Saturday, January 11, 2014


My first in-town shots of 2014; these are from two days this week. The Rideau Canal has been opened to skaters since before New Year's. This first skater was out on the surface on Dow's Lake.

This afternoon view is from the Bank Street Bridge, with a handful of skaters on the Canal below. There'll be many more on the weekends, and depending on the time of day, for that matter.

Downtown, the skate route finds its start at Plaza Bridge, there in the distance, flanked by Parliament Hill and the Chateau Laurier. 

A wider view gives us a look at the National Arts Centre on the left and one of the skate changing lounges on the right, at the ice surface. Over the weeks to come, as we head towards Winterlude, the Canal will be used by many skaters (and walkers) as it winds its way through the city. Expect more skating shots to come.

After a good skate on the Canal, warming up is always called for. That might involve hot chocolate and a Beavertail... a local pastry creation that's very, very popular. This is one of the temporary locations on the ice, with the Ottawa Convention Centre serving as a backdrop.

Tomorrow I'll be taking things out of town for a little while. I was busy photographing over the holidays.


  1. Oh this looks like so much fun. I would love to be there and skating in the open air. Thanks for these charming shots. I have the same question as Hamilton.

  2. Haaa, wonderful, I would be there now.
    Wish you a very happy weekend, William !

  3. Now of course I want to try a beavertail!

  4. This skating route looks so much better than being on a frozen pond and I was also wondering if you skated it woth camera in hand. Also, how long does the canal remain frozen solid?

  5. Love the cool icy images William.. you would absolutely hate it in Perth right now 44C today and tomorrow :)

  6. I want to try those Beaver Tails!

  7. @Hamilton: I never learned how to skate but the ice surface is easy for walking.

    @Stuart: a lot of people do take advantage of it!

    @Karl: there are many people who come from all over the world to skate here.

    @Ciel: they are delicious!

    @Beatrice: I have seen skaters with cameras in hand. And the length of the season varies. Ideally it could be open into March.

    @Grace: that is much too warm!

    @Norma: they're yummy!

  8. Oh good! I was hoping you'd take photos of skaters on the canal!

  9. Being from the south, I always love seeing pix of skaters on ice! And to find out they have vendor booths on ice, too! It almost makes me want to brave the weather and venture up that way in wintertime!

  10. Great shots. I'm glad you cleared up what a beavertail is. That gave me quite a strange visual for a second there.

  11. It looks great! Hope the warm weather this weekend doesn't melt the ice.

  12. @EG: and more of that to come!

    @Cheryl: people really enjoy the chance to get on the Canal.

    @Krisztina: yes, I can see that! I'll have to photograph one, though it does show itself in that last picture on the billboards...

    @Kreig: out on that lake, crossing it can be very cold!

    @RedPat: they did close down the ice this weekend because of the warmup, but it's not going to last long, and they'll have it open again quickly.

  13. Skating is good for all the body. And I think is a one of the Canadian national sport. Greetings from still warm Norway.

  14. Nice shots! But they make me want a cup of coffee or maybe some cocoa.

  15. You are in a very different place. We have no canals and the Mississippi hasn't frozen solid since 1905. You are accustomed to the ice.

  16. What a wonderful place to skate! I saw photographs of skaters in Amsterdam that look quite a bit like your photos.

  17. Wonderful !
    I love seeing the skaters and the tables set up on the frozen over Canal.

    cheers, parsnip

  18. How wonderful to see this, William! I only did this once many winters ago in the mid 1990s, so fun I didn't want to leave the ice (and I'm from Hawaii:). Thanks for the lovely memories!

  19. What fun! I always regretted that I never skated the canals. :)

  20. @Inna: skating's almost a prerequisite for Canadians...odd that I never learned!

    @Linda: warming up is a requirement!

    @Bob: it is definitely something I'm quite used to.

    @Jack: quite often Dutch skaters who are serious about it will come here to skate during this time of year, just to be outdoors on a canal.

    @JM: I tried it as a kid, fell on my butt, and that was it for skating. But I love walking on the surface of the ice.

    @Parsnip: thank you!

    @LondonLulu: I feel fortunate that I get to be out there on the ice most days!

    @Halcyon: if you're ever back up this way at the right time of year, you must do so!