Use this resource to find the skating rink closest to your home.
The National Capital Commission’s ice team has done their part so that a 2.4 kilometre section of the Rideau Canal Skateway will be ready to open today, January 28, 2021. The Canal opens at 8am, between Pretoria Bridge and the Bank Street Bridge.
A press release says the crew will continue work to open other sections of the world’s largest skating rink as soon as ice conditions are safe and weather permits. In the meantime, the NCC reminds the public to not venture onto closed sections of the Canal.
Outdoor spaces for recreation, especially a >5K stretch of ice that allows for ample social distancing, are sorely needed and are not likely to be a problem with spread.
— Black and Indigenous Lives Matter (@RadicalLynx) January 27, 2021
While the NCC has faced criticism for opening the skateway during the pandemic—because the Canal is traditionally a gathering place for large groups of skaters—the NCC has stated these safety measures will be in place at all times to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As the purpose of the skateway will be to provide space for exercise only, food and beverage concession stands, changing facilities, skate rentals, fire pits and picnic tables will be closed.
“We all need to be able to enjoy safe and healthy outdoor exercise this winter,” reads an NCC statement. “To that end, NCC parks and lands remain accessible to the public, provided that people follow public health directives.” This season, the NCC has also committed to opening the Queen Elizabeth Driveway to create more space for active use, seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm.
If you don’t feel comfortable venturing out onto the Canal this winter, we don’t blame you. Earlier this month, Apartment613 published a resource list for you to find the skating rink closest to your home.
From a friend:
“To anyone wondering why they would open the canal despite asking that only local residents use it.
The most densely populated wards are those along the canal and they need adequate space to keep active while still social distancing in a packed environment. pic.twitter.com/wF8cA22Z2V
— Samantha McAleese (@Sam_McAleese) January 20, 2021