Jan 25, 2007 — The Rideau Canal winds through the heart of Ottawa. It's scenic in summer. In winter, it emerges as a dominant feature of city life, nearly five miles of outdoor skating. Students and businessmen commute on skates. Tourists come from both sides of the border. The Skateway is the star attraction for Winterlude. Hundreds of thousands of people crowd the ice during the three-week-long carnival held every February, bringing $150 million dollars into the region's economy. The unusually warm start to this winter cast doubt on any skate season at all. January may be a write-off, but deep cold has finally arrived, making Winterlude's prospects look--nearly solid. Ottawa correspondent Lucy Martin has more.