The following was submitted as a letter to the editor of the Montreal Gazette, on 2018-1-28.
I’m writing this in Ottawa, where we are spending a weekend. Looks like the city saves a ton of money by not removing snow from side streets, so on-street parking can be a nightmare! But skating on the Rideau Canal is marvellous! In the meantime, Montreal is eliminating skating from Beaver Lake permanently. How come in Ottawa they manage to not have trucks fall through the canal ice (and it’s a real canal, for God’s sake, with real boats and everything, not a duck pond like Beaver Lake!) Can anyone explain to me why a duck pond needs to be 7 m deep? And if heavy equipment might break through the ice, would it not make more sense to keep trucks, not skaters, off the ice? Please, Montreal, if you can’t figure out how to make it work, would it kill you to ask Ottawa how they do it?
A heavily edited version appeared in the Gazette for 2018-1-31, under the heading Rideau Canal vs. Beaver Lake:
We spent the weekend in Ottawa, which seems to save a ton of money by not removing snow from side streets, making on-street parking a nightmare. But skating on the Rideau Canal is marvellous.
And it’s a real canal, with real boats — not a duck pond like Beaver Lake.
Please, Montreal, if you can’t figure out how to make it work, ask Ottawa how they do it.
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