Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle

Fall/Winter 2015

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine

Issue link: http://read.dreamscapes.ca/i/586302

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Page 40 of 63

I unsuccessfully attempt to skate next to him on my slippery blades of steel. To say I'm a horrible skater is an understatement and he quickly whizzes past me smiling. Luckily Noah, nine, has pity on me and skates back to take my hand and pull me along the icy path. The Rideau is the world's largest ice- skating rink. Holes are drilled in the canal ice to pump water onto the surface, which then freezes over creating a glimmering rink. It's crowded, but since it stretches almost eight kilometres there is plenty of room for everyone to share the canal, which runs through downtown Ottawa. You can rent skates or bring your own. Some athletic locals actually skate to work in the winter! We flew in from Toronto on Porter Air- lines to enjoy Winterlude Festival, a yearly event in Ottawa. The next one is January 29– February 15, 2016. Our capital's winter celebration, which began in 1979, is the per- fect long weekend event for families. The temperature is way below zero, making it perfectly acceptable for adults to fashion- ably wear snow pants. A CRYSTAL GARDEN This is the place to be for captivating ice sculptures. We stare in awe at perfectly- carved masterpieces of musical instruments, angels, birds, sports figures and our very own CN Tower. There is an ice-carving com- petition where professional carvers create original artwork out of a single block of ice. I watch them work magic with their axe and carving tools. My hockey-loving son poses with replica ice-hockey players and pretends to score a goal. There is ice bowling and Noah pulls a large ball suspended in the air with rope and tries to knock down the frozen pins. In front of the Pan Am Games ice sculpture I ask a random stranger what he thinks of Winterlude. He smiles and tells me about his favourite festival highlights and even wel- comes me to Ottawa. Suddenly a crowd gathers around us including a news and pho- tography crew—a calmer version of Hollywood paparazzi. It turns out my nice random stranger is Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson! FALL/ WINTER 2015 DREAMSCAPES 41 OPPOSITE: Stretching almost eight kilometres, there is plenty of room for everyone to share the canal, which runs through downtown Ottawa. TOP: The Rideau Falls mark the spot where the Ottawa River meets the Rideau River. Julien Hautcoeur/Shutterstock.com

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