LaSalle Police Service Ice Safety Tips

LaSalle Police Service Ice Safety Tips

Outdoor ice skating and ice fishing are some of the many wonderful activities we are fortunate to be able to enjoy during the winter months.  However, participating in these activities will always require the permission of the property owner and a degree of vigilance to ensure that your activity can be done safely.

The Town of LaSalle is home to several private marinas and canals. Before engaging in ice fishing or outdoor ice skating, ask yourself these two questions;

  • Do I have permission to be on this property?
  • If not then do not go on the property or obtain proper permission first.
  • Most of the marinas and canals in the Town of LaSalle are privately owned and the owners have the legal right to restrict access to the property and their canals.
  • Their legal right to deny access is contained in case law – Canoe Ontario V. Reed [1989] which defines a “navigable waterway”.
  • If you do enter onto the canal without permission, you are trespassing and may be charged accordingly.
  • If you are asked to leave, please do so immediately.
  • By allowing you to remain the owners are risking liability should any misadventure befall you while on their property. This includes Town of LaSalle owned property.
  • Is it safe?
  • Ice over bodies of water is never 100% safe, especially over waterways with currents.
  • Has it been cold enough for a long enough period of time to create a thickness of ice able to support your weight?
  • How is the quality of ice? Blue ice generally means that it is hard. White ice is generally half as strong as blue ice because it has air bubbles in it.  Grey or black ice is decaying ice and is not safe at all.
  • 4 inches or 10 centimeters of ice is the minimum thickness that could be considered safe to support a person’s weight. The Canadian Red Cross suggests 15 cm.
  • Chopping a hole into the ice may help you determine its general thickness but ice may not be uniform and can be thicker in some locations than others.
  • Stay away from any objects, such as stumps and rocks on or in the ice and the ice will be thinner around them.
  • If you are not sure about the safety of ice conditions on any body of water, it is best to stay off.

It is a good idea to not venture out on to the ice when you are alone and always tell someone where you are going to be before heading out.

Link: Canadian Red Cross Ice Safety