Ottawa·FROM THE ARCHIVES
125 years of celebrating the Ottawa-Gatineau winter
While Winterlude has been around since 1979, there have been chilly celebrations in Ottawa since at least the late 19th century.
Winterlude started in 1979, but we've been partying for much longer
Ottawa-Gatineau's Winterlude festival started in 1979.
But there have been winter carnivals going back to at least 1895.
These days, roughly 600,000 people check out a Winterlude event every year.
Like bed racing, for instance.
Archive footage from the opening of Winterlude in February 1979. 3:08 During the first Winterlude horses actually raced on the Rideau Canal. 1:21
There was water-skiing in 1990, though it wasn't an official event.
In 1990, the Rideau Canal was melting during Winterlude — leading to water-skiing instead of skating. 1:39
There's also been hockey on the canal.
And giant slides.
Finally, here are a few scenes from recent years.
Winterlude kicked off on the weekend of Feb. 1 with a showcase of Indigenous cultures at the Canadian Museum of History. 0:45