Active Communities

winter carnival photo of people on our skating rink

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

~ Steve Nason, senior director of the Dovercourt Recreation Association

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 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 SJAM 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 SJAM 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

They say it takes a village to raise a child…well, it takes an army of volunteers to maintain a rink. You are always welcome to pick up a shovel to help out. Rink volunteer contacts: Stewart Dewar 613-218-6022 (Dovercourt); Matt Firth 613-619-4547 (McKellar).

Check on the status of all Ottawa rinks at

• Go directly to Westboro rink (at Dovercourt)

• Go directly to McKellar rink

Approximate hours when the rink shack is open and a rink supervisor is on duty are:

Westboro & McKellar rinks:

  • Monday to Friday: 4:30-8pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: Westboro & McKellar 11am – 5pm

**Weather and ice conditions permitting**

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.