Skating on the Rideau Canal. Photo by Glen Gower.
Ottawa Winterlude Events - January 31-February 17, 2014
Put on your hats, scarves and mitts, and come out to celebrate the joys of winter in Canada's Capital Region from January 31 to February 17, 2014. 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 Ice Conditions App
Get Rideau Canal Skateway ice conditions on your phone with this mobile app. Info is updated about twice a day, in early morning and early afternoon. Optimized for smartphone screens including iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Browse to: http://thebluefactor.com/canal/
- Sugar Bushes / Maple Syrup in Ottawa and Gatineau
Vsiting a sugar bush has been a springtime activity in our area for generations. As one local sugar bush puts it: "nothing says Canada quite like mmm....maple!" Most sugar bushes are open as of March 1, although cold weather is delaying the start of the season for some.
- March Break 2014
Check out our March Break Guide for a big list of activites and camps for kids in Ottawa.
- Make your business stand out from the rest for as low as $15/month.
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Rideau Canal Skateway
- Winter 2014 marks the 44th 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
- Winterlude Lets Canada’s Capital Region Shine Thousands of visitors enjoyed three weekends packed full of cultural, sport, and gastronomic activities and Canadian winter traditions
- Winterlude Third Weekend Highlights - February 14-17, 2014
- Warm-up on Wellington West
- Cool Science Saturday
- City Hall’s Winterlude activities celebrates Ottawa’s wintry present and past
- Free OLG Sno-Bus Shuttle Service and Street Closures During Winterlude 2014
- Traffic Advisory - Winterlude 2014
Event Highlights - Weekend #3 (Feb 14-17)
- Festival-goers will learn the secrets of ice carving with demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday in the Crystal Garden. Expert carvers will showcase carving techniques and how they use their tools to create a work of art from a block of ice.
- Young Sculptors at Work will learn the basic techniques of ice carving with professional ice carvers. Tools, safety goggles andice will be provided. Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to noon (ages 8 to 12); 1:30p.m. to 3 p.m. (ages 13 to 17). (Registration on site 30 minutes before start time)
- More activites this weekend at the Crystal Garden at Confederation Park...
Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau
- Hold an official torch from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games and take a seat in a bobsleigh for a unique photo opportunity
- Experience downhill skiing with qualified instructors and learn important tipsfor the slopes from the Canadian Ski Patrol
- Take shots at the sledge hockey display, snap a souvenir photo and meet former members of Canada’s National Sledge Hockey Team
- Meet players from the Gatineau Olympiques hockey team for an autograph session
- Full list of activities this weekend at Jacques-Cartier Park...
Rideau Canal Skateway
- The Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink, is centre stage for many activities during Winterlude’s final weekend.
- This weekend, visitors to the Skateway will have the opportunity to test their skills at the Giant Tiger Interactive Hockey Zone,move their muscles at the Goodlife Fitness Zone, or warm up with hot apple cider and play the OLG Sno-Bus Snowball Toss game at the OLG Sno-Bus Station at Fifth Avenue.
- More activities on the Rideau Canal this weekend...
More activities around Ottawa
- The National Arts Centre presents dib and dob and the journey home plus free activities during NAC English Theatre Family Day
- The Shenkman Arts Centre is a busy venue, with the comedy show Improtéine, a concert by Andrea Lindsay and Luc De Larochellière, theatre pieces One Noble Journey: A Box Marked Freedom and The Flying Canoe, plus a meet-and-greet with the artists of Arteast Mosaic
- The German Embassy hosts a German-Canadian Graffiti Jam
- Cool Science Saturday, a once-a-year special science fair, fascinates at theCanada Science and Technology Museum
- The biggest cross-country skiing event in Canada, the Gatineau Loppet, hits the trails in Gatineau Park
- Runners take their mark for the Winterman Marathon and Marathon Relays at the Canadian War Museum
- More Winterlude events are listed here...
- Visit our Weekly Event Round-Up for our weekly event picks...
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 (www.octranspo.com, 613-741-4390) and the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) (www.sto.ca, 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.
- Official Winterlude Web site
- Skating on the Rideau Canal
Canal skating conditions
(alternate link: Rideau Canal Conditions)
- Rideau Canal Skateway Map
- OttawaStart Blog: Winterlude
- 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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