Safety Advisory

Published on December 27, 2021

Canada’s Capital Region— The public is asked to remain off the Rideau Canal, as the surface of the Skateway remains dangerously thin. Signs have been posted at access points to advise the public of this danger.

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.

The presence of work crews on the canal in the coming days must not be construed as a sign that the ice surface is stable. They prepare for the opening of the skating season by flooding the ice to thicken its surface. The Rideau Canal Skateway team are professionals who know how to manage the risks associated with their work.

The Rideau Canal Skateway typically opens in early January, when the ice thickness measures at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) to accommodate the weight of the public.

Once the ice thickens and conditions are safe, the National Capital Commission (NCC) will work hard to open the 52nd season on the world’s largest skating rink as quickly as possible.

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