Once the holidays are over, the winter fun has just begun in Canada's capital city of Ottawa.
January marks the opening of the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, winner of the 10Best Readers' Choice title of Best Ice Skating Rinkand holder of the Guinness World Records title of Largest Naturally Frozen Ice Rink.
Stretching for 4.8 miles from Downtown Ontario to Dow's Lake, the rink follows the historic Rideau Canal – a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It boasts a skating area of over 6 square miles. That's equivalent to 90 Olympic skating rinks!
Once temperatures drop low enough to thicken the ice to 12 inches, the National Capital Commission prepares the ice for the public. Some 20,000 skaters take to the ice each day during a regular season.
Maintenance crews work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep the skating surface clear and smooth for skaters.
Rest areas along the way offer heated changing huts, fire pits, picnic tables and vendors selling sweet treats, hot soups and beverages.