In Ottawa, winter starts about at the end of October and can last until mid April. (give or take a couple of weeks) So, yes. It's pretty much cold, very cold, or freezing cold, for almost a half of the year.So you'd better like it, to have a happy living in Ottawa. If you can't avoid it, enjoy it! One good thing about having a long winter is that you don't complain much of a very hot day in summer because you know it will not stay long... Is it a good thing though? It sounds pathetic, doesn't it? :( Well, but that is a reality. And truly I enjoy summer because it's so short and precious! And also, I enjoy winter because I know I can't avoid it. Fortunately I like winter very much. Mr. D doesn't like summer and he thinks two weeks of summer is enough. I know, doesn't it sound crazy? But actually he is happier in winter. We are lucky that both our kids like winter. But I think they like summer even more. Otherwise, it would have been hard for all of us to be happy in Ottawa. In summer, we do play tennis, go camping and swimming. In winter, we go skating and skiing. As I wrote last year, there is the world's largest skating rink(?) in Ottawa, Rideau Canal skateway. It seems that I've been posting about this skateway every year. So I can't miss this year, can I? :)
You can see my skateway post of 2013 here:
It was so cold last December, at around -25 to -28 degrees Celsius which is about -12 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though Ottawa is colder than other places, the canal usually doesn't get ready for skating until mid or late January. But, the skateway opened already in December because it was completely frozen in December, thanks to the extraordinary temperature!!! Since we went skiing more often this winter, we could hit the skateway only a couple of weeks ago. It was a perfectly nice day to skate at -10 degrees Celsius (or 14 degrees Fahrenheit)
We parked the car at Carleton University as usual and walked to the canal.
Usually start at Bronson and skate down to the downtown.
(A nice view of the canal from Bronson)
Changing rooms(?) on the canal are always busy.
Mr. D changes kids' skates.
There are marks for the distance to let you know how much you skate :)
There are lots of different skaters. A family, a pack of friends, and families of three generations were skating together.
Also, you can see lots of joggers and strollers on the ice with parents skating and pushing :)
We are getting closer to the mouth of the Canal.
We stopped near the mouth of canal for Beavertails.
This is a staple treat when we go to skate on the canal. You can imagine that this is the part the kids enjoy the most out of the entire skating.
Do you see the long line in front of the Beavertails?
As Beavertails only takes cash, there is an ATM machine on the canal :)
Remi's usual is the fried dough with Nutella spread.
Pablo's usual is maple syrup one because he can't have Nutella which contains nuts.
After having some delicious fried dough, Mom and sons raced back to the starting point.
Then, we skated back and continued all the way to the Dow's lake where the skateway started.
We wanted to go back to the canal the following weekend, but we went skiing to Mont Sainte-Marie in Quebec. Weather was perfect and snow condition was pretty good. It's actually fun to take lift to the top with kids and to ski down the hill. My parents didn't ski, so we went skiing with my uncle and aunt every year. I hope they had fun skiing with us as much as I do with my kids.
In Canada there is a snowpass you can apply for the grade 4-5 kids and have free full day lift tickets at ski hills, for 3 times maximum during the 2-year period at each ski hill. So the day pass was free for Remi. We had bought our tickets at a discounted price when it was on promotion with Groupon a few weeks ago :) So we paid the full price for a kid's day pass for Pablo. It was a sweet deal :)
Remi was totally scared that I might drop my cell phone while attempting to take photos.
He was so relieved when I finally put back the cell phone in my backpack.
Kids started skiing only last winter. They are getting better and better.
(Mr. D and Pablo)
Remi, resting while waiting for Pablo
They will have lessons next winter to go to the next level. So far, they are doing fine and we've been skiing at any hill of green circles and blue squares.
Remi even went to skiing for his school field trip a couple of weeks ago. He loves skiing.
I had to carry Pablo's skis on my shoulder when we had to ski from a station(?) to another station. Believe me, it was quite a labour. Do you see me climbing behind Pablo?
On the other hand, Remi carries his own skis with no problem.
Otherwise, it was fun! The Mont Ste-Marie doesn't offer night skiing. We skied all day until four and came back home to have dinner! It was a nice day skiing.
(Pablo racing down the hill)
Oh, by the way, we bought lunch. And I find Mont Ste-Marie's pizza is over-priced! Don't you agree that $4 for a slice of pepperoni pizza is too much?
My cell phone camera went a little funny when I took this photo, but as you see we paid $25 for this:
a cheese burger, small poutine, a small bowl of chili and a slice of pizza.
It's (finally) Friday.
Winter Activities in Ottawa