Preparing a canal to become a skateway

There's probably 6-8 weeks left before the Rideau Canal Skateway is open for the season, but before the snow flies and the water freezes, the preparations have begun.  This week the Rideau Canal looks like this.

But it won't be long until it looks like this.

The water level in the Rideau Canal has been lowered.

The change huts, toilets and other outbuildings have been put in place.

And a warm, sunny day in mid-November is a perfect day for installing the stairs that will eventually bring people down to the ice surface of the Skateway.

It also happens to be a day for scientists from Parks Canada to don the wet suits and scuba gear to investigate just what is at the bottom of the Rideau Canal.

On assignment by the National Capital Commission, which manages the Skateway, the crews drive up to the access points and hook up the stairs to a crane.

The stairs are hoisted into the air.

And set into place.

Waiting for the canal to freeze.

Bring on the kilt skate season!