Lace-Up and Glide: A Guide to Renting Skates on the Rideau Canal

Every winter, the Rideau Canal in Ottawa transforms into a magical ice rink, inviting locals and visitors alike to partake in the quintessential Canadian experience of skating along its frozen waters. If you find yourself in Ottawa during the winter months, renting skates on the Rideau Canal is a must-do activity. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the steps of renting skates and ensure you’re ready to lace up and glide along this iconic winter wonder.

1. Know the Season:

The Rideau Canal typically opens for skating when the ice reaches a safe thickness. The skating season usually begins in January and lasts until early March, depending on weather conditions. Keep an eye on local announcements or the National Capital Commission’s website for updates on when the canal is open for skating.

2. Choose the Right Location:

The Rideau Canal offers several access points for skaters. Popular starting points include the National Arts Centre, Confederation Park, and Dow’s Lake. Depending on where you plan to start your skate, you can choose a rental location nearby.

3. Renting Skates:

Several kiosks along the Rideau Canal offer skate rentals. These rental stations typically operate during the skating season and provide a range of skate sizes to accommodate everyone, from beginners to experienced skaters. Rental fees are reasonable, and staff at the kiosks are usually helpful in assisting you with the right size and fit.

4. What to Bring:

While the rental kiosks provide skates, it’s advisable to bring some essentials for a comfortable skating experience. Dress warmly in layers, and don’t forget your mittens or gloves. If you plan on skating after dark, consider bringing a headlamp or flashlight for better visibility.

5. Enjoy the Skate:

Once you’ve rented your skates and bundled up in warm clothing, it’s time to hit the ice! The Rideau Canal offers a picturesque skating experience with stunning views of Parliament Hill, historic buildings, and winter landscapes. Glide along the frozen canal, take in the crisp winter air, and relish the joy of this unique Canadian tradition.

6. Return the Skates:

After your skating adventure, return the rented skates to the kiosk where you initially picked them up. Most rental stations have convenient drop-off points, making the process seamless.

7. Explore Nearby Eateries:

Cap off your skating experience by exploring the nearby eateries. Warm up with a hot beverage or treat yourself to a hearty meal at one of the charming restaurants or cafes along the canal.