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You're on thin ice, NCC warns canal trespassers

The National Capital Commission has issued its annual warning to impatient winter walkers: Don't be fooled by what's still a dangerously thin layer of ice covering the Rideau Canal.

Ice covering Rideau Canal still dangerously thin, NCC says

This 2016 file photo shows workers testing the Rideau Canal Skateway's ice thickness. The NCC says workers may be able to get onto the ice in the next few days, but that doesn't mean it's safe for the public. (Roger Dubois/CBC)

The National Capital Commission has issued its annual warning to impatient winter walkers: Don't be fooled by what's still a dangerously thin layer of ice covering the Rideau Canal.

The ice needs to be at least 30 centimetres thick before skaters are allowed onto it, and it's nowhere near that yet, the NCC said in a news release.

The depth of the water under the ice ranges from one metre to more than four metres.

If you see workers and equipment on the ice, that's not a green light either, the NCC said, because those are "professionals who know how to manage the risks."

The NCC promised it will get the 48th skating season on the UNESCO world heritage site underway as soon as possible.

Of course, that will require a prolonged bout of cold weather. Temperatures are predicted to stay well below 0 C for the rest of the week.

At just 18 and 25 skating days respectively, the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 skating seasons on the Rideau Canal were the shortest on record.