Welcome to Merrickville Ontario! Today we’re going to spend some time in this historic small town that lies about an hour south of Ottawa. Filled with shops, restaurants, scenery, and history, Merrickville has something for everyone.
Located near the center of the Rideau Canal (named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007), this quaint village was founded in 1794 by William Merrick. Drawn by the Rideau River, Merrick built a dam and the area’s early mills.
Where there are mills there are families, and soon Merrick’s Mills was a community. One of the few to survive the construction of the Rideau Canal, the town grew well into the 19th century.
Merrickville today is historic and artistic. Its charm was recognized in 1998 by Communities in Bloom, which declared it Canada’s Most Beautiful Village. This same year, Merrickville was incorporated and officially became Merrickville-Wolford.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of this popular destination for people living in Ottawa. The Victorian village embraces the past while incorporating modern galleries, restaurants, and abundant outdoor recreation.
Downtown Merrickville Ontario
A stroll down scenic St. Lawrence Street offers a selection of great food, great shopping, and a taste of the past.
Stop in at the Blockhouse Museum for a glimpse into the functional history of Merrickville. Built in 1832, this two-storey structure makes up in lore what it arguably lacks in Victorian beauty.
A National Historic Site of Canada, the museum is filled with information about the Merrickville area and artifacts from its many decades of service in different capacities.
Mrs. McGarrigle’s Fine Food Shop in a local favorite. Specializing in mustards, you can also find chocolates, tea, and more foodie goodies in this unique, eclectic shop.
If you get hungry while strolling downtown, try the Yellow Canoe Café. Specializing in locally sourced ingredients, the café also features and promotes local businesses and artists.
Merrickville Rideau Canal Locks 21-23
The trio of Merrickville locks is in a part of the Rideau Canal specifically built to bypass William Merrick’s mills. The locks remain functional, and a scenic park allows visitors to watch the boats pass.
The Merrickville locks are close to both the Blockhouse Museum and the Merrickville Ruins. You can wander the stone remains of a fire-damaged 1844 woolen mill and enjoy the river scenery.
The locks and ruins are just the tip of the outdoor iceberg in Merrickville, which boasts hiking trails, boating, and more year-round recreation.
This small village boasts a large art scene. The community offers visitors and residents an impressive array of locally produced works. Visit Gray Art Glass for a glass blowing demonstration and to shop stunning hand-crafted glassworks.
Wick Witch Apothecary offers a delightful selection of candles and bath and body products. Head to The Grotto Artworks and shop a curated selection of local artists’ work—from peppermills to paintings.
MonSky Creations is one of Merrickville’s solo galleries. Artist Monica Viola is a talented potter who also works with glass and fiber to create her beautiful items.
Check out another solo artist, Angelina Wrona, at Anarchy Gallery. Angela’s paintings and prints share space with a funky collection of clothing, accessories, and other treasures. Anarchy Gallery even features a guest suite loft if you’re looking for a place to stay in Merrickville!
Merrickville Ontario Real Estate
Having been dubbed the Jewel of the Rideau, there are impeccably preserved and restored homes in Merrickville.
There are also new developments, including Merrickville Estates, a planned community focused on both the natural beauty and history of the area.
If you’re living in Ottawa or relocating to Ottawa, Merrickville has a lot to offer. New and historic homes are located just an hour from the city.
This historic village includes, in addition to Merrickville, a number of smaller communities including Carley’s Corners, Eastons Corners, Jasper, Wolford Centre, and more.
While all are part of the village, each offers something special for residents and visitors. Fishermen can head over to Kilmarnock Island and historians can visit the Ontario Heritage Trust’s Wolford Chapel.
Merrickville is a lovely historic village filled with carefully preserved buildings, a vibrant local art scene, and great places to shop and eat. For a day trip or a place to live away from the bustle of Ottawa, Merrickville has plenty to offer.