A week of unseasonably warm weather has kept the Rideau Canal Skateway closed, refocusing last weekend's Winterlude activities on the off-ice areas such as the Cartier Park snow slides, the Confederation Park ice sculptures, and the snow sculptures at Lansdowne Park. But good news: the cold weather is back! The canal is open again! And just in time for upcoming final weekend of Winterlude.
So in the spirit of what has passed and will come again, let's share some photos from the opening weekend of Winterlude, when Doctor Skip came up for our annual skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway.
We seem to be able to time these annual get-togethers for Winterlude weekends, and this year we hit the ice on a day perfect for getting the family out on the Skateway.
Skip used to play hockey at a US college. He knows how to use his edges and glides very relaxed as we work our way down the canal. And Skip still has the inner 12-year-old in him that entices him to line up with the other 12-year-olds to try out his shooting skills at the Giant Tiger hockey site. Step right up, folks! Use your hockey stick to shoot the ball through one of the openings in the goalie's net.
There's something for everyone on the canal for Winterlude weekends. Lots of concession stands where you can get hot dogs, poutine, maple taffy and the perennial Skateway favourite, the Beavertail.
But if you don't want to line up, just wait until someone comes to you with a complementary hot chocolate, courtesy of CIBC.
Skate rentals are available and, for those who would rather be pulled around than skate, rent a sleigh and let your friends and partners do the heavy skating.
Yup, it will all be happening again, starting Friday. In the meantime, the crews are out grooming the ice. The snow is falling lightly in Ottawa today, and the teams of snowploughs will be out there, clearing the ice.
The weather is predicted to drop to the minus-20 range, which will make for solid ice, but bundled-up skaters. See you on the ice!