10 Things to Do in Almonte Ontario!

October 7, 2009

Based on the popularity of my “10 Things to do In Kenora” post, I’ve decided to make it a series! And my adopted hometown of Almonte Ontario is next on the shopping block. (Har dee har.) So here we go!

10 THINGS TO DO IN ALMONTE ONTARIO (By a proud Almonte resident of  nearly one year!)

1. The Almonte Riverwalk

View of Almonte from the Riverwalk

The Almonte Riverwalk is actually pretty spectacular. At the top of the hill is a bench they made from an old millstone (yes, its a mill town!) In the summer there is a little ice cream shop at the end of it, a reward for your trek. (Your 2 block trek!)  Best to start at the Old Town Hall, and head down along the river, as then you have gravity on your side. There’s a boardwalk and series of bridges that lead along the various sets of falls. The water is shallow and you can see little fish and fun condos from the back. Grab a root beer float from the ice cream shop (Waterfall Delights!), then continue down Mill Street and across Almonte Street and down to the boat launch, which has a pretty great view at sunset.

2.Mill Street Shops!

If you have time, turn it into a shopping expedition! There are loads of cute shops, but check out some of my favourites:

  • Find fun vintage clothes and housewares at Vintage Wear/Ware
  • Browse books and games at the Miller’s Tale
  • Stock up on gourmet condiments and chocolates at Foodies Fine Foods
  • Blackbird and Design by Destination have uber cute gifts, notably gorgeous housewares at the former and fantastic import scarves at the latter!
  • Then run one of my favourite errands: Buy a birthday card from Robin’s Paper Thin, head over to the Groundz Cafe (Now the Palms Cafe) for a coffee and panini, and write your birthday wishes from Almonte! The post office is just across the street. Buy a fancy stamp – those always make people’s days.
  • Summer 0f 2010 Update – We now have a Creperie! Check out the Mill Street Crepe Company in Heritage Court at the bottom of Mill Street. Yummm….

3. Festivals!

North Lanark Highland Games - Almonte Fairgrounds 2009

North Lanark Highland Games - Almonte Fairgrounds 2009

Almonte takes it’s festivals pretty seriously. Really – there’s one about every two weeks. So chances are, if you’re by in peak season, there will be a festival to check out! The ones I can think of:

Surely I am missing some… They are nonstop! But this should give you a good start! Check the Calendar at missisippimills.ca before you come. Also there are ongoing events like:

And so on and so forth. The days are just packed! Check it out!

4. Take a bike ride!

Bicycle Month Sign

Bicycle Month Sign

Almonte people like to bike. Take a scenic (or challenging!) ride around the country roads – here is a handy map of some different routes that they put together during Mississippi Mills  Bicycle Month! You can check out bridges, an alvar area, a handful of cemeteries. I recommend working an iced coffee  from Equator Coffee Roasters into your route! Its on Houston drive, down the street from the Independent Grocer’s.

5. Cross country skiing at Mill of Kintail (Or hiking in summer!)

There is a network of great trails all around a beautiful creek and this old building, which was once the studio of Dr. R. Tait McKenzie, and is now a museum with his works. Its a beautiful piece of land – people get married there! There’s nowhere in Almonte (that I know of?) to rent skis, but you can rent them from Bushtukah or MEC. Then, maybe a hot chocolate at the Groundz Cafe?

6. Take a pottery class at Almonte Pottery Guild! I haven’t actually done this yet, but once I finish upholstery at My Upholstery Shop, I will! Almonte has a great community of artisans (check some of them out during the fall Crown and Pumpkin studio tour!) and there are loads of classes. This one I am excited about, because I find pottery to be pretty much like therapy – its so relaxing. You could also try jewelry classes from Kehla Design or fine woodworking at the Rosewood Studio.

7. Saturday Morning – Breakfast and a Farmer’s Market

If you can make it out early enough, the third Saturday of every month, the Almonte Legion hosts an egg and bacon breakfast for $5. It is pretty much the best deal around! You get eggs, bacon AND sausage, pancakes, homefries, and coffee and juice! They put a sign out front on the Friday before, or I guess you could call them to make sure that its running. : )  It runs from 8-11AM usually. More importantly, every Saturday morning during the summer in the library parking lot, there is a small but spectacular Almonte Farmer’s Market! Check it out for delicious baked goods, local produce, meat and eggs, and bedding plants and cut flowers. It is my new favourite farmer’s market.

8. Lunch at the Barley Mow Pub during High Water

This is one of my favourite places to bring visitors, just because it has a great view and a very relaxed atmosphere. The serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, and it is pretty good! Also there is loads of patio space in the summer, so lots of room to while away a summer evening with a pint. More importantly, if you come in the spring, the water rushes past the windows in the hall where you walk to the back room, and it makes you feel like you’re in a boat heading upstream. Its a very cool location! And last time I was there the waitresses were super nice.

9. Visit a SugarBush! And Pakenham!

There are several sugar bushes around Almonte (did you know Lanark County is the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario? It IS!) but the closest one is Fulton’s Pancake House. Its actually closer to Pakenham, but hey, we’re amalgamated now! They are open all year, and have pancake breakfasts throughout the winter. The day we went, there was live music, which was fun to eat pancakes to. There’s a gift shop, a maple taffy stand and sleigh rides. All the maple goodness!

While you are in Pakenham, stroll over the 5 span bridge (one of Lanark’s Seven Wonders!) and go to the General Store. I have also heard great things about the Copper Kettle, which is a little restaurant run by a Hungarian (I think) couple. Call ahead, but it sounds pretty amazing. The same friends also run Riverbend Campground in Pakenham if you want a scenic place to pitch your tent (or RV?). Play a round of horseshoes on the banks of the Mississippi!

