Nature and Interpretation Center

The Friends of Petrie Island operate a nature centre with environmental displays and, in season, aquariums featuring PetrieIsland reptiles. There are also samples of plants and nature books. Natural and historical information and notice boards are provided to educate the public on various aspects of the island. Guided nature tours by summer staff are available on request.  You may wish to visit the wildflower garden west of the centre. Interpretation centre is open weekends in May, June and Sept and daily in July and August, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information please email us at:

Junior Naturalist Program

Summer Children’s Programs

The Friends of Petrie Island would like to invite children ages 2-5 or 6-12 to attend the Petrie Island Junior Naturalist program. Children accompanied by an adult will spend a fun hour and a half becoming Junior Naturalists by participating in various hands-on activities: hikes, crafts, games, songs.   For more information please email us at:  See video.

Petrie Island Canoe Club

We offer two Day-Camp options for children 9-12 years old. The two-week introduction to canoe-kayak is our Regatta-Ready Program, and the eight-week canoe-kayak program is our Competitive Sprint Program. Paddlers will be usually be divided into groups, and will spend an equal amount of time rotating through practices for team boat canoe, single boat kayaks, dragon boat, and dryland.  Dryland includes games, running, circuit training, and environmental stewardship/education.  Click for info.


FOPI Events and Nature Walks

The Friends of Petrie Island organize events and activities during the summer and fall. Please join us on the island. Details on what is upcoming can be found on our Events page.



There are 7 kilometers of nature trails on Petrie.  Even when there are thousands of people at the beach, the nature trails remain surprisingly tranquil.



Approximately 30 picnic tables are in the picnic area to the west of the main beach, available from May to October. Several are left year-round. The picnic tables are used on a first-come basis, but group reservations are available. For reservations on other parts of the island, call the City of Ottawa information line at 311.

Tent from Front

Tent Rental

FOPI has a tent (20 x 30 feet) near the Nature Centre that is available for rental when it is not used for FOPI programs.  It has portable sides and can be enclosed for special events and/or specific needs.  Rental fees are $100 to $125.  FOPI members will receive a discount on rentals. For more information please email us at:



The City of Ottawa public beach provides a great place to swim in the Ottawa River.  During the summer City of Ottawa lifeguards are present from noon to 7 pm. All inquiries regarding the beach should be directed to the City of Ottawa (Call 311 or (613) 580-2400).  For water quality information, call 613-580-2424 ext.13219.  The information is updated at noon daily, based on the previous day’s water samples.


Beach Volleyball

The City offers organized beach volleyball almost every weekend during the summer. Volleyball leagues and net rentals are offered by the City.  Inquire at the Lifeguard office or call 613-580-2854.
Book your event at the beach. Contact City Wide Allocations at 613-580-2595 or e-mail




You can launch your own non-motorized boat at the free boat launch adjacent to the west end of the main parking lot.  You can rent paddle boats and kayaks from Oziles, located on the main access road, just down the hill from the route 174.



Many people like to fish along the causeway where the river passes under the main access road.  We ask that you do not fish on the public beach or on the turtle pond.  You can purchase bait and lures or rent a boat at Oziles.  During the winter, ice fishing is very popular in the bay to the east of the main beach; huts can be rented.




Although motorboats are not permitted inside the waterways of Petrie Island, it is still a good place from which to explore the Ottawa River.  For a small fee, you can launch your trailered boat at the Oziles, run by Yves Grandmaître.