Day-trip From Ottawa: What You’ll Find Visiting Arnprior, Ontario

On the ancestral lands of the Anishinabewaki and Algonquin people, Arnprior was incorporated as a town in 1892 by Scottish immigrants. The town was mainly inhabited by Scottish and Irish immigrants, and became a lumbering town. The Madawaska and Ottawa rivers acted as a main trade route for lumber.
Lumbering towns are not often thought of as tourist destinations, which is partly why a visit to Arnprior may surprise you. A small town full of delicious food, quaint shops and beautiful views – it is worth a visit. The streets and sidewalks are well kept, preserving historic buildings and adding beautiful flower beds in the warmer months. Only a 40-minute drive, west of Ottawa, Arnprior is a hidden gem you must visit!

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Lots of Quaint Local Shops and Antique Finds


Bee Savvy Honey

If you’re a local shopper, you are likely familiar with Bee Savvy products from other shops and markets. Their Arnprior shop is full of their delicious infused honey and body care products as well as other locally made goods. From beekeeping to hand pouring each lotion bar, they are involved in every stage of creating honey and skincare. They also collaborate with other local businesses to create unique gift boxes.


John St Shop

A community shopping hub aimed to fill your home with beauty and local décor. They sell a collection of tropical plants, sourced by local plant shop Sweet Life Flora, with a restock every Thursday. In addition to antique pieces, ceramics, plant accessories and artwork, they offer custom candles. Select your container and scent and John St Shop hand pours your unique candle.


Sweet Life Flora

This plant shop specializes in rare and exotic house plants and plant care. Shipping of plants is also available Canada-wide if you cannot make it in store. Owner, Kristin, is a wealth of plant knowledge and is there to help. She is also a Canadian veteran; her written journey and memoir ‘Propagated Through the Ashes’ is available for purchase.


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The Gallery Gift Shop

This artisan gift shop features Canadian accessories, skin care, preserves and home goods, with local artwork adorning the walls. The Gallery Gift Shop also has a full café, Jack and the Bean Coffee, with drinks and treats to stay or go. After you browse, enjoy your coffee inside at a bistro table, or outside on the courtyard style patio.


White Pine Books & Children’s Boutique

Previously called The Arnprior Bookshop, White Pine Books is attached to The Gallery Gift shop for a seamless shopping experience. Discover bestselling books and ‘sleeper hits’ for both children and adults along with children’s apparel, toys and essentials. Their children’s apparel and accessories are sourced from ethical manufacturers.   


Jane & Laney Boutique

A boutique for both men and women, full of carefully curated apparel, accessories and home goods. Find casual clothing, as well as outfits perfect for work days and nights out. They carry local and popular brands we all know and love, including Anupaya blankets, Arrow it Forward candles, Walton Wood Farm body care and Herschel bags, to name a few.   


Audrey’s Fashions

A women’s boutique for those who appreciate quality clothing and Canadian designs. They hope to provide a unique shopping experience, where women of different ages can find something they love in one place.


A Dash of Fab 

A Dash of Fab sells trendy clothing and accessories, with inspiration from across the world. Find European styles, bohemian California vibes and vintage inspired looks. You can now also shop online.


MJ Butcher Co

Your neighbourhood butcher and bakery. Find all your Ontario sourced meat needs, with a rotating menu of baked goods and treats, plus local syrup, ketchup and other preserves. This butcher shop is also completely woman run!


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The Vintage Crate

The Vintage Crate is a wonderful blend of old and new. Shop a variety of gifts, home décor, jewelry and other Canadian products, amongst antique pieces, vintage toys and nostalgic items. If you’re a lover of timeless pieces, supporting local and discovering unique finds, this is a must visit for you. 


Antique Finds

Arnprior is a town full of antique shops and vintage finds! If you’re searching for a unique antique piece, make sure to check out Prior ThingsTreasure Chest, Antiques Etcetera and Antiques Treasures and Treats.


Great Eats from Coffee to Cocktail Hour 

Cafés and Bakeries


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Mighty Fine Bakehouse

This café and bakery creates everything on site, with locally sourced ingredients. They offer a rotating weekly menu featuring fresh bread, every day pastries, freezer meals and specialty items. Their fresh items such as quiche and soup are available Friday – Sunday. Everything is made fresh with intention, and the service is always friendly.

Currently available for to-go orders only; indoor seating closed.


Urban Farm Girls Bakery

A quaint café with fresh baked goods made daily, hearty sandwiches and a full coffee menu. They use locally sourced ingredients when possible, and are always coming up with something new and creative, from s’more tarts and lemon drop muffins to sausage rolls and lasagna soup. Their atmosphere is small-town rustic with an urban flair.


Sweet & Sassy Co

A cozy bistro style coffee shop creating daily fresh baked goods and meals. Customers rave about their tasty sandwiches and casual atmosphere. They also sell preserves and sauces, and some pre-made meal options. They’re attached to a bridal shop, Simply Beautiful Bridal Boutique.


