What's on in August?

All events in August are limited to members only (join the club online for only $20) and pre-registration is required.

Tuesday Evening Summer Sprint Series 

Tues. Aug 3 6-8pm LeBreton Flats
Tues. Aug 10 6-8pm McCarthy Woods  
Tues. Aug 17 ** no event this week **
Tues. Aug 24 6-8pm Location TBD

Register by midnight tonight for tomorrow's event downtown!  Don't forget to read up on the underground tunnel crossings if you haven't already. More info here.

Wednesday Weekly Running Program 

Wed. Aug 4 6pm Frank Ryan Park
Wed. Aug 11 6pm Frank Ryan Park
Wed. Aug 18 6pm War Museum
Wed. Aug 25 6pm Crestview Park

Join a small group of orienteers for an organized training run. More info here.

Thursday Evening Orienteering Practices 

Tues. Aug 5 6:30-8pm March Highlands, Kanata
Tues. Aug 12 6:30-8pm Asticou, Gatineau
Tues. Aug 19 6:30-8pm Chapel Hill, Orleans

Suitable for Intermediate and Advanced Orienteers. More info here.

Interview with our Summer Mappers

Orienteering Ottawa hired Lukas and Evan Raz for mapping schoolyards and parks in the Kanata and West Carleton area this summer. 

Tell us about yourself.  What grade are you going into?  What are your favourite school subjects?  Sports?  Hobbies?

Luke - Hi, I’m Luke Raz, and I’m heading into Grade 11. I love all the sciences, as well as math. I’m a runner and an orienteer, but was never that good at sports involving coordination. At home I tend to be reading, coding, or playing around with game design. 

Evan - I’m heading into my first year of university at Carleton, which is daunting (but exciting too!). My favourite subject in school is computer science, which is what I’ll be going into in the fall. I enjoy orienteering, snowshoeing, coding, drawing, and computer graphics.  

Can you go walk us through the process of creating a map?

We start with a blank satellite image with a sheet of mylar (a semi-transparent paper) on the top. This is what we take out into the field for the first time, and it’s what we use to sketch out as much of the map as possible. The satellite picture gives us a sense of scale, and lets us see and trace any large features visible through the mylar. As we walk around we can fill in the rest of the map, taking note of every feature that should appear on an orienteering map. Once complete, we bring it home, and scan it into our computers to begin producing the actual map. We then repeat that cycle a couple more times, bringing the most updated map with us out into the field to make any necessary changes, before returning home to scan it in and update the digital version. Once the map itself is finished, we add the final components such as a border, title, legend, scale etc.     


What do you take with you when you are out mapping?  Do you draw the features by hand on paper?

When we’re out mapping, we use paper and pencils. Sometimes we’re drawing on mylar and other times we’re drawing directly on the printed maps, but it’s always by hand. We also carry mechanical pencils, coloured pencils, and any other drawing tool we think we might need. 
Do you use a GPS?  In what way?

A GPS isn’t as important for features out in the open, but it is invaluable when we need to draw trails. Going through the woods with a GPS makes it far easier to know where to draw those paths when we get back home.

How many hours/days does it take to make an average-sized school map?

For a schoolyard, it may take around 10 hours or so between the two of us. For a larger area with multiple sections, such as Carp, it could take 2 or 3 times that!

What do you like about mapping?

Being able to work in a different place every few days is really exciting. We’re seeing lots of areas of the countryside and the city which we may not have had a reason to go into. Also, when you’re out field checking it can be very peaceful and enjoyable.

What do you not like about mapping?

The software we use has many little quirks and slightly confusing features, which can lead to some annoying situations where you can’t seem to produce the image you need.
Do you think this mapping experience will make you a better orienteer?  In what way?

Mapping an area ourselves really helps both of us see the relationship between the map and the land around us. I definitely think this job will improve our map reading, and our ability to to match the world around us with the map we’re running on.

What is the funniest or oddest thing you saw while mapping?

Evan - I saw a friend who I hadn't seen in a while, because it just happened he was working at a school at the exact same time I was working there to map it!
Do you both work together on the same map or do you each do your own thing?

At the beginning, when we were just learning how everything worked, it was easier to field check the same area together. Being able to discuss the process as we mapped was incredibly useful and helped us a lot. After the first couple, especially as we moved on to very spread out areas, we divided the maps into chunks and split them up between the two of us. We have also begun trading the chunks back and forth each time we go out which makes the field checking process more interesting and allows us a fresh look at each other's work, letting us fix issues which might have gone unnoticed.
What are the school maps you are working on this summer?  How many do you hope to complete?

We have a list of maps in priority order and we hope to get through as many as possible. Some of the maps on the list are St James school and the surrounding parks, Hazeldean woods, Huntley Centennial school, and many others. 

What does a typical mapping day look like for you this summer?  

Each day is different, however for the majority of them it begins with us getting prepped to head out to whichever location we’re working on. After a few hours out in the field we come back home to work on the maps digitally, updating them with all the information we noted down while outdoors. 

Do you spend more time out in the field or in front of the computer when mapping? 

We tend to spend more time in front of the computer. For every hour of field checking, we usually have about 2 hours of drafting.
Have you had other summer jobs before?  How does this one compare?

This is one of our first major summer jobs, with all the ones we’ve done in the past requiring far fewer hours. It’s been an enjoyable challenge working on this, and we both agree it’s been incredibly useful to get this experience with time management, work days, and schedules. 

2021 Quebec Orienteering Championships

Montreal Ramblers Orienteering Club is hosting the 2021 Quebec Orienteering Championships on the September 18-19 weekend in Parc Du Domaine Vert which is located 20 km north of Montreal.  The event will consist of a middle distance race on Saturday and a long distance race on Sunday. Beginner and recreational orienteers are welcome (even Ontario foks). Information is available here.  

Youth Programs

This fall we will be running two sets of four weeks of programs back to back. Participants can register for programs in either the West end or in the central part of the city.

West End Program (Tuesdays at 6:30-7:30)

  • 14 September — 5 October at Cedarview (besides Bell High School)
  • 12 October — 2 November at Britannia Park

Central Ottawa Program (Saturdays at 11:00-12:00 OR 12:30-1:30)

  • 18 September — 9 October at McCarthy Woods
  • 16 October — 6 November at Hog's Back Park

Registration will open soon.  Full details are still being finalized on the website. 

Fall Schedule

We are planning a full fall schedule with our regular Sunday morning events beginning in early September.  Stay tuned.

Beginner Intro to RouteGadget

Wondering which route the winner on your course took between two controls?  Some orienteers wear a GPS watch to track their route which can then be compared with others using RouteGadget.

On the left sidebar on the Orienteering Ottawa website, under Recent Results, click More Results:

Click on the RouteGadget link:

On the right-hand side, select the event you are interested in:

On the right-hand side, select the course you are interested and a couple competitors that have * GPS next to their name:

Click View routes at the bottom: 

Et Voilà!

Next step:  Watch it as an animation to see Tom beat Robbie to #1!

Volunteers needed for Fall 2021

Rorry Harding and Tomas Graham have built a very successful collaboration with both the OCSB and OCDSB this past year in our Outreach Program.  Schools have been keen to pursue COVID-friendly outdoor activities.

Volunteers are needed for the Fall to help during school hours.  Please contact Rorry if you can help at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.