Monday, February 27, 2017

From Alpha To Omega, From Beginning To End

I decided this year that I'd capture some images of the beginning and end of the Rideau Canal Skateway, as well as spots in between. These are not done in chronological order, but from start to finish. The skateway is 7.8 kilometres long, including a loop on Dow's Lake, with markers every two hundred metres. It covers an area equal to over ninety Olympic sized skating rinks, and thus holds the record as the largest outdoor skating rink in the world. The skating season was done a week ago as of Saturday, but I will still have some more material from here before I'm done. I am taking a short break from Winterlude for three days to do some other posts, but we'll be back to this by Friday to get the series finished.

It starts at this marker (well, at the benches) near Plaza Bridge, with Parliament Hill and the War Memorial visible beyond the tree, here where the Canal passes the National Arts Centre. Turning around gives the skater a view towards the NAC and the Mackenzie King Bridge.

This shot is taken from atop the Mackenzie King Bridge, looking south in the early evening. Confederation Park is off to the right in this shot.

Further along is the familiar Bank Street Bridge, between the Glebe and Old Ottawa South. This view looks east in afternoon light.

Further west from there, the Canal widens out into Dow's Lake. I took this shot around sunrise one morning during Winterlude.

On another day on the lake, I took these shots.

This last shot was done at night, beyond Dow's Lake, where the skateway comes to an end at the Hartwell Locks and Carleton University. The figure 7.8 and word end loom out of the darkness on the marker. Ironically I don't live that far away from this end of the Canal, I'm on the campus most of the time, and you'd think I'd get out here in daylight, but nooooo.....


  1. I love this entire series, William, and the lights, too!

  2. It looks awesome to skate on the canal !!!

  3. I love the canals. Always nice to see them. :D

  4. All are lovely shots, whether they be day, evening or night shots

  5. These photos are super! You have captured those scenes beautifully.

  6. I love the alpha/omega concept. Do you participate in ABC Wednesday? It is the same idea. The sunny, and even the night, pictures are so much happier than the gray day shots. Alas, we take what ew get with the weather!

    Happy Monday

  7. Wow - that's amazing! I tried skating once; just the once...

  8. This is pretty darn amazing William.. mother nature's ice rink definitely outclasses man-made! Enjoyed every shot.

  9. @Linda: thanks!

    @Orvokki: many people do. I at least do walk it.

    @Halcyon: it is quite a thing to have in the city.

    @Marianne: we have no shortage of skating space.

    @Nancy: thanks!

    @Denise: thank you!

    @Janis: I know of it, but I don't take part.

    @Mike: I know I can't skate!

    @Grace: thank you!

  10. Hard to believe I traveled that on Summer's days on a small boat, William!

  11. guess you need a calendar or an app on your phone that would remind you get out there at the right time? maybe? i enjoy seeing pics of all times of the day. so neat. even when you show it with snow and no snow, so neat!! ( ;

  12. It's heaven if you like ice skating!

  13. This must have been a good year for skating in the canal. There are many skaters in your photo. I would love to go for a skate on the canal

  14. "Largest outdoor skating rink in the world"! That is amazing. And, so many people out there enjoying it.

  15. That is really quite incredible. I wish I'd had such a place to skate when I was a kid. We skated on mostly small ponds and often bumped into each other, people ending up in a heap on the ice. As I've said before this canal is a wonderful asset to your city!

  16. @Cloudia: it's so different in the summer!

    @Beth: in this case, that last shot was pure procrastination. I took it on the last Friday of Winterlude, so the second to last day the Canal was open.

    @Karl: thank you!

    @Marleen: it is!

    @Red: it wasn't a long skating season, but a lot of people did come out for it.

    @Sharon: largest skating rink period. I think it's hard to think of an indoor space with that much ice.

    @Lowell: a lot of parks here still have the skating rinks open at the moment.

  17. Beautiful sceneries! I really love the early evening and sunrise pictures.

  18. It must be such fun to skate from one end to the other!

  19. Awesome views and so much going on there in the winter. A true winter wonderland. Love all the photos, William, great job!

  20. It's actually reassuring to see the ice.

  21. I always love seeing your photos of the skaters. I imagine they get quite a workout by the time they are done!

  22. The blue hued afternoon shot looks like it was taken at night. Quite lovely.

  23. @Tamago: thanks!

    @RedPat: I'd imagine so. I have walked it before, beginning to end. These days I do certain stretches of it on foot.

    @Bill: thank you!

    @Revrunner: it is.

    @Lois: they must.

    @Mari: thank you!

  24. Love all these wintry scenes William! Funny about your title because just a little bit ago I was looking up omega 3 6 balance then it had me thinking about the Jonny Cash song alpha omega and then here we are! 😂

  25. It's impressive how large this skate area is. And it's clear that it gets a lot of use.

  26. The canal is such a superb civic amenity! I always enjoy seeing the skating scenes.

  27. It's beginning to look like spring here in Nashua, NH, with hardly any snow left and no ice after several days of record warming temps last week.

  28. And it's done! Where did the time go?
    I have skated the length, back in the day...

  29. I can't skate. Two left feet and all....

  30. @Catalyst: well, I can't skate myself.

    @Tanya: it seemed appropriate!

    @Kay: it is well used.

    @Gunn: definitely!

    @Jack: it is a wonderful resource to have.

    @Whisk: that it is.

    @Beatrice: writing this months later, we had quite a winter.

    @Jennifer: it's fun to have the canal frozen while it lasts.

    @Norma: I can't either.