Winterlude (Or Having Fun In The Cold)

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After another winter storm (where I, among others, sat on a bus that got stuck in the snow for an hour and shoveled about 50 cm of white snow to be able to open my door), we decided to make the most of the season and we headed to Winterlude, the annual winter festival which opened last week-end.

Funny thing is, I was recently reading RennyBA’s Terella, where my Norwegian friend was telling about his own Oslo Winter Festival — guess both countries enjoy having fun in subzero temperatures and building stuffs with ice!

After The Storm

After The Storm

Snowy Road

Snowy Road

Winterlude starts here, at the Rideau Canal. The longest skating rink in the world opened last week, and the ice was thick enough for people to skate on it. It was quite crowed and no, in case you ask, I walked and didn’t skate. Come on, I can’t be perfect!

The Rideau Canal

The Rideau Canal

The Canal At Somerset

The Canal At Somerset

Skating Marks

Skating Marks



The Rideau Canal ends downtown, close to the Confederation Park. Not all the little chalets — which usually sell food and hot drinks — were opened, but I found a great ice bar. Bet the drinks are chilled!

Nunavut In Ottawa

Nunavut In Ottawa

Ice Boat

Ice Boat

The sculptures were really nice. Made the previous day by an international team, they feature Canadian landscapes (such as this Nunavut scenery) and lots of icy people. The details are amazing… and don’t forget everything is made of ice!



Ice Warriors

Ice Warriors

Red Inukshuck

Red Inukshuck

Lining Up For Beavertails

Lining Up For Beavertails

Kids were invited to make their own Inukshuk. Inukshuk (“in the image of man”) are sculpture made of stone or ice erected by the Inuits. They represent leadership, friendship and are also used as milestones in the North. Meanwhile, grown-ups were queuing at the Beavertails stall….

Maple Toffee

Maple Toffee

Making The Treats

Making The Treats

But wait, the best is to come. I soon spotted… maple treats!! Maple toffees, more precisely, my favorite… They are the made by pouring maple syrup directly on ice/ snow. Yes, it’s very sweet and sticky but oh-so-good!

What? I deserved it, didn’t I?


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. 😯 Wowwwwwwwwww wee! Those sculptures are crazy amazing! I’ve never seen such detailed ice sculptures before. And I can see how handy that ice bar would come in! Mmmm ice cold alcohol…

    When will the snow go away in Canada?

    bisous zhu! x

    princesse ecossaise’s last blog post..Contaminated

  2. Amazing ice sculptures! It reminds me of the similar festival held in Hokkaido, Japan, where they feature huge ice sculptures too! And speaking of an ice bar, it also reminds me of the ice hotel in Stockholm, with an ice bar inside!

    Linguist-in-Waiting’s last blog post..Hahahahahahahaha

  3. Thanks for plugging me and how great to see this wonderful winter and snow festival at your place. It really shows how much fun – both the adults and the children – one can have with snow and ice (even if you don’t skate :lol:)

    The pics where great and really show some fun details – I really liked the sculptures!

    And of course you deserve some treat – does Maple toffees taste very much like the fudge I got a week ago?

    RennyBA’s last blog post..Oslo Winter Festival

  4. I am a new reader of your blog and being a Canadian I really enjoy reading your views of the country I love so much. I live in Vancouver though so it’s nice to learn about the other side of the country. Keep up the great entries!! 😎

  5. The ice sculptures are great. 😀 Reminds me of those in Harbin.
    Maple toffees..yummy! Will try to make some. 😛

    aline’s last blog post..Happy Chinese New Year!

  6. 🙂 WOW! You have some amazing photgraphs here. Those ice sculptures are simply mesmorising. I have barely seen a flake of snow here, so I am seething with jealousy at this very moment in time.

    May I also take this opportunity to say that you have the cutest smile!!!

