No predictions on canal opening

Due to the wacky and warm December weather, it’s unclear when the Rideau Canal will be frozen enough for skaters to kick off its 42nd season.

“There are many variables that bring us to the appropriate and safe ice thickness of 25 to 30 cm,” said National Capital Commission spokesman Jean Wolff.

And the NCC is no longer sharing calculations for when it could happen.

“Giving simply a number of days at a given temperature may give the wrong signal and unfair expectations,” said Wolff.

So skaters itching to get on the 7.8-km skateway will just have to be patient.

In 2011, the rink opened Jan. 8 and closed Mar. 6, translating into just 53 skating days.

The year before, skaters from near and far got to enjoy just 36 skating days, between Jan. 14 and Feb. 26.

Dec. 18 was the earliest opening ever, and it happened twice, in 1972–1973 and 1981–1982, while the latest opening was Feb. 2, 2002.

The NCC ice safety committee greenlights the launch of the skateway.

“When they say the thickness is achieved, and the ice is sturdy, is when it will open,” said Wolff.

@ottawasunkroche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/12/16/no-predictions-on-canal-opening

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