Farewall skateway, and thanks for a great season

The brutally cold weather we’ve experienced in Ottawa this winter helped the Rideau Canal skateway coast to a new record. The curtain fell on the Canal skating season on March 9 after 59 consecutive days of being open. Apparently, it was the coldest February on record in 115 years.

Records past

The previous record for consecutive days open was 46, set in 2004. In 2013, the Canal was open for 58 days, though not in a row. The shortest season on record was 2002 with just 35 days of skating.

Perhaps it was the length of this season that dragged down a different stat. This year’s average daily visits fell 15% from 20,000 (last year) to 17,000.

Now that the spring thaw is upon us, and snow and ice are gradually making way for grass and new buds on the trees, it’s time to start thinking about the bike paths and hiking trails.

Before you know it, the Tulip Festival will brighten up Preston Street and Dow’s Lake. Concerts and restaurant patios are on their way.

Photo: Skating on the Rideau Canal uploaded to Flickr by Tristan Smith.