Tag Archives: Burritt’s Rapids

Guerrilla Art for Curious People

It took 18 years of rural living for Guerrilla Art for Curious People to surface.

The idea popped into my brain because I love nothing more than discovering public art in unexpected places. Every time I’m surprised by an installation – turning a corner or driving through a neighborhood – my body vibrates, my head alights and I am consumed by happiness. To quote Mr. Whitman, I Sing the Body Electric. Continue reading Guerrilla Art for Curious People

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Skating the Rideau Canal in Burritt’s Rapids

I love living in a place with distinct seasons. What I particularly love is that just when I start to really, really enjoy something – swimming in the river, gardening, snowshoeing, falling leaves – it’s gone. Skating on the Rideau Canal in Burritt’s Rapids is like that. And its fleeting and unpredictable nature makes me appreciate it that much more.

Skating the Rideau Canal in Burritt's Rapids
A panoramic of Burritt’s Rapids and its natural skating rink on the Rideau Canal

Continue reading Skating the Rideau Canal in Burritt’s Rapids

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Cruising in My Neighbours’ Amphicar

I’m confused. “What?” I repeat a second time, hearing Orlaith and Steve’s words but drawing a blank.

We’re drinking coffee and chatting, our first conversation, and I see their vintage baby blue convertible double-parked out front of the house. I’m thinking why, living just up the street, would they drive rather than walk and I’m not grasping how come they call it an Amphicar.

Turns out they hadn’t driven here so much as they had swum up the river in their car, a car that doubles as a boat. Continue reading Cruising in My Neighbours’ Amphicar

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Joyce Frances Devlin: Spring Show 2015

This afternoon I dragged my nose away from the grindstone long enough to bathe, swap my grubby work clothes for something more civilized and walk the short distance to Joyce Frances Devlin‘s home and studio.

After the success of last year’s show, Joyce has been exhibiting her gorgeous new work over these past two weekends and the show remains up, by appointment, through June.

While her paintings are meant to take centre stage it’s hard not to be enchanted by her house, which I wrote about here, and, at this time of year, her gardens. Look in any direction and notice the views, colours, plant and object arrangements, rocks, sculpture and painting installations. Nothing has been left to chance and, with these kinds of results, why would you want it to be?

Please contact Joyce directly at (613) 269-4458 to view, purchase or commission work at her studio in Burritt’s Rapids, Ontario.

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Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids 2015 – Day 1

Being Canadian, I have to lead with the weather: How on earth did we luck out getting the warmest most perfect day of the year so far?

It provided an excellent backdrop for Day 1 of Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids. In another few hours we’ll launch Day 2 with Jane’s Yoga with the Locals, Jane’s Worship with the Locals, and the family-friendly walk/talk/workshop Disappearing Habitat: Killing the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg with John McKenzie at his own natural history museum at 720 River Rd, Burritt’s Rapids (Kemptville). All three events begin at 9:00am.

Between 8:30am and 9:00am I will be a guest of Mary Ito on CBC’s Fresh Air, airing right across Ontario, to talk about Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids and the importance of these kinds of events to community. Tune in on your local CBC station.

More paddling, more gardening talk, more Burritt’s Rapids day lilies for sale, more history, more Doors Open and a noon potluck on deck for today. Check out the full listings here.

We hope you will come out and join us!

Here’s a peek at yesterday’s festivities from local photographer K. Kerr (all rights his):

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Jane Jacobs
This is Jane Jacobs.

It’s here! It’s here! Jane’s Walk weekend is upon us and the Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids Community Festival launches at 9:00am this morning with a Jane’s Run with the Locals.

The festival runs Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am until 4:30pm. Pack your lunch, sunscreen, water, walking shoes and curiosity and come #BeLikeJane. The best parking is along Donnelly Drive, in front of the church. If you can find the Community Hall (23 Grenville St.) you can find everything!

Click here for local schedule listings and details.

Click here for the Jane’s Walk Ottawa master listings.

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Jane’s Potluck with the Locals

Taking part in Jane’s Potluck With the Locals on Sunday, May 2nd from noon to 1:30pm at the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall?

Please call (613) 859-9116 or (613) 269-4585 to register #’s attending + your dish (savoury/sweet).

