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Town warning residents to stay off the ice

January 22, 2021   ·   0 Comments

It may be an age-old activity in Ontario to play hockey or just go for a skate when the local pond freezes over, but the Town is warning residents to stay off local ponds – at least for the time being.

While some ponds may appear to be frozen, the recent milder temperatures have not allowed enough ice build-up to make it safe for any kind of on-ice activities.

The two areas of major concern are the pond at the Tottenham Conservation area and the stormwater pond off of Boyne St. in Alliston.

As of now, the ice is not thick enough for any activity including skating. The ice is currently listed as unstable and it is not maintained in any way.

According to the Canadian Red Cross, ice should be at least 15 cm thick (six inches) to be safe for a single person. If there is a group of people going onto the ice for a skating party or similar, the ice should be at least 20 cm.

For snowmobiles, the recommended thickness is at least a 25 cm before venturing out.

The colour of ice may be an indication of its strength.

Clear blue ice is the strongest. White opaque or snow ice is half as strong as blue ice and is formed by wet snow freezing on the ice.

Grey ice should be considered unsafe as it indicates the presence of water.

There have already been several deaths this year in Ontario from people falling through thin ice, with several more people having to be rescued after finding themselves in trouble.

The Tottenham pond may appear to be frozen but there are still open patches with water on the surface and the ice around the edges of the pond are not safe to walk on.

By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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