Visitor information — Winterlude 2019

The 2019 Winterlude new vision hit the right note! In addition to classic winter activities, our new programming coupled with new destinations struck a responsive chord!

Thanks to our generous volunteers, sponsors and programming partners for getting on board with this great celebration of Canadian diversity. THIS is Winterlude!

Join us in 2020, for a Winterlude just as memorable!

Plan your visit to Winterlude and your stay in Canada's Capital Region.

OLG Sno-Bus Schedule

Take the free OLG Sno-Bus shuttle service!

OLG Sno-Bus Logo

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.

Saturdays and Sundays, February 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17

In Ottawa

Saturdays, from 10 am to 8 pm and Sundays, from 10 am to 5 pm, between Dows Lake, the Rideau Canal Skateway and the ByWard Market.

In Gatineau

Saturdays, from 10 am to 5:30 pm and Sundays, from 10 am to 5 pm, between the Centre Robert-Guertin park-and-ride, the Jacques-Cartier Park and the ByWard Market.

Monday, February 18 (Family Day)

Monday, February 18, from 10 am to 3 pm, between Dows Lake, the Rideau Canal Skateway, the ByWard Market and Jacques-Cartier Park.

Getting around

Information

Winterlude Information Agents, at 1-844-878-8333.

Ongoing shuttle-bus service is provided by OC Transpo (613-741-4390) and the Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) (819-770-3242).

This map shows the OLG Snow-Bus shuttle’s route offered on weekends and on Family Day. It also shows the locations of first aid stations, special services for persons with reduced mobility, information kiosks, paid parking, and where dogs and pets are not permitted. On the map, point A shows the location of the ByWard Market, point B shows the location of the Rideau Canal Skateway and point C shows the location of Jacques-Cartier Park.

Road closures

Ottawa

Full closure:

Street will be closed at different times; please see the schedule below:

York Street West, Westbound (North of the parking), between ByWard Market Square and Sussex Drive

  • Closed from 6 pm to 10:30 pm, Friday February 1, 8, and 15
  • Closed from 10 am to 8 pm, Saturday February 2, 9 and 16
  • Closed from 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday February 3, 10 and 17
  • Closed from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday February 18

*Schedule is subject to change without notice.

York Street East between William and Dalhousie Streets

  • Closed from 6 pm to 11pm, Friday February 1 and 15
  • Closed from 6 pm to 11 pm, Saturday February 2
  • Closed from 9:30 am to 11 pm, Saturday February 16

*Schedule is subject to change without notice.

O'Connor Street between Wellington and Queen Streets

  • Closed from 10 pm to 11pm, Friday February 8
  • Closed from 10 pm to 11pm, Saturday February 9

*Schedule is subject to change without notice.

Westbound lanes of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway

  • Closed from 6 am to 2:30 pm, Sunday, February 17

Vimy Place between Booth and Wellington Streets

  • Closed from 7:45 am to 8:45 am, Sunday, February 17

Queen Elizabeth Driveway, between Preston St and Somerset St.

  • Closed from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm, Saturday, February 2, 9, and 16 (unless otherwise required or indicated)
  • Closed from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm, Sunday, February 3, 10, and 17 (unless otherwise required or indicated)
  • Closed from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, Monday, February 18 (unless otherwise required or indicated)

Gatineau

Laurier Street, from Boulevard des Allumetières to Verdun Street, and St-Etienne Street, between Notre-Dame-de-L'île and Laurier Streets

  • Closed from 9 am to 3 pm, Thursdays, February 7 and 14
  • Closed from 9 am to 3 pm, Fridays, February 1, 8, and 15

Laurier Street, from Boulevard des Allumetières to Verdun Street, and St-Etienne Street, between Notre-Dame-de-L'île and Laurier Streets

  • Closed from 9 am to 6 pm Saturdays, February 2, 9 and 16 and from 9 am to 5:30 pm, Sundays, February 3, 10 and 17
  • Closed from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday, February 18 

Paid parking ($)

During Winterlude you can park at these locations:

  • Bronson Avenue (temporary NCC parking)
  • Dows Lake
  • National Arts Centre (NAC)
  • Rideau Centre
  • World Exchange Plaza
  • Ottawa City Hall

Opening Hours

Winterlude activities in the ByWard Market, on Sparks Street, in Downtown Rideau and in the Glebe have different schedules. Consult the calendar of events for all programming details.

