Ottawa Tourism | Tourisme Ottawa


Blasting ice in the Rideau River


Despite the heavy snowfall we’ve experienced over the past 24 hours, the worst of the winter weather seems to be behind us. Thoughts in Ottawa are turning to spring: maple syrup and rubber boots, to be followed by daffodils and tulips. One early spring tradition is the annual break-up of ice in the Rideau River.

The main channel of the river runs just east of downtown—the more famous Rideau Canal runs through the centre of town—and empties via waterfall into the Ottawa River. To prevent the buildup of huge chunks of ice and subsequent upstream flooding, the City of Ottawa performs controlled blasting each year.

The ice has been prepared… we’re just a few days away from this impressive yearly event. Check out this short video by the BBC to see what’s about to happen: