As we welcome 2021, we are once again faced with the reality of staying home, keeping away from others and being COVID-WISE in an attempt to flatten the curve. 

This can be hard on all of us, especially if we are missing activities we would normally do at our local community centres or recreation arenas in the winter. 

However, right here in Vanier, there are options merely steps from your home. 

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING

The Rideau Winter Trail offers a 9-kilometres route from Rideau Sports Centre (1 Donald St.) south to Highway 417, towards Hurdman Station. Skiers can connect to the trail at three different spots, Donald Street, at the Highway 417 and the Hurdman LRT Bridge, or South of Hurdman Station by the Hospital Link.  The trail includes a groomed area for cross country skiing, a “Bike path” for fat biking, snowshoe, and those who are walking. 

Additionally, the trail includes a 2.5-kilometre meandering loop in the grassy area near the Sports Centre, set for classic and skate skiers.

Grooming will occur once a week for 10 weeks, typically on a Thursday or Friday (weather dependent) – so that trail is in peak condition for weekend users. 

OUTDOOR RINKS 

One of the best parts of winter in Ottawa is our ample opportunities to go skating. Whether its the Rideau Canal or your local skating rink, you will find you are not short of options to skate this winter. 

In Vanier we have:

St. Ambroise – 120 Landry St. A puddle rink, this is the perfect spot to teach younger children who are just getting used to the sport how to skate.

Optimiste Park – 43 Ste. Cecile : An outdoor boarded rink. Visit Optimist Park Rink on Facebook for more information about the rink

Richelieu-Vanier Community Centre – 300 des Peres-Blancs Ave.: Outdoor boarded rink surface, with a puddle rink beside.This rink is located behind the community centre, there is parking and indoor facilities (depending on the time you go skating) to change, use washrooms etc.

I would personally like to thank all the hard working volunteers who make these outdoor rinks a possibility for the community. Guy Theirault, John Gomes and Alexandre Grandmaître for their dedication to ensuring the community indeed has a place to skate every season. So Thank you!

If you are interested in helping with the flooding or maintaining of these rinks, please feel free to reach out to the City by calling 613-580-2590 or emailing seasonalrecreation@ottawa.ca

GOING VIRTUAL

And if going outside is not always an option, I am pleased to share the City’s latest pivot for recreation classes. The City launched its virtual Arts and Recreation Centre on Jan. 11, 2021. This new platform allows you to sign up and participate in workshops and courses virtually,

For a full list of the courses available or more information feel free to visit ottawa.ca/recreation. Registration began January 14 at 9 pm.