Ah, the fresh clear air, rolling hills and peaceful nature walks – what’s there not to love about country life? While living in the heart of Canada’s Capital introduces a wide array of conveniences, especially if calling dedicated communities like Place St. Thomas, there’s something to be said about a more laid-back and peaceful way of life. Plus, country living gives you easy access to unique attractions and events, fresh local produce, and much more! With that said, let’s sample some of the many hidden countryside gems of the Ottawa area, from the East to the West.
Live in Stittsville and want something really different to do with the family? Try a stroll through a Cold War-era, massive underground bunker intended to house Parliament in the event of a crisis! The beloved Diefenbunker offers a fascinating look into the way Canada’s government would operate in extreme circumstances, and it’s a highly educational yet fun way to spend an afternoon. Wander the gigantic underground complex, which was completed in 1961 and has since been converted into one of Ottawa’s most unique museums and attractions. Discover plenty of artifacts from the era, enroll the kids in Spy Camp this March during their break, and even enjoy the onsite escape room – there’s actually a whole lot to see and do here for the price of your ticket to get in! Who says countryside entertainment is all apple-bobbing and snowshoeing?
If snowshoeing is your thing, there are plenty of great scenic trails to enjoy! The same goes for joggers and dog-walkers in the warmer months or those who just love to be out and about. Pass ponds, streams, sprawling fields, and more while weaving through the trees like a needle and thread – it’s a blissful and relaxing way to enjoy the great outdoors. In our Ottawa South Deerfield Village community you have a park with walkways in your own backyard, but if you want to be immerged in the forest, you’ll enjoy the nearby Pince Grove Trail. In Embrun, for instance, there’s no shortage of choices: Wander through the beautiful W.E. Burton Conservation Area, tackle the iconic New York Central Fitness Trail that crosses right behind our Place St. Thomas community, and much more!
Tuque de Broue Brewery
Are you one of many local residents obsessed with craft beers? We don’t blame you – there’s a lot of choices out there! Be sure to not miss out on the Tuque de Broue Brewery, located right in the heart of Embrun. This microbrewery has a reputation amongst the locals for rich, flavourful and refreshing beers that are the perfect pairing for that summer barbeque or patio dinner party. Plus, you can enjoy tastings of their offerings (just be sure to have a designated driver with you). Fun fact: The name originates from the respect these hardworking folks have for the head on a beer, which acts like a tuque to maintain its flavour and aroma. Can’t get any more Canadian than that, eh?
St. Albert Cheese Factory
Situated just Southeast of Embrun and a 10-minute car ride away is a magical place where your love of cheesy goodness is sure to be readily satisfied. Yes, it’s the St. Albert Cheese co-op! Not exactly a hidden gem, we know, but it’s a wonderful spot that you simply must visit at least once. Not only are free self-guided tours offered to show how the ever-popular cheese products are made, but there’s an incredible café and gift shop that yourself and the kids are sure to enjoy. Why not stop by, grab a few bags of curds and experience this Canadian icon hard at work?
Stittsville’s Carp Road Flea Market
Heading over to the West end, the local flea market on Carp Road just before entering Stittsville is a fun place to find hidden gems to take home with you! From gently used collectible antiques to hard-to-find décor items and vinyl records, handicrafts, and more, it makes a great stop while out looking for yard sales or tackling errands in town. The bookstore is jam-packed with a massive selection of great reads for your perusing pleasure, and the hidden Barbie museum is really a sight to behold regardless of your interest in the iconic doll. A great little activity for those who call our Rathwell Landing community home!
Amberwood Village Golf & Country Club
To cap off our list, why not take some swings at Amberwood Village Golf & Country Club? This sprawling, beautifully manicured paradise offers members-only and public greens on which you can enjoy a fun game with family and friends in the great outdoors. There’s an excellent restaurant that’s renowned for its brunches and menu offerings, and you’ll find no shortage of refreshing beverages at the onsite bar. Or, simply watch from the balcony to see if there are any pros in the making.
Canada’s Capital is a wonderful place to call home. However, living in the country in areas such as Stittsville or Embrun offers even more unique ways to have fun, enjoy the fresh air, and really soak up rural life! If you’re eager to try this relaxed and comfortable way of life, book a visit to one of Valecraft’s model homes and find your dream property.