The other side

2015Apr Photo Jamie Brougham

By Jamie Brougham

For the few who know the other side of the Rideau River from Old Ottawa East, it is actually an interesting wilderness area.

I have seen owls, turkeys, foxes, even a coyote. The forested area is on top of what used to be a dump. Bits of old industrial waste still show through. The year of the great ice storm really destroyed the trees there. Recovery has taken many years.

It is much better when there is enough rain in summer because generally the vegetation is not the healthiest. With rain, there is more rotting of dead plants. The more that happens, the faster the land rehabilitates.

For the forest on the other side, there are some nice summer walking trails, although if I was a woman I would not walk them alone. They could use a little stewardship. With some cutting down of dead brush and widening of some trails there would be a backdrop for a nice stroll in the woods.

Despite the small area, I can honestly say I have become lost in it. Suffice to say though if you can walk a straight line you will find the edge of the forest soon enough.

I think the coolest thing about the Other Side is that someone (I assume it was teenagers) has made a mountain bike course with twists and turns, even some narrow bridges. It is actually quite fun, although while I have tried parts, I would not venture to some of the higher-level obstacles.

One of the most redeeming features of the Other Side is the hill visible from the transit way. It has a nice grassy plane at the top where you can see for miles around. It has a particularly nice view of downtown. It is such an intriguing open space. For the sake of a power hook up and a mowing of the grass, it would make an awesome concert venue.

The hill is right beside rapid transit, which makes it easy to get to. I think it is a great place to take a young family for a walk. The spring is a great time to go. The hike up the hill makes for great photo spots, it is adventurous for young ones and, despite it feeling remote, if you park at the Ottawa U campus it is just across the bridge. Of course if the kids have the stamina, the walk around from Old Ottawa East is good too.

The area on the other side of the river is actually in our ward, but because no one lives there, no one speaks out for it. The city has plans to run a road down the middle of it (the Alta Vista Transit Corridor) which will cut the area in two. The hill that runs parallel with Riverside Drive would be an island between two four-lane roads.

On a summer night, it is often Riverside that creates noise for those of us who live between Brantwood Park and  Main Street. With a major new road on the other side of the hill that now helps insulate us, the noise will be amplified. Quiet summer nights at Brantwood and along the river might become a thing of the past. Those of us who cross-country ski in that area in winter would see that pastime end.

There is no door to the natural and social resource that is on the Other Side. We get there any way we can. But it is worth checking out, at least while it’s still there.

facebooktwitterby feather
Filed in: Front Page Tags: , , ,

You might like:

The Rideau Winter Trail is a Recreational Gem That’s Right On Our Community’s Doorstep The Rideau Winter Trail is a Recreational Gem That’s Right On Our Community’s Doorstep
So, What’s a Piezometer? An Answer to the Mystery of the Rideau River Hitching Posts So, What’s a Piezometer? An Answer to the Mystery of the Rideau River Hitching Posts
Taking the Plunge in Old Ottawa East’s Local Swimming Holes Taking the Plunge in Old Ottawa East’s Local Swimming Holes
Remembering Kevin Figley – Community Loses an “Unfailing Source of Ideas, Laughter, and Joy” Remembering Kevin Figley – Community Loses an “Unfailing Source of Ideas, Laughter, and Joy”

Leave a Reply

You must be Logged in to post comment.

© 2021 The Mainstreeter. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.
Proudly designed by Theme Junkie.