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Activities at Petrie Island

Nature and Interpretation Center

The Friends of Petrie Island have built a nature center in an old cottage near the picnic area.  It contains samples of nature found on Petrie, nature books, and facts on Petrie. 

Natural and historical information and notice boards are provided to educate the public on various aspects of the island. Interpretation centre is open weekends in May, June and Sept and daily in July and August, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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.

The cost is a nominal $2.  Further infoSee video.


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

Rideau Canoe Club Olympic SPRINT Kayak Program

The Rideau Canoe Club runs a 1/2-day summer program for children to learn about kayaking.  Each program runs for 2-weeks.  For further information, visit the Rideau Canoe Club.


Tent Rental

FOPI has a new tent to provide shelter for activities. It has portable sides and can be enclosed.  It can be rented out for special events at $100 to $125. Contact Al Tweddle for further details.



FOPI Nature Walks and Events

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



The public beach provides a great place to swim in the Ottawa River.  During the summer lifeguards are present from noon to 7 pm.

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.  Or look at our link here.

Beach Volleyball

  • There is organized beach volleyball almost every weekend during the summer
  • Volleyball net rentals: $14.50 per hour or $49.50 per day. Inquire at the Lifeguard office.
  • Join a volleyball league. Call 613-580-2854
  • Book your event at the beach. Contact City Wide Allocations at 613-580-2595 or e-mail


Canoeing and Kayaking

You can launch your own non-motorized boat at the free boat launch at the west end of the main parking lot.  You will have to carry the boat from your rooftop to the launch area in Crappie Bay.

You can rent peddle boats and kayaks from the Petrie Island Bait and Tackle Shop, located on the main access road, just down the hill from the Queensway.


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 the Petrie Island Bait and Tackle Shop.  During the winter, ice fishing is very popular in the bay to the east of the main beach; huts can be rented.

Motor Boats

Although motor boats 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 Petrie Island Bait and Tackle Shop, run by Yves Grandmaitre.


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.



Page updated 2015-01-17    Friends of Petrie Island