It is dangerous to venture onto the surface of the Rideau Canal. The 49th season of the Rideau Canal Skateway ended March 10, 2019.
The ice layer on the surface of the canal is melting. The water level beneath the ice varies from approximately one metre (three feet) to 4.3 metres (14 feet) deep along the length of the canal, from downtown Ottawa (Rideau) to Dows Lake.
Water on the ice surface may hide serious hazards. The National Capital Commission (NCC) urges the public to keep personal safety in mind, and respect the red flags, barricades and signs installed at access points.
Rideau Canal spring operations to begin on March 25
Parks Canada will begin routine springtime operations on Monday, March 25, 2019, to prepare for the 2019 navigation season. These operations will likely result in changes to the ice surface. Parks Canada is asking the public to stay safe by staying off the ice, and to always exercise caution in and around the canal and lockstation areas.
- The 49th skating season on the world’s largest skating rink began on December 30, 2018, and lasted 71 days, matching the duration of the 2013–2014 season. During this period, the canal was open 59 days for skating, which is as many skating days as in the 2014–2015 season.
- This season, the Rideau Canal Skateway recorded 1,493,524 visits, exceeding the previous record of 1,332,862, which was set during the 2000–2001 season.
- The greatest number of visits recorded in one day this season was 95,632, on Saturday, February 16.