The NCC has opened a 2.7-kilometre section of the Skateway, between Pretoria Bridge and the Bank Street Bridge, including Patterson Creek.

Canada’s Capital Region—On December 30th, Mona Fortier, Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Vanier, on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, and Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer of the NCC, accompanied by Winterlude mascots Mama and Papa Ice Hog, hoisted the green flag on the Skateway, marking the official opening of the 49th. skating season.

After conducting tests along the entire length of the Skateway, the NCC’s Rideau Canal Skateway team and NCC Ice Safety Committee have concluded that the section of the canal between Pretoria Bridge (Hawthorne Avenue) and the Bank Street Bridge, including Patterson Creek, is safe to accommodate skaters and visitors.

The Rideau Canal Skateway team will continue working to open other sections of the world’s largest skating rink as soon as ice conditions are safe and weather permits. In the meantime, the NCC asks that the public not venture onto closed sections of the Skateway.

Managed by the NCC since the 1970–1971 season, the 7.8-kilometre Rideau Canal Skateway receives an average of close to one million visits every year, with an average of 21,000 visits each day that it is open for skating.

In November 2018, the Rideau Canal Skateway was mentioned among 18 one-of-a-kind adventures in the Reader’s Digest, and as one of North America’s most spectacular winter destinations according to Lonely Planet.

QUICK FACTS

• The total ice surface is equivalent to more than 140 National Hockey League rinks, or more than 122 Olympic-sized hockey rinks (223,400 square metres).

• The Skateway is one of six Winterlude destinations. The 41st. edition of this flagship event in Canada’s Capital Region will take place from February 1 to 18, 2019.

• Parks Canada is currently undertaking repair work on the concrete walls of the Rideau Canal along Echo Drive, between Main Street and the University of Ottawa. In order for this work to proceed, a temporary Skateway entrance and stairs, with benches on the ice surface, were added at Main Street. The entire Concord rest area — including the changing and washroom facilities, concessions, entrance and stairs to access the ice surface — will not be available during the 2018–2019 skating season.

• The Rideau Canal, National Historic Site of Canada and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site since 2007, is managed and operated by Parks Canada.

QUOTES

“Canadian Heritage is proud that the world’s largest skating rink is one of the destination for this year’s Winterlude! From February 1st to 18, 2019, enjoy an innovative urban experience and take part in your favourite activities like skating on the Rideau Canal, the Ice Dragon Boat Festival and the Winterlude Triathlon. Come join us for the flagship event of the winter tourism season in Canada’s Capital Region!”

—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

“Skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway is a unique Canadian winter tradition. The National Capital Commission is thrilled to welcome skaters from far and wide to enjoy this world-class attraction recently mentioned among 18 one-of-a-kind adventures in the Reader’s Digest, and as one of North America’s most spectacular winter destinations according to Lonely Planet.”

—Dr. Mark Kristmanson, CEO, National Capital Commission

“The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is once again excited about being the presenting sponsor of the Rideau Canal Skateway and the official sponsor of Winterlude 2019. We are proud to continue to be involved in these landmark community events that bring the people of the Ottawa area together and draws tourists from around the world to our nation’s capital.”

—Jennifer Barban, Director, Communities and Partnerships, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

PARTNERS AND SPONSORS

The NCC proudly thanks Parks Canada, which maintains and operates the Rideau Canal.

The NCC is grateful for the support of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), presenting sponsor of the Rideau Canal Skateway. The NCC would also like to thank the following sponsors for their support: Nokia, Pepsi, BeaverTails® pastries, Access Storage, Cubeit, the Friends of the Rideau Canal Skateway, Cityscape, Telus, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada / ServicePlus and Canal Ritz restaurant.

Media Information:

Jean Wolff
NCC Media Relations
613-239-5678, ext. 5703 (office)
613-797-0279 (cellular)
jean.wolff@ncc-ccn.ca

Cédric Pelletier
NCC Media Relations
613-239-5678, ext. 5703 (office)
613-852-2804 (cellular)
cedric.pelletier@ncc-ccn.ca