Ottawa’s Rideau Canal Skateway reopens after last year’s historic closure

Ottawa's Rideau Canal Skateway reopens after last year's historic closure
People skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway on its opening day in Ottawa, on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024. Skaters flocked to the ice, one year after warm and wet weather prevented the 7.8 kilometre skateway from opening for its 2023 season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

After almost two years, and a few extra hours of waiting, Ottawa’s iconic Rideau Canal has officially reopened to skaters.

The skateway’s return comes after last year’s unseasonal warmth kept it closed for the entire winter for the first time in its history.

Shortly before the reopening, the National Capital Commission delayed the official start of the skateway’s 54th season from 9 a.m. to 12:30 pm. because it said the ice needed more time to fully freeze after overnight flooding.

The section open to skaters is also about half as long as what the NCC announced Saturday when it shared the long-anticipated reopening message.

The NCC says the skateway is open for a roughly one-kilometre stretch between Bank Street and Fifth Avenue.

The NCC says as ice conditions become safer it will open more sections of the skateway, which winds through 7.8 kilometres of the capital when it’s fully frozen.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2024.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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