Ottawa Valley / Pembroke / Renfrew County

Pembroke : Soul-soothing and Spectacular

Bridge over Muskrat River, flows by City Hall shown, Downtown Pembroke, Ontario, CANADA PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

By MAGGIE M, Editor, the wedge.LIVE

We finally traveled to the far northwest corner of the wedge. This is a milestone in our 1.1 years since launch. This node is a city named Pembroke–the largest in the Ottawa Valley. It sits on the Ottawa River and has a few rivers running through it, the Muskrat River and the Indian River.

Pembroke is a good 45 minutes West of the Town of Renfrew and one hour from the Town of Arnprior. The three offer travelers a perfect ‘puddle-jumping’ trek across the Ottawa Valley. Pembroke is also 30 minutes or less from Algonquin Park and could bring a trip to a perfect close this Fall and year-round.

“Technicallyyyy, we are the smallest city in Canada.”

“Technicallyyyy, we are the smallest city in Canada,” a few locals said. This is invariably uttered with a grin and a low brow. So it seems, the needle wiggles around 16,000 population–the miracle number that identifies a place as a ‘city’ and no longer a ‘town.’

There is one unmovable claim-to-fame in Pembroke : it has more murals than anywhere in the nation. The city is literally an exterior art gallery with 32 works of scale. Their complexity and beauty is spectacular. This feature alone brings tourists to town. It’s a smart local government that understands the value of streetscaping–Pembroke may lead in the wedge in this uplifting initiative.

‘Grand Trunk Union Station’, mural by Artist, Robin Burgesse, 1996. Downtown Pembroke, Ontario CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

‘The Timber Raft’, mural by Artist, Pierre Hardy, 2004. Pembroke, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

‘A Century Of Service 1896-1997’, mural by Artist, Karole Marois, 2006. Downtown Pembroke, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

‘Marguerite d’Youville and her mission’, mural by Artist, Pierre Hardy,1992. Downtown Pembroke, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

Pembroke offers an outstanding map of its murals, most within walking distance from each other. A short drive will take you to an old water tower, also a mural.

Don’t stand still too long in Pembroke or you could get painted over. I simply cannot wait to return and see them all with my own eyes.

“Don’t stand still too long in Pembroke or you could get painted over,” Maggie M

The CPR Water Tower, now a mural by Artist, John Ellenberger, 2000. Pembroke, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

Pembroke’s waterfront is exceptional. I dare pronounce that there may be no other boardwalk, than the Kiwanis Walkway, in the Province of this magnitude and beauty, 1.5 km on Ottawa River’s edge. Recently built, it is designed thoughtfully for sitting gazers and strollers. Several benches are covered to protect visitors from the elements and take in the view. Soon, we may feature this walkway in our ‘Top 10.’

To my disappointment, I could not linger, watch this natural symphony, feel the breeze, listen to the waves rolling in and the trees rustling. (How syrupy of me, but true-to-form.)  I was chasing the sun to bring a snapshot of this city’s riches to you; yet, my timing was perfect. I captured a local group performing a silent ballet otherwise known as, Tai-chi, at the same location. The setting sun danced with them highlighting all their movements. It was all too delicious to watch and a great finish to an overloaded schedule.

‘The boardwalk’, Kiwanis Walkway, steps from Downtown Pembroke, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

View from ‘the boardwalk’, lighthouse and long dock by the marina, steps from Downtown Pembroke, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

Tai Chi at 6 by Ottawa River’s edge, steps from Downtown Pembroke, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

Fiddlers of the Valley just concluded yesterday. It’s Pembroke’s big annual event occurring every Labour Day weekend. Fiddlers and step dancers come from great distances for this event. Missed by a hair; but, we will catch next year.

There is much more for the wedge to discover in Pembroke, a good reason to feature the city every season.

Stay-tuned for a ‘select seven’ feature of Pembroke’s finest shops and eateries. I have met many of their owners, an impressive lot. Whatever your pleasure, Pembroke has it, from fine foods to fashion.

Pembroke is turning from a chrysalis to a butterfly.

Pembroke Street, Downtown Pembroke, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE

‘The main drag’, Downtown Pembroke, Ontario, CANADA. PHOTO BY the wedge.LIVE