Rideau Canal Skateway – 50th Season

January 18, 2020

February 25, 2020


Rideau Canal, Ottawa


Events Description

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).

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.

You may like

Coolest Outdoor Ice Skating Trails in Ontario


FREE to Skate

Skate Rentals start at $13 for child for one hour.

Sleigh rentals are also available.


Skateway opened on 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.

Skateway when open, is accessible 24 hours a day and the skating season runs from early January.

Skateway closed on February 25, 2020.

Skateway was open for the three Winterlude weekends among its 31 skating days, welcoming more than 381,00 visitors in total for the season.

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. There are 13 sections. The open sections varies depending on weather.


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).

Add a Review