Stay in an ice hotel, attend a winter festival and wander through an ice castle.
Blacksheep Inn, photo by David Irvine Photography
Just a 25-minute drive from Ottawa, the village of Wakefield, Que., is a welcoming enclave of creative residents. People are doing what they love in this scenic spot along the Gatineau River—making art, plating charcuterie, creating set lists—and we’re invited along for the ride.
Eat & Stay
Located inside the lovely Wakefield Mill Inn & Spa, Muse offers haute Canadiana dishes, set against a backdrop of thick stone walls and waterfall views. The Mill makes an ideal home base (book one of its Eco River Lodge rooms) and is popular for couple getaways.
It’s a long way from Paris to Wakefield, but Patisserie La Toque shortens that distance with beautifully made millefeuilles, ice-blue macaroons and chewy ginger cookies that almost—almost—look too good to eat. Grab something to go and find a spot en plein air to enjoy.
Selling aboriginal and Inuit art from across the country, Boutique Khewa carries everything from silver jewelry to soapstone carvings. Local offerings are plenty, too, including carved peace pipes, hide drums and the spirit-infused paintings of the shop’s founder.
A local favourite, Bistro Chez Eric exudes a warm ambiance that makes you want to linger on its backyard patio, which is lit with twinkling lights. While the mood is relaxed, the kitchen isn’t slacking off, serving dishes like duck confit and a citrus and olive crusted lamb chop.
You can visit Boutique Jamboree for an eclectic range of home furnishings from near and far, with local fare, such as cedar buttons, on offer. But you can also come to this original general store just to be inspired by the wonderfully cheerful decor.
At the Blacksheep Inn, the curtains are drawn against the river view because here, it’s all about watching the live music. Wakefield boasts many music venues, but this spot is known for attracting a steady stream of folksy talent, both established and on the rise.
Getting There: WestJet flies to Ottawa 15 times a day from seven Canadian cities.
What to Do in Ottawa’s Wellington West Neighbourhood
When in Ottawa, don't miss spending a day in Wellington West, which includes Hintonburg and Wellington Village and boasts creative local restaurant and shops. Browse unique designs at Flock Boutique, flip through the vinyl at The Record Centre or sip cold brew at The Ministry of Coffee.