The Ice Cream Float comes ashore at an Ottawa area beach
The Ice Cream Float lands ashore at Baxter Beach along the Rideau River as kids line up to cool off with a tasty treat. Ottawa, On. Aug. 18, 2021. (Tyler Fleming / CTV News)
KARS, ONT. -- Kids go crazy for ice cream and if you’re looking for a fun way to have the sweet treat on a hot day, there’s an Ottawa beach, where a boat, The Ice Cream Float, lands ashore to scoop out smiles.
Along the shore of the Rideau River, just south of Kars, Ont., is the Baxter Conservation Area and its quaint beach. There is soft sand, washrooms, picnic tables and a social-media picture-worthy way to buy a scoop of ice cream.
The Ice Cream Float, with its colourful canopy, is hard to miss as it putts across the Rideau River, towards the beach.
Before making landfall, children are already lined up, excited and with cash in hand. As the float slides in, friends Bob Harlow and Mike MacEachern, who live on the other side of the waterway, are ready to serve.
"I’m always dealing with happy people on the water," says Harlow. "What’s not to like?"
Harlow began the summertime attraction more than 20 years ago, and for the last eight years, MacEachern, who is retired, has been all aboard, helping put smiles on the faces of children, with ice cream flavours such as Triple Tornado, Chocolate and Rolo.
"The kids call it Ice Cream Beach instead," laughs MacEachern. "We love making jokes with the kids too, it’s not a job."
It was a big surprise for six-year-old Duncan Jelineau and his brother, ten-year-old Gilbert, first-timers to this beach and blown away by the float.
"Ice cream off a boat, I’ve never seen that before," says Gilbert, with Duncan adding that they will definitely be back. "You get to have fun and get ice cream."
The Ice Cream Float makes landfall most days, throughout each day during the summer months and this sweet treat is not just for the landlocked. If you’re cruising the river by boat, honk your horn, have the kids scream for ice cream and the Ice Cream Float, will come to you.