Entire Rideau Canal Skateway temporarily closed

A skater skates on a section of the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa on the opening day of its 50th season, on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The entire length of the Rideau Canal Skateway is off-limits to skaters until further notice.

The National Capital Commission (NCC), the Crown corporation that manages the skateway, temporarily closed the outdoor attraction late Saturday night, as milder temperatures hit the nation’s capital.

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“The closure is necessary because warmer temperatures deteriorate the ice surface and make it unsafe,” the commission wrote in a Saturday news release.

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“While this temporary closing will remain until further notice, our monitoring of the ice condition and maintenance operations will continue as long as weather and ice conditions will allow.”

Skateway maintenance continues “with a view of re-opening,” the NCC said.

The 7.8-kilometre skateway first opened for the 2019-20 season on Jan. 18, 2020. Fluctuating temperatures since then have caused the NCC to open, close and then reopen certain sections of ice.

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To date, the largest, continuous section of ice open for skating stretched 7.4 kilometres.

According to the NCC, there have been 26 days of skating so far this season — the skateway’s 50th.

The commission urges people to stay off the ice in the canal.

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