Embrun is a growing town and new businesses and homes are being built. Embrun is one of the fastest-growing towns in Eastern Ontario by doubling its population in 25 years (Embrun had just 3,800 people in 1980).
Embrun is an unincorporated community. Embrun and the village of Russell form the municipality of Russell Township.
Embrun follows the small town stereotype of "everyone knows everyone". Many people know or have acquaintances with most other residents of the town. This is especially true among senior citizens. If you have any questions about how to get somewhere, then many people will be glad to help.
There are several social clubs which are very active in activities in the community such as the "Club Optimiste Club", Knights of Columbus, Octogone club, Carnival committee and Celebrons ensemble committee. These social clubs organize community related activities for children, young adults and seniors during the holiday season, during the "Embrun Carnival" (usually the last week of January each year) and "Celebrons ensemble" (yearly summer celebration of community). Activities are all sponsored by local businesses.
Embrun is mainly francophone. 60% of the town's population speaks French at home. Despite this, however, many signs are bilingual (although bilingual signs are not required in Embrun); in stores, cashiers will often understand English.
Even so, knowledge of a few basic words in French is useful. See the French phrasebook.
There is pretty much only one way to get to Embrun: by car. If you are coming from Ottawa, travel east (in the direction of Montreal) on Highway 417 and get off at Exit 88. The sign for Exit 88 says "Rockdale Road: Vars, Embrun". It takes about 25 minutes to get to Embrun from the Innes-Walkley area, 30 minutes from the St. Laurent area, 35 minutes from Orleans, 35 minutes from Downtown Ottawa, 40 minutes from the West End, and 50 minutes from Kanata.
If you are coming from Montreal, travel west (in the direction of Rigaud and Ottawa-Hull) on Highway 40. Once you hit Ontario, it will become Highway 417. Get off at Exit 79. The sign for Exit 79 says: "Limoges Road: Limoges, Embrun".
It takes about 90 minutes to get to Embrun from the West Island, 100 minutes from the Dorval/Saint-Laurent/Pierrefonds/Cartierville area, 110 minutes from the Mont-Royal/Centre-Ville area of Montreal, 115 minutes from Vieux-Montreal and 120 minutes from the Montréal-Est area.
OC Transpo route 222 has three buses each weekday afternoon from Slater St. in Ottawa ($4, 55 min) to the car pool lot in Vars. From there, it's a 10-minute taxi trip ($23-29) to Embrun.
Getting around Embrun by car is easy. Most of the town's tourist-related buildings and areas are accessible off the main road, called Notre-Dame Street. In addition, there are several parking lots along the road.
While harder, one can get around Embrun on foot. The downtown is fairly walkable, but in the rest of the town as well as the surrounding countryside it is impractical to walk. In the business park area in the western part of the town (near where Exit 88 hooks up with Embrun) there are many stores fairly close together, but the area is not very pedestrian friendly. A walk from one end of the town to the other can take almost an hour.
Travelling around Embrun by bicycle is quite convenient. In the western part of the town, a bike trail links several streets. In the central part of the town, a pedestrian lane on the side of Blais Street hooks up with the bike trail. From there, one can travel on Centenaire Street, a relatively traffic-free road, to get to the eastern part of the town.
Bicycle rentals are available at Vélo Xpress, located at 968 Notre-Dame Street. Vélo Express can be reached at +1 613-443-5500.
- The Église St. Jacques -- A beautiful 19th-century church in the heart of the town at the junction of St. Augustine Road and Notre-Dame Street. This is sometimes called the "Paroisse St. Jacques" or among the anglophone population, "St. Jacques Church". It is very hard to miss. It is on the main road. Its www.paroissestjacques.com website, is in French only.
- New York Central Recreational Trail -- Pedestrian trail lined with trees that block the view of the urban features of the town. The New York Central Recreational Trail is free to access. A parking lot in the central part of the town is the start of the trail, which continues for several kilometres into Russell. Use insect repellent in the summer as mosquitos and black flies are common among the bike path. Walking or bicycling down the bike path is a relaxing experience.
- Monument to Embrun, Ontario from Embrun, France -- Public monument dedicated to Embrun, Ontario from Embrun, France. Is it in the parking lot at the start of the recreational trail. Written on both sides is a message (in French only) from Embrun, France expressing gratitude for the contribution of soldiers from Embrun, Ontario to the Allied liberation of France in 1945.
- Fraisière Cosmos, 1407 Notre-Dame Street (on main street, east of town), ☎ . Pick your own strawberries, late June only.
- Festival de la Curd, 150 St-Paul Street, St-Albert (18 km west of Embrun - take Road 3 out of town, turn right onto Road 5, and follow it into St-Albert). mid-August. The Curd Festival of the St. Albert cooperative cheese dairy offers a variety of programming, with a host of activities for the family. Music shows for young and old, comedy show, wine and cheese.
- [dead link] La Chocolatière, 1110 Notre-Dame, ☎ . Open Thursdays from 5PM-8:30PM and Saturdays from 9AM-noon. Handmade truffles and fine chocolates. Gift boxes are available.
- Bay Street Salon & Spa, 170 Bay St., ☎ . Day spa, massages, treatments, packages available.
- My Second Home Restaurant, 1025 Notre Dame, ☎ . Chinese
- Etienne Brule Brewery, 803 Notre Dame St, ☎ . Tu-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-8PM. An Ecocert-certified organic brewpub offering beer and locally-sourced food. Visit the brewery, taste the regular and explorer series beers, or the different varieties of paninis and home made smoked ribs, pull pork or maple salmon. Paninis $14-18, salads $7-15.
- Half Pint Pub, 968A Notre-Dame Street, ☎ . Su-W 11AM-midnight, Th-Sa 11AM-2AM. Burgers, sandwiches, other pub standards $11-17.
- [dead link] Au Boisé B&B, 2048 Route 600, ☎ . Bed and Breakfast just to the southeast of the town.
- La Clé des Champs B&B, 1566 Ste. Marie Road, ☎ . Bed and breakfast in a Victorian style home south of town.
- Maple Woods B&B (Gîte Maple Woods), 1570 Baker Rd, (at Calypso St.) Casselman (6 km (4 mi) east of Limoges Rd./417 overpass via Calypso St.), ☎ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Victorian-style home, four bedrooms, full breakfast, walking distance to Limoges Calypso Waterpark. $90 plus.
A rural area approximately 5 km (3 miles) west of St. Albert or 9 km (6 miles) south of Embrun.
- 1 Cannamore Orchard, 1480 County Road 32, Crysler, ☎ , fax: . Pick your own apples, strawberries and pumpkins. Country market, tours. Duck race, museum, maze field, pedal car track, cow train and spooky wagon ride.
A short drive from Embrun, Russell is a beautiful town with a more rural feel. From Embrun, drive 7 km (4½ miles) west on Notre-Dame Street; it becomes Castor Street and leads into the small town of Russell.
|Routes through Embrun|
|Arnprior ← Ottawa ←||W E||→ Becomes - Rigaud → Montreal|