Merrickville

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Merrickville is a village of 1200 people on the Rideau Canal in eastern Ontario.

The Rideau Canal passing through Merrickville

Understand[edit]

Merrickville, a village of picturesque Victorian-era stone houses perched along the waters of the Rideau Canal, modestly claims to be Canada’s prettiest village, a claim not without merit. As Merrickville is half an hour from the edge of urban Ottawa, it is a popular destination for summer day trips.

Get in[edit]

The nearest passenger rail is in Smiths Falls, Ottawa or Brockville. The nearest airport is Ottawa-Uplands (IATA: YOW), at the southern edge of that city. Merrickville itself is reachable from Ottawa by car or (seasonally) by boat.

By car[edit]

From Ottawa, take Highway 416 to Kemptville, then old Highway 43 one town westward to Merrickville.

From Brockville, take Highway 401 east to Maitland (exit 705) then head about half an hour straight north.

By boat[edit]

The Rideau Canal passes through the heart of Merrickville on its way from Kingston to Ottawa. Small craft can dock at Aylings Boat Yard or at the canal locks.

  • Aylings Boat Yard +1 613-269-4969fax: +1 613-269-2969. 9am-6pm. Rentals, docking, ice, fuel and marine service. Rideau King boat tour of canal/locks $90/person, charters available.

Get around[edit]

The village itself is small and easily covered by bicycle or on foot; a canoe permits exploration of the local shore and the canal.

See[edit]

The best way to see Merrickville is by walking, popping into shops and admiring the heritage houses.

  • Blockhouse Museum. 10am-5pm daily (summer), weekends only in spring/fall, closed in winter. This tiny fortress, built in 1832, housed up to 50 soldiers who guarded the Canal. Restored in 1966, it now contains local artefacts and archives reflecting the history and industry of the canal and the surrounding urban and agricultural community. By donation..
  • Industrial Heritage ComplexCounty Rd 2, Merrickville lock station +1 613-283-5170. A group of historic buildings which serve as a museum of local Merrickville industry, Collection includes foundry tools and products, woollen mill machinery, home making products, furniture and machinery for power generation. Free..

Do[edit]

  • Bicycles, canoes and kayaks may be rented locally; contact Canal Gallery.
  • Paddlers may follow the Rideau Canal from Kingston to Ottawa, either going through each lock or portaging around them.[1]

Walking trails:

Spa:

Buy[edit]

Merrickville is filled with small boutiques operated by local artists, artisans and craftspeople.

  • Canal Gallery230 St Lawrence St. (Larkspur Lane Mall),  +1 613-269-3566. Original art, custom framing, books, prints, canvas transfers. The same company rents bicycles, kayaks and canoes as www.canaltripping.com at the Blockhouse Park in Merrickville.
  • Dorée's Habit212 St. Lawrence St. +1 613-269-9322. Women's clothing and accessories, unique selection of scarves, jewellery and purses.
  • Grotto Artworks110 Main Street E. +1 613-269-4302. Artists' gallery with local crafts (pewter, pottery, jewellery, wood turnings, woven silk scarves, soapstone carvings, gourds and glass) and original works of art in oil, collage, acrylics, watercolour and mixed media.
  • Miller's of Merrickville323 St. Lawrence Street +1 613 269-2575. 10am-5pm. Country store and outdoor “Garden Fixins’ Courtyard” with vintage candles, hardware, clocks, tin barn stars, lighting, earth rugs, wreaths, garland, linen, hand-crafted decorations, pictures and frames, signs, toys, games and whimsical garden accessories.
  • Mirick's Landing106 St Lawrence St. +1 613-269-3559. Today's example of yesterday's country store; quilted bedding, braided rugs, framed prints and wall hangings, candles, furniture, books and decorative items.
  • Rideau Woodland Ramble210 Burritt's Rapids Road +1 613-258-3797. Trees, flowers, vines, seasonal gardening supplies, open mid-April to November "to capture the imagination of gardeners and collectors".
  • Rowland Leather159 St. Lawrence St. +1 613-269-3151, toll-free: +1-800-806-6983. 10am-5pm daily. $160-260 leather handbags manufactured locally in restored 1847 stone Kemptville Store building. Short-term B&B suites above store are $175/night (with continental breakfast) at www.merrickvillesuites.ca
  • Village Foundry117 Mill St. +1 613-269-4755, toll-free: +1-800-771-8652fax: +1 613-269-3510. Oldest operating Canadian cast iron foundry, producing anything from signs and plaques to street fixtures. Next to the locks.

Eat[edit]

Goose and Gridiron

Drink[edit]

  • Goose and Gridiron317 St Lawrence St. +1 613-269-2094. open 11am daily. Restaurant and pub, established 1856. Patio, pub fare, burgers, clam chowder, good draught beer selection on tap, large screen TV for sporting events, banquet room. $10-20/main course.

Sleep[edit]

Merrickville has many small, charming bed and breakfast establishments. Two (Millisle and Wolford) are among the top 5% of Ontario B&B's as reviewed by Janette Higgins, author of “Best Places to Bed and Breakfast in Ontario”.

  • Baldachin Inn111 St. Lawrence St. +1 613-269-4223. Harry McLean’s Pub serves imported and domestic beer and wine. Baldachin Fine Dining Room offers casual dining from 11am, with savoury and organic daily specials. Wi-fi in rooms, non-smoking, pets $10/night extra. $120-230/night.

Bed and breakfast[edit]

Camping[edit]

  • Lions Club Park CampgroundMain Street (St John St. beside the Depot building),  +1 613-269-3702.

Nearby[edit]

Kemptville[edit]

An unincorporated village of 3500 people on the Kemptville Creek, a few kilometres south of the Rideau River. Kemptville is the midpoint on the 416 freeway between Prescott and downtown Ottawa. The University of Guelph operates an agricultural campus in the village.

  • Saunders Country Critters1058 County Road 44, Kemptville +1 613-258-1108. Farm with private zoo and greenhouses; garden centre with 1500 varieties of annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables.

Mountain[edit]

  • Sandy MountainHwy 43, 4km E of 416, Mountain Twp.. Nine-hole golf course, mini-golf, camping and RV park. Showers, toilets, convenience store, ice cream.

Go next[edit]

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