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Emerald Necklace Trail and the Petawawa River

Petawawa (population 17,000 in 2016) is the largest town in eastern Ontario's Ottawa Valley. Petawawa is on the south shore of the Ottawa River, and exists primarily to support the CFB Petawawa military base.



The earliest settlement in the Petawawa area was inhabited by the Algonquin First Nation. The name Petawawa originates from a local Algonquin language word, biidaawewe, meaning "where one hears a noise like this".

In the late 19th century, the area was surveyed and settled by emigres from Scotland, Ireland and Germany. The land was unsuitable for crops, but the heavily forested surroundings were useful for logging. The Canadian military acquired land in the area in 1905, which later became Canadian Forces Base Petawawa. An internment camp was set up at the Militia Camp in Petawawa from December 1914 to May 1916; it also housed German prisoners-of-war during World War II.

CFB Petawawa is one of Canada's largest ground forces bases with members deployed throughout the world on various missions supporting the United Nations in peacekeeping or the War on Terror.


Petawawa has a humid continental climate with long, cold, snowy winters and warm summers.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

The main way in and out of town is Trans-Canada Highway 17.

By bus[edit]

Ontario Northland provide bus service from Ottawa and North Bay.

By plane[edit]

There is an airport in Pembroke (YTA IATA) with no scheduled flights. The closest major airport is Ottawa-Uplands (YOW IATA).

Get around[edit]

  • Take a walk along the Emerald Necklace trail system
  • Drive around town. Maps are available at Town Hall, 1111 Victoria St.


  • CFB Petawawa Military Museum, 63 Colborne Road, CFB Petawawa, +1 613-588-6238. Daily 11AM-4PM. A tank, a helicopter, a wide selection of artillery, vehicles, tanks, weaponry, exhibits about regiments stationed here. By donation.


  • Petawawa Heritage Village, 176 Civic Centre Rd, +1 613-633-6287. late May-end Aug: Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM. Archives and collections cover the German immigrant settlement era, reaching back to the traditions and teachings of the First Nations people. Adults $7, students $5.
  • Centennial Park, Park Dr. Beautiful park along the Petawawa River. Two playgrounds. Washrooms. Many good spots for a picnic.


  • The Country Cupboard, 3221 Petawawa Blvd, +1 613-687-4729. M-Th 10AM-6PM, F Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-4:30PM. Gift shop, home decor.


There are a couple of fast food joints, like McDonald's and Subway, and a few pizza joints. Kelsey's has a restaurant near the Quality Inn.



  • Quality Inn & Suites, 3119-B Petawawa Boulevard, +1 613-687-2855, toll-free: +1-855-973-7216. Free continental breakfast, smoke-free, pet-friendly, fitness centre, business centre. From $169.
  • Petawawa River Inn & Suites, 3520 Petawawa Blvd, +1 613-687-4686, toll-free: +1-800-573-9775, . Singles and doubles with kitchenettes, to full suites for long term stays. High-speed Internet included, coffee makers, fridges, microwaves, and hair dryers in every room. Pets welcome in designated rooms. From $110.
  • Rantz Riverside Bed & Breakfast, 284 Rantz, +1 613 687-6095. This two-story home offers a modern kitchen, dining room, and large walk-out deck overlooking the Petawawa River. Satellite TV. 2 bedrooms. Guest shared 4-piece bath, plus 2-piece bath. Breakfast served in dining room overlooking the river. Smoking allowed outside.


Wireless Internet hotspots are available at the McDonald's and Petawawa Pizzeria, both on the main strip in Petawawa.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Petawawa
SudburyNorth Bay  W Ontario 17.svgTCH-blank.svg E  PembrokeOttawa

This city travel guide to Petawawa is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.