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Warming trend shuts down Ottawa's Rideau Canal Skateway for the season

Friday, February 26th 2021, 8:15 am - The 51st season for the Rideau Canal Skateway only lasted 26 days.

The 51st season on the Rideau Canal was short and sweet, lasting only 26 days, when a portion of the canal first opened on January 28. The National Capital Commision announced on Thursday that the season was officially over.

Recent mild and above seasonal temperatures made conditions challenging for maintenance crews and with an even larger warm up in the forecast for Ottawa for next week, the safety of skaters and staff had to be top priority.


"Please keep personal safety in mind and remain off the Skateway now that it is closed," the NCC wrote in their statement Thursday. "Please respect the red flags, barricades and signs installed at access points."

The skateway was already temporarily closed on Monday night, as both Tuesday and Wednesday featured temperatures above freezing.

Outdoor enthusiasts are reminded that the region is still a wonderful place to explore through March, promising amazing hiking trails, tobogganing and scenic views of the capital.

The NCC said they are saddened by the early closure, but are already looking forward to welcoming Canadians back next winter for their 52nd season.

Thumbnail image courtesy: Rideau Canal Skateway

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