More outdoor rinks open in Winnipeg ahead of the holidays

WINNIPEG — A trio of outdoor skating rinks in Winnipeg is opening up ahead of the holidays.

Starting Thursday, the Riley Family Duck Pond in Assiniboine Park is opening for skating on Christmas Eve for residents.

Due to the current public health orders, the warming shelter at the site will stay closed, but visitors can use the picnic tables and washrooms at the site.

“Under current public health orders, people may engage in individual or family outdoor recreational activities such as skating, tobogganing, and skiing as long as they maintain required physical distancing and avoid gathering with people outside their household,” the Assiniboine Park Conservancy said in a statement. “Specifically, people must maintain a separation of at least two metres from people outside their household and must not engage in activities as part of a group of more than five people, unless they all reside at the same residence.”

Hockey pucks and sticks are not allowed, and organized games, practices, and competitions are not permitted.

The duck pond is surrounded by light displays if people want to skate under the stars.

THE FORKS

Skating has also returned to The Forks.

Parts of the Arctic Glacier Winter Park and Canopy rink reopened on Wednesday.

Residents who want to use the park must bring their own skates and be prepared to lace up outside while six feet apart. Those using the Winter Park must follow all public health guidelines.

BROADWAY NEIGHBOURHOOD CENTRE

Residents of West Broadway can soon lace up their skates and hit the local rink after a new deal was reached between the city and the community centre.

After a year of negotiations, outdoor amenities at the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, including the Edward Carriere Community Rink can now open.

“This is one of the best days of the year so far,” said Lawrence Mullhall with the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre. “Considering what 2020 has been like, this is just amazing news.”

Last year, the city restructured the agreement, asking the neighbourhood centre to pay for insurance on the skating rink, which the centre said it couldn’t afford.

“The community really deserves the assurance that clarifies that the rinks are open and the amenities are open, especially in a year like 2020, and the way that it has gone,” said Coun. Sherri Rollins, who represents Fort Rouge – East Fort Garry. “The community needs to be assured that their outdoor amenities are going to be wide open for all to use that need to use them in a physically distanced way.”

While the current code red restrictions mean the inside amenities cannot operate, the centre can flood the rink.

The centre is hoping to have the rink ready by Christmas Eve.

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