Passes going fast for skating on Parliament Hill

OTTAWA – Passes are being snatched up quickly for skating on the Parliament Hill rink.

Tickets became available Tuesday, for the next two days of ice time.

The multi-million dollar outdoor rink, part of Canada 150 celebrations, officially opens for skaters on Thursday.

Passes are being offered up for 40 minute public skating intervals, and already nearly all time slots are “sold out” for the first two days.

The free passes are available starting 48 hours in advance of each skating day. After initial pushback that the rink would only stay open until the end of 2017, the government announced it won’t close until February 28, meaning visitors of Ottawa’s annual Winterlude festival will be able to partake.

You can reserve up to six tickets at a time, on a first come, first serve basis.

Participants are being asked to arrive between 45 minutes and one hour before their scheduled session.

Partaking in the Canadian winter tradition does come with a few stipulations: Attendees are not allowed to bring hockey sticks or pucks onto the ice, and food and beverages are banned from the ice.

Though, an update to the rules means selfies will be okay, as cellphones are now allowed.

The rink is being built and run in partnership with the Ottawa Senators and the Ottawa International Hockey Festival and will host the Bell Capital Cup, an Ottawa youth hockey tournament; as well as being a centrepiece of cross-country events for Canada 150 Skating Day on Dec. 10.

Construction crews have been assembling an outdoor rink on the east side of the Hill lawn for nearly two months. Once the skating season ends, the rink is being donated to a local community.

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