Brewery Creek – forgotten waterway

Brewery Creek has it all – history, rapids, secret graffiti sites and the odd sunken grocery cart.

Right now it is a flagrant example of Brook Abuse — dumped in, ignored, girdled by expressways,and water levels dictated by the flick of a switch. In short, the Perfect Urban Kayak Adventure. Go now, because plans are afoot to gussy it up. Which won’t be a bad thing. But there is something thrilling about paddling a neglected city creek.
And it’s almost all navigable, sort of.

Launch: Go to 140 rue Montcalm in Gatineau, park in the back parking lot. Slide your boat down steep slope, across bike path, into bullrushes at north bank. Watch for broken glass or nesting waterfowl. You can paddle back upstream to see the old waterworks, now housing a brasserie.

Start point of Brewery Creek paddle

Below waterworks on rue Montcalm

From here, you can paddle (with a portage alongside an expressway) to the Ottawa River, then up the Gatineau and into the channel to the Casino Lac Leamy marina – Expect an all day trip if the water is low, for haul-overs. (And in my case, one capsize when watercraft got caught on an iron bar in rapids.)
Garbage delight

Brewery Creek gets no respect, but that’s about to change

Its history dates back to the lumbering days, when E.B. Eddy put up a tavern on this creek, to keep the boys happy.


Ottawa urban kayak routes

Ottawa blessed with rivers and river connections.

Ottawa, Rideau, Gatineau, Rideau Canal — all within view of Parliament Hill.

The Jock, the Clyde, Petite Nation, Lievre, Brewery Creek, Constance Creek, Carp, Mississippi and Madawaska — wll within one hour’s drive.

Here are put-ins and take-outs placemarked by me on GoogleEarth. Any errors are mine, but don’t sue me.  A continuing project.


Ottawa River – downstream

Ottawa River – Jacques Cartier Park, Gatineau

Jock River race

Race day is almost upon us.The Jock River route

I’ve never been in it before, and certainly don’t intend to race. But it’s such a village event, and when I was on the Jock route a few years ago, it was so handy having the markers that race organizers attached to logs and things in the Richmond Fen, which can be a maze of trees and water trails.

Apparently the whole event was the brainchild of a Richmond man who is now in his 80s. I’m looking forward to meeting him.

Majickcanoe has great write-up of the Jock, and the critters that call it home.

This could be you

Paradise near nation\'s capitalAuction last night to raise money for Therapeutic Riding in Lanark County. Up for bidding was one kayak outing for 2 people, with kayak, paddles and safety gear supplied. Bid came in at $100 for one person. Match the bid, and you too can be in this picture…

Or in this video…

<object width=”425″ height=”350″> <param name=”movie” value=””&gt; </param> <embed src=”; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”425″ height=”350″> </embed> </object>

Constance Creek – paddling thru the forest

At the put-inCan anything signal spring as acutely as a paddle on flooded waters?

<object width=”425″ height=”350″><param name=”movie” value=””></param><embed src=”; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”425″ height=”350″></embed></object>

In summer you cannot even navigate Constance Creek, I’m told. For one idyllic season, Canadian spring, you can paddle over fields, and under arching branches, and glide past wildlife close up.

We came withing 3 feet of a baby beaver, so sleepy it didn’t even mind us taking a picture. There were osprey, geese, ducks and frogs doing their thing.

The sounds of springtime:

For a report of an epic journey down this creek, check out “The Odyssey”.

Keenan and Julie’s bushwaterwacking.