OTTAWA -- Sharpen your skates, Ottawa: the wait is over.

A section of the Rideau Canal Skateway is set to open at 8 a.m. Saturday, the National Capital Commission announced Friday afternoon.

The 2.3-kilometre section between the stairs near the Pretoria Bridge and the Bank Street stairs, including Patterson Creek.

This year's opening comes nearly three weeks later than the start of the last skating season, when the canal opened on Dec. 30.

An official opening ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Fifth Avenue rest area, near the Canal Ritz restaurant.