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Ottawa Staycation


In recent years, the summer staycation has become a popular trend.   It allows a person to save money while being a tourist in their own backyard.   In Ottawa, we are fortunate to have so many amazing attractions within our city limits.   Not surprisingly, there are branches of the Ottawa Public Library located close to these attractions.   In the first of a three part series of blogs, we will explore different Ottawa Public Libraries and their surrounding attractions. Our first stop is in Carp.  Let’s go exploring!

If the end of the world is ever imminent, stocking up on groceries, survival gear and heading out to Carp might not be a bad idea.  Located just outside the village of Carp, the Diefenbunker was commissioned by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in response to the rising tensions of the Cold War.  The facility was built to withstand a 5 megaton blast nuclear blast from 1.8 km away.

Fortunately, nuclear attack never came to fruition and the Diefenbunker is now a museum.  Visitors can see the various living quarters and work spaces.  There are also special events like Summer Spy Camp and music concerts.

Front Entrance of Carp Public Library

The Carp Public Library is only steps from the Diefenbunker.   The first thing you will notice at the entrance is a bronze statue of a man and girl reading a book.  Keeping with the reading theme, the West Carleton Garden Club maintains a lovely garden beside the library where a person can enjoy a good book.

Reading garden

Don’t feel shy about borrowing a book or DVD.  Your OPL card allows you to borrow and return items from all thirty-three branches.  The branch also has computers if you want to catch up on your email or just browse the internet.  You may even find a city museum pass to borrow giving you free admission to the Diefenbunker!

You might want to time your visit to the Carp Library with a stop at the Carp Farmer’s Market.  Located at the Carp Fairgrounds, this thriving market takes place every Saturday from 8 am – 1:00 pm, May – October.  There are always special events going on at the market.  My personal favorite is the garlic festival where a person can celebrate all things garlic.  Just remember to bring a pack of gum.

Finally, a popular time to visit Carp is during the Carp Fair.  I have always considered it one of the crown jewels of the fall fair circuit.  There is a lively midway, rural-themed shows and top notch entertainment.   This year, the fair will run from September 22-25.  If you want to escape the crowds, a visit to the library might be a welcome respite. 

Here are links to the Diefenbunker, Carp Public Library, Carp Farmers’ Market and the Carp Fair.

Stay tuned for our next blog post as we visit another library and attractions.