While the capital of Canada brightest shines during the summer, few recommend a visit during the winter months.
This is a shame, as Canada is a winter nation, so why wouldn’t you want to visit during January to get an authentic travel experience?
If it is simply too cold to leave your hotel on some days, though, don’t force it. There are plenty of diversions online that will allow you to weather the sub -20 degree days in fine fashion.
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Most of the time, however, fortune will smile upon you during winters in Ottawa, as there are plenty of sunny days where the temperature is just below the freezing mark.
When you are this fortunate, do the following things, and you’ll have plenty of fun this winter in Ottawa…
1) Skate the Rideau Canal
Have the same amount of endurance that a deep-field poker player has? Try to skate the length of the Rideau Canal, which is open to skaters as soon as the ice meets minimum safety standards.
You’ll get a good idea of what Ottawa looks like during winter during your time here, as the maintained portion of the canal stretches for almost eight kilometres from the downtown core to Dow Lake.
Along the way, there are warming huts and concession stands selling everything from hot chocolate to beaver tails, so you’ll be able to stay well-fueled and comfortable throughout your entire experience on this frozen highway.
2) Attend Winterlude
The best way to deal with a challenging season like winter is to embrace it. That’s what Winterlude aims to do, as it fills up three weeks in February with events designed to help residents and visitors find fun and excitement amidst the most frigid days.
From ice sculpture carving to pond hockey tournaments that will have you betting on the outcome, there is so much to do, you’ll be sad to see this annual festival end.
3) Go cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park
Don’t restrict yourself to just Ottawa when searching for things to do this winter. Across the river, Gatineau Park has plenty of trails perfect for a leisurely afternoon of cross-country skiing.
With over 50 trails ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert, this park has one of the largest network of tracks dedicated to cross-country skiing in North America, so rent a pair and get out there.
You won’t believe your luck when you find yourself out amidst the best nature the Capital Region has to offer, so give it a go – you’ll be glad you did.