Local Christmas Parades and Events

Finally, it’s that most wonderful time of the year! There are so many ways to get into the Christmas spirit, including heading out to your local Christmas parade. Beginning this weekend, you can enjoy a local parade over the next few weeks. It’s a great way to start off the season and is a perfect, free, activity that the whole family will love. Here are the parades and events that our local communities are offering this holiday season:

Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade: This year, the Carleton Places Santa Claus Parade will take place on November 23rd. Starting at 5p.m., floats decorated by local businesses and organizations will make their way down Bridge Street, following the theme of “An Old Fashioned Christmas”!

Pakenham Christmas Parade: If you’re looking for a parade that takes place during the day instead of in the evening, Pakenham has you covered! Pakenham’s “Canadian Christmas Past and Present” themed parade takes place starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 7th and starts at the Stewart Community Centre. After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available to visit with kids in the upper hall of the Community Centre. There will also be free public skating, as well as free hot chocolate and hotdogs.

Almonte Christmas Parade: On December 8th at 5 p.m., floats will make their way from the Curling Club down Mill Street and loop back around on Bridge Street back to the arena. This year, the theme is “Parade of Christmas Trees”. Similar to the parade in Pakenham, after the parade, Santa & Mrs. Claus will be around to visit in the upper hall of the arena. Free hot dogs and hot chocolate will also be available to help you warm up!

Light Up the Night: An Almonte favourite, “Light Up the Night” is a local Christmas season tradition. Mill Street is closed to traffic and a stage is set up where local performers serenade the crowd while everyone awaits Santa’s arrival. This year’s line-up includes a surprise co-host and a performance by the popular Rock The Art’s Puppets! Mark your calendars for Friday December 6th at 7 p.m. and head downtown Almonte to join your friends and neighbours as they ring in the Christmas season with this wonderful event.

The holiday season brings together communities as everyone celebrates together, supporting local businesses and providing help to friends and neighbours in need. All of these wonderful free events can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone! Most parades will be collecting donations for the Foodbank so bring a few canned items or some spare change, and maybe encourage the kids to “give” this year, instead of just focusing on collecting candy from the floats!

Which Christmas events do you normally take part in? I’d love to hear how you start off the holiday season. Share with me on Facebook and Instagram!

All things Dog in & around Mississippi Mills

Are you a dog lover? If yes, then this blog is for you! From the best places to take your dog for exercise to the best places to shop for your dog, I’m going to cover it all. There is surprisingly, a lot, for you to do with your four-legged pal in Mississippi Mills.

There are a number of great spots to take your dog locally, for exercise and to socialize. In Carleton Place, there are 2 great dog parks where you are able to let your pet off-leash to release some energy with his furry friends. The Roy Brown Dog Park, is located at the end of Lake Avenue. It has a number of pet-friendly walking trails, as well as a fully fenced off-leash area. The Carleton Place Dog Park is also a popular spot for dog owners. Located behind the Carleton Place pool, it has a fully fenced area as well as bench seating (for owners) and plenty of garbage cans to ensure owners clean up after their pets.

In addition to some wonderful dog parks, there are some great places to shop for your pet locally. I’m a big fan of shopping locally and supporting local small businesses. So, these pet supply shops offer the perfect place to pick-up everything you need to spoil your dog. Located in Carleton Place, Natural Pet Foods is packed with everything you could possibly need for your dog. You’ll find all sorts of dog foods, dietary supplements, toys, collars, leashes and apparel in this locally owned and operated boutique type pet supply store. If you’re looking to shop in Almonte, Chew-That opened up this past summer in the Heritage Mall just off of Mill Street. They carry a variety of high-end dog foods, toys, treats & apparel. They even have doggie baked goods in store!

If you’re just looking to enjoy a relaxing walk with your best buddy, both Carleton Place and Almonte have a number of pet friendly shops in their downtowns. A number of the shop owners allow you to bring in your well-behaved dog while you browse. While walking the downtown areas during the warmer months, there is no shortage of water bowls available for your dog to stop and get a refreshing drink of water. If you have an especially friendly pet, it can be difficult to get down the main street in a reasonable amount of time. There are lots of other dog lovers out there either with their dog or just looking to chat about yours!

There are plenty of walking trails, water access points and parks in the Mississippi Mills and surrounding areas that are welcoming to dogs, as long as they are controlled and/or on-leash. We are fortunate to be able to include our furry friends in everyday activities and outings. Do you have a favourite spot that you like to visit with your pet? Or, a favourite activity that you do together? I’d love to hear about it and/or see photos! Share with me on Facebook and Instagram.

Remembrance Day Ceremonies

On Monday, November 11th, 2019, a variety of organizations and locations throughout Almonte, Carleton Place and surrounding areas, will be hosting their annual Remembrance Day Ceremonies. Remembrance Day is all about showing respect and gratitude to members of our Armed Forces who are either currently serving or have previously and have sacrificed for our country. Pay tribute by visiting one of the local ceremonies this upcoming Monday.

