The Rideau Canal skateway is the heart of Winterlude, and this year is the fiftieth anniversary of the skateway. This is the largest outdoor rink in the world, 7.8 kilometres of skating routes with a total area equalling 90 Olympic rinks. Each year, before, during, and after Winterlude, this stretch of the Canal is offered up for skaters. Weekdays can be quieter, but weekends can be busy on the ice. This first shot I took from the Bank Street Bridge looking east.
Some days later, it was more grey, with light snow falling.
This was the view to the west.
I headed down to the ice surface.
Here we have a view of the bridge itself, turning around from where I was standing in the above shot.
Most years during Winterlude, the bridge itself hosts a series of photographs with various themes. This year it's been the history of Winterlude, with photographs from various sources mounted on the walls of the main arch. This first one shows members of the Ottawa Senators team, a kids hockey team, and mascots of Winterlude carrying a Canadian flag on the ice during a shinny day. Shinny, for those who are wondering, is an informal variation of hockey often played on a pond. On that date, 110 games were being played on the ice. The Senators usually will get out on the ice once during Winterlude.
The skateway chalets, spots along the ice where you can get your skates on, have changed over the last fifty years.
A contrast between seasons: this view, taken from the Mackenzie King Bridge, shows the same spot in winter and summer. I've photographed this view many times.
Dow's Lake, a reservoir for the Canal further upstream from this spot, hosts Winterlude activities, including speed skating in the past. We'll carry on with this tomorrow.