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.

Yes, it has been two months. Terrible! Summer is uber busy you know. I have been cooking, but I have fallen sadly behind on my music! This is one I wanted to post about 6 weeks ago. Back when it still would have been hip!

Coeur de Pirate is a 19 year old from Montreal who has apparently been playing the piano since she was three. I don’t know about you, but when I was three, I was into making mud perogies and writing on the bottom of the kitchen table with markers. But whatever works for you I guess. : )  This is a light, happy little tune with cello, tinkling piano, a pretty joyful, choir-like finale and delicious little cheerful french lyrics. It is too short! Listen to it many times. : )

Coeur de Pirate – Comme des Enfants

Thanks to Tarah for the first pointer, and then to Ca Va Cool for keeping a great list of Polaris Prize nominated artists! I heard yesterday that Coeur de Pirate didn’t make the short list. Too bad! Also too bad that she was in town for Canada Day and I didn’t feel like braving the crowds! Almonte on Canada Day is a lot more chill than Ottawa on Canada Day, let me tell you.

Aaaanyway. I highly recommend buying her album here. Enjoy, mes amis!

And standby for a recipe update. yes, it is update day. You’re in luck!!

yes, the new metric album (fantasies) is out, and it is awesome! it sounded oddly familiar on the first listen; i thought i knew the songs from somewhere… but not in a bad way? it sounds much like “grow up and blow away”, or other past albums, but is still fresh and singalong-alicious. they don’t seem to be suffering from the pressure that afflicts many bands when they start to become a little more popular and they lose their edge, which is also excellent.

so, it was tough to pick a single song (and fortunately I don’t have to, because I am just cheaping out and linking to their mySpace – I learned my lesson with big bands!) but i chose “gimme sympathy” because i really like the “oh seriously” after the beatles/rolling stones reference. i also very much dig “stadium love” and “gold guns girls”, and yes, basically all the songs on the album. LISTEN TO THEM ALL!

Metric Myspace

On another note – has anyone else noticed the bizarre increase in the number of hot stewardesses in downtown ottawa on weekday mornings? there were also pilots, but they are not as hot. pillbox hats just don’t do it on dudes! the girls, however are too hot to actually work in airports, so i am guessing it is some kind of guerilla marketing tactic. that said, they are not branded, so its probably not that successful of a marketing technique! anyone?

listen to metric, and find out about stewardesses for me, ok? inquiring minds and all that.

also, here is a photo i took:

this is near the queensway exit on woodroffe. pretty area, right? well the sky was pretty glorious, anyway! makes me hold my breath for spring though. will keep holding it…

bus sweet bus

January 29, 2009

And now for something completely unrelated:

So I have been working at Gabriel Mackinnon, a lighting design firm in the market for almost a month now. Living in the lovely town of Almonte, working in the very hip neighbourhood of the Byward Market, around 60 km (!) away, and a city-wide bus strike combined to make it take 2 hours to get to work on a bad day. And then I still had to get home! Luckily I dig this job, so it has been totally worth it, but my life just got massively more pleasant. This week I started taking the bus! And it is glorious.  Thom Transport operates a commuter bus that runs from Pakenham to Almonte to Carleton Place to downtown, and then does the reverse at the end of the day. Instead of spending an hour in traffic cursing the gods, I get to SLEEP! Glorious sleep in Greyhound-type comfort. And I can have a little nap on the way home and be all refreshed and home in time for dinner. The lights don’t even work, so I don’t have to feel guilty about not working on the way. Everything is coming up Milhouse!

I’m done now, I just wanted to share my basking. Bask, bask, bask. OK, back to coding. Remember – I’m still a web designer! Designer of all trades, OUT!

revived!

October 20, 2008

this blog was dead for month, mainly because it was FROZEN because of my copyright trouble! i am so bad. another good reason why it took so long to get resolved was because I was busy founding a new company!! this is a side venture, sort of a spin off from the web design company I was working for this summer. except THIS time, I am PARTNER! woot. you can check out our site:

www.breathemedia.ca

We do web and print design, web app development and branding. And my role is generation of ideas, which is kind of my thing, so I am really liking it so far. So let us know if you need a website! I have real coders on my team now, so your code won’t be totally hacked like on my phasesix.ca site.

anyway – enough about that. now, back to our regularly scheduled broadcast!!