(Tuesday, March 8, 2011) – Halifax Regional Municipality has announced the end of the skating season on the Canada Games Oval.
Officials pointed to a combination of consistently warmer weather, heavy rains over the last couple of days and a warm long-range weather forecast. The weather conditions, combined with position of the sun in March and the effect it has on the ice surface, make it unrealistic to continue keeping the ice in acceptable condition for public skating.
Mayor Peter Kelly noted that the skating season for the People’s Oval was ending on a high note.
“We were thrilled with the way the community embraced the Oval,” the Mayor said. “It provided so many days of outdoor winter activity and enjoyment for residents, while solidifying HRM’s reputation as an event destination.”
The Canada Games Oval officially opened on Monday, December 20 and was in operation for 77 days. During that time, more than 100,000 skaters from across HRM, Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada gathered with friends and family to skate, celebrate and enjoy the outdoors during 44.5 days of recreational public skating. It also played host to an International Marathon, a Masters Competition, and the 2011 Canada Games Long-Track Speed Skating competitions and test event while offering a training surface for athletes preparing for national and world competition. As well, 12,000 students participated through the Skating for School Program.
The skates donated through Active Halifax Communities' skate drive and helmets donated by SportChek will be used to continue to make skating accessible to HRM residents at facilities throughout HRM and through community groups.
Over the next couple of days, residents will begin to see a fair amount of activity on site as signage begins to come down and preparations are made to decommission the site. The ice chillers will also be turned off. Beginning next week, staff will begin to dismantle and move out site infrastructure such as trailers, bleachers, and the warming hut.
A staff report is scheduled to go to Council at the end of the month with recommendations on long-term options for the future of the Oval.
HRM would like to thank residents, our partners and the Canada Host Society, all of whom helped to make the Canada Games Oval season a resounding success.