It’s been floating around on Instagram for a couple of days now and finally, some details on what appears to be a skating rink in the middle of the Exchange District.
What a great idea! Catch a flick at Cinematheque, go for a skate and warm up with a hot toddy at the King’s Head. I couldn’t think of a better winter night in Winnipeg. This idea’s been in the works for years and 2017 is the year of the test run.
The rink is the brain child of a number of partners, all business owners in the area and if the test year goes well, other businesses have already said they’d be on board to fund the project.
Think of the possibilities! More central Festival du Voyageur activities, and extension of the fun that can be had at The Forks, music on ice (can we get that dancing goalie??), curling, maybe broomball? Generally, a great use of space for Exchange District residents and workers.
Part of the test run is to see if the area can handle not only the ice, but also the melt. They’ve flooded the area to see what will happen with the drainage of the site, if the grass and stones underneath is damaged.
Residents of the area eager to lace up are being asked to stay patient and if the weather remains cold, there will be an update on the state of the rink and an invitation to skate sometime next week.
I’ve seen a successful version of a project like this before. The Ottawa Senators Rink of Dreams, located just outside of their city hall. Since their weather is a fair bit milder than ours, they keep theirs refrigerated, which while costly, allows residents to take advantage of the rink for longer than most outdoor rinks.
Think we could get the True North Foundation involved somehow? Just a thought.