Tourism is "Grist" for the Mill
...and the rest of Manotick!
by Larry Ellis (April 2003)
Manotick is not dependent on tourism as a "mainstay" but it is an important factor in the community's continuing development. The town is close enough to downtown Ottawa that bus tours, boat tours, Winterlude, Tulip Festival, Blues and Jazz Festivals, Conventions and other activities that tourists are attracted to Manotick. The history of the town built by the dam, along the Heritage Rideau River goes back nearly 150 years. It has many fine stores, restaurants, services, churches, parks and annual festivities that make for a lively, vibrant community.
The annual Dickinson Days, held the first weekend in June, celebrate the birthday of Manotick's founder, Moss Kent Dickinson and Manotick's Olde Fashioned Christmas, held on the first weekend in December, are two events that attract many visitors. Winterfest held in February is a community weekend full of activities for all ages, and the Spring Art Show, held the second weekend in May, are other events of interest. Come and experience the Farmer's Markets every Saturday from May till October with seasonal produce, home baked goods as well as crafts.
A visit to Manotick is really not complete without a visit to Watson's Mill, built in 1859 by the founder of Manotick. It is a fine example of a 19th century gristmill still producing flour; each year upwards of 8,000 visitors check out the old building, some looking for the ghost!
Another place to visit is the Miller's Oven, a restaurant entirely operated by volunteer seniors where good food is served in a friendly atmosphere. The stores along the main and side streets, many in century old buildings, offer unique merchandise. The full service shopping center, The Manotick Mews, boasts stores that carry a complete line of all necessities, is located just off Main Street where there is lots of parking and it is free. There are Bed & Breakfast accommodations nearby if visitors wish to stay overnight.
The Rideau River is the playground in summer and the Centennial Arena is the one in winter. Tennis courts, swimming pool, outdoor rink and curling rink, many parks, some with children's playgrounds are an indication of active community.
It has been said that Manotick is the best little town by a dam site - come see for yourself, we'll make you welcome!
Larry Ellis was awarded Distinguished Civic Award for Heritage for 2003, is a member of the Rideau Historical Society, works for the A.Y. Jackson Park Committee, was recipient of Quebec's Golden Jubilee Medal, is publishing The History of Long Island, and volunteers for Knox United Church.