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Poor ice conditions close Rideau Canal Skateway


The Rideau Canal skateway has been closed indefinitely
The Rideau Canal skateway has been closed indefinitely

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

February 17, 2011 — Ottawa's Rideau Canal Skateway is closed due to a combination of warm temperatures and poor ice conditions

Mild temperatures and rain is forecast Thursday-Friday
Mild temperatures and rain is forecast Thursday-Friday

While many Canadians are enjoying this week's spike in temperatures across Ontario, the mild-spell came at a cost in Ottawa.

The city's Rideau Canal Skateway has been closed due to poor ice conditions. The National Capital Commission made the announcement Wednesday, stating that the skateway will remain closed until further notice.

Ottawa is forecast to hit a high of 5C later tonight, followed by a high of 9C on Friday. A brief spell of mild temperatures earlier this week already triggered some melting.

People are being urged to avoid venturing on to the skateway for safety reasons, and to respect barricades. The commission says crews will resume maintenance to reopen the skateway as soon as the weather permits.

This weekend marks the final weekend of Winterlude - a famous annual tradition in Ottawa. Throughout the month of February, roughly 650,000 people attend the event, which includes an ice carving competition, giant snow slides and skating on the Rideau Canal.

Onlookers enjoy the ice-carving at Winterlude
Onlookers enjoy the ice-carving at Winterlude

Since 1971, skating on the Canal has been a tradition in the Nation's Capital, but the Canal suffered some setbacks at the beginning of January this year due to the milder conditions.

We had warmer weather and that was mixed with rain, which had a negative impact on the ice growth, explains Jasmine Leduc with the NCC.

Winterlude runs until February 21.

With files from Andrea Stockton

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