Rideau Canal / Rideau Valley / Shops / Westport / What To Do

Westport : a shrinking island, a wonderland and a surprise

Little island in Westport harbour seems overwhelmed by water levels May 4th. PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE

By MAGGIE M, Editor, http://thewedge.LIVE

On yet another overcast, damp day, I visited the uber-sweet village of Westport. Everywhere I looked, a photo beckoned. The harbour on the North side, Upper Rideau Lake, is always beautiful; but, its island seems to be nearly swallowed up by rising water levels. It seems the island is only a few inches thick! The waters will recede soon and boaters will have a wall to bump-up to again.

On a day like this many feigned a smile, longing for sunshine; yet, I happened on a chorus of smiles at the end of the day. The Canadian Canoe Museum, paddled into shore just as I was aiming my lense at the harbour. They are on a 10-day trek up the Rideau, from Kingston to Ottawa. The museum located in Peterborough is the largest canoe museum in the world. How opportune to capture their arrival.

Canadian Canoe Museum, Peterborough, arrives in Westport May 4th. PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE

I finally had a chance to visit key businesses in the village. Kudrinko’s, the village grocer, managed by second generation, Martha and Neil Kudrinko, was exceptionally merchandised. I later snapped up potato scallion artisan bread and a few other goodies.

I held a fun chat with The Cove Inn staff,  Dana, Mave and Gemma, who gave me the 5 cent tour. I was introduced to Seamus Cowan, son of Terry and Mary Cowan, standing on his rooftop. We didn’t shake hands. The Cove is ostensibly the heart of the village–always open, always ‘on.’ I learned that Seamus is a performer in a blues-jazz trio performing on its stage (as well as ‘chimney sweep’). When you own a business, you do everything and anything.

View from the rear patio at The Cove, Westport, May 4th PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE

I entered, Village Green, owned by Cathie and Stan Mantrop, and was bowled over by its scale. It seemed to have everything a cottager would desire from holographic puzzles and books, through Columbia jackets to wall art–stocked to the gills on two sprawling floors. This is a surprise in a village dotted with smaller shops.

A young lady encouraged me to visit the “cutest shop”, Pinecone, owned by Deborah Waddell. Immediately upon entering I felt transported by the music. The store was beautiful; but, its rear courtyard, a garden ornaments wonderland, was a unique sight to behold. You can sit down and let your mind wonder–they won’t mind, I am told.

Garden ornaments transform shop courtyard at Pinecone, Westport, into a wonderland. PHOTO BY thewedge.LIVE

Shop awnings are unfurled. Colourful Adirondack chairs pepper the village. Everyone is gearing up for Mother’s Day; but, also the start of the rush, May 24 weekend, “when Americans arrive.” True, Westport draws people from long distances.

Church Street storefronts, Westport, before the season rush. PHOTO By thewedge.LIVE

The Wedge.LIVE and MAGGIE M will return. We’re planning something unusual May 30th and before. Stay-tuned. We’ve barely touched this little piece of heaven.

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