Embracing Winter: The Rideau Canal Skateway

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photo from the Rideau Canal Skateway website; click photo to access the site.

While some of you are posting photos of spring bulbs blooming and the rest of us are whining about the endless winter of 2014-15, the folks at the Rideau Canal Skateway are reveling in the setting of a new record, made possible by the relentless cold.

The Rideau Canal runs through the center of Ottawa, Ontario, and for a month or two every winter it becomes a playground for skaters. Access to the ice is always dependent on weather and the length of the season varies.

But this year, the ice at the “largest ice rink in the world” has been open for 55 consecutive days! By February 24, three-quarters of a million people had visited the ice; the canal stretches 7.8 kilometers (4.8 miles) through the heart of the city and the ice is swept and flooded regularly to maintain a good surface for skating.

These folks know how to embrace winter!

It seems that everyone carries skates

It seems that everyone carries skates

No need to stop if you're hungry! Kiosks offer food and drink.

No need to stop if you’re hungry! Kiosks offer food and drink right on the ice.

Some sections are packed with people!

Some sections are packed with people! That makes it more difficult to fall!

That's Parliament in the background.

That’s Parliament in the background.

This is how to do winter right!

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