January 21 to February 20th – weather permitting.
Every winter, the Rideau Canal turns into the Rideau Canal Skateway, aka, the world’s largest skating rink! From roughly January to late February or March, you can skate any section of the 7.8 kilometres (4.8 miles) thanks to its universally accessible ramps and facilities.
Starting (or ending!) downtown and winding its way to Dow’s Lake, the Rideau Canal Skateway boasts a number of Beavertail stands where you can grab a delicious treat and hot chocolate. You may also spot another local business, Dunrobin Distilleries, offering boozy beverages to those 19 years of age and older.
Non-skaters are welcome to walk or shuffle along the edges of the Skateway (safely away from the skaters), or on the pathways alongside the Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In fact, the Rideau Canal Skateway is so impressive, CNN Travel named Ottawa the only Canadian city to visit in 2023 partly because of it!
Did you know?
The ice must be 30 cm in thickness for the Rideau Canal Skateway to open. This means there needs to be about 10-14 straight days of -10 to -20 degree Celsius days in order for the quality of the ice to meet the standards of safe skating!
with updates as to when the world’s largest skating rink will open, which parts of the rink are open, access points, amenities, and more.