Nothing says ‘community’ like a potluck. Here are the Top 3 Reasons for joining us:

  1. You’re going to be famished after all that talking/walking around the village.
  2. Eating communally is way more fun than eating alone.
  3. You bring one delish dish but you get to sample, like, forty more.

When you arrive at noon with your dish, you’ll be given a wristband to participate in this eating extravaganza and your dish will be added to the lineup. Basic drinks will be provided. Please bring your own plate, cutlery & cup (to minimize the clean-up). Little muss, little fuss.

You know generally how this works, but here are a few reminders.

  • Bring a dish that doesn’t require any cooking/prep/heating up.
  • Bring a savoury or a sweet dish (salad, sandwiches, appetizers, dips, veggies, etc. or cakes, pies, cookies, etc.).
  • Please label your dish with your name. You’ll get a gold star if you provide a label with ingredients to provide information for people with dietary restrictions.
  • Your contribution need not be fancy, but it should be nourishing. We cannot feed the hungry hordes on bags of potato chips or jars of pickles.
  • How much to bring? Miss Manners says: “Be generous.” Consider how much you/your family will eat IN TOTAL at a shindig like this.  Bring enough food to replace that total amount. That way, no one leaves hungry or feeling short-changed.
  • Pop your empty dishes in a sack and take them back home for cleaning.

For more information on walks and activities in Burritt’s Rapids for Jane’s Walk Ottawa, please click here.

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If I were a kid at Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids…

If I were a kid at Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids, this is what I would do:

1.  Attend the family-friendly Jane’s Walk ‘n Talk called: Disappearing Habitat: Killing the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg.  John McKenzie has a natural history museum in his workshop and there’s lots to see and touch (Sunday)

2.  Take a paddle up the Rideau Canal in a 16-passenger Voyageur Canoe complete with costumed guides (Saturday/Sunday)

3.  Pack a lunch and picnic by the river (Saturday) or picnic/potluck (Sunday)

4.  Hunt around the village to find the ten objects on the scavenger list and claim my prize at the Community Hall (Saturday/Sunday) 

Click here for the Scavenger Hunt page

5.  Hike to the Stoney Steps (Nope! I won’t spoil the surprise) (anytime)

6.  Check out David Watson’s European sportscar collection, which is way nicer than my family van (Saturday)

7.  Walk to Other David’s Open Lab and see what cool science projects are happening (Sunday) – appropriate for older kids

8.  Explore the Tip-to-Tip Trail (I’m on an island!) (anytime)

9.  Say ‘hi’ to the horses at Lone Wolf Farm (anytime)

10.  See how many species of birds and animals I can spot; see if I can find Turtle Rock on the way to the Lock Station (anytime)

11.  Take a reading break in the library at the old Lockmaster’s House (Saturday)

12.  Go to church with my family (Sunday)

13.  Play in the park behind the hall, on the swings down by the beach, and goof around with my new friends (anytime)

If I were a kid I’d be playing to my heart’s content!

Kid at Jane's Walk
If I were a kid….

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Wild Turkeys Make Good Potluck Dishes

As part of the village-wide “Jane’s Walk” festival, we’re having a community potluck this Sunday, May 3rd from noon to 1:30pm at the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall.

Call Paul/Joanne at (613) 859-9116 to register # of attendees and dish (savoury/sweet)


John told me he’d be at the blind before 5:00am, so I wasn’t surprised to wake at five-thirty and not see his truck in the driveway.

He said he likes to be in place early for the magic of that moment before sunrise, for the sound of the turkeys waking up and rolling, one by one, out of the trees and onto the ground with a heavy swoosh and a muddled gobble. He’s been hunting turkeys since the late 80’s, yet he never gets over that sound. It’s primal, he says. It makes the hair on his neck stand on end.

Although there is a fall turkey hunt, he says the spring hunt is where it’s at. The Toms are hot to trot, the ladies are checking out the plumage and it’s hard to predict what will happen from one moment to the next. Between his scrawny, but colourful, Jake decoy, a single fabric Hen, and his patient, persuasive turkey call, John works his mojo and is home in time for breakfast, bird in hand.

I watch for his return knowing there’ll be a window of opportunity to photograph his prize before he heads off on his quad to prepare the bird. This bird has a particular raison d’être: It is bound for the potluck table this Sunday afternoon at the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall.

