Skating on the Rideau Canal, Ottawa, Ontario

January 2017:  The second week-end of January and part of the Canal was open for skating.  We bundled up, and out we went Sunday morning for a skate.

I’ve been taking a perspective class on-line,  with the goal to improve my perception when I sketch.  My first assignment is to understand a one-point perspective, and two point perspective.  Since most of my work thus far is typically two point- I decided to tackle the assignment straight on-literally that is with drawing the rest area and warming hut  at Fifth Avenue as a one point perspective.  Did you know this season is the 45th winter of the Rideau Canal Skateway?

The shelters dotted along the canal were new in 2011, and replaced the 1970 camp style huts. The National Capital Commission wanted a design that was  to be used in winter and could sit on the frozen surface of the canal.  Adding to the complication of the design was that the structures needed to be hoisted off of the canal each spring, and then back into place for the next winter season.

The result is appreciated by many for not only a resting place provided, but for the simplicity of design.  The shelters, and Anthony Leaning, the architect who solved the challenging design problems has been recognized with numerous awards.  In an article, in a magazine titled OAA Perspective 2012/2013  Anthony wrote: “The roofs of the shelters were designed to deflect falling ice or sliding snow. The single curve of the roof slopes away from the canal into the back wall, evoking the image of a skate blade or the rib of the boats that steamed along the canal in days past.”  He goes on to say: “The new Rideau Canal Skateway Shelters are an example of how design can help to make winter more enjoyable, by encouraging outdoor recreation and socialization. “





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