A record 17th community ice rink to open in London, Ont. Sunday
Teenagers Tanner Ducharme and Dylan Wilkins were the first to test out the ice at London's newest community ice rink.
The two were invited to East Lions Park Saturday by Ward Two Councillor Shawn Lewis as a trial run to see if it was stable.
"We are probably a day away," says Lewis, who is coordinating the maintenance of the rink.
"We're doing a little test run today after a big flood last night by the London Fire Department. We got a couple of rough spots and a couple of spots where we need to do a little repair work before we can open it up. I'm hoping tomorrow we can take down the caution tape and we can be open for people in the neighbourhood to come by and skate.”
The rink is built on the basketball court, which was designed with higher edges be to converted for hockey in the winter. Lewis calls this space, "hugely important for the east end.”
"This is the only outdoor rink we have in the Argyle area, so I know it's going to get tons of use,” he says. “People will be practicing skating, learning to skate, or playing shinny. We've even got a neighbour who's bringing in a new today to donate for use here.”
The two boys say they usually skate at London Christian High School.
"The janitor set up a nice pond there, but we'll be here more often," says Wilkins.
He feels it will be a great place to make new friends while bringing families, friends and people from the area together.
"Hockey is Canada's game and having this in the neighbourhood is going to be sweet,” says Ducharme.
When the rink opens it will be the 17th community ice rink in London, Ont. That is a new record for a single year in the city.
"I've already had a call today actually of someone saying they've heard about them and they want to do next year," says Karen Oldham manager of community development and support for the City of London.
Ward 2 Councillor Shawn Lewis shovels the new community ice rink at East Lions Park in London, Ont. on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. The rink will open Sunday Jan 23, 2022. (Brent Lale/CTV London)
"We have a manual that people get and we pay close attention to the area they're putting it. We make sure volunteers are trained and that they're doing checks every day around the safety of the ice so they close it when they need to. So it's well supported by city staff, but it is definitely a lot of work for volunteers in a neighbourhood.”
Lewis has 12 volunteers lined up for the maintenance of the rink at East Lions.
"The city will provide the tools, the hoses, the shovels," says Lewis.
"We'll even make sure that the water is compensated if it's being pumped from a home or we'll make sure it gets a preliminary fill and then it's up to the volunteers to maintain it.”
That maintenance includes shovelling when it snows, doing an occasional flooding of the ice, and daily checks to make sure there are no cracks. He also wants to ensure that no garbage is being left at the location.
"Other than that it's us at your own risk and it's us being respectful of each other," says Lewis.
"The signs have the guidelines for use posted on them and we haven't had any problems so far. I think it's just because the communities respect the fact that they've got this space they really enjoying it.”
The city also hopes the more safely-maintained community spaces they have, it will help keep people off the potentially dangerous stormwater ponds in the region.
"Stormwater ponds fluctuate in the level, it doesn't matter the time of year," says Oldham.
"Potentially water could start to filter into that pond so they are deemed dangerous, and they're not something that the city endorses people skating on. So the more neighbourhood rings we have, I hope the less of that we're going to see around the city.”
Lewis is looking forward to January 31, when the province will permit East Lions Community Centre to re-open its doors.
"It'll make it a little easier to store the ice rink equipment," says Lewis, who lives across the street from the facility.
"I won't have to lug it back and forth from my house, which is where I'm storing it for the volunteers right now. We're really, really happy with how this facility is starting out both indoors and outdoors.”
Lewis is excited to look across the road and see people from his community using the rink. He'll even be lacing up the blades himself.
"It's going to be a fun couple of weeks," he says.
Dylan Wilkins (L) and Tanner Ducharme pass the puck at the new community ice rink at East Lions Park in London, Ont. The teenagers were testing the ice as part of a trial run on Saturday Jan 22, 2022, a day ahead of its scheduled opening. (Brent Lale/CTV London)
London Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Students trapped inside a classroom with a gunman repeatedly called 911 during this week's attack on a Texas elementary school, including one who pleaded, 'Please send the police now,' as nearly 20 officers waited in the hallway for more than 45 minutes, authorities said Friday.
As Johnny Depp's high-profile libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard wound down, Heard took her final opportunity on the stand to comment on the hate and backlash she’s endured online during the trial.
A new report says Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto rank among the top 20 cities around the world when it comes to work-life balance.
Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino will table new firearms legislation on Monday, according to his colleague Justice Minister David Lametti. In an interview with CTV's Question Period that will air on Sunday, Lametti pointed to the advance notice given to the House of Commons, and confirmed the plan is to see the new bill unveiled shortly after MPs return to the Commons on May 30.
An 11-year-old survivor of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, feared the gunman would come back for her so she smeared herself in her friend's blood and played dead.
For 70 years, Andre Hissink has held a grudge against the Dutch government, but this week, the 102-year-old Second World War veteran’s persistence paid off – the Dutch king granted his wish for a rare dual citizenship.
Canada has tapped into its own strategic stockpile of emergency medical supplies -- stored for a national emergency -- to help Ukraine. It has donated over 375,000 items of medical equipment and medicines from Canada's strategic stockpile since the invasion by Russia began.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, more commonly known as 'broken heart syndrome' or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, is an actual medical condition triggered by severe emotional or physical stress and is different from a heart attack.
