Winter activities in Ottawa for newcomers


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No matter which forum or article online you choose, you will find the same info that is authentic for Ottawa – there are so many wonderful things to do in Ottawa in the winter. Probably a lot of people told you you are crazy when you hired the best moving companies Ottawa to move here in winter. However, when you overcome the cold, you will find out that Canada’s capital is beautiful and has amazing Christmas lights, tasty hot chocolate, and a beautiful atmosphere in December. There are a lot of winter activities in Ottawa for newcomers that can qualify for the perfect weekend getaway. Don’t let the cold weather stop you. Suit up with some warm winter clothes and weather gear and you are ready.

Let’s check out the most common winter activities in Ottawa for newcomers

Ottawa region is always covered with blankets of snow during winter. Therefore, nature lovers head outside to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful landscape. Some of the most popular activities are definitely skiing, ice-skating,  snowshoeing, hiking, and more. Therefore, if you are a fan and you cannot wait to embrace some change in your life, moving companies Orleans will help you in the process. We can even say that winter here is almost magical. Here are some of the ways you can experience the magic of the winter season in Ottawa:

  • snowshoeing
  • cross-country skiing
  • ice skating
  • hiking
A Woman and snow
Winter activities in Ottawa for newcomers can include private fun with snow in your own yard

Snowshoeing is one of the most popular winter activities in Ottawa for newcomers

Maybe the reason for your long distance move to Ottawa is not snowshoeing, but you cannot deny that it is a perfect outdoor activity for winter sports newbies. It’s very accessible and even more important, it’s completely affordable. It is very similar to walking with bigger “feet”! You don’t have to buy the equipment, you can rent it. Basically, you can snowshoe in the nearest park or the hundreds of kilometers of beautifully maintained trails in the Ottawa area. You can have it both rurally and urban. Gatineau Park is one of the most popular trailing destinations. Park Omega and Arbraska Laflèche also have snowshoeing options.

Cross-country skiing

Outdoor activities are not only about winter magic and being active. They are also a great opportunity for you to meet new people after moving to Ottawa. Cross-country skiing is on top of the list pastime for all Ottawa residents. Rideau Winter Trail and Kichi Sibi Winter Trail (formerly known as the Sir John A. Macdonald Winter Trail/SJAM Trail) are the most popular multi-user groomed trails. You also have around 93 miles of trails in the Greenbelt area around Ottawa. Access is free and it is suitable for all levels starting from beginner. This activity is also great to have fun with your friends and family. Once again, Gatineau Park is a great place for cross-country skiing enthusiasts also. Make sure to pick up a ski pass (daily or seasonal) at the Visitor Centre in Chelsea, Quebec, and enjoy a good time.

Skating footwear
Besides skiing, ice-skating is also a very popular winter activity in Ottawa

Ice skating

Ice skating is one of the most popular activities in Ottawa. People of all ages are loving it and it is a favorite pastime for teenagers. The Rideau Canal Skateway is the largest naturally frozen skating rink in the world. So, if you are a newbie and already finished with your moving process, make sure to check it out asap! A lot of people claim that ice skating helped them in overcoming their after-move anxiety. It is open daily from late December to late February. the best thing about Skateway is that you can access it totally free. In addition, there are alternatives such as the Rink of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall and the Skating Court at Lansdowne. Also, do not forget the region’s rural areas.  There are magical skating trails that wind through the amazing woods and flat orchards.


It is no surprise that we are mentioning Gatineau Park again. There are several groomed trails through the snow-covered forest in the Park. The majority of Ottawa’s Greenbelt are used for cross-country skiing in the winter. Therefore, you can walk beside the tracks. If you plan to begin hiking, it is also good to know that there are rural sites that the people of Ottawa also use for snowshoeing. The Ottawa Valley area is famous for its many hiking trails and walking opportunities. It is a great area for families to enjoy some fresh air. You have stunning views here and in the whole area. Hiking is a great activity for the mind and soul. It is also a great opportunity that you to connect with your family and friends. Besides connecting with others, hiking can help you in connecting with yourself on a deeper level.

A woman that hikes in mountains
Winter hiking is great for both the mind and body

All in all, there are tons of winter activities in Ottawa for newcomers. Although is very cold, Ottawa still provides you with a heartwarming feeling. It is a great place to live in every sense. The quality of life is awesome and there are tons of things you can do. Therefore, you will never feel bored in Ottawa. Whether is skating, skiing or hiking you will have a lot of fun and you will meet tons of new people.

Every winter, the Ottawa region is transformed into a magical destination. Snowy landscapes and vibrant urban areas are giving you a magical feeling. Besides skiing, skating and hiking, there are cozy attractions and restaurants where you can spend your free time. There is a popular opinion that ” no one does winter” as Ottawa residents do. If you are open, your moving experience will be a time of your life. Embrace the adventure and enjoy your new life!

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