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Things to do in Manotick, Ottawa

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Neighbourhood
“Just 25 kilometres south of Parliament Hill, Manotick feels like a country getaway within the city of Ottawa. You can tour a working Victorian grist mill, shop in independent boutiques, enjoy a leisurely lunch on an outdoor patio, or paddle a kayak or canoe along the Rideau River. History Most historians believe the name “Manotick” comes from an Indigenous word meaning “island in the river.” That refers to Long Island, which lies in the middle of today’s Manotick. Even though the British built the Rideau Canal through the area between 1826 and 1832—including a lock station at Long Island—Manotick didn’t start developing until around 1860. That’s when Moss Kent Dickinson and Joseph Currier opened the grist mill now called Watson’s Mill. By 1880, Manotick had a population of about 400 and boasted stores, a school, churches, blacksmith shops and mail service. It grew slowly but steadily over the next century. Then, a spate of residential development starting in the 1980s—along with the village’s amalgamation with Ottawa in 2001—led to a substantial influx of new residents. It’s currently home to roughly 4,500 people. Shopping Many day-trippers head to Manotick to explore its appealing, one-of-a-kind boutiques. (En route, you could stop at Gees Bees Honey Company to buy some locally made, all-natural sweetener or tour the pollinator sanctuary garden. Just make sure to check the company’s website before heading there, as the business is seasonal.) In Manotick, few passersby can resist the sweet and spicy aromas wafting out of the Gingerbread Man shop, where you can browse for frosted cookies and elaborate gingerbread houses. Pleasing scents of a different sort may also draw you to Mill Street Florist, where you can buy scented candles and other pretty gifts along with artistic flower arrangements. If you have a metaphysical bent, check out Green Spirit for meditation aids, aromatherapy items and other spiritual supplies. Lasting Impressions Gifts, meanwhile, sells gourmet foods, baby gifts, jewellery, home décor items and more. And fashionistas can drop into Mansfield’s Shoes for classic, high-quality footwear, or NIN Collection Boutique for Canadian and European fashions. Dining and drinking The Miller’s Oven, run by a volunteer group of seniors, is a beloved spot for baked goodies, tea and light lunches. The Black Dog Bistro is known for its selection of sharing plates, sandwiches and other light items, as well as ribs and steaks. For pasta and other classic dishes, head to Babbos Cucina Italiana. To slake your thirst, the Mill Tavern and the CreekSide Bar & Grill are popular pubs with lots of beers on tap. Activities, sites and events Feeling stressed? Peppermint Organic Spa, housed in what was once a grand family home, offers manicures, pedicures, facials, massages and other soothing treatments. In nearby North Gower, Manderley on the Green has three nine-hole golf courses, which you can play in any combination for a long or short game. Each summer in Manotick, you can travel back in time by touring Watson’s Mill and the Dickinson House museum—both buildings date to the 19th century. Those two sites are the hub of Dickinson Days, a weekend-long festival held each June. The Mill—which some say is haunted—also hosts paranormal-themed events in October, as well as a busy slate of whisky tastings, concerts and other events from mid-May until early September. Other popular village events include the food-themed Taste of Manotick festival in August and Manotick Village Christmas in late November/early December.”
  • 7 locals recommend
Restaurant
“This place is a Manotick favorite by all...people enjoy the atmosphere of the Black Dog...always busy always fun! ”
  • 4 locals recommend
Museum
“Just a twelve minute drive. "Watson’s Mill, Ontario in Canada is a unique 1860’s grist and flour mill located in Manotick, on the shores of the Rideau River. A working industrial heritage site in greater Ottawa, it has a remarkable history linked to local politics, the building of a country, and a tragic love story. The WMMI mandate is to preserve Watson’s Mill as a working historic grist and flour mill, and a social, cultural and educational focal point for the community and visitors." Source: Watson's Mill website”
  • 4 locals recommend
Pool
“Great recreational facility. Two ice rinks, one swimming pool, exercise gym. Drop in rates. ”
  • 2 locals recommend
Point of Interest
“Just a 15 minute drive. A true classic, ‘old style’ course, it is the golf experience that truly sets Rideau View apart from the competition. A magnificently manicured championship course in a mature, tree-lined setting, with rolling terrain and spectacular vistas, it offers a peaceful golf atmosphere, not encumbered by residential development or noisy traffic. Source: Rideau View Golf Club Facebook page”
  • 1 local recommends
Point of Interest
“Just a 5 minute drive. Century Weddings and Events has access to one of Ottawa's finest convention centers that is fully equipped for any function between 8 and 300 people. Located 15 minutes south of Ottawa, Century Conference and Event is one of Ottawa’s premier wedding and reception halls that we use to create an unmatched wedding experience. Both for corporate or private functions, Century Planning and Events can create a fully customized event to suit your needs and budget. Source: Century Weddings and Events Facebook page”
  • 1 local recommends
Golf Course
  • 1 local recommends
Golf Course
“Just a six minute drive away. "Manderley has 27 championship golf holes, comprised of our South, Central and North Courses. Each course offers great playing variety for both the beginner and experienced golfer. Each course has 5 sets of tee blocks, which allow for enjoyment by all levels of playing ability. Manderley offers a great selection of facilities to for your banquet, wedding, meeting or whatever get-together you are planning." Source: Manderley on the Green website”
  • 1 local recommends
Restaurant
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Hands down the best Italian restaurant in the city...its been in the neighbourhood for over 30 years and their veal/pasta/zucchini sticks are worth the splurge in calories!”
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
“This is a historic Manotick establishment, a non profit restaurant run entirely by volunteers. Great breakfast for a great price.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Bakery
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“All home made sweet and savory treats...from cakes to croissants to scones...everything is made from scratch and your biggest problem is choosing what to pick because everything looks so incredibly delicious! ”
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Absolutely delicious Thai Cuisine. Authentic, family-run, nice little restaurant off Main St. This has got to be the best Thai in the Ottawa area.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
  • 1 local recommends
Route
  • 1 local recommends

Top restaurants

Restaurant
“This place is a Manotick favorite by all...people enjoy the atmosphere of the Black Dog...always busy always fun! ”
  • 4 locals recommend
Golf Course
  • 1 local recommends
Restaurant
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Hands down the best Italian restaurant in the city...its been in the neighbourhood for over 30 years and their veal/pasta/zucchini sticks are worth the splurge in calories!”
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
“This is a historic Manotick establishment, a non profit restaurant run entirely by volunteers. Great breakfast for a great price.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Bar
“Just a 12 minute drive away from a comfortable and relaxed British pub. "Locally owned & Family run for over 25 years We pride ourselves on our food made from scratch, our excellent service and our relaxed atmosphere. We have a beautiful shaded patio over looking Hurst Marina and the Rideau River. A couple slips are available if you would like to bring the boat for lunch or dinner. The second story is home to our banquet room which can host all kinds of parties. From weddings to birthdays. It can hold 40 people for a sit down dinner or up to 60 for a stand up cocktail party. Source: The Swan on the Rideau website”
  • 1 local recommends
Restaurant
“Absolutely delicious Thai Cuisine. Authentic, family-run, nice little restaurant off Main St. This has got to be the best Thai in the Ottawa area.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
  • 1 local recommends

Get to know Manotick, Ottawa

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