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Centretown News Online
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Ottawa River Pathway
Monday, 06 June 2020
By Emily Rack
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Published in : Centretown Past and Present, Streets

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The Ottawa River Pathway is a 30-km stretch of the Trans-Canada Trail that winds through the capital city.

Starting in Kanata, the popular path snakes through the west-end greenbelt, along the Ottawa River and makes its way into the heart of downtown, continuing east beyond the Byward Market and across to the Quebec side.

The pathway was one of the first sections of the future Trans-Canada Trail to be built in the early 1970s and was originally intended to be used only by cyclists. Now, the trail is used by approximately 490,000 people every year, 65,000 of them visitors, who enjoy it for all sorts of activities.

Unusually for such an urban area, there are only a few man-made structures visible from the pathway. The space remains private and secluded, offering users a tranquil, tree-lined getaway within the city, away from the bustle of traffic and hectic work schedules. The pathway is the longest expanse of protected public space along any river in North America.

In warmer weather, the path is filled with runners, hikers, inline skaters, dog walkers, and those simply interested in taking a picturesque stroll. Visitors and locals can walk alongside the river admiring tulips in the spring, and on sunny days it’s common to find families and couples picnicking on the tables and benches dotted along the route.

Even when temperatures drop and the frost sets in, the pathway is far from forgotten.

Although the paved ground may be covered in a heavy blanket of snow, it is put to good use every winter by scores of cross-country skiers who have waited all year to break out their skis and glide through city in the exhilarating, biting cold.

In autumn, amid the fiery, changing leaves, overlooking the water and the postcard-perfect view of Parliament, there are few more beautiful and inherently Canadian places to enjoy the outdoors.

Last update : 06-06-2020 14:04

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