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Winterlude, Ottawa - Winterlude Visitors Guide


Winterlude, Ottawa
jvetterli/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Winterlude, Ottawa - Overview:

Winterlude is an annual winter celebration in Canada's capital city held over the first three weekends of February. Most Winterlude activities are free and outdoors and include skating on the world's largest skating rink - the Rideau Canal - snow sculpture contests, concerts and more.

When is Winterlude?

Weekends, February 1 - 18, 2013

Winterlude 2013 runs on weekends from February 1 to 18, and is open on Family Day.

Where is Winterlude?

The many Winterlude activity venues are at various locations, including Confederation Park, Jacques Cartier Park, and the Rideau Canal Skateway and downtown Ottawa. Winterlude events and activities take place in downtown Ottawa. Event locations include the Rideau Canal Skateway, Jacques Cartier Park, Festival Plaza at Ottawa City Hall, and Confederation Park.

The Rideau Canal Skateway:

Every winter, Ottawa's Rideau Canal becomes the The Rideau Canal Skateway and at 7.8 km (just under 5 miles) the world's largest skating rink. Locals and visitors make the most of this frozen roadway in winter, using it both as a means of transportation and form of recreation.

In addition to skating, the Rideau Canal Skateway is the site for many other Winterlude events. For example, the American Express Snowball, an outdoor concert venue on the Rideau Skateway, hosts live music and other entertainment.

Rideau Canal Skateway Fast Facts:

  • The skateway generally opens in January/Feburary when the canal is sufficiently frozen and safe for skaters. Check Rideau Canal ice conditions.
  • Skate rental and sharpening and boot check are available.
  • Also available for rent are sleighs in which children can sit and adults can push along the canal.
  • Snack stands are located along the canal.
  • The skateway has wheelchair and stroller access points.
  • Check the Rideau Canal Skateway website for details.

Other Winterlude Highlights:

  • Live music and entertainment at indoor and outdoor venues.
  • Ice sculptures created at Confederation Park
  • Snowflake Kingdom at Jacques Cartier Park is a winter playground that offers horse-drawn sleigh rides, a snow maze and tobogganing.
  • Igloo building workshop.

Places to Stay:

  • Official Winterlude hotels
  • Ramada Hotel & Suites Ottawa is centrally located in a quiet neighborhood and offers nice, clean, unfussy accommodation for Cdn$90 - 120.
    Address: 111 Cooper St. Tel: (613) 238-1331
  • The Business Inn is central - about a 10 / 15 minute walk to The Market / Parliament Hill or the Rideau Canal. The hotel used to be an apartment building so each room is equipped with a kitchen and eating area. The Business Inn has few frills but is especially convenient and affordable for families.

Places to Eat:


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