Ontario Trans-Canada Highway #17 between Mattawa and Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa Valley with Fall Leaves, view west from Gatineau Hills

Why travel between Mattawa and Ottawa?

This route follows the Ottawa Valley on the west (Ontario) side of the river. It conects several towns known for nuclear research, elite military training, forestry, and power generation. South of Pembroke, the valley widens, forests become more sparse and you begin to approach the ever-widening urban influence of Ottawa, the nation's capital. Ottawa has many national museums and historical sites, and worth at least a day or two stop-over on a cross-Canada journey. If you are Canadian, why not visit your Member of Parliament?

Here is the itinerary for the 304 km along Highway #17 between Mattawa and Ottawa

Mattawa Railway Bridge, over Ottawa River From Mattawa south, the Ottawa Valley is a generally wide and fertile tongue into the Canadian Shield. The Ottawa River draws water from such a large area, there are actually two spring flood seasons, the first for meltwaters from southern Ontario, and the second (just over a month later) for meltwaters from northern Quebec.

Ottawa River Power Dam, south of Mattawa Just east of Rolphton is the Des Joachims Dam, the larges hydro-electric generating station along the Ottawa River. Driftwood Provincial Park, 8 km upstream on Holden Lake has rock outcrops with gneiss and granite, and lots of small creatures like rabbits and porcupines. At Pembroke you will find Canada's first hydro-electric dam, still operating and generating since 1889, and the city is decorated with murals showcasing the city's history.

Between Chalk River, home of Canada's Atomic Energy Research Facility, and Petawawa the highway passes through a Sand Plain zone, formed by an ancient river delta. The vegetation here is mostly jack pine with blueberry bushes, about the same as on the sandy Cape Cod seashore of Massachusetts. The land transitions into the training area for CFB (Canada Forces Base) Petawawa, which is why the telephone poles are so low to the ground alongside the highway.

Office Towers in and around Kanata, Canada's tech capital Around Cobden, the valley widens significantly, and the wide fertile valleys have been farmed since the early 1800s. There is a rough Morraine zone around Renfrew, with rocks and ridges left behind from the last Ice Age. Around Arnprior, the good farmland returns with rich soils around the Mississippi and Madawaska Rivers. These rivers were the heart of early Ottawa Valley lumber industry, which in the 1840s led to the establishment of Ottawa and Hull (now Gatineau).

Busy Recreational Pathway around Dow's Lake Between just west of Kanata, the highway passes through a Limestone Ridge zone, where there are very shallow soils on top of exposed limestone from 200-450 million years ago. These will be exposed at rock cuts for roadways. When you hit Kanata, this is contrasted with all the glass-covered office towers for the many high-tech companies headquartered there. This community has grown up from basically bare pasture since the 1970s.

