a peek inside the fishbowl

24 Apr, 2008

Wow wow wow WOW

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Ottawa

Do you remember when we put a message in a bottle (two bottles, actually) and threw them in the Ottawa River? It was in August 2007… well one of them has been found! (!!!)

We got this lovely email this morning:

Hi Emma and Sarah Moms and Dads,
Just to let you know that on April 11th 2008, the employee Gilles of Domtar founded one of your two bottles including your drawing dated August 23, 2007.

Domtar ( use to be E.B. Eddy ) have three power houses to produce electricity. One of them is located near the Tache Boulevard and Montcalm street. The bottle was found in the power house racks, which are there to stop debris like trees, wood, branches and weeds, so they not go inside the turbines.

So I know we are not very far from where you drop the bottles, but now, you know it can work !

Next time, ask your mom and dad to drop your next bottles from the Chaudiere bridge. The next power house or dam who can stop your bottles, is the Hydro-Quebec Carillon power house around Pointe-Fortune near Montreal. So, they will do a longer trip and probably more chance that somebody find one of your bottle.

So, now we know that two little girls had a dream to send a message around the world, but it was founded not to far away from here! But, may be next time, it will reach the ocean ! By the way, thank you for your drawing, which is very nice !

They also emailed a scan of the original note and artwork. (I think this one was Sarah’s.)

message in a bottle - FOUND!

I am thrilled. I can’t wait to tell the girls.

13 Responses to "Wow wow wow WOW"

1 | tali

April 24th, 2008 at 10:50 am


brilliant! I love that they left a suggestion of where to do it again…

2 | Mary Lynn

April 24th, 2008 at 12:52 pm


How sweet of them to send such a nice long note to you and the girls! That’s wonderful. Will have to try something like that with our kids sometime.

3 | Miss Vicky

April 24th, 2008 at 1:05 pm


Aw, I’m all teary-eyed! That is great!

4 | J.

April 24th, 2008 at 1:50 pm


that’s amazing! What a nice email too! :)

5 | Chantal

April 24th, 2008 at 1:59 pm


That was very touching. I am all teary too (what is wrong with me). I love the broken english.

6 | porter

April 24th, 2008 at 3:14 pm


I remember but had forgetten…had you guys thought about the bottle since then? What a cool experiment to do with your children, I bet they will always remember this. I think it’s so nice that the person who found it took the time to get in touch with you.

7 | Kari

April 24th, 2008 at 3:55 pm


How very cool! I am going to look into doing the same for my 8 year old.

8 | Jen

April 24th, 2008 at 7:52 pm


That’s awesome! What a great story! I’m so glad they took the time to email a nice note :-)

May I ask how you sealed the bottle, what kind of bottle, etc.? :-)

9 | nadine AKA scarbiedoll

April 24th, 2008 at 8:44 pm


Oh wow! I can see how that would make your day. It’s funny how we find pleasure in the things that will bring the most excitement to our children. I think these events have a way of transporting us back to childhood ourselves.

I am so doing this tomorrow!

10 | BeachMama

April 24th, 2008 at 9:11 pm


How cool is that?? And they didn’t get mad at you for throwing a bottle in the river, but offered a suggestion of another bridge. Brilliant!

11 | andrea

April 25th, 2008 at 12:16 pm


Jen: we used regular plastic 1L pop bottles, cleaned ’em out, and screwed the top on real tight.

If you’re familiar with Ottawa you’ll know that the bottle wasn’t found that far downstream … say 3 km or so? I’m seriously thinking of taking us all for a bike trip down that way. I think it’d be great to “travel” the same distance the message did.

And next time we do this we’re definitely going to try that other bridge. :)

12 | Sharon

May 1st, 2008 at 8:55 am


Awww How cool is that. It would be awesome to drop it in the ocean and see where it ends up.

13 | B-mail >> a peek inside the fishbowl

April 18th, 2010 at 7:15 am


[…] we filled two plastic bottles with two messages and dropped them in the Ottawa River. One of them was actually found. In hindsight we should have known that the Island Park bridge – although pretty – was not the best […]

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  • andrea tomkins: I'm glad you find it restful Bonnie! I didn't on that day. :)
  • Bonnie Upton: I have a true love of this place. I drive to and from Ottawa from the NewmArket area to visit my sister snd now my son who attended uOttawa and has c
  • Amy: That sounds fantastic! As with most travelling, parts are much more comfortable when you're telling them afterwards, but they make a good story.
  • andrea tomkins: If I had to pick, Grundy wins! :)
  • Shawn: What did u like more, Restoule or Grundy? Thank you Shawn
  • andrea tomkins: Yes! I've seen the boiling water method! I never really bothered with it because I am a lazy baker. :) It is worth finding a recipe that uses less ye
  • Amy: I made a no-knead version that didn't use a Dutch oven (I don't have one and didn't feel like investing in one just for that). You put a small contai

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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