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Mont Tremblant

Four Best Places to See the Fall Colours in and around Ottawa

When summer turns to autumn, few places on earth see as spectacular a transformation as Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. Here are just a few of our favourite spots to see the changing fall foliage in all its red, green, yellow, and orange glory.

Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau Park. Photo © National Capital Commission

GATINEAU PARK
Slip on your hiking shoes, pack a picnic lunch, and get ready for one stunning nature walk. Hundreds of kilometres of footpaths wind their way through 361 square kilometres of unspoiled land, making Gatineau Park the ideal way to spend a day outdoors. For those who prefer to travel on two wheels, much of the park is also bike-friendly. Several points offer awe-inspiring views — stop and catch your breath at Étienne-Brûlé Lookout, Eardley Escarpment, or the Mackenzie King Estate. Be sure to grab a map from the park’s visitor centre in Old Chelsea before you go. After something a little more organized? The National Capital Commission also offers free educational programs with Fall Rhapsody. 613-239-5000; 819-827-2020, www.gatineaupark.ca

 

Changing leaves along the Rideau Canal. Photo © Ottawa Tourism

RIDEAU CANAL
Though it may be best known for being the world’s largest skating rink in winter, this Ottawa landmark serves a purpose year-round. In autumn, the trees that line the Rideau Canal turn vibrant colours, providing a beautiful backdrop for anyone walking, jogging, or biking along the historic waterway. For an active afternoon, nature lovers can rent a bike and spend the day cycling beside the canal. If you’d prefer to be right on the water, consider a boat cruise, or paddle yourself around on a kayak. 613-239-5000, www.canadascapital.gc.ca

 

The Dominion Arboretum.

THE DOMINION ARBORETUM
Where better to observe beautiful greenery than at a site that’s devoted to it? Over 2,400 varieties of trees and shrubs (some of which date back as far as 1889) on 26 hectares of land can be found at the Arboretum. Two lookout points — one on the southeast side and another at the northeast end — offer gorgeous views of the Rideau Canal and Dows Lake, respectively. Located right in the middle of the city (on the grounds of the Central Experimental Farm), it’s the perfect place to see fantastic fall leaves without leaving town. Experimental Farm Dr., www.friendsofthefarm.ca

 

Autumn at Mont Tremblant. Photo © Louis Prud’homme

MONT TREMBLANT
It’s a bit of a drive from Ottawa (about two to two and a half hours), but the stunning views at this popular Quebec resort are well worth the travel time. Through the fall, the snow-free ski hills and surrounding forests make a dramatic transformation. Take a gondola ride to the top of the summit to experience one of the most breathtaking sights in the region. While you’re at the resort, check out the bevy of fall activities on offer. If you’re looking to stay the night, Tremblant offers plenty of accommodations right in the pedestrian village. Mont Tremblant, Quebec, 866-356-2233, www.tremblant.ca

 

Luigi Clementi of Coco Pazzo in Mont Tremblant, Quebec

By Waheeda Harris

An Italian heritage and the influences of the Quebecois food culture of Montreal lured Luigi Clementi into the kitchen from an early age. Clementi’s parents always had an abundance of vegetables and fruit growing in the garden, prosciutto and sausages curing in the wine cellar cantina as well as aging wine barrels and homemade wine vinegar. (more…)

Executive Chef Daniel Tobien of Fairmont Tremblant Resort

By Waheeda Harris

Born in France’s Alsace region, Chef Daniel Tobien has gastronomy in his genes. From his mother, he acquired a profound loyalty to local products and from his father, a native of the Burgundy region, he learned his appreciation of good wines and a natural way with people—all which he believes are essential ingredients for making a true chef de cuisine.

(more…)

Fantastic Fall

When summer turns to autumn, few places on earth see as spectacular a transformation as Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. Here are just a few of our favourite spots to see the changing fall foliage in all its red, green, and orange glory. By Kristin Braginetz.

Lovely views abound at Gatineau Park. Photo credit: Ottawa Tourism.

GATINEAU PARK
Slip on your hiking shoes, pack a picnic lunch, and get ready for one stunning nature walk. Hundreds of kilometres of old Indian footpaths wind their way through 361 square kilometres of unspoiled land, making Gatineau Park the ideal way to spend a day outdoors. For those who prefer to travel on two wheels, much of the park is also bike-friendly. Several points offer awe-inspiring views — stop and catch your breath at Étienne-Brûlé Lookout, Eardley Escarpment, or the Mackenzie King Estate. Be sure to grab a map from the park’s visitor centre in Old Chelsea before you go. 613-239-5000; 819-827-2020, www.gatineaupark.ca.

RIDEAU CANAL
Though it may be best known for being the world’s largest skating rink in winter, this Ottawa landmark serves a purpose year-round. In autumn, the trees that line the Rideau Canal turn vibrant colours, providing a beautiful backdrop for anyone walking, jogging, or biking along the historic waterway. For an active afternoon, nature lovers can rent a bike (see “Outdoor Adventures & Sports” on p.64 for a couple options) and spend the day cycling the length of the canal. If you’d prefer to be right on the water, consider a boat cruise, or paddle yourself around on a kayak. 613-239-5000, www.canadascapital.gc.ca. (more…)

Hot Attraction: Stellar Slope

Aerial view of Mont Tremblant. Photo credit: Mont Tremblant.

It may be two hours outside Ottawa, but the fabulous ski resort at Mont Tremblant is worth the drive. As the highest peak in the Laurentians, it offers spectacular views and activities for all tastes. Adrenaline junkies will love the 18 acres of ramps, rails, and jumps, but families with young children shouldn’t be dissuaded — there are plenty of options for budding ski bunnies as well. Like all popular destinations, the hill can get pretty congested at the expected busy times (avoid weekends if you can), even with 95 runs spread over 654 acres of skiable terrain and 14 ski lifts. Had enough skiing/snowboarding for one day? Sign up for any of the alternative activities, such as dog sledding, or wind down at one of the resort’s restaurants or spas.