Rideau Canal Skateway closes for the season after 26 days of skating

A person makes their way along the Rideau Canal Skateway on its opening day in Ottawa, on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Mother Nature is forcing an end to the 51st season of skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway.

The National Capital Commission says its "saddened to report" that the skateway will not reopen this winter.

"Following a temporary closure on Feb. 22, along with three subsequent warmer days of weather, in addition to a snowstorm and warmer temperatures in the forecast for early next week, continued maintenance efforts would unfortunately not return the skateway to safe conditions," said the NCC in a statement.

Just like @CanadiensMTL, our season was off to a great start...
In true 2021 style, our Skateway season has officially come to a close with a total of 26 days – nearing our record for shortest season ever. ��https://t.co/wz85Y6I51x | #ottnews #RideauCanal
��@tva Sports pic.twitter.com/jJb9zziDKu

— RideauCanalSkateway (@NCC_Skateway) February 25, 2021

The Rideau Canal Skateway opened for the season on Jan. 28, and was open for 26 days of skating.

During the week of Feb. 15 to 22, there was an average of 20,216 visits per day to the Rideau Canal Skateway. During the 2020 season, there was an average of 22,000 visits a day.

This is one of the shortest seasons ever on the Rideau Canal Skateway.

In 2016, the world's largest skating rink was only open for 34 days, with the green flag flying for skating on 18 days.

In 2017, the Rideau Canal Skateway was open for 25 days. 

The NCC is asking people to stay off the closed skateway and respect the barricades at access points.