Have you always wanted to explore Ottawa’s rural communities but maybe didn’t know where to start? Now is the perfect time to begin planning your next weekend excursion to Osgoode, Metcalfe, and Greely, just over 30 minutes south of downtown Ottawa. Use this itinerary as a starting point to customize your trip to the countryside to your liking.
Grab your road tripping essentials like good tunes and favourite snacks and head out for a day of exploring Osgoode, Metcalfe, and Greely!
Arguably the most important stop of the morning: coffee. The place to try is an itty bitty cafe called Badwood Coffee & Artisan Consignment in Metcalfe. It’s got everything you want in a hot, caffeinated beverage, sweet and savory treats and the cherry on top is that everything else you see (except the appliance) is on consignment.
Nothing says “Saturday plans” quite like perusing a farmers’ market. Next, head to the Metcalfe Farmers’ Market at the Metcalfe Fairgrounds! It has everything you’re looking for in a Market, like farm fresh produce, baked goods, meats, preserves, loose leaf tea, local music and more. If you’re looking to eat more seasonal produce, summer is the prime time for so many fruits and veggies like beets, apples, blueberries, corn and even honey. See what’s in season here.
Mix and match outdoor activities to create your ideal day in rural Ottawa:
Once you’re out of the hustle and bustle of the city, your first stop in Ottawa’s countryside will be in the green oasis of the great outdoors at W.A. Taylor Conservation Area. Set along a long, calm stretch of the Rideau River near the village of Osgoode, this conservation area is known for some of the best fishing in the Rideau Valley. From morning, noon and night, there’s no bad time to cast a line from one of the public docks and try your luck with the local bass, perch, pickerel, panfish and musky. The docks are also a perfect launch point for your canoe, kayak or SUP if you’re looking to get a morning paddle in. If you prefer to stay on land, there’s a 1-kilometre (0.62 mile) wooded nature trail that leads you over a hidden bridge. The large lawn and picnic area are great spots for relaxing, throwing around a frisbee or simply just forest bathing.
For the cyclists and long-distance walkers and joggers, the Doug Thompson Pathway (also known as the Osgoode-Leitrim Pathway) is a paved 21-kilometre (13.05 mile) point-to-point straightaway. The trail follows an abandoned railway converted into a multi path where you’ll start your journey on Buckles Street in Osgoode and end at the Hylands Golf Course on Leitrim Road, right near the Ottawa International Airport.
This one’s for the golfers of the group. Head to the peaceful and scenic country-style Metcalfe Golf Club. Beginners will enjoy a not too difficult 9-hole course, while the 18-holes offers a more challenging track to keep golfers on their toes. After your round, a mandatory repose under a picturesque 400-year-old oak tree at Hickories Restaurant patio is a must. Another course to put on your list are the manicured greens and fairways of the Emerald Links Golf & Country Club in Greely. Take advantage of the sunshine and book a tee time, the course is also offering junior clinics every week throughout the summer.
Stop for a picnic lunch at Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm near Metcalfe every Saturday. Surrounded by maple trees and the lush greenery of the farm, you’ll have your own dedicated lawn and farm fresh lunch provided by Stanley’s! The menu is all homemade, including: Farm raised beef and egg salad sandwiches, nachos and salsa made in-house, salads, dips and of course, Stanley’s most sought after sweet – maple tarts! If all that wasn’t enough, you can add local craft beers, cider and wines to your basket.
Note: since there are limited spaces, it is recommended that you book your picnic ahead of time by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you prefer a quick pit stop lunch, you’ll want to meet Eva of Eva’s Chip Wagon in Greely. The must-try menu items aren’t what you’d expect from a chip wagon but the homemade perogies and cabbage rolls are renowned in the community.
Swing by the Osgoode Township Museum in Vernon to learn the history behind the village and the significance behind its rural and agriculture contributions to the Ottawa we know today. Their collection of archives and artifacts has grown so significantly that it’s currently housed in two buildings with over 10,000 square feet of display space!
Note: the museum is currently closed to the public but you can learn more about the township here.
Spend the rest of your afternoon showing support for some local shops. Hawley’s Corner Gift Shop is a go-to for every kinds of gift, home décor and garden ornament you need but the real magic of the store is their Christmas room, spreading cheer and joy all year long!
Pause for a slice of pie at Clarmell Farms Bakery, an absolute must while spending a day in Osgoode. Located on a the Clarmell Farm that been in the family for 108 years, the mother-daughter duo turned their passion for baking into reality and made all their customers gluten-free and sugar-free baking dreams come true.
Crerar’s Honey Limited just south of Metcalfe, has been in the bee business for over a century and today still maintains over 400 beehives! This family-owned business prides itself on making some of the finest unpasteurized Canadian honey in eastern Ontario and has the reputation to back it up. Make a pit stop at their gift shop for all your liquid gold needs.
If you’ve never been to a mushroom farm, it’s time to seize the day at Carleton Mushroom Farms! Open to the public, you can visit and buy a wide variety of the freshest, local mushrooms straight from the brother-run farm in Osgoode.
Save time for some country dining at the Red Dot Café in the heart of Osgoode. With an extensive take out menu, you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to weigh your options and call in your order ahead of time (phone lines open at 3:30 p.m.). Once your order is in – we’re thinking the Osgoode Station burger and Butterscotch Pie for dessert – add on a pint or a cocktail and find a shady spot on the turf-laden patio.
Or opt for dinner and a view at Kelly’s Landing. This waterfront restaurant has an open patio that backs out onto the picturesque Rideau River where every seat is a good seat. A must try menu item is the Kellys Landing Boxty, a homemade potato pancake stuffed like a crepe with your choice of chicken, steak or seafood.
If you’re craving something with a more Latin flare? La Cantina Streatery in Osgoode, is calling your name with its pork tacos and dulce de leche churros for dessert. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the bright yellow building and cactus painted door. If you’re in a hurry, they have build-your-own taco, burrito, enchilada and quesadilla meal boxes to go, or take your tacos out to the patio.
Although the Rideau Carleton Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock Ottawa is closed to the public, they have re-opened their live harness racing via simulcast. For more information on how to watch from home, find it here.
For more information on local businesses and attractions in Osgoode, visit the Osgoode Ward Business Association.