Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Rideau Canal Festival

I just came across this (thanks to the Ottawa Festivals Twitter feed): The Rideau Canal Festival is this weekend, celebrating the canal as a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and a great way to get from one end of town to the other, I might add.

I love the canal. It's one of my favorite things about Ottawa. During the Spring Edition of the Writers Festival, this April, I made a point of shuttling authors from the Lord Elgin Hotel (our hotel) to the Mayfair Theatre (our venue) by way of Queen Elizabeth Drive, so they would get the really scenic route. The canal didn't let me down, with trees blossoming away and pedestrians and joggers and cyclists making the rec paths look so darn idyllic.

In the winter, the canal is the only bike path I've found that stays cleared, and it becomes my main artery from south to north, giving me a way to get around without having to worry about ice sending me sliding into the path of an oncoming car. And at night, I'll usually opt to take the canal rather than Bank Street home from the Market or Ottawa U, again to avoid cars.

The Festival is partnering with Bicycles for Humanity Ottawa this year: there will be bike parking onsite, and bikes for rent so you can tour the canal on two wheels.

Plus, if you adopt a metre of the canal, you can opt to have half your adoption fee go to support Bicycles for Humanity. Which is pretty awesome. (B4H collects unwanted bikes and ships them to communities that need them around the world.)

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