The Outhouse Daily News Presents

Official Canoe Lake Ice-Out Challenge
Spring 2001

Frid's Point in the afternoon


Thursday, April 26th


Now that the ice is out,
And my prediction not clear,
Its time to pack up the camping gear.

The seven hour drive,
Will seem short and sweet,
Because the winter was long,
And I am not in defeat.

With camping fees paid,
My paddle slicing through,
The tea coloured water,
Which feels brand new.

It takes four hours,
To get to my camp,
Over five portages,
But I need no map.

IÕve been here before,
And will camp for six days,
But I come for the specs,
That strike my bait in many ways.

I keep enough for supper,
And let the rest survive,
Because I will be back next year,
With another prediction and the long drive.

- Murray Wolff
(Brantford, Ontario)

Monday, April 23rd

The ice went out today!

Good guess parki! Yes, Brian Parkinson was our winner this year, with Gaye Clemson and Debbie Ridpath Ohi very close.

What a surprise. Looks like a weekend of very warm weather with rain and wind took the ice out much more quickly than expected. It's the first year in 5 or 6 that we have missed being up at the lake for it. My father will be going up this weekend and Debbie and I will be heading up on Monday next week for a full 3 weeks to enjoy Spring on Canoe lake.

Saturday, April 21st

We got word from the front today. The ice has begun to pull away from the shore (just a little) in the PStore bay, and is still tight up in the North end of the lake. The forecast is for highs around 15 C and rain for the first part of this week. This will move things along pretty quickly if it happens and it looks like the ice will probably go out in 7 to 10 days.

Debbie, Dad and I are planning to head up the coming weekend for a few days. We'll report in from the Lake once we're there.

Sunday, April 15th

The ice went off the pond at our old place in Orangeville yesterday. The ice usually goes off Canoe Lake about 13 or 14 days later so it should be the 28th or 29th of April this year. If that's right then Adele MacLean, Jeff Latto, Harry Binswanger, and Willi Powell are in prime spots.

The forecast for Algonquin this week is for highs around 5 or 6 and lows just below zero.

The deadline for choosing or changing your date is tonight at midnight so by the time most of you see this at work on Monday the list will be fixed. Two new names were added today--Jeff Latto (a friend in Toronto and husband of Alison George) has joined Adele on April 28th; and I received an email from Janice and Murray Wolff of Brantford who poetically chose May 6th. Here is their poem:

Dear Ice out:

The ice is thick, this we know.
But the weather is warming,
And there will be no snow.

The rain and wind,
Will do their job,
To turn the lakes to a watery bog.

So lets predict, our canoeing date,
Will be the 6th of May,
Not too early, just a little late.

Monday, March 26th

Well, so far it has been a very late and slow Spring here. In past years we had already had several warm days in the 15C to 20C range by now, but this year it has been in the -5 to +5C range for weeks. Of course, last year we thought it was going to go very early based on the weather in March.

The forecast for Algonquin this week is a slow warming trend with a range of -4C to +6C on Friday and a possibility of rain on Thursday.

Wednesday, March 21st

Wow. You people don't waste any time. There are now 13 official guesses posted and I'm sure there will be several more before the day is out.

My brother-in-law, Kaarel Truuvert, sent an interesting weather link that I haven't see before. It is the Environment Canada long term temperature and precipitation forecasts for 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 months. (Here is an explanation of the maps and methodology.)

Kaarel has chosen the relatively late date of May 6th based on lower than normal temperature predictions for the next 3 months--and it certainly has been lower than normal so far this Spring. But I feel I must point out that the accuracy map that goes along with the temperature map shows that they have been "not significantly better than chance" in their predictions for the Algonquin area since 1961 :-)

Tuesday, March 20th

The site is officially up and dates are being taken. Send yours by email to Jeff.

Saturday, March 10th

Jeff, Debbie, John and Virginia were up at the lake for the weekend. Very warm weather and lots of snow. Very strange ice conditions this winter though. As far as I can tell there are three distinct layers of ice with about an inch or two of slush and water separating them. The top layer is only about three inches thick, the middle layer is about 6 inches, and the bottom layer seems to be about 10-12 inches. This could be a special case in the area where we cut out water hole, but it isn't something I've ever seen.

It was a snowy and windy trip across the lake, and a very cold looking dusk on Saturday. But what a moonrise on Saturday night! It's so nice to be inside and warm when it's like this outside.


  1. All entries must be sent by e-mail to Jeff by midnight, Sunday, April 15th, 2001.
  2. If you know of someone who should be included in this poll but does not have email access, feel free to send in their prediction for them.
  3. Entry must include your name and date of your prediction.
  4. You *can* duplicate another person's prediction (see below for a list of predictions so far) if you really want to be a joiner, but the first one to pick a date gets all the gloating rights.
  5. You *can* change your prediction up to the deadline.
  6. Ice-out is defined as follows: "At least 50% of the lake is clear of ice, by a majority vote of those present."
  7. Winner is the person whose prediction is the closest.
  8. Prize: being able to lord it over the others for the rest of the year about your superior knowledge of the lake (and face it...everything else in life).


Click the links below to see current five-day forecasts for Algonquin Park
and Huntsville from Environment Canada, and some long term predictions


Earliest recorded ice-out date: April 15 in 1995.

Latest recorded ice-out date: May 8th in 1992, 1996, and 1997.

Once the ice starts to turn black ( i.e. get wet) it takes a little less than a week to go out.

1989 May 4th
1990 April 29th
1991 April 28th
1992 May 8th
1993 April 26th
1994 April 27th
1995 April 15th
1996 May 8th
1997 May 8th
1998 April 17th
1999 April 20th
2000 April 26th
2001 April 23rd


(Note: Multiple people on the same date are listed in the order
in which their choices were received at the worldwide headquarters
of the Outhouse Daily News.)

April 15 (Sun)
April 16 (Mon)
April 17 (Tue)
April 18 (Wed)
April 19 (Thu) Helen Waters (London, England)
April 20 (Fri)
April 21 (Sat) Alison George (Toronto)
April 22 (Sun) Gaye Clemson (Capitola, CA)
April 23 (Mon) Brian Parkinson (Toronto) ---------- 2001 ice out!
April 24 (Tue) Debbie Ridpath Ohi (Toronto)
April 25 (Wed) John Ridpath (Toronto)
April 26 (Thu) Doug Gardner (Toronto)
April 27 (Fri) Scott Murray (Toronto); Bruce Yule (Cleveland, OH)
April 28 (Sat) Adele MacLean (Toronto); Jeff Latto (Toronto)
April 29 (Sun) Harry Binswanger (New York City); Willi Powell (Toronto)
April 30 (Mon) The Grays (Ottawa); Amanda Foubister (Toronto)
May 1 (Tue) Bryan Fullerton (Toronto); Bob Clemson (Houston, TX)
May 2 (Wed) Luisa Perrella (Toronto)
May 3 (Thu) Mary-Anne Lewis (Toronto)
May 4 (Fri) Jefferson Ridpath (Toronto)
May 5 (Sat)
May 6 (Sun) Kaarel Truuvert (Toronto); Murray Wolff
May 7 (Mon)
May 8 (Tue)
May 9 (Wed)
May 10 (Thu)

Previous year's ice-out pages: 1999, 2000.

See you up at The Lake!


[Last updated: 2001-04-26 17:30 EST]