Lace up your skates!

The ice is ready for the 46th Rideau Canal Skateway season
The ice is ready for the 46th Rideau Canal Skateway season

The ice is ready for the 46th Rideau Canal Skateway season 

Canada’s Capital Region — The world’s largest skating rink is ready. The Rideau Canal Skateway is frozen just-right with a 3.8-kilometre section open from Somerset Street to the Bank Street Bridge. With a continued cold spell, the National Capital Commission’s (NCC) maintenance crews will be working around the clock to open the remainder of the Skateway.

“Nothing says winter in Canada’s Capital like skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “Thanks to our unique Canadian environment, we can all enjoy this iconic winter tradition, year after year!”

“Skating on the world’s largest skating rink has become a must-do winter activity for hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors to the Capital,” said Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer of the NCC. “The Skateway team is proud to carry forward this great Canadian winter tradition.”

“CIBC’s rich history goes back as long as Canada’s, so it’s a natural fit for us to support this favourite national winter pastime on the iconic Rideau Canal,” said Monique Giroux, Vice-President of Sponsorships and Strategic Partnerships at CIBC, presenting sponsor of the Rideau Canal Skateway. “We invite skaters to stop by our CIBC Rest Area at Fifth Avenue to warm up at the firepit and relax in Muskoka chairs.”

CIBC is the presenting sponsor of the Rideau Canal Skateway and an official sponsor of Winterlude, which runs from January 29 until February 15, 2016.

Media Invitation and Photo Opportunity

Official opening of the 46th season of the Rideau Canal Skateway

Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament for Hull—Aylmer,
on behalf of The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Russell Mills, Chair, NCC Board of Directors
Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer, NCC

Derek Mainville, District Vice-President, CIBC

On the Rideau Canal Skateway at Queen Elizabeth Driveway and Fifth Avenue, near the Canal Ritz restaurant

Today, Saturday, January 23, 2016, at 10:30 am

Ice Conditions and the Rideau Canal Skateway

The NCC Ice Safety Committee deemed that a 3.8-kilometre section of ice between Somerset Street and the Bank Street Bridge, has reached the required thickness and is safe for skating. The ice conditions are expected to be fair, as is often the case on the first day of the season.

The NCC’s Rideau Canal Skateway team plans to open other sections of the world’s largest skating rink as soon as ice conditions are safe and weather permits. The public is asked not to venture onto closed sections of the Skateway.

The Rideau Canal, a National Historic Site of Canada and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is owned by Parks Canada. The Skateway portion, close to downtown Ottawa, has been managed by the NCC during the winter months since the 1970–1971 season.

The 7.8-kilometre Rideau Canal Skateway welcomes an average of 19,000 visits every day that it is open.

Rideau Canal Skateway Sponsors

The NCC proudly thanks the following sponsors for their support of the Rideau Canal Skateway: CIBC, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), Nokia, Enbridge, CF Rideau Centre, Goodlife Fitness, Giant Tiger, Pizza Pizza, Pepsi and CEECAM Corporation, and media sponsors Ottawa Citizen, LeDroit, Country 101, KISS FM, ÉNERGIE and Rouge fm.

For more information about the Rideau Canal Skateway, please contact the NCC at 613-239-5000, 

613-239-5090 (TTY), 1-800-465-1867 (toll-free) or 1-866-661-3530 (toll-free TTY), visit the NCC’s website at, or follow us on Twitter @NCC_Skateway or Facebook. Throughout the season, recorded information about skating conditions can be obtained by calling 613-239-5234.

Media Information

Jasmine Leduc

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Strategic Communications Advisor
613-239-5678 ext. 5257 (office)
613-608-3119 (cellular)

Jean Wolff

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Senior Manager of Communications
613-239-5678 extension 5703 (office)
613-797-0279 (cellular)