Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No river skating trail yet

But rink is open on land at Forks

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You'll soon be able to skate on trails at The Forks -- but you won't be on the river.

Paul Jordan, chief operating officer at The Forks, said Friday he has taken a look at the Assiniboine River and it's nowhere near safe for skating yet.

But Jordan said it's a different story on land.

"We're putting water on our walking trails," he said. "We're thinking by next week we could have most of our upper trails ready to go. We could have them open by Tuesday or Wednesday.

"And by then, I think we'll have a good idea about the river, too."

Jordan said crews are also busy getting the skating rink in front of the Scotiabank Stage ready.

He said the small rink under the roof near The Forks Market has been open several days.

Meanwhile, Winnipeg's archrival for the title of world's longest ice-skating trail, the Rideau Canal trail in Ottawa, is also waiting for colder temperatures before officials can open it.

"We came close to having the cold temperatures we need, but then at one point this week it was 18 (C) -- just for a few hours, but still, it was 18," said National Capital Commission spokesman Jean Wolff.

"That's not weather to freeze water."

Wolff said the canal normally doesn't open for skating until January, but in the past it has opened as early as Dec. 18.

As far as the rivalry between the two cities, Wolff said he doesn't believe there is one.

"This competition exists only in the minds of media and broadcasters," he said.

"The people here see themselves with you as part of a brotherhood... We are both celebrating Canadian winters."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 8, 2012 A8

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