Skip to content

‘The weather got the best of us:’ Ottawa’s Rideau Canal Skateway to stay closed

Warmer-than-usual temperatures, snow and rain caused the ice to be thin and porous
People skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway on Saturday, March 5, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The National Capital Commission says Ottawa’s Rideau Canal Skateway, the world’s largest outdoor skating rink, will not open this season due to warm temperatures.

The commission says it has been both assessing and getting ready for the affects of climate change on the internationally renowned winter tourist attraction for several years.

But this is the first time the weather has prevented the 7.8-kilometre stretch through Canada’s capital city from opening at all.

It says the latest tests showed the ice surface remained unsafe to skate on and that any more efforts to change the situation were unlikely to work.

It also says the warmer-than-usual temperatures, snow and rain caused the ice to be thin and porous.

On Feb. 2, the skateway had already experienced a record-setting delay in opening for the season.