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Ottawa residents make the best of 2nd warm Winterlude weekend

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Spring-like weather in the Ottawa region has continued into the weekend.

Saturday saw temperatures reach a high of 6 C, and while not record breaking like Friday’s 9.9 C, many residents took the opportunity to head out and enjoy the warmth.

Over at a soggy Snowflake Kingdom, signs were spread across Jacques-Cartier Park warning of possible slippery conditions.

"In comparison to other years, this Winterlude is probably the warmest I've ever been," said Richard Hartman, who was visiting from Kingston.

"I haven’t had a fall yet," said Rick Hanavan, a New York tourist. "I'm enjoying it quite a bit, but I wish it was cold enough to skate on the canal - that's one of the reasons I came.”

The Rideau Canal Skateway remains closed during the second straight weekend of Winterlude, though the pathway is lively with recreationists taking advantage of the weather.

Graham Toms is training for a marathon in May – Saturday’s balminess gave him some early practice.

"It's actually quite wet, but it's better than if it was just below zero because then it would be too slippery," Toms said.

Signs warning of slippery conditions were spread across a soggy Snowflake Kingdom in Gatineau, Que.'s Jacques-Cartier Park on Feb. 10, 2024 (Sam Houpt/CTV News)Karen and Ken Swinburne were out enjoying a stroll along the water, but were doing so with a bit of a guilty conscience.

"It's been an easy winter for walking, especially for older people like ourselves," said Karen, "but I don't like this. I'd like to see people skating on the canal."

"We still regret the loss of the typical winter," said Ken.

Back over in Snowflake Kingdom, Winterlude officials continue to operate under contingency, but say they are keeping a close eye on the thermometer as the February long weekend approaches.

"We’re hoping that the weather will not go above ten degrees," said Winterlude spokesperson Charles Cardinal. "We're managing the site, managing the situation, and making sure the site remains safe for everyone."

Environment Canada’s weather forecasts predicts a return to sub-zero averages by Tuesday.

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