The Rideau Canal that runs from the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario is not just one of our country’s great historic sites-it’s also home of the world’s longest skating rink. Every year, nearly eight kilometres (of a total 202 kilometres) beginning at the northernmost end are carefully converted into the Rideau Canal Skateway. This has been one of Ottawa’s greatest winter attractions for many years, and a destination for skaters of all ages and skill levels. And fortunately, to the joy of personal injury lawyers in Ottawa, grave injuries and accidents on the canal are a rare thing indeed-but that doesn’t mean you should eschew safety and precaution. After all, the relative safety of the canal is a joint effort between a very safety-conscious Parks Canada and NCC, and skaters who are alert and mindful.
Parks Canada, who owns the Rideau Canal, and the NCC, who manages the skating area, are incredibly thorough when it comes to advertising the conditions of the ice, and whether or not it is safe to skate. Before you even leave your house, you can check the conditions of the skating rink at its official website, where the length that is currently open is listed at the very top, followed by a map detailing the conditions of each section. There is also a mobile app that is available for Android and Apple devices, which also lists safety conditions. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to check conditions online, there is a flag system that uses red and green flags to signal that the canal is closed and open, respectively.
Ottawa personal injury lawyers would also like to remind you to stay where the ice is clear (snow can obscure thin ice, as two women discovered last year when they fell through) and skate only in the approved areas. The official website has more details about safety on the canal, and it would be a good idea to bone up before heading out this winter.
In Case of Accident
Because of the level of detail and care that the NCC puts into the safety precautions around the canal, although accidents are rare, when they do happen, they tend to arise from a failure to follow the proper safety precautions. Though Parks Canada is responsible for maintaining the property, if you are inured as a result of your own reckless behaviour, then you will not be able to make a case for negligence. This is because the property owner has notified you of potential risks, meaning that your safety is your own responsibility. However, should you be injured in an accident that happened as a result of incorrect safety information regarding the canal and are seeking compensation, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in the Ottawa area immediately to discuss your options.
Happy skating, and remember-safety first!