Rideau Canal Skateway 2020 Season


Photo Credit: Ottawa Tourism

The Rideau Canal Skateway is open for its 50th season from today (Saturday, January 18, 2020).

  • 2.3-kilometre section of the Skateway, between the Pretoria stairs, near the Pretoria Bridge, and the Bank Street stairs (north and south), including Patterson Creek is open on January 18, 2020.
  • Update (February 26): Skateway is closed for 2020 season. Skateway was open for the three Winterlude weekends among its 31 skating days, welcoming more than 381,00 visitors in total for the season.

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To celebrate the 50th skating season, the NCC is offering a range of special activities on the Skateway, which include the following.

Winter sports ice rink: Reserve ice time on the winter sports ice rink in front of the Dows Lake Pavilion to practise a winter sport like ringette or broomball, or enjoy a game of shinny hockey the old-fashioned way.

Skateway memories photo exhibit: Skate your way to the Bank Street Bridge, to see 10 photographs that perfectly capture past seasons of winter memories in the Capital.

Roving DJ:Over five Saturday nights, the roving DJ booth will make its way from the Dows Lake Pavilion to Waverley Street, and back. Each night will feature a playlist that represents music from one of the past five decades.

Social media photo frame: Capture and share your Skateway memories on social media! Located at the 0 kilometre marker (Rideau) and in the Fifth Avenue rest area, the frames offer a view of the Skateway and surrounding historical architecture.

About Rideau Canal Skateway

Every year during winter months, Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site welcomes visitors from all over the world to skate the 7.8 kilometers stretching from the downtown Ottawa to Hartwells Locks. The total ice surface is equivalent to more than 140 National Hockey League rinks, or more than 122 Olympic-sized hockey rinks (223,400 square metres).

WHEN: Skateway when open, is accessible 24 hours a day and the skating season runs from early January until early March. Even after the skateway opens for the season, all sections might close because of varying weather conditions. The open sections varies depending on the weather and duration of the skating season also varies.

Services are available in the open sections of the Skateway until 10 pm or 11 pm, depending on the day.


The total length of the skateway is 7.8 kilometres, stretching from downtown Ottawa to Hartwells Locks. The open sections varies.


Rest areas (Rideau Street, Fifth, Bronson Avenue, Dows Lake) offers change rooms, washrooms, fire pits, food and beverage vendors, and picnic tables.

Skate Rentals are available at Dows Lake Pavilion, Rideau (under Mackenzie King Bridge) and Fifth Avenue (between the 3rd and 4th km marker).


FREE to Skate

Skate Rentals start at $13 for child for one hour. Sleigh rentals are also available.


Free parking: World Exchange Plaza (free on weekends, paid parking on weekdays). Paid parking at various locations. See link for interactive map above.

For more details, see National Capital Commission Website


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