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Sorry, skaters: Rideau Canal Skateway closes for the season

A person follows directions for one-way traffic on a staircase as they leave the Rideau Canal Skateway on its opening day in Ottawa, on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The Rideau Canal Skateway‘s temporary closure became permanent on Thursday as the National Capital Commission announced the abrupt end to the iconic ice rink’s 51st season.

The Rideau Canal first closed on Monday evening in anticipation of warmer mid-week temperatures.

While originally intended to be temporary, the NCC said Thursday that a snowstorm and warmer weathers set for Ottawa in the week ahead have made reopening the downtown attraction untenable for the rest of the year.

The Rideau Canal Skateway opened with COVID-19 protocols in place on Jan. 28 and provided 26 days of consecutive skating before closing.

The skateway’s 51st season lacked organized events and concessions such as BeaverTails on the ice, but it still proved popular.

The NCC said more than 20,000 people per day took to the ice on average in its final week of operations, slightly below the average of 22,000 people daily in the previous season.

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