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Photo: Hannah Manning/Apt613

Winterlude 2019 kicks off with new activities and locations, including a rooftop ice bar

By Hannah Manning on February 1, 2019

Ice bar patio at Andaz. Photo: Hannah Manning/Apt613

It may have been the snowiest January on record, but that just means we’ve got perfect conditions for skating the canal, enjoying Winterlude… and a drink on a patio? Every Friday and Saturday throughout Winterlude, Andaz Ottawa is hosting a Canadian Ice Bar featuring hot drinks, live DJs, maple syrup taffy, and amazing views of this spectacular city. Who says patios are only for the summer?

“Andaz hotels deliver unique experiences to our guests and community,” said Matt Graham, general manager of Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market. “We can’t think of a more Canadian way to celebrate Winterlude and greet our guests than with an outdoor ice bar on our rooftop.”

The ice bar, with fire pits and cozy blankets, is a great spot to warm up after exploring Winterlude activities. New this year, the ice carving competitions will be taking place in the ByWard Market instead of at Confederation Park. Ice carvers from around the world will create pieces of art out of ice in the 32nd edition of the Crystal Garden International Ice-Carving Competition. The SubZero Electro DJ Nights will help kick off your night with Canadian DJs on the stage (at the corner of York and Dalhousie streets).

Looking for more Winterlude activities?

  • The Gatineau Winter Beer Festival (aka Festibière) is on Friday February 1 and Saturday February 2 at the Canadian Museum of History. Try beers from Quebec breweries inside the Museum’s Grand Hall, and venture outside to enjoy a beer by the bonfire.
  • The Snowflake Kingdom returns to Jacques-Cartier Park, with snow sculptures and a winter playground with slides and a zip line.
  • Indigenous culture will be honoured throughout Winterlude, and in particular during the first weekend (February 1–3). The Winterlude Pow Wow takes place February 3 from 12–5pm at the Canadian Museum of History.
  • The second weekend of Winterlude (February 8–10) will celebrate LGBTQ2+ culture, history and pride.
  • Chimes is an interactive light and sound installation in the ByWard Market that invites visitors to activate more than 30 illuminated tubes and 8 loudspeakers.
  • Do you want to build a snowman? Or how about check out some larger than life snow sculptures? Head into the Glebe for Snowmania.
  • Bluesfest is taking part in a new Winterlude event called Come See and Hear the World on February 15 and 16.

Stay up to date on ice conditions with the National Capital Commission’s interactive map – all 7.8km of the canal are open for skating. And don’t forget: the Sno-Bus shuttle is offering free trips, linking the Snowflake Kingdom, the ByWard Market, and Dows Lake. There is also free parking at Ottawa City Hall after 6pm and all weekend long.

Entrance to the ice bar at Andaz Ottawa can be reserved from 6-9pm on Friday and Saturday evenings for a $5 cover charge that includes hot chocolate and Canadian maple syrup taffy. Already widely popular, tickets sold out online but a few spots will be saved for walk-ins. Hotel guests who book the Canadian Ice Bar package will receive complimentary access and two complimentary cocktails.

For more information about Winterlude, visit