Monday, February 26, 2018

Along The Skateway

I have more views of the Rideau Canal today during Winterlude. Here we start from a familiar point, looking east from on top of the Bank Street Bridge on a grey day.

Dow's Lake is further west, where the Canal widens out at this spot. The skateway comes up the length of the ice and goes back down again. Snowplows are parked around here to be deployed on the ice surface as needed. Numerous skaters will start off from here, and there is even a ramp down to the ice if you're using a stroller or a wheelchair.

These were taken less than a half hour later- a nod to how fast skies can change this time of year. The city's transit system runs free shuttles on the weekend during Winterlude, and I took one from the lake back towards the Bank Street Bridge, where I crossed the ice. This view west takes in skaters; note the two paramedics in the green jackets among them. Medics skate the length of the skateway in pairs during the skating season, toting backpacks with essential supplies (presumably even a defibilrator), responding to anyone who's in need of attention.

This view east still has blue sky, and a view of the bridge itself from the surface level.

Then I turned back and looked west again.

A few days later, I was waiting for the Winterlude shuttle below the bridge and took shots from this perspective. The eastern view gives a glimpse through the trees of the former convent that houses the Royal College Of Physicians and Surgeons up on the top of the slope. The western view that follows it has the skaters making their way through what was a snowy afternoon.


  1. ...looks as though you can skate for miles.

  2. It's really good to know that there are medics and medical equipment available for people who skate the canal. I can't imagine having that much straightaway to skate on! Nice shots, William!

  3. So much snow. Snow everywhere! Such fun for those who can skate!

  4. We are already seeing major signs of spring. What is the temperature in Ottawa today?


  5. Wonderful winter shots again, William.
    As predicted it’s quite cold in the Netherlands this week, but skating won’t be possible at most lakes and canals. The eastern wind is spoiling the fun.

  6. The gray light of winter is brighter these days. Spring is within our grasp now, William!

  7. @Tom: you can!

    @Lowell: it's a very good idea. Mostly they're dealing with twisted ankles.

    @Nancy: it certainly is, and even for one who can't, like me, it's fun to walk.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Janis: it's a bit under freezing this morning.

    @Jan: thanks! Alas for you.

    @Marie: I am noticing more daylight.

  8. What a wide variety of skaters. You could say skater watcher !

  9. Beautiful photos of a lovely place I would love to skate ~

    Happy Week to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  10. Another beautiful selection, William !
    Is ice skating a "national sport" ?

  11. I've done the 7.8 km! So sad it closed...

  12. It always amazes me the number of people out there skating.

  13. @Red: that's a good way to put it!

    @Carol: many people come out just to skate.

    @Karl: it is popular. In terms of official national sports, lacrosse is our summer national sport, while of course hockey is our winter national sport.

    @Jennifer: over the course of the skating season, I've pretty much walked the full length of the canal's surface. I've done it on occasion all together, which of course takes longer than skating, but walking on it is pretty easy going.

    @Sharon: it's a popular feature in our city in winter, and it's well known.

  14. gloomy but the sun makes it look less mysterious gloomy. ( ;

  15. It looks beautiful. But I still hate winter!

  16. The canal is magical with all of those skaters! They have put a rink under the Gardiner Expressway called the Beltline, not nearly as long but quite nice. Near Fort York.

  17. The canal serves a great purpose in the winter. Lots of skaters take advantage of the long canal and its great that there are medics out there too just in case someone needs one. Canada does a lot for its people and that's wonderful!

  18. That's so cool! I'd like to skate that someday! The lake here has rinks but I always find them so bumpy. Still fun though!!

  19. I am enjoying virtual winter through your Winterlude posts.

  20. @Beth: gloomy days in the winter can feel extra gloomy.

    @Norma: but winter is the best season!

    @RedPat: I have heard of that one. It's a creative idea of using what was dead space.

    @Bill: I know some people commute along the Canal when it's open.

    @Jenn: it's ideal for skating.

    @Sallie: I'm enjoying showing it.

  21. What fun. I do love to ice skate but unfortunately we get no frozen lakes out this way.

  22. That looks fantastic! I love to ice skate. It's like flying!

  23. I can't imagine taking a wheelchair on ice or a stroller since that would mean there is a baby in there.

  24. I always like seeing your shots of the canal in winter. What a wonderful urban amenity.

  25. Beautiful photos! I especially love the sceneries with blue sky. Must feel really pleasant to go on skating on such fine day :-)

  26. The frozen river always spins me out William, looks so much fun for the skaters!

  27. Snow and blue sky is perfect match.

  28. @MB: here a frozen pond is a common sight.

    @Sandi: I have never learned to skate.

    @Mari: I see quite a bit in the way of strollers on ice.

    @Jack: it is a great part of our city.

    @Tamago: thank you!

    @Grace: it would be!

    @Klara: I think so too.