Almonte: Annually, the town of Almonte shows their support by gathering at the Almonte Cenotaph. Beginning at 2:00 p.m. the Almonte Legion Branch 240 Pipe Band will lead the parade from the legion on Bridge Street down to the Cenotaph which is located in front of the Old Town Hall. The ceremony itself takes place at the Cenotaph.

Carleton Place: Beginning at 10:30 a.m., Carleton Place will be hosting a parade and ceremony. The parade will start at the Town Hall and end at the Cenotaph which is located at the Carleton Place Memorial Park. The first gun salute will take place at 11 a.m.. In addition to the beautiful ceremony, the Carleton Place Legion Branch 192 hosts a light lunch afterwards and extends the invitation to anyone and everyone!

Clayton: You’d never guess that the tiny town of Clayton is host to such a big and beautiful Remembrance Day service. Join the residents of Clayton as they honour members of the military. Beginning with a parade at the community hall at 10:45 a.m. followed by a service to start at the Clayton Cenotaph at 11:00am. The residents of Clayton also host a lunch, which is open to the public, following the ceremony at the Clayton Community Hall.

If you are unable to make a service on Monday, both the township of Horton and Calabogie host services on Sunday, November 10th from 2-3 pm. The Calabogie ceremony takes place at the Cenotaph located on Madawaska Street and the township of Horton holds their service at the Horton Community Centre.

Volunteers are out all over town ready to accept a donation in exchange for a poppy, so, make sure to pick-up a poppy as soon as you can! Where or how do you normally observe Remembrance Day? I’d love to hear about other services going on in our area. Feel free to send me a message or contact me via Facebook or Instagram!

Best Coffee Shops

Mississippi Mills is full of locally owned and operated coffee shops. Almonte alone has more than 5 great places to enjoy a relaxing cup of coffee. I love to support the local, small businesses, including restaurants. I’ve put together my top 5 go-to local coffee shops that each offer a unique taste of our lovely small community.

Baker Bob’s: Conveniently located right next door to my office on Little Bridge Street, Baker Bob’s has that warm, small town friendliness to greet you every morning. They offer brewed coffee from local coffee roasters as well as a wide range of baked goods, perfect for breakfast, lunch, dessert and that early morning coffee break. Baker Bob’s is open at 6am on weekdays (7am on Saturday and closed Sunday) which is perfect for early risers and downtown businesspeople getting an early start to their workday.

Equator Coffee Roasters: Equator has been roasting, delivering and serving their fair-trade organic coffee since 1998. Their main headquarters is here in Almonte at 451 Ottawa Street where they have a cafe, roaster and training centre. Equator serves a range of coffee blends and their baristas can brew almost any style of drink you request! They also have a great selection of baked goods as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Equator is also open early on weekdays at 6am and at 8am on Saturday & Sunday. They are a quick and easy stop along the way if you are commuting into Ottawa.

North Market Cafe: One of the newer businesses in downtown Almonte, North Market Cafe is located on the upper part of Mill Street just up the street from the Bank of Montreal. They are proud to serve Fluid Solar Coffee Roasters (a local coffee roaster in Clayton!) blends of delicious coffee and can create a range of styles of drinks. In the summer months, they brew their own delicious Iced Teas. Along with their variety of drinks, they offer baked goods, sandwiches as well as freshly prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner options. The shop itself is beautifully decorated with hand painted murals and unique furniture. The huge, vintage safe adds to the character of this already charming coffee shop.

Gaslight Electric Cafe & Gallery: In operation since July of 2019, this cafe is truly one-of-a-kind. Not only do they offer a great cup of espresso, but their walls are decorated with their own, locally made, stunning neon signs! They have a small menu of snacks, coffees and alcoholic drinks. Their friendly and comfortable atmosphere is great for enjoying a cup of coffee while visiting with friends and/or family. Another great offering of this cafe is that they occasionally have live entertainment during the evening. They are located next to the post office on Mill Street, downtown Almonte. Follow them on Facebook to stay tuned to what is coming up next! https://www.facebook.com/gaslightelectric/

Tea & Cake: For the tea lovers! Tea & Cake does also serve coffee and is the perfect, cozy space for enjoying a pot of tea (or a cup of coffee) and a bite to eat. They offer an afternoon tea special, complete with a 3-tiered platter of sandwiches, scones and sweet treats. Tea & Cake is located at the top of Mill Street, next to Cashmere & Rose gift shop.

There is nothing better than enjoying a warm latte on a cool, fall afternoon. As you can see, our pretty little town of Almonte is full of great coffee shops. Any of these great, local shops also make the perfect meeting place for businesspeople like me to chat with clients or sign paperwork. Where do you go to pick-up your morning coffee? I’d love to hear your local coffee shop experiences! Share with me on Facebook or Instagram.