Skaters pass sign on COVID-19 measures on the Rideau Canal Skateway on its opening day in Ottawa, on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The opening weekend of virtual Winterlude and a skate along the Rideau Canal Skateway are just some of the events happening in the national capital region this weekend. looks at things to do in Ottawa, eastern Ontario and western Quebec with the family.


The 43rd edition of Winterlude kicks off this weekend, virtually.

Canadian Heritage invites you to enjoy, "Exploring Canada's Winter Traditions!" It's a virtual show that will take Canadians on a cross-country journey to meet Canadians. The show begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, featuring the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ria Mae, Tracy Trash, Ariane Moffatt and the first-ever national virtual ice-carving competition.

You can watch the show at 7 p.m. on Canadian Heritage's YouTube channel.

For more information on the virtual Winterlude, visit the Winterlude website.

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The green flag is flying on the Rideau Canal Skateway.

The National Capital Commission says all 7.8 kilometres of the world's largest skating rink are open from Dow's Lake to the National Arts Centre.

For more information, visit

The National Capital Commission is asking people to enjoy NCC assets close to their home, including the Rideau Canal Skateway.

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You can go for a skate at one of Ottawa's outdoor refrigerated rinks. The city says you must book a free 45-minute reservation for a skating time at

Reservations will be required to skate at the following peak times:

City Hall Rink of Dreams, 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily

Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink of Dreams, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. weekends, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. weekdays

Lansdowne Park Skating Court, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. weekends, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. weekdays

Ben Franklin Place Skating Rink, 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. weekends, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. weekdays

Ottawa's community outdoor rinks are also open, weather permitting. A maximum of 25 people can skate on the outdoor rinks at one time.


The city of Ottawa's sledding hills are open for the season. Just a reminder, capacity in gathering areas is limited to 25 people at one time.

For a list of sledding hills in the City of Ottawa, visit

The National Capital Commission also operates sledding hills in Ottawa.


The National Capital Commission invites you to get outdoors this winter.

"With over 450 km of trails for skiing, snowshoeing, snow biking, walking and hiking, hills for tobogganing and fire pits to warm up by, there's something for everyone to enjoy in our 'Winter Capital,'" says the NCC.

Check out the NCC's Winter Capital interactive map to find suggested routes. Visit:

A reminder that interprovincial travel is strongly discouraged. Residents are asked to remain on their respective sides of the Ottawa River as much as possible and to travel only for essential reasons.

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Camp Fortune is open. For more information, visit

Mont Ste. Marie is open for the season. For hours of operation, visit

Health officials in Ontario and Quebec ask residents to avoid non-essential travel out of the province during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ski hills in Ontario must remain closed during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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You are invited to RiverOak Nature's Playground to skate on the winter trails.

Riveroak is located on York's Corners Road in Ottawa.

You must book tickets for Saturday and Sunday in advance at


The National Arts Centre invites you to enjoy Fridays at the Fourth with Karimah, live from Festival Hall in Calgary.

The free livestream performance begins Friday at 8 p.m.

For more information, visit