Trans-Canada History: Ottawa to Montreal

Trans-Canada Highway Itinerary Map

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Detailed Itinerary


Highway Point & Features


Exit 117 Riverside Drive S to VIA Rail station, Mooney's Bay, Airport, Vanvier Dr N to Jetform Baseball Park, Vanier and Rockcliffe (Ottawa)  58.2 
0.6  Bridge over Rideau River (Ottawa)  53.6 
1.2  WB Exit 118 Nicholas St N to Ottawa University, Byward Market and Macdonald-Cartier Bridge to Hull-Gatineau, S to Algonquin College Rideau Campus (Ottawa)  58.5 
1.4  Bridge over Transitway (Ottawa)  66.8 
1.5  EB Exit 118 Nicholas St N to Ottawa University, Byward Market and Macdonald-Cartier Bridge to Hull-Gatineau (Ottawa)  62.8 
EB Exit 120 Kent St N to downtown, Parliament Buildings (Ottawa)  70.4 
3.7  Bridge over Rideau Canal (Ottawa)  63.4 
3.8  WB Exit 121 Bronson Ave, Greyhound Bus Depot, Bronson Ave N to Downtown, National Library, Supreme Court, Portage Bridge to Hull, S to Dow’s Lake, Carleton University, Confederation (Ottawa)  71.6 
3.9  EB Exit 121A Bronson Ave, Greyhound Bus Depot, Bronson Ave N to Downtown, National Library, Supreme Court, Portage Bridge to Hull, S to Dow’s Lake, Carleton University… (Ottawa)  72.5 
EB Exit 121 Rochester St, "Little Italy", N access to National War Museum and Portage Bridge to Quebec, S access to Central Experimental Farm, Dow's Lake, Rideau Canal (Ottawa)  58.8 
WB Exit 119A Metcalfe St Metcalfe to Museum of Nature, Downtown, Parliament Hill (Ottawa)  65.2 
4.5  O-Train transit underpass (no access) (Ottawa)  58.8 
Exit 122 Parkdale Ave (off westbound only) Parkdale north to Tunney’s Pasture government buildings (Ottawa)  71.6 
WB Exit 123 Island Park Drive N to Quebec, and Merivale Rd S to shopping (Ottawa)  74.1 
7.7  WB Exit 124 Carling Avenue & Kirkwood, access to auto dealers, hotels, shopping (Ottawa)  76.2 
7.8  Kirkwood Ave underpass (no access) (Ottawa)  73.2 
EB Exit 124 Carling Ave to hotels, via Merivale to Island Park Drive & Bridge to Quebec, Royal Ottawa Hospital, Central Experimental Farm, (Ottawa)  77.4 
9.6  Clyde Avenue underpass (no access) (Ottawa)  80.5 
10.4  Exit 126 Maitland Ave Maitland Ave, south to Nepean, shopping areas (Ottawa)  83.5 
12  Exit 127 Woodroffe St north to Carlingwood Shopping Centre, south to Algonquin College, shopping, services (Ottawa)  75.9 
12.3  Transitway underpass (no access), Queensway StaTion (Ottawa)  74.1 
14  Exit 129 Greenbank Rd S to Pinecrest Mall (IKEA), Barrrhaven, Pinecrest Rd N to Brittania Bay, Shopping, and Ottawa River Parkway (Ottawa)  65.8 
15.7  WB Exit 131 Richmond Road (EB no access), E to Bayshore Shopping Centre, and W to Bells Corners, Queensway Carleton Hospital (Ottawa)  64.9 
16.7  EB Exit 130: Holly Acres Rd overpass (WB no access) (Bells Corners)  63.1 
17  Exit 132 Highway 416 Highway 416 to Prescott & Ogdensburg NY, also EB access for Holly Acres and Richmond Rd (Bells Corners)  63.4 
18  emergency U-turn (Kanata)  62.5 
19  Exit 134, Moodie Drive N to Kanata, S to Bells Corners, Stoney Swamp Conservation Area (Kanata)  67.4 
23  Exit 138 N on March Road to Kanata, Kanata Business Park, acess to Ottawa Municipal Campground, S on Eagleson Rd to Hazeldean (Kanata)  94.2 
23.4  emergency U-turn (Kanata)  93.3 
23.6  Pedestrian bridge over highway (Kanata)  93.6 
25  Exit 140 Terry Fox Dr, north to Kanata, shopping centres, S to Corel Centre arena, Walter Baker Park (Kanata)  102.1 
26.4  Huntmar Rd overpass (no access), emergency U-turn (Kanata)  100.3 
27  Exit 142 Palladium Drive, Corel Centre arena (Kanata)  103.6 
29  Exit 144 Carp Rd Carp Rd north to Carp, south to Stittsville 119.2 
30  Exit 145 Highway #7 Highway to Carleton Place, Perth, Toronto 130.1 
32  Richardson Side Road overpass (no access) 132 
33.9  Emergency U-Turn 117 
34.7  McGee Side Road overpass (no access) (Carp)  118.6 
38  Emergency U-Turn (Carp)  119.8 
39  Exit 155, March Rd #44 E to Carp (5km), Carp Airport, golfing, Diefenbunker Museum, Shirley’s Bay Game Preserve, W to Almonte (17km), all services, hospital and OPP (Carp)  118.3 
42.5  Vaughan Rd overpass (no access), emergency U-turn 118.9 
47.3  Exit 163, Panmure Rd interchange, W to Dwyer Hill 139.6 
51  Emergency U-Turn 137.2 
54  Kinburn Sideroad (#20) W to Pakenham (7 km) , Mount Pakenham Ski area (12 km), Castleford Rd #20 E to Kinburn (4km), Constance Bay (20 km) (Antrim)  107.6 
57  crossing Mississippi River 84.1 
60  Highway #22 Galetta Sideroad, E to Fitzroy Harbour (12 km), Fitzroy Provincial Park, ferry crossing to Quyon Quebec (17km). 98.1 