Crystal Garden (ice sculptures), at the York Street Plaza, in the ByWard Market, in Ottawa.

  • Monday to Thursday, February 4 to 7, from 12 pm to 8 pm
  • Friday, February 8, from 12 pm to 10 pm
  • Saturday, February 9, from 10 am to 10 pm
  • Sunday, February 10, from 10 am to 8 pm
  • Monday and Tuesday, February 11 and 12, CLOSED
  • Wednesday and Thursday, February 13 and 14, from 12 pm to 8 pm
  • Friday, February 15, from 12 pm to 10 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, February 16 and 17, from 10 am to 10 pm
  • Monday, February 18, from 10 am to 6 pm

Snowflake Kingdom, back in its usual location in Jacques-Cartier Park, in Gatineau.

  • Thursday, February 7, from 9 am to 4 pm
  • Friday, February 8, from 9 am to 9 pm
  • Saturday, February 9, from 9 am to 9 pm
  • Sunday, February 10, from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Thursday, February 14, from 9 am to 4 pm
  • Friday, February 15, from 9 am to 9 pm
  • Saturday, February 16, from 9 am to 9 pm
  • Sunday, February 17, from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Monday, February 18, from 9 am to 4 pm

Rideau Canal Skateway

Consult the National Capital Commission website for ice conditions and more information on the Rideau Canal Skateway.

Universal accessibility

Special services on the Rideau Canal Skateway include: ramps to access the Skateway and accessible portable toilets.

A limited number of accessible parking spots ($) are available for people with disabilities at these parking lots:

  • National Arts Centre (NAC)
  • Ottawa City Hall
  • Dows Lake parking (corner of Preston and Prince of Wales)
  • Bronson Avenue’s National Capital Commission parking space

Where to eat

Looking for a place to eat during Winterlude?

Located in the heart of Ottawa, just a few steps from the Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest skating rink, these restaurants are minutes away from Winterlude activities.

Bistros

Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro
54 York Street, Ottawa
613-241-4270

Contemporary cuisine

Courtyard Restaurant
21 George Street, Ottawa
613-241-1516

French cuisine

Métropolitain Brasserie Restaurant
700 Sussex Drive, Ottawa
613-562-1160

Italian cuisine

The Grand Pizzeria and Bar
74 George Street, Ottawa
613-244-9995
Vittoria Trattoria
35 William Street, Ottawa
613-789-8959

24 h diner

Zak’s Diner
14 ByWard Market Square, Ottawa
613-241-2401

Mexican cuisine

Zak’s Cantina
10 ByWard Market Square, Ottawa
613-422-9257

Grill and seafood

Coasters Seafood Grill
54 York Street, Ottawa
613-241-4954
The Fish Market Restaurant
54 York Street, Ottawa
613-241-3474
Blue Cactus Bar and Grill
2 ByWard Market Square, Ottawa
613-241-7061

Where to stay

Looking for a place to stay during the Winterlude events?

Located in the heart of Ottawa and in downtown Gatineau, these hotels are prime locations to enjoy Winterlude activities. 

