Rideau Canal ties record with 46th straight day of skating

Ottawa's Rideau Canal Skateway has now been open for 46 straight days, a tie for the longest stretch in its 45-year history.

Skateway hasn't had to close since it opened January 10

Skaters pack the Rideau Canal Skateway. Last year the canal opened on December 30, and stayed open until March 10, with a total of 59 skating days. More than 1.49 million people laced up. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Ottawa's Rideau Canal Skateway has now been open for 46 straight days, a tie for the longest stretch in its 45-year history.

The first parts of the 7.8 kilometre maintained ice surface opened on Jan. 10 and at least a portion of it has been open ever since.

"There have not been too many bad snowstorms, the temperature has not risen long enough to justify closing,” said Jean Wolff, spokesperson for the National Capital Commission.

NAC spokesperson Jean Wolff says the average daily number of skaters on the Rideau Canal is down from last year, but about average over its 45-year history. (CBC)

"On Wednesday we’ll be having a new record of 47 straight days of skating.”

It was open for 46 consecutive days during the 2003/04 skating season.

This year, Wolff said the same cold weather that has been keeping the skateway open this long has also been affecting the number of people who come out to skate on it.

"Last year for instance the number was 20,000 visits per day on the skateway and this year the average is around 17,000," he said.

"Mind you if you look at the 45 seasons… this is right in the middle — 17,000 a day is the average."

Wolff said he didn't want to predict how long the canal would be able to stay open, but added the skateway usually closes for good between March 5 and 10.

The skateway opened on Dec. 31, 2013 last season and closed March 11, with a total of 58 skating days.