The public is asked to remain off the Rideau Canal surface, as the ice is still dangerously thin.
Although it may appear that a layer of ice has formed on some parts of the canal’s surface, the ice is still too thin. The water level beneath the ice surface varies from approximately one metre (three feet) to 4.3 metres (14 feet) deep along the length of the Rideau Canal, between downtown Ottawa and Dows Lake.
Please note that the presence of work crews on the Skateway must not be construed as a sign that the ice surface is stable. The Rideau Canal Skateway team is made up of professionals who know how to manage the risks of their work.
The Rideau Canal Skateway typically opens in the first weeks of January. The ice thickness must measure at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) to accommodate the weight of the public on the Skateway. Once the ice thickens, with sustained cold weather, the National Capital Commission (NCC) will be working hard to open the world’s largest skating rink as soon as possible.
The NCC urges everyone to keep personal safety in mind, and asks pedestrians and skaters not to venture onto the Rideau Canal Skateway. Signs have been posted at Skateway access points to advise the public of the danger.
The NCC will officially launch the 45th skating season on the world’s largest skating rink once the ice conditions are safe and weather permits.
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.