Tobogganing is one of our great Canadian traditions! Pack up the family and head out to one of the National Capital Greenbelt’s toboggan hills. You will find below the Ottawa and Gatineau Toboggan guide!
- Keep children warm. Dress your children in layers. Make sure their heads and necks are covered by a hat and a neck warmer. Watch for frostbite!
- On sunny days, put sunscreen on their skin.
- Check your children’s equipment to make sure that it fits and is in good condition.
When tobogganing or sledding:
- Make sure your children wear a helmet.
- Choose a hill that is away from roads and parking lots. There should be no rocks, trees, fences or other dangers in the path.
- Teach your children to slide down the middle of the hill, climb up the side and watch up the hill.
- Teach them to move out of the way quickly when they get to the bottom.
Tobogganing and Sledding Injury Prevention – Winter Safety
- Tobogganing and sledding are fun winter pastimes, however, they can cause serious injuries that require medical attention. Colliding with objects such as trees, rocks, signs, and other people are common causes of sledding and tobogganing related injuries. Being aware of the dangers associated with these activities and exercising some common sense can help you and your family to have a safe and fun winter season.
- Choose a hill with a gentle slope, free of protruding objects such as ice, rocks, and tree stumps. Also, be sure that the hill is not too icy – you want to be able to stop if you need to!
- Sled in daylight so that you can see any potential dangers. If you choose to sled at night, make sure that the hill is very well lit.
- Children should wear a helmet at all times while sledding to help protect their heads and to decrease their risks of head injuries. In a study conducted by the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (1996) a total of 806 records of sledding related injuries in children and youth were examined. Of these 806 patients studied, only 5 reported wearing a helmet. Head and neck injuries accounted for 1/3 of injuries for children less than 10 years of age. Do not let your child go sledding without a helmet! Hockey helmets will do the trick to help minimize the risk of head injury.
- Tuck in any scarves, strings, or long hats that could potentially catch on a rock or tree and cause strangulation or other serious injuries.
- Wait until the path is clear before starting down the hill. This could help prevent you from running into another person on your way down.
- Always position yourself on your sled or toboggan so that you are kneeling or facing forward. Never lie down on a sled or toboggan while going down a hill.
- Children who are five years old or younger should have an adult accompany them on a sled or toboggan.
- Climb back up the hill on the side to keep out of the way of others who are sledding down. Also, wear bright coloured clothing so that you will be easy to spot from far away on the hill. This will give others time to turn or stop before they get close enough to hit you.
- Choose a sled that is sturdy and easy to control. Magic carpets, flying saucers, garbage bags, and cardboard boxes are not good options, as they are light and flimsy and can easily fly out of control.
- Have only the recommended number of passengers on a sled or toboggan at one time.
- Racing down the hill might seem fun, but sleds can often be more difficult to control at higher speeds. You could end up falling off the sled, hitting an unforeseen object, or hitting one of your friends! Try to maintain safe speeds that will allow you to have the control to stop if you need to.
Ottawa and Gatineau Tobogganing Locations:
- Bruce Pit (Nepean)
Cedarview across from Bell High School in Bell’s Corners
- Conroy Pit (Ottawa)
Conroy Road south of Hunt Club
- Watler Baker Park (Kanata)
On Terry Fox Drive near Hazeldean. Parking available at Kanata Recreation Complex.
- Mooney’s Bay Park (Ottawa)
2960 Riverside Drive. Parking is provided at Terry Fox Athletic Facility.
- Carlington Park (aka Carlington Ski Hill) (Ottawa)
937 Clyde Avenue
- Arboretum / Experimental Farm (Ottawa)
Next to Dow’s Lake along the Rideau Canal, access from Queen Elizabeth Drive, part of the Experimental Farm.
- Parc Lemoyne (Gatineau)
Rue Hillside – advanced hills.