The joyous return of an annual tradition

The warm and sunny January weather provided the perfect backdrop for the much-anticipated return of the Sandy Hill Winter Carnival, held on Saturday, January 28, 2023. The afternoon event, which is a yearly tradition (barring any pandemics), brought out a crowd of at least 300 people, all eager to partake in the festivities.

Photo Alison Sydney

The carnival was organized by Action Sandy Hill community volunteers and featured a variety of outdoor and indoor activities. The event started with music by local radio station JUMP! 106.9 and hooves clomping on the pavement; children and adults alike climbed aboard John Cundell’s horse-drawn carriage for the opportunity to ride through the streets of Sandy Hill.

Other outdoor activities included ice skating, bubble making, snow sculpting, tug-of-war, and snow soccer. The maple taffy was a favorite among attendees—the sweet smell of boiling maple syrup filled the air, as volunteers poured the hot liquid onto the snow. Wandering Star Wars characters and an Ottawa Police Service Tactical Unit van added a “cool factor” to the event.

Indoors, the teams of City Councillor Stéphanie Plante and MPP Lucille Collard served up hot chocolate as well as treats and snacks generously provided by Sandy Hill families.

The carnival also featured dance lessons by Luv 2 Groove as well as crafts and face painting by the local Girl Guides and Jeannettes. Children giggled with delight as they had their faces painted with colourful designs and patterns. Blackburn Avenue resident Friida, age 8, exclaimed, “It’s like Christmas, but with all my friends!”

In addition to the afternoon activities, the Carnival also featured a low-cost dinner provided by St. Joe’s Supper Table. The meal was a hit with the nearly 200 attendees, who raved about the delicious food and warm atmosphere.

We are extremely grateful to everyone who helped to make this event such a success, including our very generous sponsors: TRYumph Gymnastics; Campus Pharmacy; Castonguay Szerszen LLP; Sandy Hill Community Health Centre; COX Team Realty; Starbucks (Laurier Avenue); Loblaws (Rideau Street); Rideau-Vanier Councillor Stéphanie Plante, and our MPP Lucille Collard.

Please save the date for next year’s Sandy Hill Winter Carnival — Jan. 27, 2024. If you are interested in making next year’s event a success, please contact Action Sandy Hill at:

— Sandy Hill Winter Carnival committee

Is this fair?  Where’s the ref.?! Some tug-of-war at the Winter Carnival
Photo Alison Sydney