During the colder months, lakes and local watercourses may not completely frozen, making them unsafe to venture out on under any circumstances.

It is important that parents supervise their children around bodies of water and educate them about the dangers of thin ice. Unstable ice can make it hazardous to skate, walk, play, ice fish, snowmobile, or drive on.

While those enjoying recreational activities near water are responsible for their personal safety, they are encouraged to make smart choices and help reduce the risk of accidents that put both the victim and responding emergency services personnel in danger.

Safety Tips
  • If you are not sure if the ice is thick enough to support you, stay off.  Take into consideration the recent changes in the weather.
  • Go with a friend and tell someone where you are going, and what time you are expected to return.
  • Carry a cell phone to report emergencies.
If you are by yourself and fall through thin ice
  • Call for help.
  • Resist the immediate urge to climb back out from where you fell in, as the ice has proven to be weak.
  • Use the air trapped in your clothing to get into a floating position on your stomach.
  • Reach forward on to the broken ice without pushing down. Kick your legs to push your torso on the ice.
  • When you are back on the ice, crawl on your stomach or roll away from the open area with your arms and legs spread out as far as possible, to evenly distribute your body weight. Do not stand up! Look for shore and make sure you are going in the right direction.

The City of Pickering does not identify places for safe skating, or mark potential hazards. If someone falls through ice, witnesses should call 911 immediately. Pickering firefighters have the training and equipment to perform ice water rescues.