Information #

The Skateway winds its way through the heart of Ottawa, over a total length of 7.8 kilometres, stretching from downtown to Hartwells Locks.

Since the 1970s, our ice experts and other ice experts have worked together to create this popular attraction, striving continually to improve the ice quality. Typically, the skating season runs from early January until early March. In February, many activities take place on the Skateway during Winterlude.

Hours

Services are available in the open sections of the Skateway until 10 pm or 11 pm, depending on the day. Hours of operation may change without notice. The public can access open sections of the Skateway 24 hours a day, but should note that caution is advised in the evenings and at night, as Skateway maintenance crews operate primarily during those times. Launch the interactive map for detailed information about the services offered, as well as their location.

For daily updates on ice conditions call 613-239-5234 (pre-recorded message), for all other questions call our Client Services team at 613-239-5000 or 1-800-465-1867 (toll free).

Rentals #

Visit the Capital Skates website for more information, or call 819-576-6839.

Hours

Monday through Sunday, 10 am to 10 pm
No equipment rented after 8 pm

Rates

All rentals require a $50 deposit per item. Payment by cash and credit only, no debit.
One hourAdditional hour
Skates & equipement*$22$11
Sleighs$32$16
Skate sharpening$10 / pairN/A
Boot / bag check$5 (one-time charge)N/A
Tricycle for two$45N/A

*Helmet, wrist protector, support bar

Visit the Capital Skates website for more information, or call 819-576-6931.

Hours

Friday, 2 pm to 10 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 10 pm
No equipment rented after 8 pm.

Note : When the rental location at Rideau is closed (due to closure of that segment of the Skateway), the Fifth rest area will be open (daily, 10 am to 10 pm).

Rates

All rentals require a $50 deposit per item. Payment by cash and credit only, no debit.
One hourAdditional hour
Skates & equipement*$22$11
Sleighs$32$16
Skate sharpening$10 / pairN/A
Boot / bag check$5 (one-time charge)N/A

*Helmet, wrist protector, support bar

Visit the Dows Lake Pavillion website for more information, or call 613-232-1001.

Hours

Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 10 pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 10 pm
No equipment rented after 9 pm

Rates

All rentals require a $20 deposit and a valid photo ID (e.g. driver's licence). Health cards cannot be accepted.
One hourAdditional hour
Skates (adult)$17$8
Skates (child)$13$8
Snow shoes$15$8
Sleighs$28$10
Osla kicksled$12$5
Boot / bag check$5 (one-time charge)N/A
Skate sharpening$9 / pairN/A
Skate blade restoration$12N/A
Helmets$5N/A
Support bar$8N/A

All prices include tax.

Rest Areas #

Discover our four rest areas along the Skateway, offering various services and amenities (washrooms, change rooms, fire pits, food concessions).

They are located on the ice at the following:

  • Rideau Street
  • Fifth Avenue (Nokia)
  • Bronson Avenue
  • Dows Lake

Note: Parks Canada is currently undertaking work on the walls of the Rideau Canal along Echo Drive, between Main Street and the University of Ottawa. In order for this work to proceed, a temporary Skateway entrance and stairs, with benches on the ice surface, were added at Main Street. The entire Concord rest area — including the changing and washroom facilities, concessions, entrance, and stairs to access the ice surface — will not be available during the 2018–2019 skating season.

All three change rooms are heated and universally accessible. They are located on the ice at the following rest areas:

  • Rideau
  • Fifth (Nokia)
  • Bronson

Note: Because the Concord rest area will be closed for the entire 2018–2019 skating season, the change rooms normally at this location will not be installed this year.  

They are open at the following times:

  • Sunday through Thursday, 8 am to 10 pm
  • Friday and Saturday, 8 am to 11 pm

A fourth change room is located on land at Patterson Creek. It is not universally accessible from the Skateway.

Vendors are located on the ice at the rest areas.

Hours

  • Monday through Thursday, noon to 8 pm or later
  • Friday, noon to 11 pm
  • Saturday, 10 am to 11 pm
  • Sunday, 10 am to 11 pm
Here is a list of the various rest areas and what their concessions offer.
  • Rideau 
    Coffee and hot beverages, fast food, BeaverTails® pastries, maple taffy
  • Fifth 
    Coffee and hot beverages*, fast food, BeaverTails® pastries, maple taffy
  • Bronson 
    Maple taffy* and BeaverTails® pastries
  • Dows 
    Other types of foods are available in the Dows Lake Pavilion. 
The lost and found is located in the change rooms at the Fifth Avenue rest area.  
Any found items of value are to be turned in to the NCC (613-239-5000).  

