Winterlude: The Better Way


We love Winterlude, and we look forward to it every year. This year marks the 30th anniversary of our wonderful winter festival, so we’re going to bundle up the kids and really do it right.
This year we’re leaving the car at home. OC Transpo is running the Sno-Bus on Winterlude weekends. It’s only $2.50 for the day and kids 11 and under ride free. The bus travels between downtown and Dows Lake and it really is a smart way to see the sites. We’ll transfer to STO’s Bal de Neige bus because we don’t want to miss the larger-than-humanly-possible snow slides at the Sun Life Snowflake Kingdom at Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau. The best time to visit is from 6–8 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays (it’s closed Mondays and Tuesdays). Street parking is also free during the week, and usually not too difficult to find.

If dragging your stroller, a diaper bag and a backpack full of snacks on the bus seems too daunting, you might want to park your minivan at the World Exchange Plaza (111 Albert Street). It’s free on weekends, and is only a couple blocks away from Confederation Park (which backs on to the Rideau Canal). And remember, the early bird gets the best spot in the lot.

The Rideau Canal Skateway is the big draw here, of course. It wouldn’t be Winterlude without it. If the weather has been erratic we check canal conditions online before we go.

Strollers are great on the ice (especially if they have big rubber tires, this is off-roading at its best), but it can be tough bringing them up and down busy (not to mention limited) access points on the canal. It helps to have a second pair of hands to help you hoist your stroller up or down.


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