Skateway Opens

Skateway Opens

After weeks of preparation, the Rideau Canal Skateway will open for it 49th season this morning at 8:00 a.m. The section from Bank Street……to Pretoria Bridge will be open. This section contains many favourite locations on the Skateway, including Fifth Avenue…Patterson Creek…And Pig Island. For up-to-date information on the Rideau Canal Skateway including ice conditions, including web cams, check the National Capital Commission website.

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Ottawa doubles down

Ottawa doubles down

The Ottawa version of Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate continues to grow.  This year, about a hundred kilted and tartaned skaters gathered at the Lansdowne Park Skating Rink, milling about the tents and taking to the ice on a beautiful winter day. Skating, eating birthday cake and, of course, playing the bagpipes.

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Rideau Canal Skateway opens for its 48th Season

Rideau Canal Skateway opens for its 48th Season

The weather has been subarctic across Canada, but for those waiting for the skating season, one of the benefits has been anticipating the opening of the world's largest skating rink:  the Rideau Canal Skateway. For 7.8 kilometres it curves an arch through the centre of Ottawa -- from the Hartwell Locks at Carleton University to the canal's final descent to the Ottawa River in the heart of downtown.

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Cities Vie for the Title: Kilt Skate Capital of Canada

Cities Vie for the Title: Kilt Skate Capital of Canada

For the fourth straight year, skaters across Canada will be taking to outdoor rinks in a unique celebration of Scottish heritage: the annual Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate. What began years ago as a private house party to celebrate a birthday has grown into a friendly, cross-country rivalry for the title of Kilt Skate Capital of Canada.

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Hogman-eh! Ottawa celebrates New Year's Scottish-style

Hogman-eh! Ottawa celebrates New Year's Scottish-style

Should auld acquaintance be forgot?  Not when Ottawa gets together for another great New Year’s Eve celebration at the Aberdeen Pavilion. For the third straight year, the Scottish Society of Ottawa will host its “Hogman-eh!” celebration at Lansdowne Park.  As in past years, thousands of people are expected to gather in the old “Cattle Castle” to bring in the new year with live music, dancing, fireworks, and special entertainment for the kids.

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Thrawn: Skating when it's 40 below

Thrawn:  Skating when it's 40 below

The winter gods have a sense of humour. Last week, the temperatures were so warm, the Rideau Canal Skateway was covered with meltwater and had to be closed.  This weekend, it opens once more, but the thermometer drops to minus-29 and, with the wind chill, minus-40.

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Snow business like show business

Snow business like show business

The warm weather has pretty well wiped out the Rideau Canal Skateway for this second weekend of Winterlude. But when you're attracting hundreds of thousands of people to Ottawa from across Canada and around the world, the show must go on!  And fortunately there's lots of options.

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First Canal Skate of the Season

First Canal Skate of the Season

The ice is a bit rough, but we expect that on the first day. Everyone on the Rideau Canal Skateway was just happy to have a 3.8 km portion of the world's longest skating rink open on a perfect winter afternoon -- sunny, minus 10 degrees, and no wind. Here's some pix.

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Rideau Canal Opens for Skating

Rideau Canal Opens for Skating

The season is starting late. Two years ago, we were skating the canal on New Year's Eve. The latest was February 2, 2002. Just couple of weeks ago, the canal was buried in snow. The ice was too thin for maintenance, and the temperatures refused to drop low enough to hurry the freezing process along.

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Waiting for the canal to open

Waiting for the canal to open

The cold snap continues, and we have hopes that the Rideau Canal Skateway will open soon. The National Capital Commission won't raise the green flags until there's 30 cms of good ice -- enough to support crowds of 10,000 people who show up forWinterlude at a given time.

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First Pix from Ottawa's Kilt Skate, 2016

First Pix from Ottawa's Kilt Skate, 2016

Well, did you ever! What a swell party that was! The officials were on hand, the media was on hand, the skaters were on hand in all their kilted glory.  Oh, and there was free birthday cake and hot chocolate for the kids of all ages.  Here's some early photos of today's kilt skate, courtesy of Homero Martinez who has come here all the way from Mexico City, plus a couple of pix of our own.

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