Rideau Canal Skateway opens Friday morning

the 52nd skating season on the Rideau Canal Skateway begins Friday morning.

The National Capital Commission has announced that the entire 7.8km stretch of the skateway will open to skaters at 8 a.m.

The NCC recommends that people wear a mask or face covering while on the skateway, while masks will be mandatory in restrooms and in queues at concession stands.

All changing rooms and fire pits will remain closed this winter due to COVID-19 public health measures.

The entire Rideau Canal Skateway runs from the National Arts Center to Dow’s Lake and Hartwells Locks.

It is the first time in more than 20 years that skaters can enjoy the full 7.8 km long stretch on opening day.

“The NCC is thrilled to celebrate the official opening of the 52nd season of the iconic Rideau Canal Skateway this year, knowing that safe outdoor activities play an important role in supporting mental and physical wellbeing in the nation’s capital during the pandemic. NCC chief executive Tobi Nussbaum said.

Last winter, the Rideau Canal Skateway opened on January 28 and closed on February 22. The 26 days of skating was one of the shortest seasons ever for the Rideau Canal Skateway. In 2016, the green flag flew for just 18 days.


This winter, the NCC says there will be skate rentals and food and beverage stands along the Rideau Canal Skateway.

Picnic tables will also be set up, “with a 50 percent capacity,” the NCC said.

Due to public health measures, locker rooms and fire pits along the Rideau Canal Skateway will remain closed this winter.

“Sanitization stations have been installed in sanitary facilities and bi-directional stairs have been made available where possible. Signage also asks to accommodate oncoming traffic at some stairs,” the NCC said in a statement.

“It is recommended that everyone on the Skateway wear a mask or face covering. The use of masks is mandatory in restrooms and in lines at the concession stands.”


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