    Take care ~ Graham 😀

    Graham’s last blog post..An Introduction to One Man’s Travel Blog

  7. You don’t ice skate and you live in Canada? Shame on you. I’d like to try out that world’s longest rink.

    Those ice sculpture are pretty amazing. I used to live in Minneapolis, MN and in the neighbouring city, St. Paul they have a yearly Winter Carnival too. Their sculptures probably don’t compete with the Ottawa ones, but they do build Ice Palaces. The one in 2004 was pretty cool to visit.


  8. @Art – Yeah, I have heard about these tornadoes… I like my snow better!

    @Alexander – Thanks! Yeah, it’s a lot of fun… and the festivities have just begun!

    @princesse ecossaise – Usually the snow melts between late April and May… yep, that late. Spring is very short, only a few weeks and of course everything is flooded because of the snow!

    @Theresa – It wasn’t that cold actually, *only* about – 10C.

    @Jay Cam – Well, I could send you one, but it will melt on its way to FLA…

    @Linguist-in-Waiting – There’s an ice hotel in Quebec city as well, although I have never visited it. I like the way we make the most of the winter!

    @kyh – Never been to Harbin (hint: too cold!) but I have heard of the Festival… I’d love to see it though!

    @RennyBA – Maple toffees are more “liquid” and sticky, and they have to be eaten right away on the snow. It’s a fun treat! Nothing similar in Norway?

    @Kate – Thanks for visiting and reading! Do you have a blog yourself? I have never been to Vancouver, furthest I visited was Winnipeg (in the summer!). I’ve heard the city was beautiful too… and warm(er)!

    @aline – Toffees ARE good, trust me! Have you been to Harbin?

    @Graham – Thanks for the smile thing! Took me years to be comfortable taking pictures of myself, but I must say I’m used to it now after a lot of traveling! Do you have some kind of “rain festival” over there in the UK? :mrgreen:

    @Jess – No snow over there? Hum, weird… we had your share I think!

    @Aiglee – The TO festival looked fun too! Have you had any maple syrup yet? I think I ODed on it when I first came! 😆

    @johnada – Well, note that I can actually skate, but the ice wasn’t too good. Plus I don’t have my own skate and renting is expensive… okay, ran out of excuses! I hope this is not in the citizenship test!

    @Spyder – The sculptors are just amazing… I saw them making the art last year and wow, so much precision!

  9. I’ve always felt that with snow, there either has to be none or a ton… in between is just a slushy, slippery drag. Well, I’ve got none, and you’ve got the ton!

    Love the ice sculptures, and I am always so admiring of the ability to create art that is temporary, I’d be so chuffed that it had actually turned out right that I couldn’t bear to see it disappear, but I’m a crap artist, perhaps that’s the difference. Would love to see sculptures like those, and also like to visit the ice hotels, which I’ve only seen online. Maybe for a weekend, cos I’ve never quite understood how they heat them… or if they heat them… Brrrr.

    Zhu, you do seem to try and get the absolute maximum out of your life under the snow;-D

    Reward Rebel’s last blog post..Making Money Online and Blogging 3

  10. WOW the first 2 pics r AMAZING! And u look beautiful! Are we in a Winter Wonderland!

    I just updated my blog 🙂

    hv a good wknd Zhu!


  11. @Reward Rebel – I’m with you on that one: I hate when we have just a little bit of snow because it gets really slushy right away and you can’t do much with it. That said, this winter, we had a ton of it! The ice sculptures are gonna last for a few weeks I think.

    @Keshi – Thanks! I took the top two pictures the night of the last big storm we had, last Friday.

    @Inga – Thanks! Making the most of the winter… 😉

    @Shantanu – They have a cool ice hotel in Quebec as well, although it’s not cheap. Maple toffees are more affordable!

    @Celine – I bet it’s quite different from India! Send me some heat and I send you some snow… deal?

    @Beaverboosh – Of course I did everything myself! Canadians forced me to. You know how cruel this people can be 😆

  12. I haven’t had maple treats in forever! Great photos, I better get some batteries in my camera if I want to compete with you 🙂

    Ghosty’s last blog post..Adventures in Dentistry

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