Ottawa, our great nation’s capital, is an absolutely breathtaking sight during the winter months. The blankets of snow covering the Parliament buildings and the crystal snowflakes falling gently on your nose as you wander through the Byward Market all add to the majestic nature of this city during the winter. What better way to experience all the sights and sounds of Ottawa than by skating along the Rideau Canal?
Whether you decide to take on the 7.8 km ‘skateway’ by skates or by sleigh ride, this experience will surely not disappoint. If skating isn’t for you, many rest zones are located along the Rideau Canal, where you’re able to pick up some tasty treats, hot drinks (think hot chocolate with marshmallows), or warm up by a cozy fire. It gets pretty chilly in Ottawa, so taking advantage of the rest stops is a must! As an inexperienced skater myself, I’d have to say that these break stations are my favourite part. Plus, nothing compares to meeting new people, sharing some hot cocoa, and marveling at the genuine beauty of this city and its citizens.
If you have yet to experience the wonder of Ottawa while skating along the "world’s largest skating rink" this winter season, it’s not too late. The skateway is usually open until the beginning of March (weather permitting of course). Don’t have skates? Don’t fret! Rentals are available on site in multiple locations, like the Mackenzie King Bridge. Haven’t convinced you yet? During the Winterlude festival (January 31st to February 17th, 2014), many activities occur along the Rideau Canal. This includes participating in winter games/challenges, tasting gourmet Canadian treats (like delicious maple taffy), and watching ice-sculpting competitions. There is an activity or event that appeals to everyone’s interests!
Brightspark offers winter itineraries that ensure our groups take full advantage of the cold-weather fun Canada's capitol has to offer. In my opinion, it is our duty as proud Canadians to take part in the magnificence of skating along this incredible landmark, whilst enjoying a good ol’ beaver tail, and spending some quality time with loved ones! It’s an experience like no other that surely won’t disappoint.