Winterlude 2019

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Winterlude 2019


Everything you need to know about this year’s Winterlude!
February 1st – 18th

The 41st annual Winterlude is quickly approaching and we want you and your family to get the most out of it! Ottawa winters are long and cold. This is our big event that makes these months a little bit sweeter! So grab your family and friends, bundle up and take on the city. Check out our full Winterlude 2019 itinerary.

The Rideau Canal Skateway

Enjoy a skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway

Grab your friends and your skates and take a glide on the longest naturally frozen skating rink in the world (7.8kms)! With Beavertails on the way, this is sure to be a family favourite. The Skateway is weather dependent and is free day and night. Check out the status of the current ice conditions by visiting this Rideau Canal Skateway website. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you can skate at the Sens Rink of Dreams or the Lansdowne Skating Court!

During Winterlude, the Skateway offers two major events:

Winterlude Triathalon – February 2nd, 8AM: Keep warm in this 8km skate, 5km run and 6km ski. This event is one of the oldest Winterlude activities. It shows us what Ottawa winter is all about with skating, cross-country skiing, and running! Come and watch or join in the fun. You can register for the event here.

Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival – February 8th – 9th: Join the fun at the world’s largest ice dragon boat festival! Featuring free concerts, a Chinese Lion Dance, Ottawa Circus Fire Weaver, Aboriginal Experiences, and the Dragon Boat Race!

Snowflake Kingdom at Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau

Snowflake Kingdom of Winterlude

February 1st until the 18th, experience the magic of winter at Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau. Just a short walk across the Alexandra Bridge from downtown Ottawa. With amazing views of the Ottawa skyline in the background, you can enjoy tons of exciting winter activities including:

Super Slides
Snow Sculptures
Zip Line
Ski and Snowboard Lessons
Performances and more!

The Winterlude Mascots – the Ice Hogs Family will even be there! Give them a hug when you see them! This event is fun for all ages and shouldn’t be missed! The park is open Thursdays, 9AM4PM, Fridays and Saturdays, 9AM9PM, Sundays and Monday, February 18, 9AM5PM.

Byward Market

Byward Market Various Events

New for this year, the Byward Market becomes the hub for a variety of Winterlude programming including:

The 32nd Crystal Garden International Ice-Carving Competition – Arguably the best part of Winterlude, this special event features some of the most dazzling ice sculptures carved by world-famous artists. Featuring beautiful pieces of ice art displayed with colourful lights day and night!

SubZero Electro DJ Nights – Every Friday and Saturday evening, you can enjoy free outdoor concerts featuring an assortment of electro DJ’s. Keep warm by dancing up a storm and kicking up snow dust!

Taste of the Byward Market: Winter Warm-up and Maple Lover’s Tour – Indulge in delicious local treats during one of C’est Bon Cooking’s gourmet food tours. Warm up with hot drinks and comfort foods. Running daily at 2PM.

Chimes: Interactive Light & Sound Installation – Activate this massive set of chimes featuring more than 30 illuminated tubes and 8 loudspeakers, triggering a transformation through sound and light. Open daily, 8AM – 11PM.

39th Accora Village Bed Race for Kiwanis – 50 teams race modified beds in short 50-metre races. Check out the best costumes and best decorated beds. The event takes place Saturday, February 16th from 12:30PM3PM.

2017 Snow sculpture of God Downie in the Glebe

The Glebe – Various Events

Ottawa’s Glebe neighbourhood has a small town / village like feel to it. It truly is a beautiful part of the city, and it is just off the Rideau Canal Skateway! Winterlude events in the Glebe include:

Snowmania – Bank Street is transformed into a city of snowmen just for Winterlude! The local businesses and homes in the area create a horde of friendly snow-people of all kinds. Go for a stroll in the Glebe and check out some of these “cool dudes”.

Winter Brewfest – The Ottawa Brewfest is the perfect place to discover a wide range of Ontario and Quebec craft beers, ciders and spirits. Delicious food prepared by local chefs goes along great with your tastings. Tickets range from $19 – $52 and can be purchased here.

Unikkaaqtuarniq: Stories from the North – This free outdoor screening features films by Indigenous filmmakers from northern cultures projected on a theatre made of snow. Check out the nightly shows February 1st – 3rd from 6PM9PM.

Capital Catwalk – Calling all fashionistas! This night of fashion is a fundraising event for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Support this great cause on February 2nd 6:30PM10PM at the Lansdowne Park Horticulture Building.

Sparks Street

Sparks Street – Various Events

The trendy pedestrian-only street has an abundance of shops and restaurants. It makes for the perfect meeting place for events in Ottawa. This is a new site for Winterlude and this year the events include:

Ice-Cade – Try your hand in frozen, interactive fun! Featuring classic carnival games with a chilly twist! Enjoy a hot drink as you play. The Ice-Cade takes place Fridays and Saturdays between 12PM6PM every weekend of Winterlude.

Saturday Night Divas – Capital Pride and Canadian Heritage presents Madonna, Beyonce and Adele. Well, not really, but their impersonators will be performing on Saturday, February 9th between 6PM10PM. With heated outdoor bars, great music and awesome performers, this is an event you won’t want to miss!

Bank of Canada Museum – Warm up at the Bank of Canada Museum’s indoor Winterlude events including Tasty Money, The Avatar Puppet Market, Build-a-Brick of Tea, Trade with Fur, and so much more. All events are free!


Free Winterlude Sno-Bus Shuttle


Convenientyly, there is a free shuttle bus provided by OC Transpo and the Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) which makes the transportation between Winterlude events easy! The OLG Sno-Bus will run on weekends and on Family Day (February 18th).

Byward Parking Lot


There is plenty of underground paid parking around the city with convenient access to Winterlude activities. Some of the lots include:

· Ottawa City Hall · National Arts Centre · City of Ottawa Parking Glebe · Byward Parking Garage · Dows Lake Parking · Bronson Avenue’s National Capital Commission parking space

Beavertails on the Rideau Canal Skateway


There are various Beavertail huts along the Skateway, the Byward Market, and the SENS Rink of Dreams. Be sure to bring a bit of money with you as you will DEFINITELY want to indulge in one of these delicious treats!

Skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway

What to bring

You will want to dress warm for Winterlude. Your comfiest winter jacket, boots and snow pants are recommended. You will be doing a lot of walking, so comfy footwear is a must! A backpack isn’t a bad idea to bring. You can pack water bottles, snacks and changes of clothing. Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm are also handy to have. Even though its winter out, the suns powerful rays are still shining down! Kleenex is also a great thing to pack to wipe those runny noses.

If there is anything else you would like to know about the 41st annual Winterlude, give us a call. The Susan and Moe Team would love to answer any questions you may have. We know our neighbourhood!