7 Ways to Enjoy Winter Outdoors in Ottawa, ON

Winter is in full swing, but you can still enjoy some fresh air and exercise outdoors. Although it's cold and snowy most of the winter here in Ottawa, there are plenty of ways to enjoy some time outside in and around the city. If you're having trouble finding ideas for activities that will get you out of the house, you've come to the right place. Our team at Jim Tubman Chevrolet has created this helpful guide to ways you can enjoy winter outdoors in Ottawa. We hope it provides some tips you can really use this year.


Go Skiing at Mont Cascades

Location: 448 Mont-des-Cascades Road, Cantley, Québec

Skiing is a popular winter activity around the world, and we have some incredible locations for skiing right here in Canada. Mont Cascades is just one of the places close to Ottawa that offers abundant opportunities to strap on your skis and hit the runs. There are trails for all ability levels at Mont Cascades, so it's winter fun for the whole family. They also have a snow park for those who prefer snowboarding over skiing. If you've never been skiing or need to brush up on your skills, consider taking lessons from a professional here.

Take a Toboggan Ride in Greenbelt

Location: Varies depending on the section of the Greenbelt you visit

A toboggan ride is fun for young and old alike, so you can't go wrong choosing this activity when you want to get outdoors in Ottawa. Canada's Capital Greenbelt has several great hills that are excellent for tobogganing when the snow conditions are just right. You can visit the Bruce Pit toboggan hill in the Stony Swamp section of the Greenbelt. It makes for a perfect daytime toboggan spot.

If you want to slide down the hill at night, then check out Conroy Point in the Pine Grove Forest section of the Greenbelt. This area is lit up at night to make it safe and fun for everyone. Another good spot for tobogganing is Green's Creek. All of these hills are well maintained by the city of Ottawa.

Try Ice Skating on the Rideau Canal

Location: Corner of Fifth Avenue and Queen Elizabeth Driveway

Once the ice on the Rideau Canal reaches a depth of 30 centimetres, which usually takes about 10 to 14 days of temperatures at or below minus 10 degrees Celsius, the Rideau Canal becomes the world's largest ice-skating rink. Typically, the skating season lasts from January to March, but the canal closes to skaters if the conditions aren't entirely safe. You can check their website to make sure it’s open before you head there. This location draws in winter sports enthusiasts and tourists from all over the world, as it's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don't miss it.

Hike Along the Winter Trail

Location: Runs along the Ottawa River

Although it's called the Kichi Sibi Winter Trail, this path is open all year to those who want to enjoy a stroll along the beautiful Ottawa River. As a result, you can get out for a hike no matter the time of year. The trail is also open to cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and fat-tire bike riders. You can pick up the trail from parking spots at Westboro Beach, Champlain Park, and the Canadian War Museum, making it easy to access from several locations along the river. Also, it's good to know they keep the path clear after a significant snowfall.

Cross-Country Ski in Gatineau Park

Location: 33 Scott Road, Chelsea, Quebec (visitor's center)

Pick up a season pass so you can cross-country ski as often as you like at Gatineau Park this winter. Daily passes are also available if you just want to go once or twice during the season. The park is just a short drive from Ottawa, and it has one of the most extensive trail networks in North America, with over 200 kilometres of nature for you to discover. So, you can strap on your skis and head here regularly because there's always somewhere new to explore. The winter scenery makes this a magical place to visit.

Rent a Cabin or Yurt for Winter Camping in Gatineau Park

Location: 33 Scott Road, Chelsea, Quebec (visitor's center)

Winter camping is a unique experience that you'll enjoy if you give it a try. Because many people think of camping as a summer activity, you'll have a very peaceful and relaxing time alone out in nature on a winter camping adventure. At Gatineau Park, you'll find several types of accommodations that should suit your needs. You can choose a four-season tent that blends tent-style camping with staying in a cabin. They also have cabins and yurts that provide what you need in a rustic setting. You must snowshoe or cross-country ski to reach the camping facilities in the park.

Walk the Grounds of Parliament

Location: 2 Rideau St., Ottawa

If you missed the popular light projection show at Parliament Hill, don't worry. There's always next year. However, you can still take a lovely stroll around the grounds of Parliament. Just looking at the majestic building is awe-inspiring. And you can always walk around the grounds for free, no matter the time of year. Make sure you check out the Centennial Flame, a monument that honours Canada's 100th anniversary of confederation. It's been a beacon in the city since 1967, and the burning flame makes for a nice spot to warm up during frigid temperatures.

Well, there you have it, our Jim Tub Chevrolet dealership's list of the best ways to enjoy winter outdoors in Ottawa. Of course, these are just a few ideas you can use to get started, as there are lots of fun things to do in Ottawa during the winter. If you have any other ideas that we should have included on our list, contact us and share them. We would love to go check out your favourite outdoor activity this winter.


