Rideau Canal Skateway
An historic waterway spring through fall, the Ottawa portion of the Rideau Canal freezes over in winter to become the world's largest naturally frozen skating rink.
- The Rideau Canal Skateway is maintained and operated by the National Capital Commission, is open to skaters daily January through late February (weather permitting) and is free of charge - although donations supporting the Skateway's maintenance can be made at boxes at various entry points.
- The Skateway stretches over 7 kilometres from downtown next to the National Arts Centre, south to Dow's Lake Pavilion.
- On cold nights, workers drill holes in the Canal ice and pump water onto the surface.
- Change huts and snack stations can be found at various locations along the Canal.
- If you don't have skates, you can rent them here; you can also rent bright red sleighs and push those who can't skate themselves.
- On beautiful winter days, skaters by the thousands fill the Canal.
- The first three weekends of February, the Canal is the focal point for Winterlude, the Capital's annual celebration of winter.
- Many Ottawans who live near the Canal actually skate to work in winter.