Active Communities

winter carnival photo of people on our skating rink

Read the update on rinks during Covid and lockdown >

Active communities are healthy communities

Stay active even in the winter!

An active community is one of the hallmarks of a healthy community. Thanks to Dovercourt Recreation Association, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside, to be active and be a part of your community, even in challenging winter weather.

We want to bring about free opportunities to get outside and be active all winter long and help build an active and engaged community through recreation

Many of our neighbourhood communities host winter carnivals, usually with skating, tobogganing, or just meeting up with friends and neighbours around a seasonal fire pit to stay warm and cozy, enjoy sipping hot chocolate and rosy cheeks. Dovercourt’s annual winter carnival is held on the third Saturday of January.

Active commuting is an option if you dress properly for the conditions. One of the best options for a healthy commute is the Kichi Sibi (formerly SJAM) Winter Trail, a partnership between Dovercourt, the National Capital Commission, the City of Ottawa and our local business sponsors. Thanks to the initiative of community resident Dave Adams to bring our riverside parkland to life from December to April, the city-groomed multi-use winter trail along Sir John A. McDonald Parkway offers easy access to downtown and transit as well as opportunities for recreation and special events.

Check out this video of fat biking along the Kichi Sibi trail:

You can rent fat bikes and cross country skis from Fresh Air Experience. In addition to their store at 1291 Wellington Street, Fresh Air operates a rental station along the Kichi Sibi trail at Remic Rapids on weekends. 

Read more about getting outdoors in the winter in this article, originally published in the Ottawa Citizen

Local parks and community outdoor rinks provide opportunities for skating and tobogganing as well, including the little hill at our own park (Westboro Kiwanis Park), and our volunteer-supported rinks. Come have a slide on the hill, a spin on the puddle, or play a game of pickup between the boards. Get the whole family out for some fresh air on weekends to remedy cabin fever!

Our Outdoor Rinks

Jan 14/ 21 update from the City of Ottawa

  • there is a limit of 12 people (updated Jan 14 with stay-at-home order) on the puddle and 25 people inside the boards at our two rinks
  • no sticks, pucks, balls or other sports equipment permitted on the ice.

  • Spectators and individuals surrounding the rink are still required to wear a mask and it is highly recommended that skaters wear masks.
  • By-law and Regulatory Services will be increasing their patrols at the outdoor rinks and will be responsible for enforcement of the regulations

Rink update: During the current lockdown (Jan 2021), the City has issued new guidelines for rinks: 

  • please wear masks
  • no games or scrimmages
  • no changing areas available
  • maintain social distance while skating

The full info provided to us by the Seasonal Recreation Team at the City of Ottawa: 

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, masks are now mandatory around all public outdoor rinks in Ottawa. Skaters who are not from the same household must keep two metres apart on and off the ice. Masks are not mandatory while skating but are highly recommended.

This new mask requirement applies to the four refrigerated rinks currently open, including Rink of Dreams at City Hall, Lansdowne Park skating court, Ben Franklin Place and Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink and will apply to all natural ice community rinks operated under City authority when they open.

Signs will be posted at City outdoor rinks that state masks are required within 15 metres of the ice and on the ice while not actively skating. 


In the winter, come out and enjoy an amazing outdoor rink at Dovercourt (Westboro) or McKellar Park. You can join in a game of pickup or glide around in the crisp winter air. Our annual Winter Carnival features skating on the rink and puddle.

  • Please note: Due to COVID safety guidelines and resources, only participants in a registered program will be allowed inside the building (ie no bathroom access for skaters). We regret the inconvenience. 
  • Approximate hours when the rink is open and a rink supervisor is on duty:
  • Westboro & McKellar rinks:
  • Monday to Friday: 5-7pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: Westboro & McKellar 10am – 3pm
  • **Weather and ice conditions permitting**
  • It takes an army of volunteers to maintain a rink. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Kathleen at kfinn@dovercourt.org

Rink Conditions

Check on the status of all Ottawa rinks at www.ottawarinks.ca:

• Go directly to Westboro rink (at Dovercourt)

• Go directly to McKellar rink

Outdoor non-winter fun

In the milder months, it’s easier to get outside. Come to Dovercourt to enjoy our park, play structures, tennis courts, skateboard ramps, and wading pool —all available to the community at no charge. With its many options, Westboro Kiwanis Park is a hub for families.

Join our community

Stay in the know for everything events and programs related.