Sitting on The Dock on A Lazy Summer's Day

What better spot to be than by the water on a relaxing warm summer's day?

The breeze along the cool water, the shade of nearby trees and a great view of blue and green!  A summer dock is a perfect spot to watch the world go by, spend an hour reading a book, listen to a podcast or just look for some local wildlife.  And you may be surprised to find out what public docks are out there and where they are located.  There may be one closer to you than you think!

dock (däk): a structure extending along shore or out from the shore into a body of water, to which boats may be moored (link)

Getting out and dipping my toes into the water on the first warm day is quickly becoming one of my early summer traditions despite not having my own watercraft whether it be a stand up paddle board, canoe or kayak!  It just feels so much like summer when I get to do it!

This is such a great public amenity for those living in cities.  And with these docks being within walking distance from apartments and townhomes, it provides the opportunity for city dwellers to invest in and take advantage of water recreation.  Have you tried paddleboarding yet?  Or perhaps you've wondered if an inflatable kayak could be just the ticket.  Or maybe you are just like me and find that dipping your toes in and daydreaming beside the cool water is a favorite summer recreational activity?  Especially with a popscicle, ice cream sandwich or a cold local soda?

Docks connect you to the water and are an easy relaxing way to get a new vantage point that's not available in the winter.  They can be an advantage to photographers and a great place to have a picnic.  They are not just for the watercraft set!  Bring a set of binoculars or your telephoto lens and check out what you can see.  Practice your sit spot (being still for at least twenty minutes) and observe the wildlife in a natural setting.

You can even see here in my city that the public docks are made out of various materials which could lead to a preference for best dock to sit on or just bring a cushion and make it your new outdoor reading spot.  Dip your hand or foot in whenever you get too hot.  Some can offer more shade than others depending on which side of the shore they are located on and how much tree cover is surrounding the spot.  Then there is the view which can be urban or more natural which can also lead to what kind of visitors you have - whether they be people out for a stroll or a bike ride or a mother duck taking her young out for a paddle.

If you want to discover the public docks in your own city, 
take a ride on a water-side bike path, 
call your municipal staff 
or ask a local paddling club!
Also ask when they are put out as I went to check on the status in late May here in the city and none of them were out yet!

Last month in Ottawa, the Federal Government announced that new public docks would be put out along the canal to provide better water access for local Ottawa residents as part of a infrastructure boost to "re-energize and protect the historic waterway".  (May 10, 2016, Paula McCooey, Ottawa Citizen).  Does anyone know if this is part of a larger effort along the canal system in Ontario and/or which Canadian city boasts the most public docks - especially in the urban core?

Here are the urban docks that I know of in Ottawa - in the city core or close to the core:
  • Lowertown - Bordeleau Park
  • Old Ottawa East - Rideau River Trail/Brantwood Park
  • Glebe/Carleton U. - Brewar Park
  • Patterson Creek (Canal)
  • Clegg Street (Canal)
  • Canadian Museum of History (water taxi)
  • Behind Parliament/Bytowne Museum (water taxi)
  • Jacques Cartier Park (private (?) docks + quay + boat trailer unloading)
  • North end of Blair Road (boat trailer unloading)
  • Where are the ones in Gatineau - is there one at Lac Leamy?

Which ones do you know about here or in your own city?

P.S. Want to do something else - looking for an adventure on the water? 

Read this post about locations where you can rent water craft equipment in Ottawa!

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