John’s so hip he doesn’t know how hip he is. “Local food” is today’s mantra in a market full of imports and this is about as local as it gets. But growing or catching your own food is hardly new; all the fuss leaves some local farmers and hunters scratching their heads. When you grow up rural, hunting and farming is the norm not a trend. It’s what supports many families and creates an enduring connection to, and respect for, the land.

A spring turkey tag costs $31.45 making it comparably priced to a store-bought pre-packaged turkey. But looking at it from a cost comparison, while interesting, misses the point: Hunting is about tradition, sport, skill development, the environment, friends and family and doing more than pushing your shopping cart around the supermarket.

It’s an adventure and that’s how life should be.


The prolific return of the eastern wild turkey is a success story.  The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) offers some background:

Since the reintroduction of the eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in the 1980’s, OFAH has remained a keystone partner in one of the most successful wildlife recovery stories in Ontario. Wild turkeys were extirpated (locally extinct) from Ontario for nearly a century due to habitat loss and unregulated market hunting. Thanks to hunters and other conservationists who pressed for their return, efforts to restore wild turkeys to most of their former range in Ontario have been extremely successful. As a result, an important part of Ontario’s biodiversity has been restored while still providing regulated hunting opportunities over the years.1

Wild Turkeys Burritt's Rapids
In my own backyard I saw the bushes shaking and this is why: An unexpected Mamma and her nine babies eating Red Osier Dogwood berries off my bushes.


If you’re interested in hunting, trapping and the environment check out our Jane’s Walk “Disappearing Habitat: Killing the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg” with John McKenzie, Sunday at 9:00am, 720 River Rd. Burritt’s Rapids.

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  1. https://www.ofah.org/fishing-hunting/hunting/wild-turkey/ 

Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids May 2 & 3, 2015

Click here for the complete schedule of events & activities

Please note the change: The car collection will only be in the village on Saturday


The title and tagline of our press release reads:

Rural Burritt’s Rapids Joins Jane’s Walk Ottawa
     ~ Why should urbanites have all the fun?

I point this out not because the lines are clever but because they’re true.

Burritt’s Rapids is one of 26 villages in the amalgamated City of Ottawa. Half of us live on the north side of the Rideau River (the Ottawa side) and the other half on the south, within the Township of North Grenville. Politically, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher. But for people-purposes, we are one community.

Rural life has evolved since Burritt’s was founded in 1793. It has been a frontier outpost, an ague-filled death-trap for canal workers, a vital manufacturing, trading, and agricultural hub, in decline when the railroad passed by, and now, a bedroom community for Ottawa. Technology – and the 416 Highway – has brought us closer to the fold; many of us live with one foot in the city and one in the country. Economic and lifestyle changes have made us less village-rooted and interdependent on our neighbours.

Jane Jacobs may have preached the mantra of getting out and walking urban neighbourhoods, but the same goes for rural life. Here in a village of a few hundred souls it’s possible not to see other residents from one season to the next. Interests, technology, economics, kids, work, schedule, health and age pull us in a variety of directions with no guarantee of crossing paths. In our fantasies we happen upon our neighbours, stop to chat, offer g&t’s on the front lawn, or spontaneously pull together a barbecue. In reality, we have to make a point of getting together, preferably with no agenda other than having fun.

So this is what we’re doing when we launch the Burritt’s Rapids edition of Jane’s Walk next weekend: We’re getting together as a village through organized and informal walks, talks, exhibitions, and related activities – including the ubiquitous potluck – and inviting others to join in the fun.

I think Jane would have been proud.

Jane's Walk Burritt's Rapids Community Hall

Looking for the Press Release? Click here

See also: www.janeswalkottawa.ca for complete listings of the walk ‘n talks.

