Pembroke Ontario — a 1.5 hour drive from Ottawa and a 4 hour drive from Toronto in the picturesque Ottawa Valley within Ontario’s Highlands — is a place full of surprises.
For once, I didn’t do any research before my visit and I’m not sure what I expected but I wasn’t expecting this!
Pembroke Ontario Surprise 1 — Heritage Murals
I’m a huge fan of street art and always have my eyes on the lookout for some great examples, be it a random tag on a wall or a pice of art commissioned by the city.
People always think of big cities like New York, LA, or Toronto as the only places to find urban art. The more I travel, the more I’ve confirmed that it’s not true – especially in the case of the City of Pembroke.
I had no idea that there was going to be so many great examples on the walls of the buildings throughout the downtown area until we pulled into the public parking lot and saw piece after piece surrounding our car.
We were on our way to dinner and it was getting dark so we didn’t have a chance to see each one of the over 30 full-scale Heritage Murals that are scattered throughout the downtown core.
To follow are a few examples.
Pembroke Ontario Surprise 2 – French Crêpes
A Parisian French Crepe Restaurant in a small town like Pembroke?
The Nook Creperie Inc
26 Pembroke St W, Pembroke, ON K8A 5M4
We didn’t have reservations when we entered the restaurant and we were lucky that there was a table available. For a Tuesday night we were surprised that the restaurant was as busy as it was.
Here’s what we ate at The Nook Creperie
Custom Crepe – $14.99
What I loved is that they were very willing to make alterations to their menu and make my crêpe Gluten lactose free. My crêpe was filled with goat cheese and topped with the same dressing as the salad.
Nook Salad: Fresh green leaf lettuce tossed in a homemade white-wine and herbs-de-Provence vinaigrette. Topped with goat cheese and crunchy honey-roasted walnuts
Provencale – $15.99
Savoury crêpe filled with French Gruyère cheese, mozzarella and imported herbes de Provence with chicken
Salade Modena: Crisp green leaf lettuce, tossed with homemade vinaigrette made with reduced balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil and olive oil. Topped with red onion and goat cheese.
Crepe Suzette – $10.49
Sweet crêpe smothered with homemade orange and Grand Marnier liqueur caramel, flambéed with Brandy. Served à la mode.
Fandango – $9.99
Sweet crêpe rolled up with dark and milk Lindt chocolate and pecans. Topped with a drizzle of caramel and chocolate sauce. Served à la mode.
Even if you don’t stop by for dinner, stop by for dessert there are a lot of good choices on their menu. Another shop to look out for just down the street from the Nook Creperie at 7 Pembroke Street is the really gorgeous looking Urban Gourmet Co. featuring “ultra-premium olive oil & balsamic tasting room”.
Pembroke Ontario Surprise 3 – Stone Fence Theatre
I had no idea that musical comedy theatre was so popular here in the Ottawa Valley until I saw a performance by the Stone Fence Theatre.
According to their website:
“Stone Fence Theatre is a non-profit charity founded in October 2002 dedicated to cultural, heritage and economic development in the Ottawa Valley. We are based in Killaloe, Ontario, although we have performed in many places around the Ottawa Valley and have no permanent home yet.”
If you visit the Ottawa Valley and really want to have a laugh at some down home Canadiana comedy, put on your “Canadian Dinner Jacket” (plaid flannel shirt) or a “Canadian Tuxedo” (denim top and denim pants) and drop by for a show eh? You’re sure to have a G’day eh!
Heritage murals, French crepes and Musical Theatre — 3 things I didn’t know I would find in Pembroke Ontario
Small town Ontario Canada as a travel destination is starting to become a habit for me lately as I’ve been yearning to explore more of my home country via mini road trips. You never know what surprises you’ll uncover with just the cost of a tank of gas.
In case you missed it, on this same road trip I visited Wilno Ontario and made a few discoveries there too – see the article: A Journey of Discoveries in Wilno Ontario
Travel assistance provided by Ontario’s Highlands Tourism. As always, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.