No ice is safe ice warns OPP

The official winter season starts on December 21st, 2022, and with this come outdoor activities to enjoy on the ice. The Killaloe OPP wants everyone to be safe with friends and loved ones while enjoying these outdoor adventures and is sharing these important TIPS to think about before venturing on the ice.

Factors Impacting Ice Thickness

Many factors affect ice thickness, including type of water, location, time of year and other environmental factors such as:

  • Water depth and size of the body of water;
  • Currents, tides and other moving water;
  • Fluctuations in water levels;
  • Logs, rocks and docks absorbing heat from the sun;
  • Changing air temperature; and,
  • Shock waves from vehicles traveling on the ice. 

Ice Colour

  • The colour of ice may be an indication of its strength.
  • Clear blue ice is strongest.
  • White opaque or snow ice is half as strong as blue ice. Opaque ice is formed by wet snow freezing on the ice.
  • Grey ice is unsafe. The greyness indicates the presence of water.

Minimum Ice Thickness Guidelines

  • 15 cm for walking or skating alone;
  • 20 cm for skating parties or games; and,
  • 25 cm for snowmobiles.

Remember that thickness is only one of many considerations prior to venturing onto ice to enjoy your winter activity and the aforementioned minimum ice thicknesses are guidelines only. Local conditions and the type of body of water will affect ice strength. Check with local authorities for information on local ice conditions before venturing onto the ice. Obey posted signs indicating when and where ice surface is acceptable to venture onto for activities. And, avoid venturing onto ice at night.

For more information please visit:

Ice Safety – Canadian Red Cross

Ice Safety | Destination Ontario

Yarmel,C.,OPP Killaloe Detachment(2022,Dec.20) REMEMBER, NO ICE IS SAFE ICE [media release]

Photo: Destination Ontario

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