For decades, Ottawa’s Rideau Canal enjoyed the title of “World’s Longest Outdoor Skating Rink”. In 2008, however, this glory was lost to a river in Winnipeg, and the Canal has struggled to remain relevant as a tourist attraction ever since. Yesterday, the National Capital Commission announced plans to revitalize the once great stretch of ice.
“This winter, the Rideau Canal will make an attempt at the Guinness World Record for ‘Deadliest Outdoor Skating Rink’. The National Capital Commission as well as the City of Ottawa look forward to working together to accomplish this goal” announced Alison Camonbur, a spokesperson for the NCC.
Although the project is still in the early planning phase, some details have already been set. The National Capital Commission have stated that maintenance schedules will remain unchanged from last season, but instead of fixing potholes and clearing snow, they will be in charge of creating hazards on the ice. “The ice will be thinned in strategic spots, lighting will be severely reduced at night, and we will do our best to ensure that the surface of the Canal remains as uneven as possible.” Camonbur explains, “In addition, our volunteer medics will no longer patrol the skateway, and access will be reduced to a single point at each end. Injured skaters will have to drag themselves up to 4 km to escape. I think we really have a shot at this record.”