Rideau Canal skating

The Rideau Canal in Ottawa has finally opened for skating this winter season between the Pretoria Bridge and the Bank Street access points.

Skating on the Rideau Canal usually begins in early January and ends in March. Since it’s dependent on the weather, the opening and closing dates move depending on the conditions of the ice.

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To see updated ice conditions on the Rideau Canal before heading out to skate you can view an interactive map on the National Capital Commission (NCC) website.

The NCC has issued safety tips for skating on the Rideau Canal that include the following:

  • Know the flag system! A green flag means that the Rideau Canal is open for skating; a red flag means that it’s closed.
  • Watch for cracks in the ice.
  • Avoid the snow-covered edges as they are not safe.
  • Warm up if you feel chilled. There are four heated change rooms located at various points, and one on land at Patterson Creek.
  • The public can access open sections of the Canal 24 hours a day, but should note that caution is advised in the evenings and at night, as maintenance crews operate primarily during those times.

There are three locations along the Rideau Canal that you can rent skates or get skates sharpened, and there are five washrooms located at different access points. Washrooms are open Sunday to Thursday between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

You can skate on the Rideau Canal for free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when it’s open.

Photo by Matthew Fournier on Unsplash

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