Things to Do


Nature Centre

The Friends of Petrie Island used to operate a nature center with environmental displays and aquariums.  Sadly, the building was badly damaged during the floods of 2017 so temporary arrangements with a container have been made for educational materials.  You may wish to visit the wildflower garden west of the Centre. The Friends of Petrie Island organize events and activities during the summer and fall, including nature walks, theme days and other special activities. Details on our Events page.

Junior Naturalist Program

Children’s Programs

The Friends of Petrie Island offers Naturalist Programs for children ages 2-12. 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.

Tent from Front

Tent Rental

The Friends’ tent is available for rental. It is 8 by 9 m (20 x 30 feet) and has removable sides for protection from weather. Fees are $100 to $125.  FOPI members will receive a discount on rentals. For more information please email us at:



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. Maps are posted and available at the Center. Trails are maintained by volunteers.



Approximately 40 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.



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.



Canoes, kayaks and skiffs may be launched at the free ramp west of the main parking area. Paddleboats, canoes and kayaks may be rented at Oziles Marina.


Petrie Island Canoe Club

The Petrie Island Canoe Club offers 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.



Fishing is permitted along the Basswood and Sunrise Trails only.  Many people like to fish along the causeway where the river passes under the main access road.   Do not fish on the public beach or on the turtle pond.  You can purchase bait and lures or rent a boat at Oziles.  Please take out all empty containers including old fishing line.

During the winter, ice fishing is very popular in the bay to the east of the main beach; huts can be rented.



Powerboats should exercise caution on the back channels, and respect the provincial and federal speed limit of 10 kmh (6 mph, 5 kn) within 30 m (100 feet) of shoreline. Keep clear of swimming areas. There are two boat ramps at Oziles Marina.


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


Children’s Birthday Parties

Come celebrate with Friends of Petrie Island for a fun and affordable birthday party in July or August! Enjoy 2 hours of entertainment, including a nature walk, a scavenger hunt and/or a nature craft and keep enjoying your FOPI rental space after the entertainment ends. The rate 5$ per children (or a minimum charge of 50$) in addition to the fee of the rental space ($20 to 125$). For more information and to book your birthday party, please email us at or visit us at the nature center!