The Rideau Canal Skateway was closed on the final weekend of Winterlude, but the National Capital Commission said it's too early to say whether this year's skating season is over.

The canal has been open for skating 28 days so far this winter. Last year, the skateway was open for 53 days and closed on March 7.

The weather forecast for this week is not promising. Temperatures are expected to rise above zero during the day from Tuesday to Friday, with Environment Canada estimating Friday's high temperature to be 6 C. It is also expected to rain both Wednesday and Friday.

If the canal skateway doesn't reopen, it will be the worst skating season on the canal in a decade. In 2002, the canal was open for skating for only 26 days.

"It's a day-by-day thing, even hour-by-hour," said NCC spokeswoman Jasmine Leduc. "We're evaluating the ice to see what's going on."

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, have helped keep the canal closed more often than usual, said Leduc.

Tourists dreaming of skating down the canal had to make other plans on Monday, the last day of Winterlude.

"We think of winter and Canada as synonymous," said Susan and Larry Patrick, who came to Ottawa from Maryland for Winterlude. "We wanted to come up and see hundreds of people skating today."