Rideau Canal Skateway opens Tuesday afternoon

Skating the Rideau Canal in Ottawa is a favorite winter activity for thousands. Photo: Craig Miller

Skating the Rideau Canal in Ottawa is a favorite winter activity for thousands. Photo: Craig Miller

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:

Mobile Applications

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!

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One Response to “Rideau Canal Skateway opens Tuesday afternoon”

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  1. Lucy Martin says:

    Update from the NCC as of Friday morning, Jan 3rd:

    Canada’s Capital Region — Almost all of the entire length of the Rideau Canal Skateway is now available for skating. With pride and joy, the National Capital Commission (NCC) would like to announce that, since this morning, the Skateway sections between Rideau Street (downtown) and the Mackenzie King Bridge and between the Bank Street Bridge and Dows Lake are open. The ice conditions vary from good to very good.

    Overall, seven of the 7.8 kilometres of the Rideau Canal Skateway are now open. Only the Patterson Creek and the Hartwells Locks areas remain closed.

    On December 31, the NCC launched the 44th skating season on the Rideau Canal by opening a 3.2-kilometre section of the Skateway, between the Concord Street gate and rest area and the Bank Street bridge.

    Pedestrians and skaters are asked to abide by the signage and not to venture onto any closed section of the Skateway, where the ice is considered unsafe.

    Managed by the NCC since the 1970-1971 season, the 7.8-kilometre Rideau Canal Skateway receives an average of one million visits each year.