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Rideau Canal, world’s largest skating rink, set to have latest opening date on record

Weather turning colder, but has been too mild this year to build safe ice
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People skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Canada’s largest skating rink has officially broken it’s record for the latest opening date - but it hasn’t opened yet. The National Capital Commission announced on social media today that the last time the canal opened this late was Feb. 2, 2002, but as the years have progressed the seasons have gotten shorter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink still hasn’t opened as an Ottawa winter festival gets underway, putting the Rideau Canal Skateway on track to have its latest opening date on record.

The National Capital Commission said on social media today that the last time the canal opened this late was Feb. 2, 2002, but skating seasons have generally gotten shorter in recent years.

The NCC says that until now, the weather has been too mild this year to build safe ice.

It says that crews are taking advantage of cold weather this week to get the canal open.

But that won’t happen in time for the start of the city’s annual Winterlude festival, which is taking place from Saturday until Feb. 20.

The internationally renowned skateway, which is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, draws tourists from all corners of the country to the nation’s capital every winter.

RELATED: Climate change causing more frequent warm winter temperatures: extreme weather expert





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