Skip to main content
Ice skaters are pictured on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, ON, Canada as we try to predict when the Rideau Canal will open for skating
Ice skaters are pictured on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, ON, Canada. At 7.8 km, the Rideau Canal Skateway is the world's largest skating rink. Photo by Giuglio Gil/Hemis via AFP.

The Rideau Canal Skateway in Ottawa, ON stayed closed for the first time in its 53-year history last winter, and now we have betting odds from a top Ontario sports betting site for when it will open for skating for the 2023-24 season.

The National Capital Commission (NCC) in Ottawa, ON finally pulled the plug on the 2022-23 skating season on the Rideau Canal Skateway in February after several failed attempts to open it safely. It was the first time in the 53-year Ottawa tradition that the canal, the world's largest skating rink at 7.8 kilometers long, didn't open even once for skating.

A year later, amid even more unseasonably warm temperatures in the Ottawa region, FanDuel Ontario has posted odds for when skating will open on the Rideau Canal for 2023-24, with the line set at on or before Jan. 15, 2024.

Will people be able to skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway before Jan. 16?

Market states: Selections are graded based off the status of the Skateway as reported by the NCC. If reported that skating is permitted on or before Jan. 15, the yes selection will be graded a win. Any other outcome will be marked as a loss.


Preparation by the NCC for the 2023-24 season began in late October, according to Ted Raymond of CTV News Ottawa. However, Raymond notes that the median opening date for skating on the canal over the past 26 years was Jan. 10.

As of Monday, Dec. 11, it was minus-1 Celsius in Ottawa with temperatures expected to get as high as 7 degrees by later in the week, according to Environment Canada.

How much ice is needed for the Rideau Canal to open for skating?

According to the NCC website, the Skateway will open when a 30-centimeter thickness of good-quality ice has formed. Their ice experts say it takes about 10-14 consecutive days with temperatures between minus-10 and minus-20 Celsius to get there.

Will the Rideau Canal open before Jan. 16?

Both sides of this yes/no betting market opened with -120 odds but recently shifted with "No" becoming a heavy favorite at -165 odds. The shift comes as temperatures have not yet begun to approach the recommended minus-10- to minus-20-degree threshold for the required depth of ice on the canal. There's little hope of seeing sustained temperatures near that range by the end of December.

The -165 odds for "No" represent an implied probability of 62.26%. It would take an investment of $16.50 to return a profit of $10 on that side. Those optimistic to be skating on the can by mid-January could fetch a profit of $10.50 on a winning $10 bet but with a probability of just 48.78%.

Considering the median opening date of Jan. 10, Jan. 15 is fairly optimistic at the best of times. The governing bodies for the opening of the Skateway err on the side of caution with an abundance of safety, making it best to bet on yet another delayed opening in 2024.

Here are our best Ontario sports betting apps:

(21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER)
* Bonuses not applicable in Ontario.

Related pages