WINTERTIME IN OT­TAWA

SKAT­ING ON THE RIDEAU CANAL IS ONE OT­TAWA EX­PE­RI­ENCE YOU SHOULDN’T MISS, BUT THERE’S MUCH MORE TO WIN­TER IN CANADA’S CAP­I­TAL THAN THE FA­MOUS FROZEN WA­TER­WAY.

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine - - Table Of Contents - BY LAURA BYRNE PAQUET

There’s no end of things to see and do in our na­tion’s cap­i­tal.

For starters, sev­eral re­frig­er­ated out­door rinks are of­ten open when mild tem­per­a­tures keep skaters off the canal. The Rink of Dreams at Ot­tawa City Hall is near many ho­tels, while the rink at Rideau Hall—which dates back to 1872— of­fers a glimpse into his­tory. If you choose the rink at Lans­downe Park, you can also shop, eat, see a movie or catch an Ot­tawa ’67s On­tario Hockey League game on-site.

MORE WIN­TER SPORTS

If you’re su­per fit and you’d like to com­bine skat­ing, cross-coun­try ski­ing and run­ning, all on the same day, the Win­ter­lude Triathlon (Fe­bru­ary 2, 2019) may be for you. It’s part of the much larger Win­ter­lude fes­ti­val (Fe­bru­ary 1–18), which fea­tures ice sculp­tures, con­certs, a chil­dren’s win­ter play­ground and more.

Nordic skiers can also test their skills in the Cana­dian Ski Marathon (Fe­bru­ary 8–10)

or the Gatineau Lop­pet (Fe­bru­ary 15–17); the lat­ter of­fers eight ski cour­ses rang­ing from two to 51 kilo­me­tres each. For those who would rather just ski at a leisurely pace, Gatineau Park has 200 kilo­me­tres of groomed cross-coun­try trails, while the Green­belt sur­round­ing Ot­tawa of­fers an­other 150 kilo­me­tres. Look­ing for some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent? Look no fur­ther than the Ot­tawa Ice Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val (Fe­bru­ary 9), when teams of eight to 10 will “pad­dle” boats mounted on blades across frozen Dows Lake. You can field a team or just cheer from shore.

Win­ter sports fans can also root for youth teams from across North Amer­ica and Europe dur­ing the Bell Cap­i­tal Cup (De­cem­ber 27–31, 2018), or catch the NHL’S Ot­tawa Se­na­tors in ac­tion un­til April 6 at the Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre.

Of course, many of us would rather co­coon in­doors when the mer­cury drops. If you fall into that camp, Ot­tawa will eas­ily keep you amused.

MYR­IAD MUSEUMS

The Ot­tawa Art Gallery’s new light-filled build­ing, which opened in spring 2018, is an at­trac­tion in its own right. The gallery now has more than 5,110 square me­tres in which to dis­play works with an Ot­tawa con­nec­tion, such as Karim Rashid: Cul­tural Shap­ing,

a ret­ro­spec­tive of work by the in­dus­trial de­signer and Car­leton Univer­sity alum (un­til Fe­bru­ary 10).

If knights, troubadours and cas­tles are your thing, you still have time to catch Medieval Europe—power and Splen­dour, an ex­hi­bi­tion of more than 200 ar­ti­facts from the Bri­tish Mu­seum, run­ning at the Cana­dian Mu­seum of His­tory un­til Jan­uary 20. More re­cent his­tory is the sub­ject of Mas­ter­piece in Fo­cus: Hal­i­fax Har­bour 1918, a show of paint­ings by Harold Gil­man and Arthur Lis­mer, run­ning at the Na­tional Gallery of Canada un­til March 17.

The chance to see free-fly­ing but­ter­flies on win­try days proved so pop­u­lar last year that the Cana­dian Mu­seum of Na­ture is stag­ing an ex­panded But­ter­flies in Flight show this win­ter (un­til April 22). Timed tick­ets are avail­able in ad­vance and strongly rec­om­mended.

ON THE HILL

A 10-year restora­tion pro­ject will dis­place par­lia­men­tar­i­ans from the Cen­tre Block, be­gin­ning in early 2019. How­ever, tours of Par­lia­ment Hill will still be avail­able, via a new on­line book­ing sys­tem and a new vis­i­tor cen­tre on the Hill; both are due to launch as soon as the Cen­tre Block closes. And, as al­ways, Par­lia­ment Hill will glow with thou­sands of fes­tive lights as part of Christ­mas Lights Across Canada (De­cem­ber 5, 2018 to Jan­uary 7, 2019).

BUT WAIT—THERE’S MORE!

In win­ter, the cap­i­tal’s per­form­ing arts scene kicks into high gear. At the Na­tional Arts Cen­tre, which will mark its 50th an­niver­sary in 2019, highlights in­clude Han­del’s Mes­siah (De­cem­ber 18 and 19), Beau­ti­ful—the Ca­role King Mu­si­cal (Jan­uary 1–6), Pa­trick Wat­son with the NAC Orches­tra (Jan­uary 19), and a Shake­spearean adap­ta­tion, Prince Ham­let (Fe­bru­ary 27–March 9). Paul Brandt brings his Jour­ney Tour 2019 to the TD Place Arena on Fe­bru­ary 16. And at the Great Cana­dian Theatre Com­pany, the sea­son in­cludes the com­edy Bed & Break­fast

(De­cem­ber 4–22) and a drama about Dr. Martin Luther King called The Moun­tain­top

(Jan­uary 22–Fe­bru­ary 10).

LEFT: The beauty of Ot­tawa in win­ter is stun­ning. Thomas Brissiaud/shut­ter­stock BE­LOW: A sculp­ture of a giant spi­der, Ma­man by Louise Bour­geois, guards the en­trance to the Na­tional Gallery of Canada in Ot­tawa. Julien Haut­coeur/shut­ter­stock

ABOVE: The frozen Rideau Canal is a hub of ac­tiv­ity dur­ing the colder win­ter months. Ot­tawa Tourism BE­LOW: Win­ter­lude fes­ti­val fea­tures ice sculp­tures, con­certs, a chil­dren’s win­ter play­ground and more. pho.sto­ries/shut­ter­stock BOT­TOM: The Cana­dian Mu­seum of Na­ture is stag­ing an ex­panded But­ter­flies in Flight show un­til April 22. Pierre Poirier

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