10. Play in Blakeney falls

Probably you won’t want to play in the falls when it looks like this, but in the summer, its very fun to hop along the rocks and try not to soak yourself. There is a short trail and some bridges, as well as a grassy picnic area. To get to the falls from Almonte, you take Martin Street West to Blakeney Road (South).

Well that should give you a start on getting to know my little town! I hope you like it as much as I do.

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18 Responses to “10 Things to Do in Almonte Ontario!”

  1. mim said

    I better get back to Almonte – there are definitely many, many things I have left to do there! Nice list Sport!

  2. sandie said

    I moved to Almonte in 2008 and My family and I just love it here…its the greatest town i have ever seen with so much to do throughout the year.

    • patricia said

      i have lived in almonte for approx 8 years and work in ottawa…I know hardly anyone..how does one make friends here??? I am almost 55.

      • phasesix said

        Wow – I don’t know if I am qualified to answer this one! Especially since I also work in Ottawa and the only friends I have in Almonte are people we knew before we moved here… But I will try. : )

        So I also find Almonte “society” to be a little closed (like any small town) and I think that having kids is the key that opens the door, unfortunately that won’t work for me for now, and probably won’t work for you either! I have met a lot of people at the Legion though, I volunteer there sometimes. You could also try volunteering at the Civitan. You might take some classes, like at the Pottery Guild, the Yoga school at the Almonte Fitness Club, or the Almonte School of Dance. If I felt more qualified, I would join one of the committees on the town council. Maybe I’ll go out for the library board. : )

        In any case, I can commiserate – I feel like I would meet a lot more people here if I didn’t leave every day, but that’s not much of an option either. The people who can actually work AND live here are so lucky! Anyway, I wish I knew more to tell you, but good luck.

  3. Devin said

    Hello! I am a musician who will be traveling through Almonte this summer with a unique-sounding Montreal-based nine-piece band named, Serial Numbers (www.myspace.com/serialnumbersmusic) and am wondering if you know of a good place to play. It could really be anything as long as it could fit nine musicians.

    Thank you!
    Devin Waldman

  4. Marjorie Jones said

    Just thought I would mention the wonderful library in Almonte–comfy sofas, lovely plants, sun-filled windows, and an excellent collection of books and media. A nice place, esp. in Winter, to curl up with a newspaper or magazine, or even a book, and you don’t have to have a library card to read “inhouse.”

    As well, there is the Rosamond Mill museum, a fascinating look at quilts and very old clothing, etc. And don’t forget the basketball connection (Naismith)…..oh, my, I could go on and on. I guess you need to up your “10” to at least double that number!

    I live in Lanark Highlands and drive through Almonte to get to Ottawa for work, but most of my shopping and business is conducted in Almonte, where the salespeople are great, and there are no crowds or traffic to fight! A real jewel in many ways.

    Marge

  5. Kinburner said

    Good on you to promote this lovely town in Eastern Ontario: lots of projects to “strenghten” the charm.
    Kids love Mill of Kintail, year round!
    Dogs love the Ramsay Twp Concession Rd 12 (wear waterproof footwear!)
    And don’t forget a stop at Equator on Houston Drive (across from westside of Independent Grocer) – the best coffeeshop (for espressos!) in the region (on par with Bridgehead in Ottawa). Kids also love their drinks. Remember: Equator not only supports Fair Trade principles (with a fair price to the customer too!) but they have some interesting “craft-y” things.
    Bonus tip: great hospital with ER!

  6. Rona Fraser said

    Hi,

    I moved to Almonte in 2002 and totally love it here. The way I made friends was to volunteer. I saw an ad in the paper – looking for volunteers for Womens Week activities. When there I met a local super-volunteer who ended up invited me to 2 other committees she was on… and I haven’t stopped.

    It is easier for me as I also work in town, but all of the festivals have committees and they generally meet in evenings, or you can simply volunteer for the day (at Puppets Up!, for instance). You meet all sorts of interesting people, young and old.

    They will be having a Volunteer Fair on Feb 23 at the Old Town Hall, 7 – 9pm, where you can perhaps find a way to become involved, whether you are interested in arts, sports, nature, community, or all.

    I also recommend The Humm newspaper and calendar for finding out what’s going on… and not just because I work there! 😉

    Love your 10 Things To Do post!

  7. Rona Fraser said

    Sorry – one more thing – check out http://www.DowntownAlmonte.ca as well.

    Thanks!

  8. […] I just found a Top Ten to-do list for Almonte that I will look into for our next visit.) Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post.   […]

  9. Howrob said

    If you enjoy the natural world then check out the Mississippi Valey Field Naturalists website at mvfn.ca There is an excellent lecture probgram in the winter months plus field trips throughout the year and canoeing from Spring to Fall.

  10. Great post, lovely summary of all the good stuff to do in our town.

    I’ve lived here for twenty-five years, moved to Elgin Street shortly after our first daughter was born. She moved back to Almonte after finishing university, by the way — she must like it here 🙂

    As an aside, I’ve run the Almonte.com site for the past 17 years or so… more info on the town available there: http://almonte.com

  11. Terri said

    I am heading to Almonte in a few weeks for the puppet festival and have a friend who will be staying with me but she wants to attend the Cabaret show (starting around 8pm). I dont want to drive to and from Gatineau twice in the same day but I have kids. Can someone tell me if there is a curfew for the local parks and if so what it is. Thank you

    • phasesix said

      Hi Terri –

      There is no curfew in Almonte as far as I know, except I think they close the beach after a certain time. Hope you have a great time at Puppets Up!

      – Danielle

  12. Kim Roberge said

    Heading there Sunday and now have a few things on the agenda thanks to your helpful list. Thanks for this!

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