Fall forecast set to deliver full display of colours

OTTAWA — Without having to look at the calendar, one can already tell by the leaves on the trees that fall has arrived in the national capital region.

Following a summer that most tried to enjoy as best they could despite the COVID-19 restrictions in place, there is a feeling that some might not be ready to say goodbye to the warm weather and head into the cooler season.

But a look into Environment Canada’s fall forecast may bring reason for optimism from those who can’t bear the chilly temperatures.

“We think this fall will be milder than normal,” says senior climatologist David Phillips. “Particularly for the rest of September, into October, and maybe even the first part of November.”

Mild weather that Phillips says will create perfect conditions for seeing the vibrant fall colours throughout our region.

“With the good viewing weather – the blue skies and the white puffy clouds – I think it looks like it might be one of the most spectacular, superb kind of technicolor falls,” says Phillips.

The National Capital Commission’s Fall Rhapsody gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 26, offering spectacular views through the capital region.

Instagram worthy fall colours can be seen in the heart of downtown Ottawa with Parliament Hill serving as a backdrop, along Confederation Boulevard, and in Major’s Hill Park, and Confederation Park.

Fall day in Ottawa

Surrounding Ottawa is the Greenbelt, which offers over 150 kilometres of colourful trails. Enjoy a walk through the Mer Bleue bog in Ottawa’s east end or the Stony Swamp in the city’s southwest.

Gatineau Park offers intimate views at Phillippe Lake and Luskville Falls, both considered hidden gems when it comes to seeing the fall colours.

“If you see a good day and you’d like to do some landscape touring and colour change season watching, I think you should go for it,” recommends Phillips. “Don’t wake up on a Monday and decide to go Friday because by that time you could have a remnant of a storm or the winds could blow the leaves off the trees.”

Outside the city at Calabogie Peaks, the resort is also offering a one of a kind view of the Ottawa Valley with their fall colours chair lift ride. The ride will take you to the top of the ski hill where you can get off and enjoy the view.

“The trees are just starting to be touched,” says Jim Hemlin, COO at Calabogie Peaks Resort. “We’ve had a little bit of cold temperatures, but I’m thinking by the weekend of Oct. 2, the colours are going to start showing their true beauty. For sure the Thanksgiving weekend it will be in its full glory.”

The ride opens the weekend of Oct. 2 and will be open for three consecutive weekends on Saturday and Sunday, including the holiday Thanksgiving Monday.

“This is a great way to get out of the claustrophobia of the cities, and just come out and take in what nature gives us for free,” says Hemlin.

“We think that this is going to have a psychological boost for us,” says Phillips, when referencing the warm fall ahead. “Given what we’ve lived through, this pandemic, I think that it’s important that the fall be long because I think we’re going to be shut in and hibernating soon enough.”

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