In my last column
I wrote about the signs of spring. My, how time flies. Just
some four weeks or so later, Mother’s Day is done and the
May long weekend is upon us.
is it too soon to dream for – and better yet – plan your
summer? Of course not is the only answer to this half-rhetorical
question. Let’s face it, after literally seven months of
winter and snow (yes, we had flurries in early May), it
is time to look ahead and think of an Orléans-focused summer
of fun the whole family. So as you are thinking about staycation
planning, heretofore is a list of suggestions for you.
Doors Open Ottawa
occurs on June 1st and 2nd where selected local museums,
city service stations, and places of worship will open up
their doors to the general public for unique behind-the-scenes
exper-iences and learning.
Once the Ottawa
River recedes, Petrie Island at the bottom of Trim Road
and the 174 continues to be our community’s best kept summer
fun secret. A weekend – or workday hooky – visit offers
up activities for the whole family such as hiking, swimming,
paddling, canoeing, a picnic or niche pursuits such as bird
watching, just to name a few. Check out the Friends of Petrie
Island website for more detailed programming options.
A day at the
beach can create a very healthy appetite so keep the fun
going with a meal at one of our local restaurants. And respectfully,
I’m not talking a chain establishment. From Italian to Indian,
Portuguese to Persian, Turkish to Thai, and French bistro
to farm grown local fare, every neighbourhood in our midst
has great food for you.
If you are pressed
for time, treat yourself to some poutine as we have about
20 or so roadside trucks and stands scattered from Blackburn
Hamlet to Springridge. And if the kids are tuckered out,
hit a local watering hole to watch the Raptors, NHL playoffs
or Jays on TV and make sure they serve local brews, and
if they don’t, ask them why not?
Still with the
beer theme, this year’s Orléans Craft Beer Festival runs
from June 6th to 8th at 255 Centrum Blvd... rain or shine.
Over 30 local and regional brewers and distillers will serve
up their latest and best beers and spirits accompanied by
local comfort food offerings and live music each day.
Another gem in
our community is the Shenkman Arts Centre just one traffic
light east of the Place d’Orléans shopping centre. A quick
review of the Shenkman website reveals a great variety of
programming from May to September including Motown, ABBA,
Michael Jackson, local dance troupes and other performances
to take in as you cool off from the summer heat and humidity
in their theatres. Or starting on July 4th and continuing
most Thursdays at 12:30 p.m., revel in some outdoor summer
concerts in their Agora Plaza including Caribbean, folk
and aboriginal inspired music.
– which neighbours on my street know well – is the Friday
night or weekend afternoon driveway get together. Folding
chairs are unfurled, the beer and wine is served, and music
is played (usually retro 80s and 90s fare) at respectable
level as fascinating chats ensue. Anyone who walks by is
welcome to join – it is simply a great way to get to know
your neighbours. And as an added benefit, you can slowly
build community safety. Go ahead, give it a try in your
Any weekend during
the summer a trip to Millennium Sports Park will offer plenty
of local amateur sports action and if your kids range from
the ages of toddler to 10 years of age, you cannot beat
the awesome play structure nestled just off of Trim Road
and south of Innes. They will thank you for it.
After the August
long weekend, the nights get a little colder and the fleeces
and hoodies are retrieved for those all-too-fast, sun-fading-quickly
evenings. On the bright side, the leaves at the top of the
trees start to turn and twilight strolls through the many
paths that dot all of our neighbourhoods are a welcome way
to wind down.
In short, summer
is almost here and these suggestions only scratch the surface
of the range of activities that are on offer every weekend
in our proverbial backyard.
the readership area that is served by the Orléans Star we
have at least 15 active community associations that plan
and run their own events which include charitable drives,
neighbourhood barbeques and even full-fledged summer and
for these associations can be found at www.orleanstar.ca
under on the Community Links page and I suggest you bookmark
it as your summer 2019 passport to fun handy reference link..