Cold winter extends skating season on Ottawa’s Rideau Canal
|CTVnews 14 Jan 2017 at 15:25|
Ottawas Rideau Canal is officially open for its 47th skating season, and officials say colder weather in the forecast will give locals and tourists more ice time this year on one of the worlds largest outdoor rinks.
The green flag officially went up along 4.4 kilometres of the canal, a little more than half of the full skateway. The National Capital Commission says it is working to open more sections to skaters.
Last seasons mild temperatures saw the number of skating days on the canal plunge to the lowest on record: a mere 18 days. The 2017 season started nine days earlier than last year, and cold weather in the forecast is expected yield significantly more opportunities to lace up for a few laps.
The skateway receives an average of one million visits every year, or approximately 20,000 every day its open to the public.
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and National Capital Commission CEO Mark Kristmanson were on hand to officially open the canal at 10:30 a.m., 2.5 hours after the canal opened to skaters.
Tonight again, the team will (be) watering the ice, National Capital Commission senior manager of operations Bruce Devine told CTV Ottawa. There is one passage that we need a little ticker ice (on), and then the trucks will be able to go by and install the equipment, and then we will (fully) open.
Kirsten Payne and her family are ready for when the full 7.8 kilometers open. They ve already equipped their stroller with little skis to make skating easier.