Rideau Canal closed for the season

The National Capital Commission says the Rideau Canal will be closed for the season as a mild winter limited the skating season to only 28 days.

2012 the worst Rideau Canal skating season since 2002

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.