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Sunday, January 27, 2013

[Winter fun in Ottawa] Skating on Rideau Canal and Beavertails

It was seriously cold in Ottawa. Outdoor temperature has been consistently between -25C and -30C (=-10F and -22F) in the morning. Temperature went up to -15 ~ -18C (= 0 ~ 5F) in the afternoon. Car consumed much more gas in this kind of weather. When I woke up at 3:30 in the morning everyday last week, to watch evening matches of Australian Open, I read 55F (13C) on the thermostat! (Note: we turn off heating when we go to bed) It was literally freezing cold! Yes I know I'm a bit extreme. But, I'd rather have lack of sleep than miss important second week matches of  a Grand Slam.

Fortunately(?), arctic air mass, or arctic windchill, is temporarily gone. As temperature in the Saturday afternoon was mild at -12C (10F), we rushed out to Rideau canal for skating. I already wrote about Rideau Canal skateway last year:

See last year's posting:
I find last year's photos were better due to the time of the day, which was early afternoon.

This time, as we parked the car at 3:30 p.m., the light was not optimal. It's always great fun to skate along the waterway. I love skating on the Rideau canal where I can continue skating along the skateway instead of turning around the rink.

I didn't know how many skaters will be there as the temperature in that morning was -24C.
Well, lots of Ottawa people must have felt the same thing that we did. We just wanted to enjoy a relatively warm(?) afternoon on the ice. There were so many people on the canal.

Mr. D and I go skating to enjoy skating itself. Remi and Pablo have different interests: Their primary interest on the canal is Beavertails. They are reluctant to give up their desserts after dinner, no matter what. (You can have only one dessert per day in my household) But, they don't have any regret ceding evening desserts, to have a big flat fried dough.

The determination of the kids to eat Beavertails has made us skate about 2 km non-stop. 
As we got used to the indoor ice smoothed by zamboni or for the season, it was kind of hard when you hit rough outdoor ice for the first time of the season. But, after the first couple of hundred meters, you become more natural.

Beavertails is really expensive. I'm pretty confident that their direct material cost per fried dough would be less than 50 cents. But! you pay $4 for a very basic/classic fried dough, and $5 for a dough with fancier topping.

BeaverTails(Queues de Castor in French) are a Canadian-based chain of pastry stands. It started in Ottawa in 1978.

It received international attention when US president Barack Obama 
stopped at the ByWard Market in downtown Ottawa on his way to the airport specifically to buy a BeaverTails pastry on February 19, 2009.

Well, it is really good, even though the price is outrageous.

Kids always have the same things. Remi orders fried dough with Nutella topping which Pablo can't have because of his nut allergy.

Pablo always orders one maple butter topping.

As this was the quasi sole purpose they came skating, this was kids' favorite time on the ice.
I like the bonfire on the ice, by benches.

 (Frank Clair Stadium(for Canadian Football): Ottawa will have a CFL team again, from 2014)

Once we were done, we skated back to the Dow's lake where we started. We passed the spot we had started and got to the end of the Dow's lake.

It was already getting dark by the time we changed skates and climbed the snow hill to get to the parking of Carlton university. We usually park at Carlton and cross the street  to get to the canal. It sounds like a penny pincher, but I do not want to spend more money on parking. I prefer parking at Carlton at $2 to paying $7-8 to park at a closer parking.
And, it's actually fun to go over a little snow knoll ~

Hope we will be able to skate on the canal for a longer period time, preferably until March. The season last year was too short. Skating on the Rideau canal and having a fried dough on the canal are one of the best treats of the winter in Ottawa, for sure.

Skating on Rideau Canal & Beavertails


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