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Photo: Kiersten Vuorimaki

Weekend Roundup: Quoi faire?

By Kiersten Vuorimaki on July 16, 2020

With any luck this weekend, friends, we can avoid the stifling heat of last week and lean right into a good old-fashioned Ottawa summer. As Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan goes into effect on Friday, the city could very well begin feeling a little bit more like its regular self. With dine-in restaurants, movie theatres, and gyms able to reopen, our free time is hopefully about to get much less virtual. We may be dodging raindrops this weekend, but with the National Gallery reopening and air-conditioned restaurants back on the to-do list, we can make the most of it! 

The Roundup from last weekend has great ideas for pools, beaches and water sports around the valley, including which beaches are open and where to rent a canoe for your own adventures! Go back and give it another look! Whether you are going for a long walk, a road trip, or having a chill night in, also be sure to check out the #ottmusic weekly playlist that our resident cool cats curate on Spotify. This week, all the feels are courtesy of Charles Cleyn. It’s definitely on repeat.

All Weekend

Ecology Ottawa is holding its monthly BioBlitz this weekend from Friday to Monday. A BioBlitz is an opportunity to get out into nature, document what you find, and learn from other people’s finds! These blitzes offer a great challenge to local amateur photographers and conservationists to identify species in our own backyards and help create records of what Ottawa’s nature looks like and how we interact within it. Check out the link at the Ecology Ottawa website and consider looking a little bit closer at the nature you come across this weekend!

Drive-in movies are back in style in a big way, and every weekend we have a great selection of titles. I guess drive-ins have replaced movies in the park, and to be honest, my backside is all the happier for it. The Drive In Experience at Wesley Clover Park is showing some real classics this weekend with SAW, StepBrothers, Finding Nemo, and Harry Potter on the big screen.  The Urban Drive-In at Zibi is showing Hook and Rocky on Thursday night, which will be a very fun blast from the past for all of us! Prices are different at each park, but they are all by vehicle and not by head, so pack the car with everyone in your bubble!

Friday

TD Musiparc continues this weekend with something every evening, including shows in both official languages and all genres, and even some live comedy on Sunday evening. If you’re a fan of country music, bilingual Canadian star Matt Lang will be playing on Friday evening, and tickets are still available online! Prices are by full vehicle, so pack your car with your favourite bubble and head to Gatineau for some outdoor live music!

Saturday

Last Saturday, Bank Street was closed to vehicle traffic from Queen St. to Flora to encourage cyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the downtown core safely and support local businesses. The city says this closure will be in effect every Saturday until August, so plan your day accordingly!

The National Gallery of Canada is reopening its doors to the public this Saturday, with free admission for everyone on Saturday and Sunday of this weekend from 10am to 5pm! The Gallery has also posted new safety measures and business hours designed to manage the inevitable crowds. Weekends will be the only time the gallery is open to the public for the foreseeable future, as they stay closed Monday–Wednesday, so start planning your return to those cool, quiet galleries. 

Ecology Ottawa has leaned into the digital sphere enthusiastically, with virtual tours of some of Ottawa’s neatest natural areas. (Nature is Neat, right?) This Saturday from 10 to 11am join them for a virtual field trip to Petrie Island, where they will explore the longest trail on the island and share findings from studies on turtles in the area. If you can’t get out into nature on your own, this is the next best thing!

Centretown favourite MooShu Ice Cream & Kitchen is carefully reopening for short bursts of glorious ice cream scooping, including this Saturday from 4-10pm out of their shop on Bank Street. Gather your small bubble and get ready for a healthy lineup. It’s worth it, I promise. ( See you there?)

Also in delicious local food, Dominion City Brewing is back with another hot crossover of the Spicy Chicken Sandwich variety! Saturday from 1-6pm they will be selling Holly’s Hot Chicken Sandwiches to those of us who have reserved a sammy online. The drive-thru will be open for both beer and chicken, so make a little trip of it and fill your belly while you stock up on your weekly Dominion City needs.

Sunday

If you are planning on being downtown on Sunday, be aware that there is an anti-mask march planned for 11am-2pm at City Hall. There is no parade route posted yet, or many details available online as I post this. This is in no way an endorsement of the event, but instead a warning to fellow citizens to remain vigilant for their own safety and avoid the large gathering of individuals who refuse to wear masks in the area. 

Farmers’ markets are open all over the region now, so this is your friendly reminder that you don’t need to wait in line at Loblaws for your veggies or baked treats anymore. Support our local farmers and check out the market closest to you!

The Port Elmsley Drive In offers a weekend of double feature movies, just a pleasant little drive about an hour out of downtown. This weekend on Friday and Saturday you can see Beauty & The Beast and Ironman on Friday and Saturday evening, BUT most importantly, Bohemiam Rhapsody and Wayne’s World on Sunday and Monday nights, which is very clearly worth the drive, no matter what. Party time. Excellent.

Make the most of this weekend, friends, whatever that means to you! Stay stafe, stay hydrated, wash your hands, and show some love for the 613!