The Rideau Canal skateway is very much the centrepiece of Winterlude. A route of 7.8 kilometres is cleared for skating from the Hartwell Locks to the Ottawa Locks through the downtown core, with a skating surface equal to 90 Olympic sized rinks, the largest outdoor skating surface in the world. I like to feature the skateway in posts during Winterlude, and will be featuring it again before the series is through, as yesterday I walked a portion of the Canal from Lansdowne Park to the Corktown Bridge.
These two shots, taken on two days in late January, show the skating surface looking east from the Bank Street Bridge.
One day on the first weekend of Winterlude, I was once again on this bridge and photographed to the east. There weren't many skaters at this point in the day, but traffic flow on the Canal can change in the space of an hour or so, particularly on the weekends.
A couple of hours later I photographed from the bridge looking west.
One evening on the first weekend, I passed over the Mackenzie King Bridge downtown and photographed the view first towards the Ottawa Locks, where the skateway commences. The National Arts Centre, Parliament Hill, Plaza Bridge, government Conference Centre, and Chateau Laurier are all over there.
Crossing to the other side of the bridge, I photographed the skateway going to the southeast. Confederation Park is on the right here. In previous years it was a focal point for Winterlude, but this year that has changed, and it is not one of the sites for events. The ice sculptures are elsewhere this year.
Here we had the same general perspective the following morning.
And a bit later on that morning, here we have Dow's Lake. This was designed as part of the Canal back in the day, a reservoir for its flow, and the skateway comes up this stretch and descends again on the way down to the start point at the Hartwell Locks. Winterlude events are also held here, including one that I photographed on Saturday.
These last three date back to Saturday. Crossing the Mackenzie King Bridge in the morning, I photographed this view north.
I went down to Dow's Lake for an event after the noon hour, and came back to Bank Street by the shuttle bus run by the city on weekends. I paused by the Canal to frame this shot looking westward. Every two hundred metres, signs marking the distance are posted.
Then I started to cross the ice, pausing to photograph the Bank Street Bridge itself from the surface of the skateway.