The National Capital Commission says recent cold weather in Ottawa is making the earliest Rideau Canal Skateway opening in years a possibility.

A spokesperson for the NCC said the recent cold weather is favourable for an earlier opening to the skating season than past years and they’re hoping it could happen before the new year.

However, the NCC said they want to manage expectations with warmer weather in the forecast for later in the week.

According to the NCC, contractors haven’t been on the ice to test it yet and there's currently an advisory asking the public to stay off the Rideau Canal's ice.

The ice must be at least 30 centimetres thick before skaters will be allowed on the canal.

CBC Ottawa’s extended forecast shows a high of 3 C on Friday before temperatures dip below the freezing point again for the weekend.

Earlier this year, the Rideau Canal opened for skating on Jan. 18 and closed Feb. 28, with a total of 38 skating days in that span.

The last time the Rideau Canal opened for skating before New Years Eve was Dec. 28, 2004.

The earliest recorded openings were Dec. 18 in 1972 and 1981.