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Skating season in record stretch? - Metro US

Skating season in record stretch?

Rideau Canal Skateway officials are thrilled with the long skating season so far this year, which has already surpassed last year’s by 19 days, but it’ll have to stay open for another month to get near the record for longest skate season.

“This is an excellent season and it isn’t over yet,” said Marilyne Guèvremont, media relations officer for the National Capital Commission, which maintains the world’s largest skating rink.

Although the canal was closed Friday and Saturday, it reopened yesterday morning from the National Arts Centre to Dow’s Lake.

The 7.8-kilometre skateway opened for the season on Jan. 1 and has had only six days of closure due to mild weather, leaving 53 skating days as of yesterday. A year ago, however, people enjoyed only 34 days of skating after the canal finally opened on Jan. 25.

The longest skating season to date was 1971-72, when it lasted 95 days. The shortest season was 34 days in 2001-02, but only 26 days were skateable. The average skating season in the last five years has been 50 days.

The NCC doesn’t want to predict how long this year’s season will last, said Guèvremont.

“We’re very happy,” she said. “Let’s hope that Mother Nature co-operates.”

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