Now that Christmas has come and gone, it's time to start thinking of when that real tree will come down and what you'll do with it. Instead of just throwing the tree out, there's another option if you're in the Ottawa area. The Rideau Canal Skateway is looking for more than 1,200 Christmas trees from people to decorate the skating trail.

With the Rideau Canal transforms into a frozen, icy landscape each winter, it makes sense that decorative evergreens would be there along the way to really amp up the festive season.

If you bought a real tree for the holidays this year and don't want to just throw it out, you can actually help decorate the canal and all the rest areas along the Skateway for the season by donating your tree.

During each skating season, the National Capital Commission (NCC) collects more than 1,200 Christmas trees that are donated by people in the area.

All of those donations are then put on display in all the rest areas on the Skateway as decorations.

They are also used as windbreakers on the Rideau Canal ice rink so that the windy gusts don't bother people too much.

Once the skating season is over, the trees aren't just thrown out either. They all end up being chipped and composted.

The 2019-2020 season marks 50 years of skating along the Rideau Canal Skateway and you donating your tree could help make it even more special.

Along the frozen trail, the donated decorations will be on display at the four rest areas on the ice at Rideau Street, Fifth Avenue, Bronson Avenue and Dows Lake. 

While taking in the evergreen atmosphere you can buy food and warm up at a fire pit. 

There are also washrooms and change rooms at the rest areas. 

The canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in the winter it becomes the world's largest skating rink with 7.8 kilometres of ice for people to glide on and enjoy.

If you don't have your own skates you can rent ones at the Skateway so you can still take to the ice and enjoy all the trees along the way.

You can drop off your Christmas trees now and into the new year at the donation drop off area on Colonel By Drive just west of the Bronson Avenue Bridge.


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