Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Skating Rink On Parliament Hill

As a conclusion for Canada 150, something was added for the winter season to Parliament Hill: a skating rink. It opened up in December, and will stay open through Winterlude. These first shots were taken before the rink was open, in between snowfalls in early December. I photographed from near the base of the Peace Tower, and then descended to rink side for the second shot.

I came by one evening after it first opened for skaters. The lighting around the rink gradually shifts over time, from blues into pinks and purples. It creates a moody, dream-like sensibility. I photographed first when the ice was empty, then when skaters were on the surface.

On another day, young figure skaters from the Minto Skating Club were on the ice doing a demonstration. I have featured members of this club before on the ice at Ottawa's City Hall.

While the rink has generally been about skating, as opposed to hockey, it has hosted some games for the latter. Parliamentarians, for example, played a game here against journalists one day- a useful thing, I think, to have politicians from all parties playing together on the same team. And during the weekend of the Ottawa Senators- Montreal Canadiens outdoor game at Lansdowne Park, a number of Senators from the last twenty five years split up into two teams and played an alumni game here. I came by after the game was over. The last player still on the ice at this point was the goaltender Patrick Lalime, who played for the Senators from 1999-2004.

One final view of the rink from the perspective of the steps leading up to the Peace Tower. I took this one on one of the evenings when I was taking in the winter light show over the holidays.


  1. Very nice! And I like that it is so big. I think it would work well as a place to bring one's sweetheart for an evening of fun. We have had outdoor ice rinks here on a couple of occasions - run by transplanted Canadians, I think. But it was hard to keep the ice frozen and didn't work out too well. This year I think they went to artificial ice in a small, dinky little rink that had about as much appeal as a Trump tweet!

  2. My very late Happy New Year -greetings for you.

  3. We have a winter rink, too. Not as elegant as this, but I'm reminded to go photograph it.


  4. I saw it was too cold to skate there recently, the ice was cracking. This winter has been bitterly cold so far but the wind is the worst in my opinion.

  5. Your politicians can play nice together? I don't think that would happen here. You've reminded me that I never made it downtown to see our skating rink this year.

  6. ...skating makes the winter cold more enjoyable.

  7. @Lowell: it has been quite well used since it opened.

    @Orvokki: thank you.

    @Marianne: many are using it.

    @Jim: as long as one can skate!

    @Janis: you should.

    @Marie: that might have been the 27th or 28th.

    @Sharon: Republicans and Democrats ought to mix themselves up and play baseball.

    @Tom: this is definitely a skating city.

  8. Hello, I have not been skating in a long time. We have some outdoor rinks and a indoor nearby. Enjoy your day and weekend!

  9. I think this rink was a good idea!

  10. So nice to watch the figure skaters!

  11. Now that's a very classy rink. They also have some feature events . I wonder if regular people like me get a chance to skate on this rink.

  12. Skating looks so fun. I love to watch people skating on ice!

  13. A fun way to spend an afternoon or evening!

  14. Some very good skaters judging from these pics.

  15. @Eileen: I never actually learned how to skate!

    @RedPat: I think so too.

    @Marleen: they're good at what they do.

    @Red: oh yes, mostly it's been open for skaters to come and have a go at the ice as opposed to events like this.

    @Nancy: it's quite something to see personally.

    @Cloudia: I think so!

    @Christine: as long as you can skate!

    @Revrunner: the Minto Club has turned out champions and Olympians, such as Barbara Ann Scott, one of our finest athletes. Having a look around, it also turns out that someone very unlikely once competed for them- Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Nazi foreign minister, who lived in the country before the First World War. I found that strange!

  16. People look like they are enjoying skating in the rink. Some pretty impressive looking skaters out there.

  17. It’s been a long time since I ice skated last time. The lighting around rink is beautiful. Dreamlike indeed!

  18. Great! As you know, I always like to see and photograph skaters my self, although the conditions are quite different. This is a very nice serie again.
    As a photo I prefer the second one, it's a beautiful composition, I think.

  19. My daughter lives in Ottawa and she, her husband, and her children skate frequently on the Rideau Canal.

  20. I'm not sure how I would like to be in that type of lighting, but it definitely makes for vivid phoographs!

  21. What an awesome skating rink and excellent photos ~

    Happy Week ahead,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  22. Those Minto skaters look like they really know what they're doing. I know you don't skate but I suppose that if a kiddie starts young enough it eventually comes as second nature.

  23. Such a wonderful backdrop to the skating rink. You have much incroyable architecture in Ottawa William!

  24. @Bill: it has been well used.

    @Tamago: I think the concept was a good one.

    @Jan: at present I am a couple of blocks away. I think I will head over and photograph some more.

    @David: and the Canal is now largely open for skaters.

    @Mari: it does.

    @Carol: thanks!

    @Kay: they are very good.

    @Grace: we have a lot of Gothic, which I love.

  25. People really seem to enjoy these ice rinks.

    All the best Jan

  26. that roof is awesome!! neat skiing rink. ( ;

  27. Looks like fun. I never even tried to learn to ice skate--can't tolerate the cold.

  28. I hope we'll get our rink. So far, weather is not good enough.

  29. @Jan: it's drawn people to the ice regularly.

    @Beth: thanks!

    @Whisk: so do I.

    @Norma: I love the cold, but never learned to skate.

    @Klara: the weather's been plenty cold, but we've had the odd warm up. Skaters are also out on the Canal today.