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Rideau Canal record broken at 47 consecutive skating days

Ottawa's Rideau Canal has been open to skaters for 47 consecutive days — the longest stretch in its 45-year history.

Longest stretch in 45-year history of skateway, which has been open this year since Jan. 10

Ottawa's Rideau Canal has set a record for consecutive days open, at 47, but fewer skaters are taking to it this year compared to 2014, owing to the freezing cold weather. (The Canadian Press)

Ottawa's Rideau Canal has been open to skaters for 47 consecutive days — the longest stretch in its 45-year history.

The first parts of the 7.8-kilometre maintained ice surface opened on Jan. 10 this year. The entire length is currently open to skaters.

The National Capital Commission said the consistently cold weather coupled with few heavy snowstorms this winter have allowed the canal to stay open. But the bitter cold temperatures and many frostbite warnings have also discouraged skaters.

Last year, the canal had an average of 20,000 visitors per day; this year, the average so far is 17,000, the NCC said.

Last season, the Rideau Canal was open for 58 skating days, between Dec. 31, 2013, and March 11, 2014.

The previous record of 46 consecutive skating days was during the 2003-04 season.