Remic Rapids at the Champlain Bridge are a popular after-work learning area and play area for whitewater paddlers in the Ottawa area. At low water levels Remic Rapids offers a couple of play spots in the middle of the river between Bate Island and the Quebec shore: the Center Wave and the Training Wave. Moreover, there is a large eddy and beach on Bate Island that is great for teaching beginners how to roll and basic paddling technique.
How to get there: The Champlain Brigde is the western most bridge connecting Ottawa and Gatineau. It can be accessed fom Island Park Drive or the Ottawa River Parkway on the Ontario side of the river. On the Quebec side of the river it is accessed from Boulevard de Lucerne or Chemin d'Aylmer. Once traveling over the bridge exit halfway across the bridge onto Bate Island. All playspots are located between Bate Island and the Quebec shore.
Click on the above map to interact with it. This map shows the loaction of the Champlain Bridge Rapids off of Bate island. The Center Wave and Training Wave playspots are marked in the middle of the river at the Ontario/Quebec border.
What it's like: At low water there are 2 main playspots:
1) Center Wave: These are actually 2 waves at the front of a wave train. The water here is deep. Traditionally this has been the best playspot in the summer in the City of Ottawa. However, in 2003 there was a shift of some sort on the river bed that made the first wave much more difficult to catch and very flushy. The first wave here is definitely a wave for longer boats. It is fast, flushy, and green. Right behind the first wave, the second wave can be caught by short boats for short but really fun and dynamic surfs.
This is a picture of a paddler surfing the first wave of the Center Wave at Remic Rapids.
2) Training Wave: This is a very small wave / hole that can be surfed in short boats. The wave part is good for front surfs and the hole is OK for a cartwheel or loop at medium water levels. This are is quite shallow so make sure that you stay upright at low water.
This photo shows the Training Wave which is located to the river left of the Center Wave. In this picture the Training Wave is the pile that is closest to the camera.
Both of these playspots are accessed from a very large mid river eddy.
Safety: When heading out here, make sure that you head out with someone else because a swim here would be very long.