The 45th season of the Rideau Canal Skateway will officially open today at 10:30 am. A 3.6-kilometre section from Somerset Street to the Bank Street Bridge, excluding Patterson Creek, will be available to skaters.
As January 11, 2015 marks the 200th birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald, a dominant figure among the Fathers of Confederation, the National Capital Commission (NCC) will celebrate this milestone at the launch of the Rideau Canal Skateway season.
“The Skateway has become a Canadian icon. It’s always exciting to see the launch of a new skating season, especially this weekend as we celebrate one of our nation’s founders,” said John Baird, Member of Parliament for Ottawa West–Nepean and Minister responsible for the NCC.
“The much-anticipated time has come to lace up your skates and enjoy the world’s largest skating rink,” said Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer of the NCC. “It is wonderful that the bicentennial of the birth of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, should coincide with the official opening weekend of the 45th Rideau Canal Skateway season.”
Ice Conditions and the Rideau Canal Skateway
The NCC Ice Safety Committee deemed that a 3.6-kilometre section of ice between Somerset Street and the Bank Street Bridge, excluding Patterson Creek, has reached the required thickness and is safe for skating. The ice conditions are expected to be fair, as is often the case on the first day of the season.
The NCC’s Rideau Canal Skateway team plans to open other sections of the world’s largest skating rink as soon as ice conditions are safe and weather permits. The public is asked not to venture onto closed sections of the Skateway.
The Rideau Canal, a National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is owned by Parks Canada. The Skateway portion, close to downtown Ottawa, has been managed by the NCC during the winter months since the 1970–1971 season.
The 7.8-kilometre Rideau Canal Skateway welcomes an average of 17,000 visits every day that it is open.
Download the Rideau Canal Skateway application for Android and iPhone, which provides ice conditions, a Skateway map, a listing of available services and more. This app also allows you to track your skating speed and distance, as well as snap a souvenir photo of your time skating — with the “MittCam.”
Rideau Canal Skateway Sponsors
The NCC proudly thanks the following sponsors for their support of the Rideau Canal Skateway: the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), Enbridge, Nordstrom, Rideau Centre, Goodlife Fitness, Giant Tiger, Pizza Pizza, Pepsi and CEECAM Corporation, and media sponsors Ottawa Citizen, LeDroit, Country 101, KISS FM, NRJ and Rouge FM.
For more information about the Rideau Canal Skateway, please contact the NCC at 613-239-5000, 613-239-5090 (TTY), 1-800-465-1867 (toll-free) or 1-866-661-3530 (toll-free TTY), visit the NCC’s website at ncc-ccn.gc.ca/skateway, follow us on Twitter @NCC_Skateway or Facebook or download the Skateway mobile app. Throughout the season, recorded information about skating conditions can be obtained by calling 613-239-5234.