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Play it safe on the ice this winter


As temperatures continue to drop this winter, the City of Saint John reminds citizens to exercise caution when using the lakes, ponds, streams and rivers for recreation.

If you plan to skate or play ice hockey, or take a snow mobile or small car out on any ice surface, verify the thickness of the ice first and keep these tips in mind:

  • Clear, blue ice is strongest
  • White opaque, or snow ice, is half as strong as blue ice. Snow cover insulates the ice surface and keeps it from freezing as strongly.
  • Grey ice is unsafe – the colour indicates the presence of water.
  • For skating parties or hockey, 20 cm (8 inches) of ice is required. At least 25 cm (10 inches) is required for snowmobiles to travel safely and 30 cm (12 inches) for small cars and trucks.

Ice that forms over any moving body of water – including rivers, streams and lakes with currents – is not safe. Consult with someone who knows the local water currents and depths before venturing out.

The City of Saint John’s Parks and Landscape Service will indicate when it is safe for skating at Lily Lake. Until that time, call 652-PLAY (7529) to find out more about public skating at the City’s arenas or visit the skating oval at Rainbow Park on Broad Street. For more information on ice conditions, visit www.saintjohn.ca/en/home/cityservices/environment/parksandcitylandscape/parkconditions.aspx.

For more information about ice safety, visit www.redcross.ca/article.asp?id=2570&tid=024.