Skating in Ottawa

January 23rd, 2013 | Posted by jdelroy-admin

Many people come to our fair city to enjoy what winter has to offer and Albert House Inn Boutique Hotel is the perfect downtown Ottawa accommodation choice. Yes, its really cold in Ottawa now but what perfect weather for getting the ice ready for skating.  Ottawa has a long history of skating, well before the idea for the Rideau Canal Skateway was conceived.

Did you know that there is an outdoor rink open to public skating at Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s residence?  This unique part of Canada’s heritage has been associated with the official residence since the time of Lord Dufferin, who was the Governor General from 1872 to 1878.  Whether you come to skate or just to walk the snow-covered paths, the historic grounds are a great place to enjoy winter.

 

Rideau Hall Skating Rink

Ladies playing hockey

Skaters can enjoy the outdoor rink on Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 5 p.m., without a reservation.  For more information go to Rideau Hall.

No need to worry when the weather changes and you’re concerned about the ice conditions.  The newest addition to Ottawa’s skating scene,  the city’s Rink of Dreams, is a 12,500 square foot oval refrigerated outdoor skating facility situated on Marion Dewar Plaza at Ottawa City Hall, about a fifteen minute walk from Albert House Inn.  It is one of the largest outdoor rinks in the City.  The rink features LED lighting, a heated change hut and picnic tables and benches and it is right beside the Rideau Canal.

Rink of Dreams

 Of course, for the best skating experience by far there is nothing like the Rideau Canal Skateway.  If it wasn’t for the foresight of Douglas Fullerton,  the Chair of the National Capital Commission in the early 1970′s,  this wonderful skating area might now be an expressway.  The City of Ottawa actually proposed this idea, but thank goodness the skating plan was implemented on January 18, 1971, despite opposition by city council.  Some 50,000 people skated on the canal on the first weekend.  Now people come from all over the world to skate on the Canal. The cleared length is 7.8 kilometres (4.8 mi) and has the equivalent surface area of 90 Olympic hockey rinks.

Rideau Canal Skateway

Both the Rideau Canal Skateway and the Rink of Dreams are a fifteen minute walk from  Albert House Inn Bed and Breakfast.  When you return to the Inn after your skate you can enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate in our cosy lounge, warm up by the fireplace and then spend a relaxing night in one of our comfortable guest rooms.  Then after a good sleep you can enjoy the many choices of our fantastic breakfast selections and go for another skate!

 

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Travelling to Albert House Inn

January 6th, 2013 | Posted by jdelroy-admin

We are always eager to help our guests in any way we can and ensure that an enjoyable and comfortable stay is always experienced at Albert House Inn when you choose our Ottawa downtown bed and breakfast as your  accommodation.  In this post we would like to offer some help to our guests before arrival by explaining just how easy it is to get to our Inn when you come to Ottawa by train or plane.   We have detailed directions our our website as well.

Via Rail has recently added several scheduled Ottawa stops to their trains running in the Montreal to Toronto corridor.  Make sure you check their website for any specials available for the dates you are planning your trip.   Often these specials are only available online and for a very short period of time.

 

Ottawa Station looking good with its newly repaired and repainted roof

When you arrive at the Ottawa station you can certainly take a taxi to Albert House Inn (approximately $15.00) but many of our guests prefer to take the city bus, OC Transpo,  which offers great service, is more economical and usually faster.  Exit the main doors of the Via station, cross the two car lanes in front and you will see the entrance to the transit station. (To the left of the above photo.)  Go to the Downtown platform and take a route No. 95 bus.  You will need the correct change of $3.30 as drivers do not make change on the bus.  Click on this link for a details of the stop at the Via Station “Train” Transit Stop Map.  Once on the bus, listen for the Bay Street stop.  The trip should only take about fifteen minutes.  Exit the bus at this stop and Albert House Inn is just down and across the street.  Make sure get off at the Bay/Albert stop because it is a couple of blocks to walk if you miss this stop.

If you fly into Ottawa you can of course take a taxi to our downtown boutique hotel.  Taxi’s are about $30 from the airport and are  readily available outside the arrivals area  at the Ottawa International Airport.

However, if you wish to take the city bus,  Route 97 departs from pillar 14 outside the level 1 Arrivals area.  Route 97 uses low-floor, fully accessible buses.

Bus tickets are available at the Ground Transportation Desk located on level 1 at the central door of the Arrivals area.  Tickets are cheaper than cash fare.  Remember if you use cash you must have the exact change of $3.30 prior to boarding.  This bus from the airport also travels on a dedicated transit lane so traffic for the most part is not an issue. It takes about 25 minutes to get to Albert House Inn.  Exit at the Bay Street stop and cross the street.  Your comfy downtown Ottawa accommodation awaits you just a very short walk away.

 

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