• By: Kat Walcott

Ottawa isn’t called the Winter Capital for nothing–let’s embrace it

ABOVE: Ottawa influencer Marilou and family member on Rideau Canal. (PHOTO: 20ys)

Between the lockdown and record-breaking cold temperatures, winter in Ottawa has been . . . rough to put it simply. However, you gotta admit, if you’re looking for winter-friendly fun and activities, Ottawa really is one of the best places to live. From skiing to enjoying a hot meal on a heated patio, here are some ways Ottawans are making the best of the frosty weather.

Hit up one of many skating rinks

Besides the famous Rideau Canal, did you know that Ottawa and the greater National Capital Region are home to literally hundreds of awesome skating spots? In the downtown core of the city alone there is the Rink of Dreams at City Hall and the Lansdowne Skating Court. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, hop on over to the Quebec side to check out The Little Penguin Trail–a stunning 5 km-long skating trail that threads through the gorgeous Gatineau landscape. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance since all the skating destinations have been quite busy this year!
PHOTO: @anna.m.wong

Get cozy on a heated patio

Restaurants may still be closed for dining in, but the Ottawa food scene has gotten creative! Visit one of the many heated patios across the region. Many eateries have set up tents with electric heaters, chairs around fire pits, and more fun things to keep you warm and safely socially-distanced while you enjoy a good meal. Some of our fave spots include Ridge Rock Brewing Company’s winter beer garden and Back to Brooklyn’s cozy patio complete with fireplaces and fluffy blankets!
PHOTO: @ridgerockbrewco

Find the ice sculptures along the Ottawa River

You’ve probably seen an inuksuk before, those gorgeous man-shaped figures made of piled stones used for communication and navigation purposes by the Inuit people, but have you ever seen one made of ice? At the Deschênes Rapids in the Aylmer sector of Gatineau, beautiful ice inuksuit line the Ottawa River. Lots of local influencers have taken great photos and videos of the works of art, but head on over to check them out for yourself before they’re gone!
PHOTO: @brandon_onthego

Go for a ski

No matter what level or type of skier you are, there are SO many great spots to practice your skills in the National Capital Region. Camp Fortune, located just 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa is a prime spot for hitting the slopes while taking in the gorgeous scenery of the Gatineau Hills. If you’re more of a cross-country person, the best spots include Gatineau Park and Mer Bleue.
​​​​​​​PHOTO: @campfortune