[ This is part three of a three part tour to Greely, Metcalfe and Vernon branches. ]

From Metcalfe branch, I continued along 8th Line Road for the most perfect country ride, enjoying the farms and calm road.

I turned onto

From 8th Line Road, I turned west on Marvelville Road to make my way toward Bank Street, then turned south to ride into Vernon.

The Vernon library branch is housed in a one room schoolhouse, complete with bell, built in 1882. It hasn’t re-opened yet, but I tried my best to peer inside the windows to catch a look at the old classroom-turned-library.

After a quick break, I set my sights on the return trip to Ottawa. I rode out of town on Bank Street, then retraced my route back along Albion Road. I was fully tuckered out upon my return to Westboro, and slightly in disbelief that there’s only one branch remaining on this summer cycling adventure.

Thirty two branches down, 1 to go (!)


[ This is part two of a three part tour to Greely, Metcalfe and Vernon branches. ]

After my lunch in Greely, it was time to press on to Metcalfe. While Bank Street is by far the most direct route, I wouldn’t recommend it for cycling. The shoulder was unpaved and the traffic was moving quickly, but I was glad to have a well-lit electric blue bike and bright t-shirt to increase my visibility.

Fortunately, I was able to turn off of Bank Street fairly soon to ride along Victoria Street into Metcalfe.

The library is on 8th Line Road, right next door to Osgoode Township High School. It was closed when I was there on a Wednesday, but the wi-fi was on and I was glad to have a moment to relax before continuing on to Vernon.

Thirty one branches down, 2 to go.


[ This is part one of a three part tour to Greely, Metcalfe and Vernon branches. ]

It’s hard to believe it, but autumn is officially here in Ottawa, and with it, the trail end of my summer cycling adventure. Left on my docket were a trio of far-flung (to me) branches on the southernmost edge of Ottawa, plus my final and much-beloved local branch, Emerald Plaza. It was time to start pedalling.

The “Greely loop” is over 88 km long, which I knew would be pushing my comfortable daily limit. My friend Joan’s “if you ever want to borrow it” invitation to ride her new e-bike was most welcome, and I jumped at the opportunity to use it for the ride to Greely.

I left Westboro on Island Park, then continued on Fisher Avenue to Dynes Road and the bridges at Hog’s Back. From there, I retraced the same route as my ride to Greenboro, along the Sawmill Creek Path and Airport Parkway.

Albion Road is the recommended bike-friendly route to Greely. The shoulders were paved, and traffic was ligher than I suspect it would have been on Bank Street. The Rideau Carleton Raceway is on Albion too, a landmark that is one of the main flightpaths into YOW. It was novel to see it from the side, rather than from above.

Greely is a mostly residential community, with large lots and a quiet feeling. I entered through the Sunset Lakes subdivison off Mitch Owens Road, and meandered through the streets to find the library on Meadow Drive.

Greely branch is a compact but lovely library, with lots of natural light and materials throughout. I enjoyed a picnic lunch in the park next door, then entered the library for a quick visit before heading out to my next stop.

Thirty branches down, 3 to go.


It’s hard to believe, but I’m in the home stretch now. With only five branches remaining, including an easy win close to home, it was time to tackle my final mid-distance ride and head out to Kanata to see Ottawa’s newest branch. I headed out of Central Park, passing the intersection of Bonnie and Clyde on my way through Copeland Park and west to Iris Street.

I took a new-to-me route behind IKEA, then turned onto Morrison Drive, eventually meeting the Watts Creek Pathway at Holly Acres Road.

The Watts Creek Pathway was new-to-me this year, and I’ve really enjoyed using it to head west toward Kanata and Bells Corners. The leaves were starting to turn, another sign that my summer project will be coming to a close in the next couple of weeks.

Before long, I saw the first signs of Kanata. Beaverbrook branch is located on Campeau Drive on the eastern side of town, so it didn’t take long for me to ride to the branch once I was through the Greenbelt.

Beaverbrook was extensively renovated in 2013-2014, and it is a beautiful library with plenty of natural light and art reflecting the local community. Christopher Griffin’s 13 turtle sculptures and mural, together called Blanding’s Turtles of the South March Highlands, grace the entrance to the branch. There was also a huge bank of bike racks near the entrance.

I broke with tradition on this trip and ventured inside the branch. While the libraries have been gradually reopening and expanding their services over the summer, the timing was right on this ride to take a moment and look around inside. I was glad I did — I had a lovely chat with branch staff and was able to see more art inside. With this trip under my belt, there are just four to go, three of which I’m planning to tackle in one go. What a ride.

Twenty nine branches down, 4 to go.


Readers, it has been a while. After a frantic couple of weeks winding down my to-do list at work, I’m now on sabbatical to complete a M.Sc. at Carleton for the next 12 months. I’m still pinching myself.

Of course, with September rolling around I am also conscious of the need to wrap up my final few branches before the cold weather starts in earnest. With that in mind, I set out for St-Laurent on an overcast Wednesday afternoon.

I set out across the farm, crossed at the locks near Carleton, and continued along the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway all the way to Clegg Street.

From Clegg, I rode through Old Ottawa East along Main Street, then turned to ride through the Saint Paul University campus to Lees. I crossed the Rideau River on the pathway that runs just south of the Queensway and joined the Rideau River Eastern Pathway to ride to Donald Street.

I rode along Donald Street, passing a fellow uOttawa librarian by chance (small world!), then turned north to wiggle through Vanier to St-Laurent branch, which is on Côté Street.

St-Laurent branch is part of a much larger recreation complex. There was a bike repair stand, large splash pad and playground outside, and plenty of families coming and going from the building. After a tour around the building to admire the sights, I made a quick stop at another uOttawa colleague’s new house to admire the in-progress kitchen renos before heading home in the rain.

Twenty eight branches down, 5 to go.