Thursday, February 20, 2014

Skating The Canal

The Rideau Canal remains the heart of Winterlude, popular for skaters throughout the festival and beyond. Here at the base of the Bank Street Bridge, skaters on a Saturday are making good use of the ice.

Another day, with clear skies, brought me to the same location. This is one of the arches of the bridge. The sign post you see beneath it is one of the bus stops for the shuttle bus service that the city runs from site to site during Winterlude. 

Coming out to the east side of the bridge, we get a view of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons on the far side of the Canal, which I've shown you before.

Downtown, many more skaters are here near the end of the skateway, beneath the Mackenzie King bridge. Confederation Park is over there to the right.

This view from the top of the bridge gives you an idea of how busy the Canal can get on a weekend.

The same applies in the early evening.


  1. Maybe it's just as well that I can't ice skate. I'd have to get cold to do so....

  2. I had to check out your blog to see the ice carvings in Ottawa. Wonderful! I like the skating on the canal a lot. The Chena River runs through downtown Fairbanks and it sees lots of activities too, but it's a bit more rustic than your canal. Many years ago we had a women's hockey game there--lots of fun! If you'd like to check out our Ice Art Championship, check out their website at They have photos up of the carvings from several years. My photos of the carvings are listed under Ice Park in my label section on my blog. I'll be back again to spend some more time looking at your photos.

  3. I love to skate outdoors. This must be the best spot in the world for it.

  4. Wow! Obviously the place to meet and greet.

  5. To busy for me lol I like to skate on a quiet pond in the woods . Going to get heavy rains here today . Thanks for sharing . Have a good day !

  6. Norma: well the cold is essential.

    Ciel: it does seem that way.

    Elaine: I will check out the link!

    Stuart: it might well be.

    Revrunner: yes it is.

    Country gal: there is actually a section of the canal that kind of has that sensibility. I photographed there on the last day of the festival.

  7. That canal is a treasure for your city! When a youth in Minnesota I could only dream of such a thing! I'd guess, though, that one would not want to try to train for the Olympics on a crowded weekend! :)

  8. Wow, evoking lovely old memories of skating on the Rideau Canal years wasn't this buzzing back then, but I love that everyone's out and about!

  9. I could watch those skaters for hours!

  10. @Luis: thanks!

    @Lowell: it could be problematic to train there, with the crowds. The weekdays are less busy, mind you...

    @Stefan: fun to skate it, and to walk it.

    @LondonLulu: it's a very popular venue. I wonder how long now til they close it for the season.

    @Tanya: it certainly is!

    @Lois: I've spent a good deal of time doing just that.

    @Jane and Chris: I hadn't thought of it that way, but yes, it is kind of like a freeway!

  11. Wonderful photos showing us what the wonderful spirit of Winterlude!

  12. Seeing these photos of the canal in winter on your blog, William, and another blogger as well has convinced me that we need to get to Ottawa in the winter. And, we also need to definitely try those beavertails as well.

  13. It looks like everyone in town owns a pair of skates!

  14. Simply fabulous!
    I would skate there a whole week :-)

  15. Skating on the canal looks like so much fun!

  16. It looks like so much fun! And what a great winter it has been for it.

  17. I am still loving seeing these sights. Something I have never seen in person. A delight!

  18. Great photos! I haven't been to the Rideau canal in about 35 years, but I have fond memories of skating there.

  19. Great pictures, but I'm so glad I'm not in that climate. Every time you depict the snow and ice the same happiness descends. I am not there.

  20. @EG: thank you!

    @Beatrice: that would be a good idea!

    @Sharon: many do, or so it seems!

    @Karl: this year's been a good year for the skating.

    @Cheryl: yes, at least until one falls!

    @RedPat: it's been just the right kind of conditions.

    @Lauren: thank you!

    @Linda: the Canal does tend to leave one with fond memories.

    @Mari: well, winter's not for everyone. Spring is coming...

  21. What fun to be skating on the canal. Looks pretty. I like the arch. MB

  22. That's quite a rush hour! Great photos!

  23. You in Ottawa are so lucky to have such a resource in the city. It seems to be beloved by the many skaters.

  24. These shots of the skaters are so wonderful!
    As you know we won a lot of medals in the speedskating contests at the Olympics, but in our country we've had only about 1 cm of ice for two days this winter. So, there was no skating at all overhere this winter, and although I don't skate anymore myself, I really missed the sight of skaters on the lakes and canals. Thanks for sharing those great shots!

  25. What a fabulous sight William.. So much fun!

  26. These are all making me wish I were there, skating and taking in the crowds. Thanx.

  27. @Hamilton: that is typical each year.

    @MB: as did I.

    @Denise: and not a car horn to be heard.

    @Jack: it is very well used.

    @Jan: you're welcome.

    @Mike: thank you!

    @Grace: thanks!

    @Merry: you're welcome.