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The Fairmont Chateau Laurier creates a beautiful backdrop for skating along the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa. (Phil/CTV Viewer)

The National Capital Commission says the downtown section of the Rideau Canal Skateway is the “hardest to freeze.”

The 50th season on the Rideau Canal Skateway began on Saturday, January 18, but the section from Rideau to Waverley Street has yet to open.

In a message on Twitter, the Rideau Canal’s Skateway Coordinator Carl Langlois explained why the Rideau Canal Skateway hasn’t opened in the downtown area.

We’ve been getting quite a few questions about why the #RideauCanal Skateway hasn’t opened in the downtown core yet. Carl Langlois, responsible for the operations, explains.

Learn what goes into opening the world's largest skating rink: https://t.co/CN1wHfQ3aa#ottawa #ottnews pic.twitter.com/7MnI93clIT

— RideauCanalSkateway (@NCC_Skateway) February 3, 2020

Langlois says the canal remains closed in the area because it has not achieved the 30 cm of thickness required.

“This section is the hardest to freeze because it’s located downtown,” Langlois said. “It’s not exposed to wind as much as the other sections, so the windchill factor is not there.”

Langlois adds there’s other factors at play, “we’re also having shallow waters and we have stronger currents coming from upstream. And finally, we have stormwater drains that are putting water in the canal and we’re trying to deviate the current underneath the ice.”

The NCC is reminding people to stay off the closed sections of the Rideau Canal Skateway.

Langlois says the NCC is working “really hard to open this section as soon as possible.”

The  Rideau Canal Skateway is open from Concord to Bank Street and Bronson to Dows Lake and Hartswell Locks.