a peek inside the fishbowl

25 Sep, 2011

Weekend drive down Highway 7

Posted by andrea tomkins in: travel talk

Highway 7 between Ottawa and Marmora – where my mother lives – is twisty and scenic. It’s one of my favourite drives. And if you happen to be taking the trip on a sunny fall day, well, that’s just a bonus.

If you ever find yourself on this route during daylight hours, make sure you stop at the Fall River Grill and Gift Shop about 15 minutes west of Perth. Someday I will hit it at the right time for lunch, but the shop is full of neat stuff. There’s a separate building for drive-through coffee and homemade snacks. I am pretty sure I had the best latte and date square I’ve ever had in my whole life there today.

The best thing about this drive is that there’s a lot to see. The worst thing about this drive is that if you’re the driver it’s hard to keep your eyes on the road.


On this particular drive I saw turkeys, turtles, trees, rocks, rivers, lakes, swamps, hills, valleys, trains, towns, bridges, junk shops, taxidermists, vultures, farms, motels, rusted out cars, sumac bushes so red they look like they’re on fire … and more. It’s quite a journey, and it’s never the same twice.

Someday I would like to take the time to do it justice with a proper camera. Maybe I should consider biking it next summer?* It might be the only way to take it all in.

* According to Google maps it’d take me 11 hours and 2 minutes to bike from my place to my mother’s house. Hmmm.

Highway 7

First stop, Silver Lake

pulled over for pretty colours

closed for the season

fuelling up

snacks, not for me tho'

Rest stop near Tweed

Almost there

Arrived! My mom's place

red chairs are happy

6 Responses to "Weekend drive down Highway 7"

1 | Tammy

September 25th, 2011 at 5:32 pm


My husbands family is from Marmora and we’ve had lunch at the Fall River Grill before…. AMAZING food!!!

2 | Catherine

September 25th, 2011 at 9:19 pm


I would totally recommend biking it but I would tent half way. One small tent and food that you can bring that doesn’t require cooking could be completely doable
Please take lots of pictures.

3 | Sherry

September 25th, 2011 at 10:00 pm


I love that drive, did it with my daughter last month. Stopped for fresh blueberries and to take my daughter’s pic under the sign to Arden, as that is her name.

4 | James

September 26th, 2011 at 9:03 am


My daughter introduced me to the Fall River Grill, but it’s almost always closed when I pass by.

5 | Sarah (mrsgryphon)

September 26th, 2011 at 9:17 am


Now that we’re back in Ontario, I’m excited to take our girls to Ottawa for a weekend, and I always loved that part of the drive (when I was a kid, we often would get off the 401 at Belleville and travel the rest of the way on Hwy 7)! Someday…

6 | Jen Hughes

October 9th, 2011 at 11:34 pm


This is a well-travelled route for us too, and I love it. I’ve never stopped at the Fall River Cafe. Good to know it’s worth a stop. I love those little blueberry/home-baking stands. I really must stop at one of those someday too. Fun post!

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  • Will: Don't be afraid to be a prude. The world needs more prudes, not less. Don't let others shake you for caring about how your children dress and what the
  • Dean Prentice: Enjoyed reading your stories, having recently visited Silent lake and taking some time to take in the view from the memorial bench I too wondered who
  • Jennifer Jilks: Good for you! that's how I started jogging. We lived in North Gower, though, and I thought I'd work up to running around the block. It was 7 km, as we
  • Sally Dowe Marchand: Be careful. Running can become addictive and that’s how it starts. One block at a time. I understand the huff and puff. Some mornings I set my watch
  • Bill Dare: That building sure has changed from the early 70''s. My dad had a dusty office at the top floor there for a year. Good to see that a group of peopl
  • Jaye MacAskill: I love this! Great photos. We will definitely have to make a trip there one of these days when we finally make it up to Ottawa.
  • Jaye MacAskill: Sounds like a really fun time. Good for you guys!

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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 offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). 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, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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