction sites, look left. If you like majestic rivers, look right.
This is the type of choppy detour you may expect to find along the Pinecrest Creek Pathway.
Heading back along the Experimental Farm Pathway, just east of Woodroffe Avenue, they are installing what seems to be a huge reservoir. Looking forward to see what becomes of that.
It’s been 10 years since I began this blog. It started out as a fun efort to share bits about biking around the area. A few years prior I had set out on a mission to ride all the streets in the region at least once. After happening upon so many amazing discoveries, I wanted to share a few right here. All good and fun, and I got better, spurred on by positive feedback. Then the big epiphany hit. While attending a Bike Ottawa annual general meeting, a German academic doing research in some American university made a presentation on bike stats from cities around the world. Amongst a dazzling array of anecdotal tid-bits, the ultimate stat he spouted was, the safest cities to bike in have the most per-capita cyclists. i.e. strength in numbers. So now I had a mission – to try to help boost the number of local riders! And save the planet, but I digress. So I decided to post more detailed safe cycling routes for locals and tourists alike, and I also tossed in ‘Hey, need a safe route? send me your start & finish & I’ll figure it out!‘, for which people were extremely appreciative.
Well, much has changed over time. For example, Bike Ottawa has developed an amazing tool that allows you to plot out the safest route from A to B, based on your comfort level. There are also other extremely passionate local cycling advocates like this guy who are doing a fantastic job keeping us informed about changes and needs required to our local cycling infrastructure.
So, my posts will mostly go back to ressembling its origins, i.e., shorter, a bit more anecdotal, and spontaneous. I’ll still post longer routes when inspiration hits, and offer suggestions on routes when requested. I hope pertinent stuff still comes of it.
The original version of this route was posted in 2014. In the wake of the present invasion of Ukraine I have revisited and updated the route in the hopes that it may be used by those who wish to to pay tribute to the incredible resilience of the Ukranian people, and to help better understand the Ukranian community amongst us.
Canada is home to one of the largest number of persons of Ukrainian descent outside of Ukraine. Most reside in the western provinces, however many have chosen Ottawa as their home. This bike tour visits edifices around town representing the Ukrainian diaspora within Canada’s capital.
We begin our ride at the Ukrainian Embassy located at the corner of Somerset and O’Connor. Ukraine purchased this building at 310 Somerset St from the federal NDP party in 1994. It’s been their embassy ever since.
Our next stop is just a few blocks south east. On December 2nd, 1991 Canada recognized Ukraine’s independence. Suddenly in need of an embassy, this building on Metcalfe St was purchased with the help of funds gathered by Ukrainian-Canadians. This location has served as a consular building ever since the embassy moved to its present location.
Next stop – the Saint John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Shrine near the corner of Heron Road and Prince of Wales Drive. To get there I rode south along the O’Connor bike lane before turning left on Fifth Ave and crossing the canal over the Flora Foot Bridge. I then rode along the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway all the way up to where Heron Road crosses overhead. I accessed Heron by pushing my bike up the mini bike ramp along the edge of the stairs.
There is a bike lane along Heron Road. Just over the bridge I took this well trodden path righ that leads to the back of the church.
The statue on the edge of the parking lot is a monument to Taras Shevchenko (1841-1861), artist and national hero for his promotion of Ukrainian independence.
Next destination is the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral at 1000 Byron Avenue. To get there I cut through the Experimental Farm, along Island Park Drive, then west along Byron. There is serious disruptive construction for the new LRT extension along Byron, thus the slight detour as one approaches our final stop. The Cathedral opened in 1978. More on it’s history can be found here.