A person speaks to Ottawa Bylaw officers as they patrol the Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, on the first weekend of Winterlude, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. Bylaw officers were present to enforce COVID-19 guidelines such as physical distancing. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ottawa Bylaw issued nearly two dozen verbal warnings but no tickets to skaters on the Rideau Canal Skateway this past weekend.

Bylaw officers were out enforcing public health guidelines on the world's largest skating rink Friday through Sunday. All 7.8 km of the skateway are available for skating, but snack stands and fire pits have been removed because of COVID-19.

In a statement to CTV News, Director of Bylaw and Regulatory Services Roger Chapman said 23 verbal warnings were handed out, mainly related to gatherings.

"Between February 5 and 7, By-law and Regulatory Services issued 22 verbal warnings in relation to gatherings, and one in relation to individuals playing hockey on the Rideau Canal Skateway in contravention of the Provincial regulations. The groups and hockey players dispersed when requested," Chapman said.

He also noted that bylaw officers were "very well received, with residents expressing gratitude for their work to ensure compliance with the rules and keep everyone safe."

The Rideau Canal Skateway's 51st skating season officially began Jan. 28. The full length of the skateway opened Feb. 1.