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NCC says 160,000 skaters on Rideau Canal Skateway's 10 days this winter

People enjoy skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, Ont. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2024. (Brad Quinn/CTV News Ottawa) People enjoy skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, Ont. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2024. (Brad Quinn/CTV News Ottawa)
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The National Capital Commission says despite the shortest skating season on record for the Rideau Canal Skateway, tens of thousands of people made it onto the ice.

"Our 54th season on the Rideau Canal Skateway has officially come to an end. Despite the feeble winter, you came out in full force and your enthusiasm was palpable," the NCC said on social media.

This winter's skating season had just 10 skating days, the fewest ever recorded, not counting last winter when the Skateway didn't open at all.

According to the NCC, 160,000 skaters came out to enjoy the ice this year, more than 35,000 of them on the opening day Jan. 21.

The Skateway was never open for more than four days at a time this winter between fluctuating temperatures and precipitation, and the entire 7.8-km length of the Skateway was never opened. At most, the NCC had opened just over two kilometres between Waverley and Bank Street.

"Despite the erratic weather, you showed up – and showed your enthusiasm," the NCC said in an email.

Here's what was available on each of the 10 skating days this winter:

  • Jan. 21-24: Pretoria to Bank (~1.9 km)
  • Feb. 18-19: Pretoria to Bank (~1.9 km)
  • Feb. 20-21: Waverley to Bank (~2.7 km)
  • Feb. 24: Pretoria to Bank (~1.9 km)
  • Feb. 25: Pretoria to Bank (~1.9 km)

The last time the full length of the Skateway was open was during the 2022 skating season, which had 41 skating days and saw more than 500,000 skaters.

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