A flurry of outdoor fun in Canada’s capital

Photos by James Peltzer and Ivan Yu

Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, is a must-visit for all Canadians. With its national museums, natural beauty, diverse foodie scene, vibrant neighbourhoods, and rural treasures, it truly is Canada in one city. Ontarians looking for a weekend getaway or a longer break should consider nearby Ottawa for a change of scenery. Just a four-hour drive from Toronto, Ottawa gives visitors a taste of the rest of the country all in one place.

Winter is a special time in Ottawa with tons of outdoor activities to keep visitors entertained and safe in a physically distant way. The epitome of winter in Ottawa is skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway, an UNESCO World Heritage site and Guinness World Record holder for the largest outdoor skating rink in the world. At 7.8km long, its surface area is larger than 90 Olympic-sized rinks… lots of room for personal space! Stop by one of the vibrant neighbourhoods along the canal, like Preston Street (Little Italy), the Glebe, or Elgin Street, where you can warm up at Pure Kitchen, a vegan scratch kitchen, or indulge in a hot chocolate at the Ministry of Coffee.

© James Peltzer
© Ivan Yu

Running along the south shore of the Ottawa River, just west of downtown, the SJAM Winter Trail is a 16km groomed cross-country ski trail with room for snowshoers, snowbikes, and walkers. Even more winter trails can be found in the Greenbelt which hugs downtown Ottawa. With a 15-minute drive north to Gatineau, Québec, you’ll find the immense Gatineau Park filled with hundreds of kilometres of winter trails, with picturesque ski-in warming huts hidden within the 361 sq km park. Refrigerated skating rinks are also plentiful in downtown Ottawa, with the largest, the Rink of Dreams, standing outside Ottawa City Hall. Paired with the year-round attractions and welcoming people that make the capital city shine, Ottawa truly is a four-season destination!

Visit www.OttawaTourism.ca to learn more about all the city has to offer in the winter months!

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