After a six-week trial in which Johnny Depp and Amber Heard tore into each other over the nasty details of their short marriage, both sides told a jury the exact same thing Friday -- they want their lives back.
A man, who was a referee at high school volleyball games in Guelph for more than 30 years, is facing sex assault-related charges.
The Region of Waterloo says there's a high safety risk at a Kitchener encampment and they are working with residents to prepare them for their eventual move.
Two low-cost airlines are butting heads over an agreement at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. Swoop wants to offer flights but the airport already has an exclusivity deal with rival Flair Airlines
Windsor police are asking for the public’s help identify a driver who fled after a rollover crash.
'Just do Mable things': Father of 18-year-old Pain Court crash victim shares memories of his daughter
It’s been a long and sorrow-filled week for the extended families of Mable Baker, an 18-year-old Chatham-Kent woman who was involved in a fatal car crash last weekend.
A local musician will be back on stage for the 16th annual 24-Hour Drum Marathon.
On the final day of the Paul Sadlon sexual assault trial, the defence called the complainant's allegations "straight out lies" and "not believable at all."
Provincial police are searching for a missing senior who went for a walk with his two dogs on trails behind his home in Springwater Township Thursday afternoon.
An Aurora couple is making plans to buy a house after winning the lottery.
Members of the NDP, Liberal and Green parties attended a meet and greet at Nipissing University's Student Centre on Friday afternoon.
The Ontario Provincial Police is closing its detachment in the town of Black River-Matheson. The building is approximately 90 years old and is located in Matheson on Railway Street.
A northern Ontario man says he jumped through several hoops and dealt with red tape as he tried to launch an inflatable water park on Ramsey Lake this summer.
As of Friday evening, 26,000 Hydro Ottawa customers remain without power in all neighbourhoods of the city.
Approximately 25,000 people will take part in Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
Ottawa Bylaw says the "mama and her 4 kittens" were abandoned outside the PetSmart on Innes Road sometime between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Friday.
WATCH | New video appears to show man carrying air rifle on Toronto streets before being killed by police
A man shot dead by police officers near a Toronto elementary school on Thursday afternoon appears to have been captured on home security footage carrying an air rifle moments before the incident.
A 21-year-old Toronto man is facing a slew of charges following a suspected hate-motivated incident at a Jewish school in North York.
Toronto Pearson International is warning travellers and Mississauga residents they may notice unusual activity at the airport this weekend.
Is it unconstitutional to make someone pay to get a legal document translated into French? One of Montreal's top lawyers thinks so, and pointed out two other things from Bill 96 that he thinks the courts would most easily find fault with.
Canada's highest court has ruled that Alexandre Bissonnette, who murdered six people at the Quebec City mosque in 2017, will be eligible for parole after 25 years.
Quebec says it is ready to vaccinate people who have come into close contact with monkeypox as soon as Friday.
A lawyer for families of victims killed in the Nova Scotia mass shooting says an 18-hour delay in finding five bodies of those murdered is a sign of "deficient" policing.
A Cape Breton father is warning the public of the dangers in the area he lives after his teenager son fell nearly 40 feet over a cliff in Glace Bay.
Two Muslim sisters in St. John's, N.L., are speaking out after a man approached them where they work, screamed at them and then smacked the 15-year-old sister across the head, nearly knocking her over.
Pembina Trails School Division is confirming to CTV News that a group of students found a body during community cleanup at Ècole South Pointe School.
Winnipeg police are telling people to find an alternate route this afternoon as they are investigating a fatal crash near the St. Boniface Industrial Park.
'It's one way to be creative': Winnipeg student wants to be a bartender when older; school doesn't like comment in yearbook
Bartender. That is what one Grade 4 student said for the yearbook when asked what he wanted to be when he grows up, an answer the school is asking him to change.
A southern Alberta man who killed three people, including a two-year-old girl, could have the ability to request a release from jail earlier than his original sentence intended, thanks to a landmark Supreme Court decision Friday.
Calgary Flames fans are still coming to terms with a playoff series loss to the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night in a game that saw both controversy and heartbreak following a Connor McDavid overtime goal.
Western Canada's premiers want to reform their health-care systems by expanding services but they say Ottawa first needs to pick up the phone.
A hotly-controversial decision on whether or not to freeze base funding for police in Edmonton was delayed Friday as fallout from a dispute between the mayor and the provincial justice minister continued to rattle political circles.
A 19-year-old man is in police custody after a shooting near Rogers Place after an Edmonton Oilers viewing party ended Thursday evening.
A shelter many expected to remain open until the end of June in Wetaskiwin, Alta., will close a month early.
With ridership still well below pre-pandemic levels, TransLink looks for 'long-term revenue solutions'
Metro Vancouver's public transit system will be dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for years to come, according to recent funding and ridership announcements by TransLink.
Researchers working in partnership with UBC believe an eco-friendly material could help solve the world’s plastic pollution problem.
The federal government needs to come to the table to discuss more money for health care, Western Canada's premiers said at their annual meeting.