Please click here for general event information:
About Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids
Getting Here & Services

Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids has been organized in partnership with the Burritt’s Rapids Community Association, Inc. (BRCA)

Saturday, May 2nd

Jane’s Run with the Locals
Prefer your exploration at a quicker pace? Join the locals for a 10k run around the picturesque countryside. Route length is negotiable according to the needs of the group.
Leaders: Andrew Vignuzzi & Graham Ross
Location: Meet in front of  the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

10:00am – 11:30am
Frontier Fraternalism: The Rideau Masonic Lodge #25 Collection at the Canadian Museum of History
This presentation will recount the fascinating story of these artifacts and their role in community-building in Burritt’s Rapids two centuries ago. It features an interactive discussion with local Masonic members.
Presenters: Forrest Pass (Historian, Canadian Museum of History) & Bob Parnell (Local Masons)
Location: The Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

11:30am – 12:45pm
Architectural Walk with the Village Doyennes
Burritt’s Rapids was founded by United Empire Loyalists in 1793 and it remains remarkably well-preserved, not to mention charming. The history of the village will be discussed through the lens of its architecture.
Leaders: Olivia Mills & Renee Smith
Location: Meet in front of the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

1:00pm to 2:15pm
Burritt’s Rapids: 15,000 BP to 1832
Let’s look back….waaaay back. A visual presentation using period maps and images looking at Burritts Rapids from the ice age to the landscape changes brought about by the building of the Rideau Canal. Loosely based on Ken’s book “The Rideau Route – Exploring the Pre-Canal Waterway.”
Presenter: Ken Watson, author/local historian www.http://www.rideau-info.com/canal/
Location: The Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

2:30pm to 4:00pm
Burritt’s Rapids “Living Library” Story Swap
Wherever there are people, there are stories. This will be an informal, moderated discussion with past and present community members who have deep roots in the village. It is a first opportunity to hear (and record) stories that are critical to our oral history. All are encouraged to attend. Bring photos and other artifacts if you like.
Moderator: Andrea Cordonier
Contact: andrea@habicurious.com  or (613) 269-4585
Location: The Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

Sunday, May 3rd

9:00am – 10:15am
Jane’s Yoga with the Locals
What finer way to wake up on a sleepy Sunday morning? If the weather is happy, we’ll be outside in Swing Bridge park; if the weather is sad, we’ll be at the Community Hall
Leader: Susan Foley, decorative artist & Kundalini yoga practitioner
Location: Meet in front of the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall; bring your own mat
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

9:00am – 10:00am
Jane’s Worship with the Locals
Christ Church is a lovely Gothic Revival-style building completed in 1832. It is a critical village landmark. Like many rural parishes with shrinking congregations, it would benefit from the lively joy of a full house. Come worship and take a peek around. Listen for the ringing of the 9:00am bell.
Minister: Reverend Carolyn Pollock
Location: Christ Church Anglican, 4419 Donnelly Dr.
Click for more information

9:00am – 10:15am
Disappearing Habitat: Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg
In this family-friendly, hands-on workshop, John McKenzie will discuss the importance of wildlife habitat and Matt Alkerton will dispel the myths of modern trapping practices. Please see the event listing for additional information.
Presenters/Leaders: John McKenzie & Matt Alkerton
Location: Tall Pines: 720 River Rd South, Burritt’s Rapids
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

10:30am – 11:45am
Shrubs: Diversity & Drama in the Garden
Dave Dunn, one of Canada’s gardening superstars, will discuss how shrubs can be used in the design of a garden to play the role of “bones” and backdrop, as well as add interest, colour and texture. Coping with tight spaces and urban garden scale will also be discussed.
Presenter: Dave Dunn, co-owner of Rideau Woodland Ramble
Location: The Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

12:00pm – 1:30pm
Jane’s Potluck with the Locals
Nothing says ‘community’ like a potluck! Please click on the event listing for important details.
Coordinators: Joanne & Paul Harrison
Action: Please call (613) 859-9116 to register your dish
Location: The Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

1:30pm – 4:30pm
Snap, Crackle & Pop! Open Lab with David Weston
Engineer. Luthier. Pyrotechnics expert. Forty years experience generating and measuring electromagnetic fields. 

