Sundae School is a brand new ice cream parlour on Beechwood Avenue. A couple of Chinatown residents are in need of a bike commute route to get there. The rest of us need a consume route because the ice cream is super delicious!
The blue line on the following map is the route Carla and I rode to get there. The two short purple lines are slight variations heading back.
UPDATE – Fall 2017: Sundae School is no longer at this location. Stay tuned to see where it may re-appear for the summer of 2018. HOWEVER there are many other wonderful destinations along this route, including Red Door Provisions along Beechwood (hi-lited on the map below) where they bake very yummy stuff and serve great coffee. Bike lanes have also been added along Beechwood since this route was originally posted, as indicated by the green line on the map below.
We begin at the corner of Primrose and Empress, right in front of the Dominican University College.
We rode east along quiet Primrose Avenue, then turned left on to Cambridge St North. This took us to Laurier Street. The segregated bike lane along Laurier starts on the other side of Bronson Avenue. We followed the Laurier Bike Lane all the way to City Hall.
We then turned off Laurier at the exit ramp just before heading over the bridge, which took us down to Queen Elizabeth Drive. There isn’t a bike lane along the short exit ramp, but the lane is quite wide. That said, some do feel safer taking to the very wide sidewalk, while others cut through Marion Dewar Plaza infront of City Hall to Queen Elizabeth Drive to avoid having to ride along the exit ramp. If I was taking kids for an ice cream outing I would do the same. There are three way stop signs to facilitate cyclists and pedestrians wanting to cross Queen Elizabeth Drive to get on to the Rideau Canal Western pathway.
Ww rode over the Rideau Canal via the Corktown Bridge.
We crossed Nicholas Street at the lights and rode through the Ottawa U campus to King Edward Avenue. After crossing King Edward we sailed down Somerset East all the way to the Adawe bike & pedestrian bridge. This section of Somerset has a potpourri of vanishing and re-appearing painted bike lanes. It usually has lots of other cyclists too, as it serves as a well travelled bike link between the two non-car bridges.
Once over the Adawe Bridge we turned north along the Rideau River Eastern Pathway.
The pathway crosses Montreal Road. Many drivers tend to be extra antsy and aggressive at this intersection. Advance cross lights for pedestrians and cyclists would be helpful.
We continued along the pathway, eventually arriving at St Patrick St where we could have turned up onto Beechwood but chose not to. That’s because the section along Beechwood for a couple of blocks immediately north of the river is attrocious for biking – very tight space with parked cars offering lots of dooring potential, and impatient drivers roaring up behind you on adrenaline rushes after flying along the St Patrick Street speedway. UPDATE- Fall 2017: This has all changed! as mentioned in the intro, there are now bike lanes along Beechwood (see green line on the above map). Instead we continued along the Rideau River Pathway under St Patrick before turning onto a short gravel path that took us to Crichton Street.
We rode east half a block along Crichton to get to Vaughan Street – a quiet residential street heading north.
This brought us to Putman Avenue, another quiet residential street along which we rode to get to the lights at Beechwood. There are bike lanes along Beechwood north of the intersection which we followed on to our final approach to Sundae School! Upon arrival we locked our steeds to the impressive bike rack located off the path just to the north of the entrance to the ice cream shop.
Once we had finished our well deserved treat (I highly reccomend the chocolate flavour) it was time to head back. Traffic was steady along Beechwood when we left, giving us no chance to dart across the street to the bike lane heading south. Instead we rode east on Joliet, then turned south onto Hector-Hotte Way. We cut through the recently renovated Optimiste Park, and on to Marier Avenue. Turning right on Marier took us straight to the lights across Beechwood and on to Putman.
The only other variation on the route back was getting from the Rideau Canal Pathway to the segregated section of the Laurier Bike Lane that starts west of Elgin street. To get to the inersection of Laurier and Elgin I rode under the Laurier Bridge, then cut through Confederation Park.