Ottawa's Rideau Canal Skateway Won't Open This Winter & It's The First Time In History

"We share everyone’s disappointment with this outcome."

Ontario Associate Editor
Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa.

Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa.

Your dreams of skating down the Rideau Canal will have to wait until next winter. The iconic Ottawa Skateway just announced that it will not open this season for the first time in history.

The National Capital Commission announced today in a press release that "despite all the efforts by [their] teams and even with the colder temperatures of the last 24 hours, the latest ice tests show that the Rideau Canal Skateway remains unsafe for skating."

The commission added that the situation is unlikely to change and that they are "unable to open the Skateway for this season." They stated that they "share everyone’s disappointment with this outcome."

The announcement of the closure was shared on Twitter and the NCC said that "the weather got the best of us for the first time in our history."

The Rideau Canal Skateway first opened in 1970 and, at over 7.8 kilometres, claims to be the "world's largest skating rink." It typically runs from January to early March and is free to visit.

"The NCC has been assessing and preparing for the impacts of climate change on our assets and operations for several years, and this year taught us a great deal about the effects of milder winters on the Skateway," the commission said, adding that they will "remain committed to applying what [they] learn going forward."

There is still lots to do in Ottawa this winter, from cross-country skiing to snowshoeing in the Greenbelt. As for a trip down the Rideau Canal, you'll just have to look forward to it next winter.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Madeline Forsyth
Ontario Associate Editor
Madeline Forsyth is an Associate Editor for Narcity Canada’s Ontario Desk focused on Toronto restaurants and is based in Toronto, Ontario.