This track is a Canadian horse racing track and gambling complex that features Standardbred harness racing, situated on a plot of about 300 acres on the outskirts of Ottawa in Gloucester Township, only two miles from Ottawa’s airport 4837 Albion Road in Ottawa, Ontario. James William Baskin’s brainchild opened the track for racing on September 1, 1962. Since then, Rideau Carleton Raceway Limited (“RCR”) has operated Rideau Carleton Raceway Entertainment Centre and is a longstanding member of the Ottawa community. They contribute in supporting the Province’s equestrian industry and live horse racing in Canada. However, on September 12, 2017, the raceway was then operated by Hard Rock that has 51% of the stock
Most races held at the track are for smaller purses of under $10,000. Yet, the track also features several legs of the Ontario Sires Stakes program in August. The track also hosts two significant stake races each year, the Frank Ryan Memorial Trot and the Des Smith Classic Pace. It is also the site of the Gloucester Fair since 1998 and contributes facilities for numerous charitable fundraisers, and hosts annual events for several embassies.
Architect and building director D’Arcy Helmer designed the facilities but ironically never visited a track before. He drew his main inspiration from Scioto Downs in Ohio. The main track is a five-eighths oval with a track speed rating of 1:57.4, about average for tracks of the same dimensions. The seating capacity of the clubhouse is 1000, while the grandstand’s seating capacity is 4500. It also has 12 fireproof barns and 96 tack rooms.
In 2000, the venue installed slot machines, authorized by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, consisting of 1250 slot games ranging from 1 cent to $5. These are the Blazing 7’s, Ten Times Pay, Wheel of Fortune, Black Jack, Poker, and many more. The casino is always open 24/7 and has electronic tables, Black Jack, Baccarat, and Roulette. The site also has a restaurant and hosts musical performances. The Ottawa Swans of the Ontario Australian Football League also have played their home games in the center of the track since 2008.