Skating on the City of Ottawa’s outdoor rinks is a popular pastime for residents and a great way to keep active during colder weather.
We recognize that your staff receive countless calls from constituents with questions and concerns regarding their local outdoor rink. We invite you to use the information below to serve as a guide when responding to inquiries.
We recommend that you make this information available to your office staff so that they may refer to it as they field inquiries.
Base Ice/Opening Date
We are tracking predicted snowfall and temperatures over this holiday season. In order to create Base Ice, we need 10 to 15cm of accumulated snow with evening temperatures consistently below -10 degrees Celsius for a duration of five to seven days. With the two-week weather forecast information currently available, we anticipate a call-out to our community rink operations to start their base ice on December 27 when conditions should be ideal to begin creation of base ice. This labor-intensive process includes packing of the snow and applying 12 coats of water within that five to seven-day cold period. This brings us to the New Year before skateable ice can be established at most sites.
Volunteers will do their best to remove snow from the ice surface in a timely manner.
In general, residents can expect that minor snowfalls will be cleared from the rink within 12 hours and major snowfalls (10+ cm) will be cleared within 24 hours.
Shovels will often be available at the rink, and we encourage rink users to assist with snow removal!
Last year we had several periods of rain followed by mild weather, which made it difficult for volunteers to maintain the ice.
During warmer weather, there is little that volunteers can do until the colder weather returns. It is crucial that the public stay off the rink during mild weather.
Walking on the rink during mild weather will cause damage to the rinks’ surface and make it incredibly challenging for volunteers to get the ice back to a smooth surface.
Tips for Residents
We encourage you to post the following tips for a successful season on your ward websites or social media accounts.
- Rink users should wear a CSA approved hockey helmet at all times.
- Children under the age of 7 should be accompanied by a responsible person aged 14 and up.
- Respect signage indicating the rink is closed. It means volunteers have recently flooded or the ice is too soft for skating.
- Avoid walking on the rink, as this is hazardous and damages the ice surface.
- Keep all pets off the rinks. Please do not use boarded rinks as dog runs.
- For the safety of users, hockey is not permitted on puddle rinks.
- Hours of operation and access to warming facilities where available for supervised rinks is determined by the local community operator at each location and available on Ottawa.ca
- Take the time to thank the volunteers who dedicate their time to creating a rink in your community and lend a helping hand when possible!
- Report any site hazards or deficiencies to 311 or the Seasonal Recreation Office
Rink Operator Appreciation Breakfast
Please save the date. Official RSVP to follow
- Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020
- Time: 9:00 – 11:00 am
- Location: Jim Durrell Recreation Centre – Ellwood Hall
Residents with questions regarding the general operation of the outdoor rink program are invited to contact the Seasonal Recreation Office:
Phone: 613-580-2590 Email: SeasonalRecreation@ottawa.ca.
Other comments, questions or concerns can be addressed to:
Program Manager: Sue Chiumera
Phone – 613-580-2424 x 26637 Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Recreation Supervisor: Paul Dupuis
Phone – 613-580-2424 x 46606 Email – Paul.Dupuis@ottawa.ca
We look forward to another successful season. Happy Holidays!