Image by Banff Sunshine Village is licensed with Unsplash License

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Winter Family Fun in Ottawa, ON


There’s no better place than Canada's capital city of Ottawa for a picture-perfect winter holiday. If you're a local looking to fill your vacation calendar with intense family fun, or if you’re a traveller dreaming of a snow-covered wonderland and mesmerizing scenery, we at Jim Tubman Chevrolet  want to help make this winter season merry and bright for everyone. We've compiled this extensive list of our favourite winter family activities in Ottawa to give you a strong start at a winter full of memory-making.


Ice Skating

Ottawa is home to some of North America's prime ice-skating spots. Among the most famous is the Rideau Canal Skateway . This 7.2 km frozen waterway of pure, natural ice makes the Rideau Canal the world's largest skating rink.  This completely free skating spot usually opens in early January and runs through late February. There's truly no other place in the world like the Rideau Canal Skateway, which is why you need to add it to your winter to-do list in Ottawa.

If you're not up for a hefty 7.2 km trek, we don't blame you. We suggest a nice skate through the forest at Lac de Loups.   Lac de Loups is a frozen 3 km trail through the beautiful Gatineau Park. There are endless snow-covered trees, fresh air, and breathtaking scenery in the village of Lac de Loups, and this is sure to be a favourite route for every member of the family. If skating isn't your forte, there’s also an enchanting trail along the ice, where you can snowshoe and enjoy the wonderous landscape of Gatineau Park.

Stop by Sens Rink of Dreams for a completely different ice-skating experience conveniently located at the Ottawa City Hall. Skating is free and open from 6 a.m. Ottawa City Hall is lit up until 11 p.m. for the ultimate evening skating experience. Make a special visit to Sens Rink of Dreams in February to see the amazing ice sculptures of the Winterlude professional ice-carving competition.


Snow Sports

Much like ice skating, Ottawa has the holy grail of snow sports hot spots. Camp Fortune, located in Gatineau Park, is the place to be for all your skiing and snowboarding needs. Not only is Camp Fortune known for its enthralling 190 km of cross-country skiing trails, but it’s also known for having more than 20 downhill runs for thrill seekers. Each run varies in difficulty, from beginner to expert, with its highest elevation at 180 metres.

A 30-minute drive to Wakefield, Quebec, will lead you to another skiing adventure at Ski Vorlage. This is the perfect place for beginner and novice skiers and even offers lessons. With over 18 different runs, the highest elevation is 149 metres. If you’re feeling brave, you can ski into the late hours of the night with 13 well-lit runs or try your skills at the trick rail. Check out the First Visit page for more information about what to expect from your first time at Ski Vorlage.

Complete your tour de ski with another Wakefield jewel: Sommet Edelweiss. Sommet Edelweiss is as serious as it sounds. It offers 20 different runs ranging in difficulty from beginner to absolute madman, with the highest elevation topping off at 350 metres. Of the 20 runs, 14 stay open for the die-hard night skiers. There are also trick snow rollers, rails, boxes, and walls for the pros. Families can also enjoy a day of snow tubing at the tubing parks.



Spending any time in magnificent Ottawa is a waste if you don't get out and enjoy its natural beauty. Parc Omega is a must when indulging in a Canadian winter. This 2,200-acre wildlife park is just 50 minutes from Ottawa and is full of playful animals, extraordinary sights, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Take a drive through the park and see arctic foxes, caribou, bison, grey wolves, bears, and more roaming freely in their vast natural habitat. Make it a day trip, or book an overnight stay in one of the many lodging accommodations.

The Dominion Arboretum is a fantastic place to wander through all year round, but its beauty during the holidays is unmatched. Transforming into a winter wonderland for the holiday season, the Dominion Arboretum is 64 acres of gorgeous rolling hills, snow-covered trees and plants specifically grown with the Canadian weather in mind, a picturesque view of the frozen Rideau Canal, and countless more attractions. A local favourite is the 3 km walking trail that loops around the arboretum.


Holiday Shopping

It's hard to ignore the urge to indulge in holiday shopping when the markets and shops in Ottawa are to die for. You have to stop by the Ottawa Christmas Market for some wholesome Ottawan gifts and food. Local vendors bring their best, so your pockets can do the rest. From hand-crafted wool products to artisanal maple syrups, fine woodworking, candles, and more, the Ottawa Christmas Market is the best place to get your holiday fill and find those perfect last-minute gifts on the weekends.

December is said to be the best time to pay a visit to ByWard Market — the pinnacle of all shopping in Ottawa. The outdoor farmers market stays open and fully functional all year round, and the indoor markets offer you an escape from the chilly Canadian winter weather. Find countless local specialty shops and eateries, along with spas, lounges, and other goods and services, with over 300 businesses in a span of roughly four blocks. There’s something for everyone at the ByWard Market.


No list can truly encapsulate the magnificent winter fun waiting for you in Ottawa. Did we miss any of your family's favourite Ottawan places or activities? Let us know , and we'll be sure to feature them in future lists showcasing the best city in Canada. Until then, check out our impressive lists of available new cars and used vehicles at Jim Tubman Chevrolet. Whether you're looking for adventure or some nice holiday shopping, Jim Tubman Chevrolet can get you there safely.


Skiing by Jonathan Fox is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0

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