Let's visit: Merrickville
We visited Merrickville (or, as it’s officially known, Merrickville-Wolford) on an overcast mid-week afternoon, and found an extremely attractive Victorian village* with lots of shops, restaurants and artisan studios to explore.
The village was founded in 1794 by William Merrick, a Loyalist from Springfield, Massachusetts. He saw the potential in the nearby river and constructed a dam, which powered his future mills: flour, grist, saw and carding among them. His mills attracted other settlers and a community was born.
The major attractions of Merrickville are located on an easy stretch of St. Lawrence Street, aka Highway 15.
🔻Start at the North end by the swing bridge. If you’re lucky a boat will need to get through and you’ll see the bridge swing open. Here’s a time lapse video showing how it works.
🔻Before wandering down St. Lawrence Street, turn right onto Main St W where you’ll find sweet local businesses including the Yellow Canoe Café, with its lovely tangled garden and Nana B’s Bakery where the butter tarts are legendary.
🔻Back on Main St E, the very cute Stella Luna Gelato Café is open for takeout. They have two branches in downtown Ottawa as well.
Head back to St. Lawrence Street and prepare for a wander past vintage shops, giftware stores, food businesses, and artist studios.
🔻If you’re staying overnight the Baldachin Inn, at the corner of St. Lawrence and Main will envelop you in its warm and historic charm.
The building was once the largest department store between Chicago and Montréal. Now it houses a pub, guest rooms, and event spaces filled with a luxurious and historic vibe. Next door you’ll find 6000 ft of quilts and quilting supplies, in addition to home decor and bedding, at the Knock Knock Shoppe.
🔻Continue down the East side of St. Lawrence Street and you’ll reach The Village Bean Coffee House, which serves up lunch as well as coffee.
🔻If you’re with a hungry group, stop at the Goose & Gridiron for a solid pub lunch. Their dining room has plenty of space for physically distanced groups and solo diners.
🔻If you prefer to grab something quick, cross the road to Bob’s Fresh Cut Fries. This weekend they’re offering foot long hotdogs with house made crispy fried onions.
🔻Keep going up the West side of the street and you’ll find My Vintage Revamped, an upcycled jewellery, accessories, and clothing store. Sadly it’s closing at the end of October, so be sure to visit.
🔻There’s an impressive collection of antique trains, vintage commercial signage, and midcentury Pyrex at R.L Collectables & Antiques, at 324 St. Lawrence Street.
🔻These are just a few of the businesses to explore in Merrickville, so if you’re heading there to visit the Fall Maker’s Market on Saturday September 12 (between 10:00am and 3:00pm at the Fair Ground), be sure to set aside time for a wander.
We have one important caveat for you: they mostly roll up the sidewalks at 4:00pm, so if you’re hoping for a late afternoon latte you’ll be out of luck.
🔻If spending the day gazing at Merrickville’s heritage properties convinces you to move here, you might want to check out the Aaron Merrick Estate at 905 St. Lawrence Street. It’s the historic home of the founding father, and despite its age it boasts some pretty impressive mod cons including a heated barn (currently used as a gallery), an in-ground pool, and space enough for a growing family.
We'll see you Monday – Martha and Darren
*Merrickville regularly appears in or tops lists of Canada’s cutest villages
Weather: ☁️ Clearing. High of 19.° Chance of frost 🥶 tonight.
Ottawan of the Day: Rosey Edeh. The veteran journalist and former Olympian moves to Ottawa to co-anchor CTV Morning Live. [CTV]
Quote: “We need research to show us the best way to take advantage of the good parts of the Whiteman Way, while at the same time keeping the best parts of our Indian way. We are very often approached by a professor who wants to do some research. We haven't been very friendly so far, but now that we understand a little better, we are changing.” – Simon Mervyn, chief of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun. The Yukon First Nation and Carleton have made an agreement to work together on reseach. [CBC]
For up-to-date info, view the Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 dashboard
⭕ There have been 3163 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 12 since yesterday, and 267 deaths in Ottawa, no new reports.
⭕ Gatineau Police ask the public to not call 911 on people who are not wearing masks. [CBC]
⭕ Quebec is banning all karaoke bars, after 80 people tested positive for COVID-19 from one bar in Quebec City [CBC]
⭕ Children with a rare inflammatory syndrome, hospitalized patients with suspected COVID, and some people with neurological disorders will be eligible for the new Ontario COVID-19 antibody test, which can determine if someone has already had COVID-19 [Toronto Star]
⭕ Premier Doug Ford is annoyed that too few people have been charged with breaking COVID-19 rules [CTV]
⭕ Ottawa company DNA Genotek has created a spit-take COVID-19 test. Used in some parts of Europe and the US, it's not yet approved in Canada. [CTV]
⭕ Staffer at DavidsTea in Rideau Centre tests positive for COVID-19 [CTV]
⭕ Staffer at Walmat in Orléans tests positive for COVID-19 [CTV]
🍁 The Canada COVID Alert App
Be alerted if you have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Ontario only, sorry Gatineau.
#WHAT OTTAWA IS TALKING ABOUT
▪️Vanier and Hintonburg could see more low-rise residential buildings. The City has changed its zoning rules to make it easier for developers to build walk-up apartments. Staffers hope this will result in more and less expensive housing options. [CBC]
▪️Yesterday we wrote that the president of the Ottawa Police Officers Association claimed that a recent study said that police officers could not tell the race of drivers when stopping at night. That same study also said young, male Middle Eastern and black drivers in Ottawa face "disproportionately high" traffic stop rates. And that it "cannot be justified and are consistent with findings of racial profiling by other police services." [CBC]
▪️The Cinqhole will close at month's end. The Hintonburg music and arts venue is another victim of COVID-19. [Ottawa Citizen]
▪️Hydro Ottawa has started sending disconnection notices to small businesses that cannot pay their bills. There was a moritorium on disconnection from electricity but that ended in July. Hydro Ottawa is owned by the City. [Ottawa Matters]
▪️Is the University of Ottawa looking to take over the University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean in Edmonton? The U of A is looking to sell the property but the missionaries who founded it are objecting. U of O has sent a letter of solidarity, stating “The University of Ottawa is ready to stand with Campus Saint-Jean in support of Francophones in Alberta and across Canada.“ Before the U of A took over in 1977, the U of O had an academic arrangement with Saint-Jean. [Edmonton Journal] [U of O statement]
▪️The history of Scott Street, tied for Ottawa's oldest street [Kitchissippi Times]