New to East Coast Winters
My family and I decided to move from Richmond, BC to Ottawa, ON this past summer. We moved 13,000 pounds of stuff across the country. So far Ottawa has been very pleasant. Summer and fall were beautiful and now we are emersed in winter.
My kids are excited about the snow. I bought a parka at Costco, snow tires are on, and my skates are sharpened. Winter is lovely if you dress for it- ( I say this now without having experienced minus 20 or freezing rain) – but winter is a season that should be embraced and enjoyed.
The Rideau Canal
My family and I will be enjoying the Rideau Canal with our skates and skate helpers. I’m just getting back into skating so I will use two skate helpers stacked together to get my balance and gain my confidence on the ice. We are all very excited about outdoor skating.
The Rideau Canal is Canada’s largest outdoor skating rink and is nearly 7.5 kilometres or 5 miles long. The naturally frozen canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is usually open January to March. It’s free, just need to bring your own skates or rent them from a hut along the banks.
Another skating spot we will try within a 45-minute drive from Ottawa is a 3-kilometre ice trail through the forest in Gatineau. There’s a heated building on site where you can lace up your skates, and rest areas along the trail where you can sit back and enjoy the scenery, birds and squirrels. https://www.patinageenforet.com/
The Bentway is another great location for skating, it transforms into a uniquely urban winter wonderland with the opening of the 220 metre skate trail open seven days a week from 12 – 9 p.m.
An on-site winter village will offer hot chocolate and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for skaters and spectators, while warming stations will help visitors get toasty before getting back on the ice.
Can’t skate? No problem! The Bentway will offer recurring free skate lessons for kids and adults. On-site skate rentals are available daily along with skate helpers.
The Bentway Skate Trail continues from January 6 to February 17, 2020 with amended weekday hours.
I look forward to discovering outdoor skating in Ottawa and Toronto this winter season.
Enjoy your winter – get out and move!
Happy Trails from Heather at Skate Helper.