I love winter - it's a big reason I left Houston and moved home to Maine.
But the Canadians really know how to enjoy the season. In Ottawa, for instance, the frozen Rideau Canal becomes a 5-mile long skating rink every winter. The "Rideau Canal Skateway," pictured above, extends from the campus of Carleton University south of the city center to downtown's Confederation Park, just three blocks away from Canada's Parliament Hill.
This means that Ottawans who live in the city's inner neighborhoods and work downtown are actually able to commute by ice-skates in the winter. And many of them do.
I was going to make this post exclusively about the Rideau Canal, until I found that the city of Winnipeg has copied the idea and gone one better, by opening "the world's longest skating rink" (1 mile longer than Ottawa's) on that city's frozen Assiniboine River. The Assiniboine River Trail, mapped below, is more of a skating path than a skating rink, but the idea of skating to cover long distances is the same.
Winnipeg's skating path extends from Assiniboine Park, not far from the airport in the city's western suburbs, to The Forks, where the Assiniboine meets the Red River. Along the way it passes through several city neighborhoods, and skirts past the southern boundaries of the Manitoban capitol grounds and the downtown business district.
Here's a time-lapse trip down the Assiniboine skate path from YouTube:
Writing this post makes me look forward to winter even more. So when is this good idea from the Canadians going to catch on south of the border?