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