Warm weather forces cancellation of Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival


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For the second straight year, the BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival has become a victim of warm weather.

Races had been scheduled for Friday and Saturday on the Rideau Canal Skateway at Dow’s Lake, but poor ice conditions forced organizers to announce the cancellation Monday.

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Last year marked the first time the Skateway did not open for skaters in more than 50 years. This year, a stretch of the Skateway between Bank Street and the Pretoria Bridge finally opened Jan. 21 — and then closed after just three days when the ice began resembling a giant puddle.

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The National Capital Commission will only open the Rideau Canal Skateway to the public once the surface is at least 30 centimetres thick with “good quality ice.”

“For that to happen, our ice experts need 10 to 14 days of consecutive cold weather (-10°C to -20°C),” the agency says on its web page.

After a number of mild days and with the planned races just days away, the forecast isn’t calling for anything even approaching those temperatures. The daytime highs will be right around the freezing mark all week: -2 C Tuesday, -1 the next day, 2 C on Thursday, then 4 on Friday and all the way up to 5 on Saturday.

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