Skating On The Rideau Canal

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Winterlude may be over, but the Rideau Canal, our national landmark, is still open for skating. Downtown Ottawa, I keep on seeing passers-by casually carrying a pair of skates in the hands or on their shoulders, heading to the longest skating rink in the world (okay, I know some may argue it’s not!). The crowd on weekends is pretty impressive!

Only in Canada you can see toddlers skating perfectly, moms pushing strollers on ice and teens goofing around, secretly training and hoping to be the next Wayne Gretzky.

Skating on the Canal is actually pretty hard because the ice if far from being smooth — no zamboni to resurface it! It can get quite slushy (slush is a mix of ice/ snow and water) and there are holes here and there.

Walker With Skates

Looking Down At The Canal

The Rideau Canal

Slow Down, Skaters Ahead


Father and Son

No Pedestrians (Too Icy!)

Tying Up Skates

Baby Skating

Ooops.. Hole In The Ice

Little Girl Resting

Queuing For... Yeah, Beavertails

Yes, I Love Them!

The Rideau Canal


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. I always enjoy a nutella flavour beavertail. Yum! I haven’t skate since high school and I wonder how I will do if I try again. Let’s cross our fingers for spring 🙂

  2. How much fun and what a great report from you! It’s very much like what they do in the Netherlands (that’s why they are that good in speed skating!)

    It’s not that much of it in Norway, often because there is too much snow.

    Guess you’re watching the Olympics too – right now Canada and Norway have equal amount of gold medals 🙂 Looking forward to meet you in curling final tomorrow – what do you think of the Norwegian team’s pants? 😆
    .-= RennyBA’s Terella´s last blog ..Winter Olympics 2010 Inuksuk from Canada in Norway =-.

  3. Beaver tail? Ha ha… I just like that name.
    Is it like doughnut?

    I can’t believe you people can still skate this time of year…
    Our outdoor ice rinks closed end of last month.

    Re: Stable without horses / 没有马的马房 / Kandang kuda tanpa kuda / 馬がいない馬屋

    Do French eat horses? I saw people selling horse meat when I was in Barcelona!!
    I wanted to order horse meat at their restaurants but I couldn’t find one that did that dish…
    Maybe people all cook it secretly at home?
    .-= London Caller´s last blog ..Isleworth Ait / 艾尔沃斯岛 / Ait Isleworth / アイズルワース・エイト =-.

  4. @Bluefish – Nutella is my favorite drug 🙂

    @Agnes – Thank you! Ottawa does have a nice skyline.

    @Cynthia – You know, a lot of people can’t skate well, they just have a laugh and give it a try.

    @khengsiong – It’s the speed limit for cars along the driveway because during winter, a lot of people cross the street to go to the Rideau Canal. Hence the “warning, skaters!”.

    @Adam – Even if you don’t skate, just walking in the ice and enjoying the atmosphere is fun.

    @Abi from Inside the Travel Lab – Only in Canada, I guess 😆

    @Nigel – Sorry, I don’t dare to skate AND take pictures at the same time!

    @Seraphine – Canadians are pretty outdoorsy overall, even if people tend to be lazy in the winter.

    @Sidney – Sure, have one then!

    @Beth – You are indeed Canadian.

  5. @ micki – It’s quite similar to rollerskating as far as I’m concerned!

    @ shionge – It was about – 10C… warm for us, indeed!

    @ Seraphine – Love the idea!

    @ RennyBA’s Terella – This year was strange, not so much snow. Otherwise you are right, skating is very difficult! You guys are skiiers 😉

    @ London Caller- Yeah, basically fried dough with a topping such as Nutella or maple syrup.

    @ Yasmine _ I think I went there in 2002 when I first came to Canada. I remember doing the luge as well… I was so cold!

  6. From someone who doesn’t know what’s in a beavertail, please do tell! Hot sweet pastry = like what? chocolate and sweet doughy treat?

    By the way, I was just thinking it must be so nice to see so many people/families spending time on the ice. I would feel so odd being the odd man out not really skating for some 20 plus years now! Well unless you call shoe walking skating.. I guess I need to get more Canadianized! lol…

    Love the pics! And yes much different than life here in Victoria right now.
    .-= expatraveler´s last blog ..A Photo Tour =-.

  7. I really want to go to the canal and skate. I learnt skating and I think it will be very nice to tell people that “I skated in the Rideau canal”… hehehe! Enjoy the beavertail!
    .-= Priyank´s last blog ..Veliky Novgorod =-.

  8. Hey, we were all there then!! I wonder if we are in your pictures somewhere in the crowd, the four of us – me, Mr.B, Mr.T and ‘Obélix’. It was fun to be out on the ice with them (a real trip down memory lane for me, the Ottawa girl) and then each day to come back to images of Olympic winter sports beamed from Vancouver on the TVs in the hotel lobby. Mr. T improved his skating by leaps and bounds, and we all got a great workout. The only thing that didn’t live up to expectations were the beavertails – first there was an incredibly long line-up, as you noticed, and then when I finally got the thing, the plan was to just eat a bit. (Will be posting about weight loss on the blog soon…) The idea was that the kids would eat most of it, but they refused, if you can believe it! Mr. B tasted a bit of the Killaloe Sunrise and said he didn’t like it. The mind boggles. By the time I gave up trying to convince them, it was cold, of course…which happens rather quickly out there, as anyone could guess.

    My children can be rather unusual at times.

    • Can you believe I never actually skate on the Rideau Canal? Every year I say I will, and then the rentals are always expensive, I have the camera with me or other pathetic excuses!

      I’ll try to spot you in my pictures 😉

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