Facilities #


Paid parking
  • Rideau Centre
  • National Arts Centre (50 metres from the NAC access ramp)  
  • Ottawa City Hall (from Elgin Street)
  • University of Ottawa campus, parking lot K
  • Parking lot at the intersection of Cooper and Cartier streets
  • Parking lot at the intersection of O’Connor Street and Pretoria Avenue
  • Lansdowne Park 
  • Carleton University campus, P5, P6 A-B, P7
  • Bronson Avenue parking lot (60 metres from the Bronson Avenue access ramp)  
  • Dows Lake

Universally accessible washrooms are located on the ice at the following rest areas:  

  • Rideau  
  • Fifth (Nokia)
  • Bronson  
  • Dows

Note : Because the Concord rest area will be closed for the entire 2018-2019 skating season, the washrooms normally at this location will not be installed this year.

Hours 

  • Sunday through Thursday, 8 am to 10 pm  
  • Friday and Saturday, 8 am to 11 pm  

Washrooms located on land can be found at  

  • Patterson Creek (not universally accessible from the ice)  
  • Dows Lake Pavilion 

Free parking

  • World Exchange Plaza (free on weekends, paid parking on weekdays)
Universal Access

The following universally accessible services are available:  

  • Skateway access ramps  
  • heated change rooms  
  • washrooms  

There are no change rooms at street level.  
Universally accessible ramps to the Skateway are located near the following:  

  • Mackenzie King Bridge  
  • Fifth Avenue (Nokia) (Queen Elizabeth Driveway side)  
  • Bronson Avenue (at Colonel By Drive)  
  • Dows Lake Pavilion  

Universally accessible, heated change rooms and washrooms are located on the ice at the following rest areas:  

  • Rideau
  • Fifth (Nokia)
  • Bronson  

Note : Because the Concord rest area will be closed for the entire 2018-2019 skating season, the washrooms normally at this location will not be installed this year.

Safety Tips #

Safety is the key to an enjoyable skate on the Rideau Canal. And it’s important to remember that safety starts with you. As with any sport, accidents can happen. These tips can help you have a safe and exciting outdoor adventure. The Skateway is patrolled by experienced first aid attendants who can provide help, if needed.

    Know the flag system: A green flag means that the Skateway is open; a red flag means that it’s closed.
    Watch for cracks in the ice.
    Consider your safety and that of others.
    Warm up if you feel chilled. There are four heated change rooms located at various points along the Skateway, and one on land at Patterson Creek.
  • Avoid wearing figure skates. The picks tend to catch on bumps and cracks in the ice surface.
  • Dress warmly.
  • Wear a certified, properly fitting hockey or ski helmet to prevent head injuries.
  • Wrist guards, as well as elbow and knee protection, will help reduce your chance of injury.
  • You can rent helmets and wrist guards from Capital Skates locations on the Rideau Canal Skateway (at Rideau and Fifth (Nokia) rest areas) or at the Dows Lake Pavilion. A deposit ($) is required.

For more information about helmet safety, on and off the ice, visit the City of Ottawa website.

The following are not permitted on the ice:  
  • dogs and other pets (with the exception of service dogs)  
  • hockey sticks and pucks  
  • alcoholic drinks  
  • bicycles 

The first aid trailer is located on the ice at the Fifth Avenue (Nokia) rest area.

Skate patrollers who can administer first aid and CPR are on the Skateway daily at the following times:

  • Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 9 pm
  • Friday through Sunday, 9 am to 10 pm

For immediate assistance, call the skate patrol at 613-565-1899. In case of serious injury, call 9-1-1

Defibrillators are also available in the change rooms at Skateway rest areas.

If you encounter a lost child:


1. Greet and comfort the lost child. The child should never be left alone.
2. Immediately contact the skate patroller on duty.
3. Only water may be offered to the child. No food or beverage of any other type may be offered because of possible allergy problems.
4. The skate patroller will take charge of the child. He or she will use the walkie-talkie to inform the skate patrol team about the lost child, who will then be taken to the first aid trailer at Fifth Avenue.
5. If the child’s parent or guardian cannot be located after one hour, the skate patrol will contact the Ottawa Police Service.

If you have lost your child:

1. Immediately contact the skate patrol. Provide the skate patrollers with a description of the child.
2. The skate patrol will take charge of looking for your child.
3. When your child is found, you must go to the first aid trailer at Fifth Avenue to sign a report. You must present proof of identity in order for your address and telephone number to be verified.
4. If the child is not found after one hour, the skate patrol team will contact the Ottawa Police Service.

Tip: Write your name and contact information on a card and place it in your child’s pocket. This allows skate patrollers to quickly contact you should your child become lost.

Ottawa Police Service: 613-236-1222
Skate patrol: 613-565-1899