The Rideau Canal is a 200km long waterway running from Ottawa to Kingston. Built after the War of 1812 as a precaution in case of American aggression it’s purpose was to keep a military line open between nearby Montreal and the British Naval Base in Kingston. While not really needed for that use any longer, in winter the canal freezes and the section in Ottawa becomes the world’s largest ice skating rink!
In a rare trip with just my husband while the kids were enjoying some grandparent time, the two of us headed to Ottawa to check it all out.
This is an amazingly fun activity perfect for families. I saw people out pushing strollers, and toddlers on skates having a blast. Next time we visit we are definitely bringing the kids.
We were a little worried about renting skates, but it turned out to be really simple. You may rent skates on the ice. During the 2014 season it was $17/pair for 2 hours. That’s a little pricey for a family, but it is a great experience. The whole thing is free if you have your own skates! If you do, it is definitely worth bringing them along.
Dress warmly! The day we went out it was about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. We had on our Terramar base layers, and a good coat and snowpants and we were warm. However the week before we arrived it was -10. That’s a biting cold that you have to make sure you and your kiddos are prepared for.
While you are there, don’t forget to stop off to buy a Beavertail. This is THE pastry in Ottawa, and the kids will love it.