Manitoba

The Forks river trails, skating rink nowhere near ready thanks to mild weather

Anxious to skate on the river trails or at The Forks this winter? You may have to wait a while, as the unseasonably mild weather means it's not cold enough to freeze the Red and Assiniboine rivers.

Red River is mostly 'wide open' right now, says river trails co-ordinator

Open ice on the Assiniboine River near The Forks in downtown Winnipeg on Friday. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Anxious to skate on the river trails or at The Forks this winter? You may have to wait a while, as the unseasonably mild weather lately means it's not cold enough to freeze the Red and Assiniboine rivers.

With only about 2½ weeks to go before Christmas, neither river has enough ice to allow skating.

"Other than a little bit along the banks, you basically need a boat right now to be on the Red … it's wide open," said Dave Pancoe, the river trails co-ordinator at The Forks.

Pancoe said the Assiniboine River may be a bit better off, thanks to some ice that has started to lock in between Hugo Street and Assiniboine Park.

"We're sort of really counting that to stay in place and maybe with this weekend weather starting to cool down a little bit, it'll help lock it in," he said.

Outdoor rink not open, either

Also not open right now is the outdoor skating area under the canopy at The Forks.

"We've never been better prepared to start making ice. [As] soon as the temperatures stay cold for a little longer, we'll be able to start making ice on there," Pancoe said.

"But yeah, we haven't even been able to get anywhere close to starting."

Pancoe said this year reminds him of 2012, when big sections of the Red were open for most of the winter.

"We've liked to have at least something open by New Year's Eve and that might be a little hard this year," he said.

At the same time, Pancoe said he's not worried yet about outdoor events slated for the new year, including the RAW: Almond pop-up restaurant that hosts diners on the frozen Red River every January and February.

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