The Village of Westmeath

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G’DAY – You’re in “Thumbs-Up” Country!

The settlements of La Passe, Perretton and Westmeath and the surrounding countryside;  nestled  up into the  “big bend” of the Ottawa River, are populated by busy, family oriented people; where friendliness still means a warm smile, a wave, or maybe a thumbs-up hand sign.  Any satellite image of this area of Eastern Ontario, Canada,  prominently shows this geographic feature that we just call “Home”.

We are river people.  Having a place at the river and a family home just ten minutes away is seen as normal.  Better yet – make your home right at the river!  The draw of the river is irresistible.

Look on any map and you’ll see a big “Thumbs Up” on the Quebec-Ontario provincial border where the mighty Ottawa River has curved up around a north thrusting peninsula into the Laurentian Hills.

We are an area made and defined by water movement.  Water:  frozen or  thawed , has sculpted this “Little Piece of Heaven”. The ancient glaciers, once gouging out this valley, not only scraped down the peaks of the Laurentian Mountains; they left behind our unique valley landscape.  The mighty erratic boulders scattered in the forests along Rapid Road and the farm fields of Bromley Line exhibit the glacier’s powerful work.  This glacial debris left behind, once were tops of mighty Laurentian Mountains, as magnificent as the Western Canadian Rockies are today.

The mighty Ottawa’s rushing waters cut through some of  the hardest rock in the world.  Whether sculpting the sinkholes and caves off Rapid Road,  or defining the narrowed channels over  racing rapids; these waters now support  a thriving whitewater rafting  industry, just downriver from the big “Thumbs Up”.

Quiet and tranquility are also part of our landscape. The waters slow to rest awhile, in broader stretches of calm in Allumette Lake; enjoyed from Moores Beach and the Westmeath Municipal Wharf in the Village of Westmeath, and  slow again downstream in picturesque Coulonge Lake.  Then flow past the many inlets and bays of the Lacroix’s Bay area; out past the Villlage of La Passe with its busy wharf, to head into the rock cuts and treachery of the dynamic whitewater.

Inland, the undulating crescent of the massive, glacial esker of Prettie’s Hill is best viewed from The Westmeath Scenic Lookout on Lookout Road (Rd. 31).   Sandbank and sandy beach deposits left by the melting glaciers; such as in the Hennessey  Bay area or down Malloy Road,  give swimmers and beach lovers  great summertime pleasure.

The fertile  farm fields of Pleasant Valley and Perretton, best seen on a scenic drive eastbound on either the La Passe Road (Rd. 49), as you crest Dunn’s Hill coming from Beachburg to La Passe;  or on the Westmeath Road (Rd. 12) travelling from Pembroke to Westmeath Village, are a sight to behold when the crops are in full, colourful,  summer glory. These fruitful soils manifest the rich alluvial bounty from glacial melt-waters long ago.

The Westmeath Bog Conservation Reserve;  best seen to the west at the Scenic Lookout, and the two undeveloped Provincial Parks:  the Westmeath Provincial Park at Bellows Bay, off Westmeath Road (Rd. 12), and the Ottawa River Provincial Park, lining the river just to the east of La Passe at Rocher  Fendu,  are pristine legacies of our watery heritage, held in trust for future generations. In so many, many ways those old glaciers left a great gift here.

For more information about the Ottawa  River, visit and click on The River-Watershed Facts.

For more information about glaciers in our area of the province, visit