Rink Envy

I think that we are lucky to have so many outdoor rinks in Ottawa.  Pretty much every community has at least one, and the vast majority of them have both a hockey surface and a “puddle” beside it for regular skating.  Most are run by the communities and rely heavily on volunteers, but they do also receive funds from the City.  We love that our rink is so close to our house, and have tried to make the most of it in the time that we have lived in this community.

We missed skating last year when we lived in India.  We tried to replace it with rollerblading and rollerskating, but it just wasn’t the same. In desperation, we did try to find Bangalore’s one and only synthetic, indoor “ice” surface, but by the time we have found it the rink had gone out of business (maybe if we’d used it more…). The lils were disappointed, but we knew that winter would bring us access to all the skating that we wanted.

This year started out promising.  The weather was great in December, and it looked like the local rink would be open by early in the New Year. We signed up for the skating lessons that were organized by one of the community parents* It wasn’t ready when we were, and once it was we got really sick and it got warm, then brutally cold, then warm and rainy.  We’ve managed to get out a couple of times, but want to be skating more.

We packed up our gear this weekend before heading to visit Toronto, as Willy’s Mum assured us that there were rinks open for us to skate on.  I was initially skeptical, as I failed to appreciate is that these rinks are artificially cooled, something that is generally not necessary in Ottawa. The rink that we chose was way more than just artificially cooled.

It seems it this rink was given a facelift by the City of Toronto a few years ago, in a partnership with RONA and MLSE (aka the Leafs). They have a great hockey surface, complete with benches and professional boards. The puddle is as big as the rink, an as smooth as most indoor rinks that I have skated on.  The “shack” is not at all shack-like, with a large open room, plenty of benches, and clean washrooms.  The part that was most shocking to me was the Zamboni that came out to resurface the ice after the shinny game was finished!  It blew my mind to think that a random community rink would have a Zamboni. Sure it is plastered with Leafs paraphernalia, but it’s quite the impressive rink.  I wonder who I need to talk to at the Senators to make that happen to our little rink?

 *I love, love, love that she did this.  Fingers crossed that we get out to them this week!!*

Category: life, Lils | 3 comments

  • Ronald Servant says:

    The Senators have in fact started doing this kind of thing.. last year was the rink in fornt of city hall (rink of dreams)… this year, they’ve done a community rink (http://www.sensfoundation.com/en/default.asp?sensfoundation=343&urlkeyword=Rink_of_Dreams_Project).

  • Chantal says:

    I think that the city needs to look into getting more artificially cooled rinks in Ottawa. Maybe one in each community. Our winters are just not as predictable as they used to be. My kids love to skate outside as well. Outdoor rinks are an important part of our community in the winter.

  • sassymonkey says:

    The City of Montreal and the Montreal Canadians are doing similar things. They just opened up a new one in the NDG community in Montreal this week. Though I’m not sure it has a zamboni.

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