Skate the Rideau Canal

Ottawa’s Rideau Canada is more than just the world’s largest skating rink. UNESCO recognizes it as “the best preserved slackwater canal in North America, demonstrating the use of European technology on a large scale.” They also credit the original military-built canal with allowing the British to successfully defend Canada against the USA, leading to the development of two distinct entities on the continent. In other words, if the canal didn’t exist, neither might Canada. Today, pleasure boats in summer make their way down the 202km waterway, visiting several communities along the way. Get some exercise in winter and meet some locals, snacking on Beaver Tails while skating between the Parliament Buildings and other Ottawa landmarks.


Length of Trip : A couple hours, depending on your level of skating.

Cost : Skates are available to rent from Capital Skates by the Mackenzie King Bridge, at Fifth Avenue and at Dows Lake. Cost is $16 for 2 hours, and $8 for additional hours. You can also rent helmets, and wrist guards.

Best time to go : The Rideau Canal Skateway usually opens in January and closes in March. Check the ice conditions before you skate. It’s open 24 hours a day, but there is no skate patrol after 10pm or 11pm, depending on the day.

Wheelchair friendly :
Wheelchair accessible ramps to the Skateway are located near the following:
• Mackenzie King Bridge
• Fifth Avenue (Queen Elizabeth Drive side)
• Bronson Avenue (Colonel By Drive)

Dows Lake Pavilion Accessible heated change facilities and washrooms are located on the ice near the following:
• Mackenzie King Bridge
• Concord Street North
• Fifth Avenue
• Bronson Avenue
• Dows Lake Pavilion

Family friendly : Yes

Where to eat : High-end: Play Food & Wine Mid-level: Heart and Crown Irish Pubs Aulde Dubliner & Pour House Budget: Grab something delicious at the ByWard Market

Official Site : For more info, visit:

Where to Stay : We recommend staying with our trusted partner Holiday Inn when visiting Ottawa.

Getting There : The canal runs through the heart of downtown Ottawa. A good place to start is under the Mackenzie King Bridge.

Note from Robin : The Rideau Canal is quite wonderful in all seasons. In summer, the canal is lined by parkways with cycling lanes and gardens. Check out the excellent Bytown Museum for a glimpse into the Rideau’s history.



Rideau Canal. Photo: Ottawa Tourism


Skating the Rideau Photo: Ottawa Tourism


Photo: Ottawa Tourism


Rideau Canal. Photo: Ottawa Tourism


Photo: Ottawa Tourism


Photo: Ottawa Tourism


Further Reading

Interested in this Bucket List item? Here's some suggested reading:


Does skating the Rideau Canal belong on The Great Canadian Bucket List?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...




New 2017 Ford Escape

It’s a rare occasion when the name of a car aligns so perfectly with what I’ve used it for. Whether rocketing along the notorious Trans-Labrador Highway, or cruising among the mountainous candy of the Icefield Parkway, the Ford Escape has indeed lived up to its name. It has stood up to some pretty epic challenges, and that includes taking a 6-month baby on a 30-day cross-country book tour. Compact yet spacious, powerful yet fuel efficient, and loaded with features you’ll soon wonder how you did without, the Ford Escape more than lives up to its moniker. – Robin Esrock



Hiking-DurandMidWP Durand Mid WP (Available for Men and Women)

Amazing comfort and unsurpassed durability from the first step to the millionth! The KEEN Durand Mid WP hiking boots for men are crafted of KEEN PU and dual compound rubber outsole. They deliver durable, dependable longevity for the long haul. PU resists breakdown and compression, while preserving its shock-absorbing qualities no matter how many miles you put on them, keeping you comfortable while hiking. Feet stay dry and comfortable thanks to the KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane. This men's waterproof hiker is American Built in KEEN's Portland, Oregon, factory.


Liberty Ridge (Available for Men and Women)

The Liberty Ridge hiking boot is KEEN’s tough, supportive high-performance leather boot for long trips on gnarly trails. The shock absorbing direct-attach PU midsole delivers lasting comfort, and a full-length shank adds stability. The waterproof upper and KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane combine to keep your feet dry. Designed to handle any trail surface, if you rack up serious backcountry mileage with a full pack, this is your boot. American Built with materials from around the world.



Gypsum (Available for Men and Women)

Lace up the Gypsum and rack up the trail miles. For stability, comfort and moisture management, this lightweight hiker delivers with built-in technology including a specially designed 4mm lugged outsole, KEEN.Zorb strobel and KEEN.Dry waterproof breathable membrane.


Saltzman WP  (Available for Men and Women)

The Saltzman Waterproof hiking shoe is perfect for long day hikes and rugged global adventure. The closed mesh upper is light, flexible and tough. The waterproof, breathable KEEN.DRY membrane protects from rain and mud. High-traction outsole and springy midsole combine with a metatomical dual density footbed add long lasting cushioning.


Targhee II Mid: (Available for Men and Women)

Here's a hiking boot that offers four-wheel-drive performance for your feet. It's designed to be both waterproof and breathable, and the aggressive outsole bites into the terrain. The mid-cut height adds ankle support.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.