Dine-In Restaurants & Takeout Options  


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Krave Bistro

Fresh, delicious meals in a classy yet relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy lunch or dinner from the diverse menu. Whether you enjoy something simple like a burger, or some tasty Halloumi tacos, there is something here for all to eat. Local craft beers available on tap. 


The 2 Grands - Piano Bar and Steakhouse 

A New York vibe in small town Ontario. Known for the chef’s Tomahawk steak and tapa style meals, this piano bar plays songs mainly off of requests. Brick walls, mood lighting and an elevated stage ready for a band, The 2 Grands is a great atmosphere for a date or casual night out with friends.


The Cupboard

A casual diner style restaurant known for their breakfasts and Italian food. They’ve recently finished renovations; the restaurant now has a clean, sleek look. The food is straightforward and classic, with supposedly the best pizza in town!


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Lumbertown Ale House

The only Gastropub in the area, Lumbertown is a friendly casual spot to enjoy pub style food. The features on the menu often change; besides classics such as nachos and fish n’ chips. They also have a diverse drink menu of local beer and refreshing cocktails.


Negi Indian Cuisine

Authentic Indian food is typically hard to find in a small town, yet Negi offers both traditional and contemporary Indian cuisine here in Arnprior. They have a diverse menu you’re able to enjoy from breakfast until your evening dessert. Delicious food, friendly service and a recently renovated restaurant.


Sandee’s Country Kitchen

Fresh, home cooked meals, made entirely from scratch. Sandee’s is an award-winning catering service and ready-made meal company. The ready-made meals are a single serving, perfect for busy families and those living alone. Their lengthy menu includes sides and desserts. Catering services are available for events within Renfrew County and Ottawa West.


Mama Rosa Restaurant

A casual pizza joint, that sells other Italian dishes and simple takeout food including lasagna, subs and wraps. If you’re wanting comfort food, this is the place; Combo deals are on the menu, and sizable portions provided. They offer local pick-up and delivery, with some indoor seating available.

Currently open for takeout and delivery only.


Wes’s Chips

Hot crispy fries always fresh, since 1960! This little chip truck is known around the area for their must-try fries and generous portions. They do one thing and they do it well. Closed in the winter months.


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Zesty Shawarmaz

If you’re a shawarma lover – this is a must try. Falafel, Donair and other Lebanese meals sold from their bright yellow food truck. Locally known for their authentic, delicious meals and signature garlic sauce.


PJ’s Restaurant

A staple in the community since 1968, PJ’s is a family style restaurant offering daily specials. They have full menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including many ‘standard’ meal options that could please even the pickiest eater.


Activities and Adventures  


Parachute Ottawa

A skydiving experience in Arnprior – yes! If you’re wanting a thrill and experience of a lifetime, check out Parachute Ottawa. The staff is professional and calming, with a primary focus on safety. Their team collaborates with the Canadian Armed Forces, providing military level parachute training, leading to even more expertise that you can rely on. With nearly 30 years of experience introducing new jumpers to skydiving, you can enjoy amazing views and check an item off of your bucket list right near Ottawa. 

Closed in the winter months, the skydiving centre plans to reopen in May 2021, with health measures in place.


Union 108 Yoga

A bright open yoga studio, located in a historic building. This serene studio offers a variety of classes, from a number of experienced instructors, including hot yoga, meditation, strength and HIIT classes.


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Gillies Grove Circular Loop

A short and easy walking trail, Gillies Grove trail loop is roughly 2KM through one of the oldest growth forests in Canada; Gillies Grove Nature Reserve. You can begin the trail from Gillies Grove Rd, or from Robert Simpson Park and walk passed the Galilee Centre.

Be extra mindful, as there is private property nearby. 


Macnamara Nature Trail

Rated as an easy walking trail, the total distance of this trail route is close to 6KM, with the trail loop itself being 4.5KM (including the marsh lookout). The trail features boardwalks, lime kiln ruins and a lookout of Goodwin marsh. There are chickadee birds that will eat bird seed from you hand.

Find the trail head at 284 McNab St #206, Arnprior. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.


Arnprior & District Museum

Learn more about the history of the area at this local museum. You can browse through artifacts of the Algonquin First Nations people and of the time when Arnprior was a lumbering town. Find the museum located under the historic clock tower, on the corner of John St N and Madawaska St. Entrance admission is based on donations.

Open Thursday - Sunday from 11am -3pm. Appointments are currently required.


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O’Brien Theatre

Arnprior’s historic cinema, first opened in 1906, with the current building dating from 1929. The theatre has been modernized multiple times over the years, with the latest updates in the early 2000’s. Experience the classic architecture and cozy intimate atmosphere to watch some of the latest movies available. Of course, they also have classic snacks and popcorn to enjoy while you watch a show.


Do you have any favourites in Arnprior? Let us know so others can include it in their visit!
This blog post is brought to you in partnership with Ottawa Valley Tourism. As always, all words and opinions are entirely my own.



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1 comment

  • Not sure why you didn’t mention Jim’s Restaurant. It’s a staple in Arnprior.


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