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Safety on and Around the Ice

Posted on Feb. 22 2022
We want to remind you to be safe on and around ice. Fluctuating temperatures can make ice unstable, and you should be vigilant and keep your eyes open to spot unsafe conditions before venturing on it.
Many activities can lead to drowning or cold water-related deaths in Canada, including snowmobiling; walking, hiking, fishing, hunting and skating; and use of other vehicles on ice, like ATVs, construction vehicles, and regular vehicles used for ice fishing.


  1. Unless you're absolutely sure that ice is thick enough - stay off!
    • The colour of the ice indicates its strength and quality. Blue ice is the strongest, while grey ice is unsafe.
    • Avoid ice that has recently frozen, thawed and frozen again.
    • Ice thickness should be a minimum of:
      • 15cm for skating, walking or skiing in small groups
      • 20cm for larger groups, such as skating parties
      • 25cm for snowmobiles or ATVs
  1. Learn to identify conditions that lead to unsafe ice:
    • Snow cover can insulate the ice and keep it from freezing completely.
    • Vehicles travelling on ice may cause shock waves in the water below the ice. This can weaken the ice.
    • Use caution near pressure ridges in the ice.
    • When ice goes through a freeze-thaw-freeze cycle, it becomes weak and unsafe until it freezes solid again.
    • Mist rising can be a sign of open water.
    • Watch out for protruding objects or air holes that can indicate weak ice.
    • The ice may be thinner near dark objects, which are at the edge of the ice or that protrude. 

For more information and more helpful ice-related tips, please click here. 

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