Royalwood’s new skating rink is a hit


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/02/2021 (843 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Royalwood has a n-‘ice’ addition to our pandemic recreation options.

As reported two weeks ago, Royalwood (Shelly Glover) Park has been transformed into a winter wonderland skating rink. All thanks to area residents Dave and Jody McMullin reaching out to ward councillor Brian Mayes.

“I was concerned that if we went to code red and the community clubs could not offer outdoor skating that people would have nowhere to exercise outdoors or skate this winter,” Dave McMullin said.

Supplied photo Avery and Sophie Chan are among the Royalwood residents who have enjoyed the new rink.

“I noticed how many people were using the Bois-des-Ésprits trails in the summer and fall and knew that people would be looking for somewhere to be active in the winter.”

McMullin contacted Mayes, who took the idea to the city for review and location scouting.
According to Mayes, each councillor is allowed to request three outdoor rinks annually. Ward boundary changes from 2018 left him with one unallocated rink. With no schools, community centres, libraries or arenas, Royalwood seemed ideal.

“To my pleasant surprise, our city staff gave their approval and found the location. Once we had the rink installed I immediately heard positive feedback from residents and from Lagimodière MLA Andrew Smith.”

Neighbourhood families agree. Karl and Kelsey Chan and their daughters Avery, age eight and Sophie, five, observed progress on the rink during the holiday season and shared the news on the Royalwood Facebook page.

“The rink is literally right outside our backyard,” Kelsey noted. “We have been out there every weekend and most weekdays. Once Avery was out there for a total of eight hours. It’s been so wonderful seeing the community out and being able to enjoy the fresh air and exercise.”

“My family and I have used the rink a number of times,” McMullin added. “Now that I’m working from home I’ve walked to the park during my lunch break a couple times to go for a skate.”

The rink has inspired a few enhancements and has helped residents connect safely.

“People have brought chairs, hay bales, picnic tables and a portable fire pit,” McMullin said. “Someone even put up a post, attached a light and ran a power cord to their house to light up the rink for night skating.”

“Our kids have seen friends outside of school and we have chatted with other adults (from six feet away of course),” Chan said.

With such a positive community impact, the rink’s return next winter would be welcome indeed.

Tanya Misseghers is a community correspondent for Royalwood.

Tanya Misseghers

Tanya Misseghers
Royalwood community correspondent

Tanya Misseghers is a community correspondent for Royalwood.

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