Skating on the Rideau Canal. Photo by Glen Gower.
Skating on the Rideau Canal. Photo by Glen Gower.

Ottawa Winterlude Events - January 30-February 16, 2015

Put on your hats, scarves and mitts, and come out to celebrate the joys of winter in Canada's Capital Region from January 30 to February 16, 2015. The festival features ice sculptures, a playground made of snow, performers and best of all, the Rideau Canal - the world's longest skating rink.

Rideau Canal Skateway

  • Winter 2015 marks the 45th season of skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Besides the Rideau Canal, there are great outdoor rinks nearby including the Rink of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall and the rink at Rideau Hall on Sussex.
  • For more information, including ice conditions, please visit our Ottawa Skating Guide...

Winterlude 2014 headlines



Transportation / Parking / Public Transit

  • Several roads will be closed during the three weekends of Winterlude, including parts of Laurier Avenue and Queen Elizabeth Drive in Ottawa, and several streets in Gatineau near Jacques Cartier Park. Info here.
  • The OLG Sno-Bus is a shuttle-bus service linking Winterlude sites. Stops are sign-posted. It runs February 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16.
    Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: between Dows Lake, the Rideau Canal Skateway and Confederation Park
    Saturdays and Sundays: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: between the park-and-ride at Centre Robert-Guertin, Jacques-Cartier Park and Confederation Park
    This ongoing shuttle-bus service is provided by OC Transpo (, 613-741-4390) and the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) (, 819-770-3242). More info...

  • Parking is at a premium, but some popular places to leave your car for skating on the canal include Carleton University near Dow's Lake, side streets along both sides of the Canal in Centretown, the Glebe and Ottawa South, and parking garages at the Rideau Centre and Byward Market. Good luck! Here's a map showing some paid parking lots. A limited number of parking spots ($) are available for people with disabilities at these parking lots: National Arts Centre, Dow's Lake, Bronson Avenue.
  • A better bet for parking is to find a lot near an O-Train station, then take the O-Train to Carling. You'll be right across the street from Dow's Lake, and in range of the Sno-Bus shuttle to get to any other Winterlude site.

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Winterlude Facts

  • Winterlude was created in 1979 by the NCC as a means of celebrating Canada’s unique northern climate and culture.
  • Every year, more than 600,000 fun-seekers take part in Winterlude activities. More than a third of the visitors are from outside the Capital region.
  • In a 2004 survey, it was estimated that Winterlude-related spending generated a total of $151.7 million of economic activity in Ontario and Quebec — $82.5 million within Canada’s Capital Region.
  • Over 800 people volunteer for the NCC during Winterlude.
  • The Ice Hog Family, Winterlude’s loveable mascots, travel to Canada’s Capital Region every winter to celebrate Winterlude. The members of the family are Mama and Papa Ice Hog and their children, Noumi and Nouma.
  • Most Winterlude activities are free of charge, but registration and admission fees may apply to certain sporting events and shows.

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