NCC warns residents to stay off Rideau Canal ice surface

People skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway on Family Day in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

With spring preparations set to begin on March 25, the National Capital Commission is urging the public to avoid venturing onto the Rideau Canal.

The Rideau Canal Skateway’s 49th season officially came to an end on March 10. Rain and warmer temperatures in recent days have caused the ice to begin melting, and the NCC warned in a safety advisory that “water on the ice surface may hide serious hazards.”

READ MORE: Rideau Canal Skateway closes for the season, one of the rink’s longest in years

Spokesman Cédric Pelletier told Global News that while there have not been any reported cases of people wandering on to the ice, the NCC sends out the advisory as protocol for this time of year.

The commission has installed barricades and signs at access points along the canal to discourage people from entering the area.

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This season was one of the longest in recent history, with the skateway opening on Dec. 30. The rink remained open for 59 of the 71 days and saw close to 1.5 million visitors, a new record for the site.

Parks Canada will begin preparing for the canal for springtime operations on March 25.

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