Skate for fun. Skate to work. It's all part of winter in Ottawa (Courtesy: National Capital Commission)
A twilight skate to end a family-friendly day with the Parliament Buildings in the background. (Courtesy National Capital Commission)
Rent skates. Buy a hot snack. Embrace your outdoor mojo on Ottawa's Rideau Canal. (Courtesy: National Capital Commission)
And when the little ones are too tuckered out to skate, or don't know how, rent a kid-friendly sled! (Courtesy: Jantine/Ottawa Tourism)6 Factoids about the Rideau Canal in winter 1. The Skateway enables you to skate more than 7 kilometres, starting near the National Arts Centre and heading all the way south to Dow's Lake Pavilion. 2. If you don't have your own blades, no sweat. You can rent a pair of skates. 3. Can't skate or have little kiddies who tire out, no worries. You can rent a bright red sled and glide along the frozen canal route. 4. The Rideau Canal is the focal point for Ottawa's Winterlude during the first three weekends of February. Get all the details from Ottawa Tourism's Winterlude site. 5. Ottawa folks frequently skate to work. Watching skaters with knapsacks or brief cases is a common site. Beats taking the bus! 6. How does the Canal stay so smooth and skater-friendly? At night time, when the canal is free of skaters, city workers drill holes in the ice and pump water onto the surface to flood it. Smooth sailing for skaters the next morning! For more information, check out the Rideau Canal Skateway web site. Follow me on Twitter @DougONeill as we discover more enjoyable ways to embrace winter in Canada!