OK, this just came in from the National Capital Commission:
The 44th Season on the Rideau Canal Skateway Starts Today
NCC to open 3.2 kilometres between Concord Street and the Bank Street bridge
Canada’s Capital Region — The Rideau Canal Skateway, the Capital’s number one winter icon, will open today at 2 pm, between the Concord Street gate and rest area (at Colonel By Drive and Main Street) and the Bank Street bridge. This opening marks the beginning of the 44th skating season on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.
The press release goes on to state that “…The ice conditions are expected to be fair, as always on the first day of the season.” In my experience “fair” can be on the rough side. But it’s all good. The contractors will be flooding and grooming more and more sections. Weather permitting there will be better ice ahead.
If bumpy skating does not appeal to you, the canal is an excellent place to just stroll and enjoy being outside with like-minded winter enthusiasts.
Canal conditions are updated regularly here. And there are modern bells and whistles too, such as this, according to today’s NCC press release:
Download the iPhone Rideau Canal Skateway application, which provides ice conditions, a Skateway map, a listing of available services and more. An updated version of the app also allows you to track your skating speed and distance, as well as snap a souvenir shot of your time skating — with the “MittCam.”
Fun times! I hope you can come enjoy them too!