Warmer than usual water temperature is making it challenging to build ice in some sections of the Rideau Canal Skateway, according to the National Capital Commission (NCC).

“We noticed more vapour than normal…water discharging more heavily…we believe it seems to be warmer water than usual,” says Bruce Devine, senior manager of the Rideau Canal Skateway.

The NCC says in late December 2017 and again in December 2018 while the weather was very cold, the water was warmer and the ice wasn’t growing at the expected pace.

“Near the Laurier bridge a drain there is sort of acting up a little bit. We don’t know exactly what’s going on but we have a hard time building the proper ice thickness,” says Devine.

The NCC says it’s now looking into what could be behind the warmer water.

The City of Ottawa said although it is close in proximity, construction of sewage infrastructure in Confederation Park isn’t to blame.

“City staff met with our NCC partners on-site this morning and confirmed that discharge flows related to the CSST construction at Confederation Park are not being released to any of the sewers flowing into the Rideau Canal,” says program manager Steven Courtland.

The Skateway opened for the season on Sunday Dec. 30 from the Pretoria Bridge to Bank Street. On Friday, an additional 1 km stretch from the Bank Street Bridge to Bronson Avenue was opened up.