Skaters on the Rideau Canal this winter will be able to warm up in new and spacious chalets.

The National Capital Commission is replacing the skaters' huts that have been used since the early 1970s.

Seven new chalets were brought in over the weekend, each with larger change rooms and more bathrooms, and built at a cost of about $750,000 each.

Commission spokesperson Jasmine Leduc says the new chalets, where skaters can warm up by fires and find snacks and drinks, are more accessible than the older ones.

"They present an exciting and impressive architectural statement that fits with the skating experience in the capital," Leduc said.

The Rideau Canal Skateway bills itself as the world's longest skating rink, stretching 7.8 kilometres from downtown Ottawa to Dows Lake.

The UNESCO heritage site is enjoyed by one million people a year after it freezes over, usually in January.