Hotel packages offered by Winterlude partners

Official Winterlude headquarters

The Westin Ottawa
11 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
613-560-7000
1-888-627-8528

Fairmont Château Laurier
1 Rideau Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-241-1414
1-800-257-7544

Lord Elgin
100 Elgin Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-235-3333
1-800-267-4298

Official hotels

Albert at Bay Suite Hotel
435 Albert Street, Ottawa, Ontario 
613-238-8858
1-800-267-6644

Alt Hotel Ottawa
185 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-691-6882
1-844-258-6882

Andaz Ottawa Byward Market
325 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-321-1234

ARC The.Hotel
140 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-238-2888
1-800-699-2516

Best Western Plus Ottawa Downtown
377 O’Connor Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-567-7275
1-800-465-7275

Capital Hill Hotel & Suites
88 Albert Street (between Elgin and Metcalfe), Ottawa, Ontario
613-235-1413
1-800-463-7705

Cartier Place Suite Hotel
180 Cooper Street, Ottawa, Ontario 
613-236-5000
1-800-236-8399

Courtyard by Marriott Ottawa Downtown
350 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-241-1000
1-800-341-2210

Crowne Plaza Gatineau-Ottawa
2 Montcalm Street, Gatineau, Quebec
819-778-3880
1-877-424-4188

Delta Ottawa City Centre
101 Lyon Street North, Ottawa, Ontario
613-237-3600
1-888-890-3222

Four Points by Sheraton Gatineau-Ottawa
35 rue Laurier, Gatineau, Quebec 
819-778-6111
1-800-567-9607

The Metcalfe Hotel
123 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-231-6555
1-844-871-6555

Novotel Ottawa
33 Nicholas Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-230-3033
1-855-677-3033

Ottawa Marriott Hotel
100 Kent Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-238-1122
1-800-853-8463

Radisson Hotel Ottawa Parliament Hill
402 Queen Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-236-1133
1-877-557-5565

Residence Inn by Marriott Ottawa Downtown
161 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario
613-231-2020
1-877-478-4838

Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
150 Albert Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-238-1500
1-888-627-7045

The Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites
25 Cartier Street, Ottawa, Ontario
613-237-2111
1-800-661-5495

Do your part for the environment

While attending Winterlude events please do your part for the environment:

  • Recycle — put recyclables in the on-site recycling stations, where available.
  • Compost — put food waste and other compost items in the on-site compost stations.
  • Use public transit.

Facilities and services

Concession stands

There are concession stands at Jacques-Cartier Park and on the Rideau Canal Skateway.

First aid stations

There are first aid stations at Jacques-Cartier Park and in the ByWard Market.

Lost and found

Lost and found boxes are kept at Winterlude information kiosks at Jacques-Cartier Park and the Rideau Canal Skateway, at Fifth Avenue.

Valuable items are turned over to local police:

  • Ottawa Police: 613-236-1222, ext. 5238
  • Gatineau Police: 819-246-0222

Lost children services

Lost Children Services are available at:

  • Jacques-Cartier Park (during park hours)
  • ByWard Market (Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 am to 5 pm)
  • Along the Rideau Canal Skateway on Queen Elizabeth Drive at the National Arts Centre and at Fifth Avenue, as well as Colonel By Driveway at Bronson Avenue (Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 am to 5 pm)

Skate rentals

Skate and sleigh rentals, and skate sharpening, are available on the Rideau Canal Skateway at the National Arts Centre (819-576-6839), Fifth Avenue at Queen Elizabeth (819-576-6931) and Dows Lake (613- 232-1001).

Washrooms

Portable washrooms are available in the ByWard Market (Crystal Garden), at Snowflake Kingdom, Jacques-Cartier Park, and the Rideau Canal Skateway).

Additional Information

Capital information kiosk

Address
90 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON

Telephone
1-844-878-8333 (toll free)
1-888-997-3123 (TTY toll-free)

Email
pch.kic-cik.pch@canada.ca

Winterlude information booths

Available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

  • ByWard Market, Ottawa
  • Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa
  • Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau

Skating conditions

Rideau Canal Skateway ice conditions: 613-239-5234.

Tourist information

Other information

No dogs or pets

Dogs and pets are not permitted in the Snowflake Kingdom, the Crystal Garden and on the Rideau Canal Skateway.

Exceptions are made for service and guide dogs.

Fees

Some Winterlude activities are free and others have fees. See the calendar of events for details.