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NCC reopens 2 sections of Rideau Canal Skateway on Friday morning

Skaters make their way along the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa on the opening day of its 50th season on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020.
Skaters make their way along the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa on the opening day of its 50th season on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Two large sections of the Rideau Canal Skateway were reopened Friday morning, just as the annual Winterlude festival kicks off in Ottawa.

As of 8 a.m. Friday, residents and visitors can skate on the canal between Waverley and Bank streets, and between Bronson Avenue and Hartwells Locks at the skateway’s southern endpoint.

READ MORE: Entire Rideau Canal Skateway closed ‘until further notice’ due to weather

The National Capital Commission (NCC), the Crown corporation that manages the Rideau Canal Skateway, had closed the entire outdoor skateway last weekend due to the weather — just one week into the 2019-20 season.

Outdoor winter skating season shortening: research
Outdoor winter skating season shortening: research

A portion of the popular winter attraction first opened on Jan. 18.

In a news release Thursday, the NCC says it’s “continuing to work hard” to reopen the whole skateway and urges the public to stay off the sections that remain closed.

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Ice skating program for new Canadians
Ice skating program for new Canadians

“Snow, freezing rain or water on the ice surface may hide serious deterioration of the ice thickness,” the release said.

The 2020 edition of Winterlude runs from Jan. 31 to Feb. 17.