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NCC hoping for one last 'hurrah' of skating on Rideau Canal

Lily Newton, 6, out for a skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway during lunch break from school. (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa) Lily Newton, 6, out for a skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway during lunch break from school. (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa)
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The National Capital Commission (NCC) says it is watching the weather closely and hoping skaters can get one last chance on the Rideau Canal Skateway as temperatures drop significantly on Friday night.

"Still closed, but we’re still buzzing from the beautiful skating weather this week!" the NCC said on social media.

"We’re keeping our eyes glued to the weather forecast, and hoping for one last hurrah of skating for this season."

Fluctuating temperatures this winter has forced the NCC to temporarily close the Skateway twice in under a week. The canal has been closed since Wednesday after being open for only eight days this season – four in January and four in February.

The NCC is banking on a Friday night deep freeze that will bring some of the coldest temperatures seen in Ottawa this winter.

Environment Canada says overnight lows will reach -18 C, with wind chill making it feel like -27 C. A frigid Saturday is expected with daytime highs reaching -11 C and a wind chill of -27 C in the morning.

However, temperatures are expected to rise significantly this coming week, with double digit highs in the forecast next week.

"We intend to make the most of the cold weather forecast tonight and will reassess ice conditions," an NCC spokesperson told CTV News.

"Our crews continue to work hard, and we hope to reopen the Skateway as soon as conditions allow."

The canal has traditionally closed in late February or early March. The latest closure of the canal was during the 1971-72 season, when the Skateway closed on March 25.

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