64.9  Hwy 29 half-cloverleaf interchange, W to town of Pakenham (12 km) (Arnprior)  106.4 
65  becomes #417 divided highway to Quebec border; no bicycles allowed beyond this point (go east to Carling Avenue, old #17) (Arnprior)  102.4 
66  Cross Madawaska River power station and dam to west of highway (Arnprior)  83.5 
67  Highway #2 E to Arnprior (3 km), all services, hospital, OPP (Arnprior)  102.7 
85  Highway #508 Calabogie Rd, West to Calabogie, Calabogie Lake, Calabogie Peaks Ski Area (30km), #54 E to Braeside (9 km) 127.7 
98  Highway #60 W to Renfrew (3 km), all services, hospital, OPP, and #132 to Lower Madawaska River Provincial Park (Renfrew)  132 
100  Highway #20 W to Renfrew (3 km), all services, hospital, OPP (Renfrew)  154.8 
100.6  Highway 4 E to Storyland 172.2 
109  Hwy 61 W, Hwy 653 E / Cheneaux Rd to Quebec bridge and Power Dam 164.9 
111  Highway #41 W to Haley Station, northern exit for Storyland 155.1 
113.7  Picnic Area, E site of hwy 156.4 
118  Kohlsmith Rd (E) to golf course (Cobden)  143.3 
120  Cobden, #21 east to Muskrat Lake, all services, and Beachburg (15 km), Ottawa River Provincial Park (Cobden)  134.7 
121  Cobden, Hwy #8 west to Eganville, (Cobden)  122.2 
136  Cornerview Rd (E) to Enchanted Gardens, Muskrat Lake, Hwy 13 Mountain Rd W to Lake Dore 145.4 
141  Indian Rd (E) 127.1 
141.8  Greenwood Rd (Hwy 40) south access to Beachburg, Pembrooke (12 km) (Pemboke)  158.8 
147.3  White Water Rd (Highway #24) northern exit to Beachburg, Ottawa River Provincial Park, Ottawa River Rafting trips, Bridge to Fort Coulonge, Quebec (10 km) (Pemboke)  126.2 
149  Snake River crossing (Pemboke)  131.4 
152.8  Highway #41 (Paul Martin Rd) E south access to Pembroke city centre (5km), and to Fort Coulonge Quebec, west to Eganville, Bonnechere Caves, Bonnechere Gorge (Pemboke)  135.3 
154.5  Indian River crossing (Petawawa )  127.1 
159  Hwy #62 Round Lake Rd (W) to Round Lake, Bonnechere Provincial Park (30km), and Algonquin Provincial Park (100km), Hwy 58 E to Pembroke (8 km), all services, OPP (Petawawa )  160 
162.2  Forest Lear Rd (Hwy 42) E north access to Pembroke (10km), driving range, services (Petawawa )  147.5 
166  Highway 26 (Doran Rd), access to Pembroke Airport (4 km to NE) (Petawawa )  150.6 
171.5  Black Bay Rd (Petawawa )  154.8 
173.5  Murphy Rd (W) to Rantz Riverside B&B, Highway 37 (E) to Town of Petawawa (3 km) (Petawawa )  157.3 
175.4  Paquette Rd (W), Highway 55 (E) to CFB Petawawa Canadian Forces Base, town of Petawawa (3 km) (Petawawa )  146.6 
175.5  Messier Trail, Petawawa Forestry Research Visitor Centre Petawawa Forestry Research Visitor Centre (Petawawa )  151.2 
185.4  Brindle Rd, access to Petawawa Airport/Airfield ( 3 km) (Petawawa )  153.9 
185.4  Messier Trail (W), Centurion Rd (E) (Petawawa )  148.4 
190  Cloutier Rd (W) access to Corry Lake (5 km) 152.7 
195  Plant Rd (E) access to Chalk River Nuclear Facility (8 km), and Main St (W) all services (Chalk River )  158.8 
200.5  Wylie Rd (W), Banting Dr (E), golf course (Deep River )  150.6 
204.9  McAnulty Rd, Deep River Motel (Deep River )  152.1 
205  Roadside Turnout with viewpoint on south side (Deep River )  165.2 
209  Moore's Rd (E), and Brouse Rd (W), Ryan's Campsite (Point Alexander )  169.8 
212  Rest Area, overlooking Meilerus Bay 120.7 
220  Swisha Rd (E) to OPP, services, Canada’s first nuclear plant, bridge to Quebec, Moore Lake Rd (W) (Rolphton)  186.2 
230  Mackay Creel Rd, Lakeview Trailer Park (Mackay )  154.5 
231  Driftwood Provincial Park Access to Driftwood Provincial Park 175 
237  Lovely View Lane, Pine Valley Cottages & Campground (Stonecliffe)  176.2 
251.4  Yates Rd (Stonecliffe)  185.6 
251.5  Bissett Creek Rd (W) (Bissett)  200.3 
252  crossing Bissett Creek (Bissett)  158.5 
252.2  Rest Area Scenic View of power dam on east side of highway 166.1 
252.5  McIsaac Dr (E), close view of Ottawa River WB (Bissett)  160.6 
262.3  Rest area, east side of hwy 291.4 
262.4  Picnic area, west side of hwy, overlooking Gibson Lake 285.3 
268  Rock Cut Trail, W side of hwy 240.5 
272  Dunlop Cr (E) view of Ottawa River, Ferry to Quebec (Deux Rivieres)  157.3 
274  Brent Rd (W) 196.6 
293  Picnic Area E side of hwy 179.8 
298  McMartin's Rd (W), campground on E side 238.4 
306.5  Roadside restaurant. E side of hwy 166.4 
307  Junction Valois Drive (17S), Main St (Highway 533 N), and McConnal St (Hwy 17 W) (Mattawa )  159.7 


Highway Point & Features


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