Here’s the deal: Fireworks contain metal particles such as aluminum, magnesium, magnalium, iron grit etc to produce sparkling effects and colour. The concern is: If these particles are exposed to high levels of magnetic and electric fields, such as close proximity to hydro power lines, will the particles heat up or spark between the particles and thus cause detonation?
The experiment on view is to  expose inert material loaded with the metal particles to electric and magnetic fields and monitor for breakdown and heating. On display are the test jigs and generators as well as his ornate 14 course 22 string baroque lute.
Presenter: David A. Weston, EMC Consulting Inc., (613) 269-4247
Location: 325 County Rd. 23, Burritt’s Rapids (Merrickville)

1:30pm – 2:45pm
Architectural Walk with the Doyennes
Burritt’s Rapids was founded by United Empire Loyalists in 1793 and it remains remarkably well-preserved, not to mention charming. The history of the village will be discussed through the lens of its architecture.
Leaders: Olivia Mills & Renee Smith
Location: Meet in front of the Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

3:00pm – 4:15pm
Ethnic Subterfuge: A Personal Walk Through the Rideau Corridor Social History 1830 – 1930
Presenter: Glenn J Lockwood
Location: Christ Church Anglican
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

All Day and/or Associated Activities

Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm
European Classic Car Collection
Owner: David Watson/Arnprior Fire Trucks (613) 623-3434
Location: The main street of Burritt’s Rapids (Grenville St.)
Notes: The display may be weather-dependent

Saturday & Sunday 9:30am – 4:00pm
Voyageur Canoe Tours on the Rideau Canal 
Guides: Rideau Roundtable – Stew Hamill, (613) 269-3415
Sponsors: Tallman Truck Centre Ltd. & Ann Martin
Location: Meet in the gravel parking lot, south side of the village, adjacent to the swing bridge
Notes: Free interpretive paddling tours will be offered from two 16-person voyageur canoes throughout the day; safety equipment & an intro to paddling will be provided; tours will run rain or shine although high winds and/or high water would be a safety consideration; offered on a first-come, first-served basis; accessibility is at the discretion of the organizers and the activity may not be suitable for everyone. www.rideaurountable.ca

Saturday & Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Ramble the Gardens of Rideau Woodland Ramble (RWR)
What: Self-guided tours of this popular, award-winning garden centre and public gardens
Location: Rideau Woodland Ramble (RWR) 7210 Burritt’s Rapids Rd. Burritt’s Rapids (Merrickville)
Contact: info@rideauwoodlandramble.com  www.rideauwoodlandramble.com
Click for Jane’s Walk Ottawa event listing

Exhibiting Artists

Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 4:30pm
Exhibiting Artist: Joyce Frances Devlin
Contact: Joyce Frances Devlin (613) 269-4458
Location: Main Hall exhibition space, Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall, 23 Grenville Street
Click here for more information

Saturday & Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Exhibiting Artist: Dave Dunn
Contact: info@rideauwoodlandramble.com  (613) 258-3797
Location: Rideau Woodland Ramble, 7210 Burritt’s Rapids Rd., Merrickville (Burritt’s Rapids)
Click here for more information

Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 4:30pm
Exhibiting Artist: Susan Foley
Contact: (613) 269-4309  www.susanfoleyfloorclothes.com  susanfoley460@gmail.com
Location: Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall
Click here for more information

Sunday 10:00am – 4:30pm
Exhibiting Artist: Debbie Alexander
Contact: dalexander@ripnet.com
Location: Lower Level Studio, Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall
Click here for more information

Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm (closed for lunch)
Exhibiting Artist: Jayne Couch Molony
Contact: jayne.couch@ripnet.com
Location: Old Church, 25 Centre St., Burritt’s Rapids
Click here for more information

Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm
Exhibiting Artist: Tracy Kerr
Contact: www.tracykerr.ca
Location: Lounge, Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall
Click here for more information

Doors Open

Saturday 1:00pm to 3:00pm/Sunday 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Doors Open: Merrickville & District Historical Society Archives 
Contact: Nina Donald, (613) 269-4289
Location: Lower Level, Burritt’s Rapids Community Hall

Saturday & Sunday 10:00am – 4:30pm
Doors Open: Christ Church Anglican
Location: 4419 Donnelly Dr, Burritt’s Rapids

Saturday 10:00am – 1:30pm
Doors Open: Burritt’s Rapids Public Library (formerly the Lockmaster’s House)
Location: 1 Grenville St, Burritt’s Rapids

Saturday, Noon to 3:00pm & Sunday 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Doors Open: Masonic Lodge
Location: 3 Oxford St., Burritt’s Rapids

Self-Guided Tours (Online)

Burritt’s Rapids Walking Tour

Parks Canada – Tip to Tip Walking Trail


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