News Release

March 30, 2022

Canada’s Capital Region — The warm weather marks the end of the National Capital Commission’s (NCC) expanded winter offering across the region. From Gatineau Park to the Greenbelt, and from the Rideau Canal Skateway to over 100 kilometres of winter trails, there was plenty for everyone to enjoy in Canada’s #WinterCapital!

While we are hard at work preparing for an increased summer offering, here’s an overview of our winter season, as well as some advice for exploring the Capital this spring.

2021–2022 season highlights

  • In partnership with the Urban Winter Trails Alliance, and with the tremendous support of community volunteers, the NCC offered new loops to users, including the LeBreton Flats Pathway. The winter trails grew to over 100 km throughout the network.
  • Over 10,000 people enjoyed the Queen Elizabeth Driveway while it was open exclusively for active use this season. Stay tuned to find out more about summer programming on NCC parkways!
  • Gatineau Park enthusiasts were able to enjoy 8.5 kilometres of additional trails, including the use of the Gatineau Parkway service lane for snowshoeing and snow biking, as part of a pilot project connecting the Gatineau and Old Chelsea sectors.
  • For the first time in over 20 years, skaters were able to enjoy the full 7.8 kilometres of the iconic Rideau Canal Skateway on opening day. Since then, more than half a million skaters enjoyed 41 skating days, which saw the return of services, including skate rentals, and food and beverage concession stands.
  • In the Greenbelt, the new Mādahòkì Farm celebrated the change of seasons, and offered agritourism visits.

Gatineau Park

With the current forecast for warm temperatures and rainfall, Gatineau Park’s winter season is drawing to a close. The last official day of grooming operations will be March 31, 2022. Skiers may continue to access the network, but conditions are highly variable, and routes and parking lots are no longer recommended. Here are the highlights of the season:

  • A total of 16,167 season passes were sold (14,122 ski passes, and 2,045 snowshoe and snow bike passes). In addition, 23, 916 daily passes were purchased.
  • Winter accommodations were once again popular this year, with a total of 1,540 nights booked.
  • Winter trails were open for a total of 82 days, compared with 79 days last year. Over the past 15 years, the average length of the season has been 108 days.

Parkways: Once the snow cover melts, maintenance teams will begin cleanup to prepare the parkways for summer use.

Trails: The summer hiking and walking trails will open on April 15, 2022, at which time leashed dogs will be permitted on designated trails. Gatineau Park’s mountain biking season opens when the trails are dry. During the spring thaw period, the NCC asks the public to avoid using the trails, as they are susceptible to erosion. This will help to ensure the sustainability of the network. We will update the recommended trails on our website throughout the season.

Spring cleanup

Greenbelt: During the thaw period, avoid non-recommended trails, as they can become muddy and flooded. Starting April 15, leashed dogs are allowed on most Greenbelt trails.

Capital Pathway: As soon as most of the snow is melted, our maintenance teams will begin cleaning the pathways and removing debris. All cleanup on the Capital Pathway is scheduled to be completed by May on both sides of the river. Dogs on leash are allowed on the Capital Pathway at all times. Remember to Share the Path.

Thanks to our partners

The success of this unique season is due in no small part to the work and involvement of many people:

  • Gatineau Park partners, including Services récréatifs Demsis, inc. and the Gatineau Park volunteer ski patrol;
  • Winter Trail sponsors, partners and volunteers, including the City of Ottawa, Ville de Gatineau and the Urban Winter Trails Alliance (Kichi Sibi Winter Trail, Ottawa West Winter Trail, Britannia Winter Trail Association, Rideau Winter Trail, Ski Heritage East, Orleans Ski Club).

LINKS

Media information

Dominique Huras
NCC Media Relations
613-286-0886
dominique.huras@ncc-ccn.ca

Maryam El-Akhrass
NCC Media Relations
343-551-6149
maryam.el-akhrass@ncc-ccn.ca