Winterlude 2019

The snow has been steadily falling for almost a week here in Ottawa, and February is fast approaching. Almost time for one of the best festivals of the year - Winterlude!


On the list of activities this year are some old favourites that are always a MUST for families: - the Rideau Canal Skateway, Snowflake Kingdom at Jacques-Cartier Park, and the 32nd Crystal Garden International ice carving competition. Also back this year are the WInterlude mascots the Ice Hog Family, with a special birthday celebration for Noumi and Nouma.

What’s New

  • The Chimes: Visitors to the Byward Market are invited to activate this set of chimes comprising more than 30 illuminated tubes and eight loudspeakers, triggering a transformation of the space through sound and light.

  • Culture Walk: The Downtown Rideau Culture Walk is a free, self-guided walking tour featuring the abundant and vibrant collection of public art, galleries, exhibits, monuments and points of interest in the district “Where Culture Lives!”

  • Sparks Street Icecade: Three weekends of frozen interactive fun! Try your mitts at classic carnival games with a chilly twist. Enjoy a warm beverage as you toss, throw or shuffle.

  • LGBTQ2+ Ice Mosaic: Come OUT and play: build an ice mosaic using small coloured blocks of ice in the rainbow flag colours.

Where to go

There are so many different destinations for Winterlude. You definitely don’t have to spend all your time skating on the canal. Check out this link for the complete list of events and destinations, as well as an interactive map so that you can find your way around. The easiest form of transportation is the OLG Sno-Bus shuttle service which is FREE. Ongoing shuttle-bus service is provided by OC Transpo and the Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO), linking the Snowflake Kingdom in Jacques-Cartier Park, in Gatineau; the ByWard Market (Crystal Garden); and the Rideau Canal Skateway up to Dows Lake, in Ottawa. OLG Sno-Bus stops are clearly indicated on Winterlude signs.


Never braved the snow to check out Winterlude? My family goes every year, and I wrote a quick tips/tricks blog post back in 2016 (the year when all the ice sculptures melted….we still had so much fun!) to give families a bit more info on all the big events.

Do you attend Winterlude with the family? What’s your favourite part?

This blog post has been sponsored by Canadian Heritage. All opinions are our own.