This City


#3 - Skate on the World's Largest Skateway!

Ottawa is the home to the largest skating rink in the world, the Rideau Canal. Whether you've gone a thousand times, or this is your first winter in Ottawa, you'll definitely want to sharpen those skates and head down.

If you're new to the city, or just haven't ventured out onto the ice before, here's how to make your visit a great one. Decide how far you want to skate. When the whole skateway is open, it can seem exciting to start at Dow's Lake and skate right through to downtown, but not everyone finds it easy.  It's just over 7 kilometres and the ice can be rough in parts, making the trip more strenuous at time.  Go online and decide where you want to start and end.

Look at the online map.

Bring cash for snacks and drinks. While many of the vendors on the ice take most forms of payment, not all do.  Bring along some cash so you don't get left without a tasty treat at a rest stop. 

Don't own skates? Good news!  You can rent them!  More information on the location of rental booth can be found here.

Where to park! You have multiple parking options depending on where you want to start. If you start near Dow's Lake, there is a paid parking lot just across the street from the pavilion. Alternatively, if you wanted to start near Lansdowne, there is paid underground parking within walking distance of an entrance of the canal.  Lastly, if you wanted to start downtown, we recommend finding free parking near the Byward Market and making the small walk over. Free parking can be found on side roads off of the main roads that run along the canal.

Finally, if you want a great pic, we recommend starting somewhere near downtown.  There are multiple bridges that make for a great pic on your own, or a selfie with friends.


Check out some live moments on the canal with #CanalMoments ->

Updated: Friday January 15, 2018