Skating the Rideau Canal

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One of the things I miss most about living in Ottawa is the Rideau Canal, both summer and winter. In the summer my morning bike ride would take me up one side of the canal from my home near the Pretoria Bridge to the locks aside Carleton University, where I would walk my bike across the top of the main lock and ride back again around Mooney’s Bay, under the beautiful Bank Street Bridge, past Lansdowne Park and back home at Pretoria Bridge, the only stone bridge in Canada that rises up and down as a single, horizontal platform (to allow tall boats to pass below). Not to mention all the summertime bike rides to and from the Bluesfest, Ribfest, Jazz Festival, Folkfest, and so much more.

But probably most fun and most unique was my daily skate along what would become the world’s largest skating rink every winter. I even skated to and from work every day…no kidding!

In this video I travel about 4.8 kilometres (three miles) from the locks at Carleton U. to the Pretoria Bridge, where my GoPro ran out of power. That’s too bad, because the rest of the skate past Ottawa U., the National Arts Centre, and to the locks at the Chateau Laurier is the prettiest part (it’s a total of 7.8 kilometres – or just under five miles – from one end to the other). Put it down to poor planning on my part.

I find it pretty meditative to watch, especially with the right soundtrack. I was going to add some music to the video but in the end I decided it would be more fun to let you pick your own.

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