The Rideau Canal skating season was just 28 days with 19 consecutive days overlapping two Winterlude weekends. (CBC)

The Rideau Canal skating season will end at 28 days in 2012 as the National Capital Commission announced the skateway will officially close for the winter.

The canal first opened Jan. 15 and managed a stretch of 19 consecutive skating days that overlapped with the first two weekends of Winterlude.

But mild winter weather caused a thinning of the ice and the NCC decided not enough could be done to reopen the 7.8-km skateway.

Fluctuating temperatures that often crept above zero and a mix of snow early in the season, as well as freezing rain and rain later in the winter, helped keep the canal closed.

This is the worst skating season on the canal in a decade. In 2002, the ice surface was open for skating for only 26 days.

The canal had been closed since Feb. 16 and skating was prohibited during Winterlude's final days last weekend.

Last year, the skateway was open for 53 days and closed on March 7.