Thursday, February 27, 2020

Skating History

Carrying on with this look at the photographs of Winterlude over fifty years, here we have a timeless shot.

This banner gives an overview of the photographs beneath the Bank Street Bridge. The south section of the stadium at Lansdowne Park is in the background at left.

The ice is maintained by workers each year, with vehicles and on foot. Snowplows keep the skateway clear. When the surface gets rough, workers use drills and pumps to flood the ice with water from beneath, smoothing things out as the fresh surface freezes up. This work is generally done at night.

The Ice Hogs, the mascots of Winterlude, have changed over the years.

Our prime minister, Justin Trudeau, was seven when this photograph of him was taken on the Canal during an event called Trotting On The Ice. 

Here we have a photograph of an attempt at the world's longest human chain record, back in the 1980s. It would have been taken from the Bronson Avenue Bridge, looking east.

Who do we have to thank for the skateway? NCC chairman Douglas Fullerton, who came up with the idea, seen here skating on the Canal.

I finish today with a shot of the Bank Street Bridge at night. We'll be closing out the month over the next two days with a walk on the Canal.


  1. ...what a celebration of winter! Ottawa knows how to celebrate the seasons.

  2. It was a short season this year, but it was good enough. As always.

  3. The big celebration of winter! Love it!

  4. Hello, wonderful look back at 50 years of skating. Wishing you a great day!

  5. There are two future Prime Ministers in that shot. One of them might already have been musing about the possibility.

  6. Wonderful serie, William, especially the older photos are beautiful.

  7. I always enjoy looking at old photos!

  8. Mr Fullerton came up with an excellent idea! Love seeing the pics of people ice-skating William ✨

  9. It's such a quick season. I like the old photos.

  10. Such a wonderful place to have right there, and well maintained, too.

  11. Interesting to see the history of a great wintertime event. I imagine it helps break up the cabin-fever from long winters.

  12. It is such a great event! I hope it goes for another 50 years!

  13. I always think about the excellent use of the canal to promote many good things in this country ...skating being only one of them.

  14. It's interesting how they take care of the ice.

  15. It has a very long history. Interesting to see young Justin Trudeau and the human chain is very impressive!

  16. @Tom: especially this one.

    @Iris: if only!

    @Anvilcloud: I see now that the Canal is now officially done for the season.

    @Francisco: thank you!

    @Ella: so do I.

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @David: possibly.

    @Jan: I think so too.

  17. @Tanya: so do I.

    @Grace: it was a good idea.

    @Jennifer: this year especially.

    @DJan: it is well taken care of.

    @Barbara: it does indeed.

    @RedPat: we'll see what global warming does.

    @Red: that's true.

    @Sharon: it is.

    @Tamago: thanks!

  18. A nice look back through those old photos.

  19. Love the first photo and the skater.

  20. I love to ice skate and would enjoy skating here very much!

  21. Nice post. I like the first photo and the shot of the stylish Mr. Fullerton a-skates.

  22. William - what a clever idea to drill the ice, releasing water and refreshing the surface! Just like a Zamboni! People around here rejoice when a lake has smooth ice on which to skate - it does not happen often. Lovely bit of history!

  23. Nice to see the history here. I don't think I'd care to be the guys who do that nighttime drilling.

  24. So it wasn't the longest human chain? lol World Record things are crazy!

  25. Wonderful history and what a lovely place to skate ~ ^_^

    Happy Moments to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  26. I love this series of photos from Winterlude. There are some truly heartwarming images.

  27. Nice post. Love the closing shot!

  28. @Bill: thanks!

    @Marie: so do I.

    @Pat: lots of people do.

    @Catalyst: thank you!

    @Angie: people enjoy it while it lasts.

    @Kay: I've seen them doing it at night.

    @Jenn: apparently the numbers didn't make the record.

    @Carol: it certainly is.

    @Jeanie: I agree.

    @Linda: so do I.