New Bike Path Along Rue Jacques Cartier in Pointe-Gatineau

The recently completed section of bike path along the shoreline of the Ottawa River, just east of the confluence of the Gatineau and Ottawa rivers, allow for spectacular views across the water. Previously this stretch of Rue Jacques-Cartier consisted of two narrow lanes with lots of potholes and speeding traffic, making it a challenge for cyclists to concentrate on anything but survival. Now users of all ages visit and cycle along the shoreline, testament to the huge success of this new bike infrastructure.

The blue line on the following map shows how to get there entirely along bike paths starting from Centretown in Ottawa. The purple line is the new stretch of path along Rue Jacques-Cartier, described in more detail below.


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Upon crossing the Gatineau River over the steel truss Lady Aberdeen Bridge, one arrives in the old town of Pointe-Gatineau with the Saint-François-de-Sales church to your right. This is where the new section of path heading east along Rue Jacques-Cartier begins.

View of Pointe-Gatineau from the Lady-Aberdeen Bridge
View of Pointe-Gatineau from the Lady-Aberdeen Bridge
New path along Rue Jacques-Cartier
New path along Rue Jacques-Cartier

The re-design of the shoreline has included gathering nodes for people to pause and take in the scenery. Many of the stops have interpretive panels that describe the history of the area.

Lookout over the river
Lookout over the river

The design of the various furnishings appear to have been inspired by the lumber industry so prevalent in Point-Gatineau’s past.

Pathway bench
Pathway bench

Not only has this new bike infrastructure created a fantastic destination well worth the visit, it also provides an important link to the Route Verte recreational path network that runs across Quebec. It also encourages bike commuting for hundreds of residents living in Pointe-Gatineau and beyond.

Eastern end of the new bike lane
Eastern end of the new bike path

et voila!

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Bike tour of Ottawa Flower Gardens

All sorts of midsummer flowers are in bloom! There are a number of wonderful gardens throughout the National Capital Region that are open to the public and maintained with lots of tender loving care. Here’s a ride I took to visit a few of them that , starting along the O-Train path between Carling and Scott.

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First stop – Maplelawn, located at 529 Richmond Road. The NCC describes it as ‘…a rare example of a well-preserved 19th century walled garden, very few of which have survived.’, the Friends of Maplelawn Garden who play a large role in maintaining the garden are inspired by how it looked when it was built in the 1830’s.

Maplelawn  garden

Maple lawn Garden
Maple lawn Garden

Second stop – the First Unitarian Meditation Garden, located at 30 Cleary Ave beside the very cool looking modern church. As the name implies, this horticultural gem has a more organic groove to it with lots of wonderful discoveries to be made along its meandering paths. It is also maintained by a volunteer group of garden enthusiasts.

First Unitarian Meditation Garden
First Unitarian Meditation Garden

Third Stop – The Central Experimental Farm Ornamental Gardens, just off Prince of Wales Drive south of the round-about. Here’s a link to a detailed map that shows it’s location, along with a number of other gardens on the Farm. The layout of this garden is strict but the flora is fantastic! Another volunteer group plays a big role in maintaining the garden.

Ornamental Garden1

Central Experimental Farm Ornamental Garden
Central Experimental Farm Ornamental Garden

Fourth stop – Beyond the Edge: Artists’ Gardens, located across the street and a short distance further south along Prince of Wales Drive. The three art garden installations are located along a path that circles around a big Agriculture Canada research plot. This annual display is organized by the Candenses Botanical Garden Society.

Engelina Schmitz: Bee Haven
Engelina Schmitz: Bee Haven

Final stop – Fletcher Wildlife Garden, accessible by path just to the east of our previous stop. Lots of volunteers help maintain this magical network of paths that run through a mixture of natural habitats and gardens. Well worth a visit any time of the year.

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Fletcher Wildlife Garden
Fletcher Wildlife Garden

Et voila!

An Enchanted Evening of Totem Poles and Landmarks Bike Tour!

Indigenous Walks is ‘A guided walk & talk through downtown Ottawa that presents participants with social, political, cultural & artistic spaces from an Indigenous perspective‘. I put together the following bike tour for Indigenous Walks with Alanis King.  Alanis is a published playwright and theatre director, as well as past Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts and Saskatchewan Native Theatre. If you are interested in taking this tour I suggest calling Indigenous Walks to see if they are planning any future group rides.

Here’s a map of the route, starting in front of the Totem Pole on Victoria Island, and ending in the plaza looking in to The Grand Hall of the Museum of History.

If anyone would like to come along for the ride, check out the link on the Indigenous Walks website to register.

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Start - Totem Pole sculpted by Walter Harris on Victoria Island
Start – Totem Pole sculpted by Walter Harris on Victoria Island
First stop - Totem sculpted by Henry Hunt, Confederation Park
First stop – Totem Pole sculpted by Henry Hunt
2nd stop - The Lost Child by David Ruben Piqtoukun
2nd stop – The Lost Child by David Ruben Piqtoukun
3rd stop - Anishinabe Scout
3rd stop – Anishinabe Scout
4th stop - Lookout across over the Ottawa River
4th stop – Lookout over the Ottawa River
5th stop  - The Three Watchmen by Chief James Hart
5th stop – The Three Watchmen by Chief James Hart
Exterior view of the totems within the Grand Hall
Last Stop – Exterior view of the totems within the Grand Hall
Last stop - Museum of History, Namaxsala (To Travel in a Boat Together) by sculptor Anne Barkhouse
Museum of History, Namaxsala (To Travel in a Boat Together) by sculptor Anne Barkhouse