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World’s largest skating rink on thin ice as Canada’s warm winter prevents opening

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Canada’s Rideau Canal Skateway – the largest outdoor rink in the world and a Unesco heritage site – may not open this winter for the first time in five decades, due to a lack of ice.

Ottawa is in the grips of its third-warmest winter ever recorded, according to Environment Canada, with temperatures hovering just below freezing through most of December and January.

And they’re now forecast to climb.

“Mother Nature has presented us with a big challenge this year,” Bruce Devine, National Capital Commission senior manager responsible for the skateway, said.

“Mild temperatures have made it difficult to make good, solid ice that can support the weight of our equipment and skaters,” he said.

For the canal to freeze up, temperatures must hold steady at -10 to -20C for almost two weeks.

“Currently in several spots the ice is porous and of not very good quality,” he said.

Although he remains optimistic for what would be the latest opening on record, others worry the skateway might not open at all this year.

A brief cold spell is forecast to be coming. “The weather will be…

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