Christmas toboggan on a steep hill, 1959. Via Ross Dunn/OttawaStart Flickr Pool
Toboggans, sledding, tubing, sliding … whatever you want to call it, we have it covered on our map of Ottawa and Gatineau’s best hills. It’s one of winter’s most fun and inexpensive sports. All you need is some warm clothes and something to slide on. Tobogganning has been a favourite sport in Ottawa for over a century. Happy sliding!
Note: There are restrictions in place for outdoor gatherings due to COVID. Capacity at the top of a toboggan hill is limited to 25 people, and the city promises to enforce this rule. Masks are not required while sledding, but recommended. Mooney’s Bay hill has been closed since Jan. 22 because of COVID restrictions.
Click on any marker for information about each hill.
Additions/corrections/comments: Please contact us.
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Toboggan safety tips
Choose a hill with a gentle slope, free of protruding objects such as ice, rocks, and tree stumps. Also, be sure that the hill is not too icy - you want to be able to stop if you need to.
Sled in daylight so that you can see any potential dangers. If you choose to sled at night, make sure that the hill is very well lit.
Children should wear a helmet at all times while sledding to help protect their heads and to decrease their risks of head injuries.
Tuck in any scarves, strings, or long hats that could potentially catch on a rock or tree and cause strangulation or other serious injuries. Use a neckwarmer instead of a scarf.
Wait until the path is clear before starting down the hill. This could help prevent you from running into another person on your way down.
Always position yourself on your sled or toboggan so that you are kneeling or facing forward. Never lie down on a sled or toboggan while going down a hill.
Children who are five years old or younger should have an adult accompany them on a sled or toboggan.
Climb back up the hill on the side to keep out of the way of others who are sledding down.
Wear bright coloured clothing so that you will be easy to spot from far away on the hill. This will give others time to turn or stop before they get close enough to hit you.
Choose a sled that is sturdy and easy to control. Magic carpets, flying saucers, garbage bags, and cardboard boxes are not good options, as they are light and flimsy and can easily fly out of control.
Have only the recommended number of passengers on a sled or toboggan at one time.
Racing down the hill might seem fun, but sleds can often be more difficult to control at higher speeds. Try to maintain safe speeds that will allow you to have the control to stop if you need to.
Keep children warm. Dress your children in layers. Make sure their heads and necks are covered by a hat and a neck warmer. Watch for frostbite! On sunny days, put sunscreen on their skin.
Sources: Health Canada and Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit.
The biggest hills around
Bruce Pit (Nepean): Cedarview across from Bell High School in Bell’s Corners, an official NCC toboggan hill and a favourite.
Conroy Pit (Ottawa): Conroy Road south of Hunt Club, an official NCC toboggan hill.
Walter Baker Park (Kanata): On Terry Fox Drive near Hazeldean. Large city-wide man-made hill in highly visual location. Has lights, directional containment fencing, moderate slope to the hill, very long runs, parking available at Kanata Recreation Complex. Caution: light standards are wrapped.
Mooney’s Bay Park (Ottawa): 2960 Riverside Drive. Large city-wide man-made hill in a visible location. Gradual to semi-steep slop, wide vision lines, long run offs, unlit, parking is provided at Terry Fox Athletic Facility. Caution: Trees and lampposts in area are wrapped with padding. Sledders are cautioned that the chain-link fence to the north side of the hill is a potential collision hazard.
Carlington Park (aka Carlington Ski Hill) (Ottawa): 937 Clyde Avenue. Very large hill with long gradual runs, parking provided at J. Alph Dulude Arena. Caution restricted use: East side of the hill has playing field fencing. Sledding is not permitted on the east side of the hill by the staircase. Possibly the steepest toboggan hill in Ottawa, it used to be a ski hill.
Arboretum/Experimental Farm (Ottawa): Next to Dow’s Lake along the Rideau Canal, access from Queen Elizabeth Drive, part of the Experimental Farm. Although it’s a popular place for sliding, there are signs indicating that the activity is not permitted due to safety concerns.
Parc Lemoyne (Gatineau): Rue Hillside – advanced hills.
Private tubing hills
Mont Tremblant: Features 8 trails for tubing and 2 rope tows to bring you up to the top.
Mount Pakenham: The Tube Park is located on a gentler slope. Spectator area with campfire circle available when you need a rest or warm-up. (Mount Pakenham is not offering tubing in the 2021 season.)
Edelweiss: Edelweiss has 8 runs for tube sliding and a lift to take you up to the top.
Le Domaine de L’Ange-Gardien: This privately-run hill has 8 different runs and a lift to bring you back up to the top.