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Innisfil ice rink on ice for now

Unseasonable weather is being blamed for the demise of the outdoor skating rink at Innisfil Beach Park.
Innisfil Mayor Wauchope and members of council joined town staff to build an outdoor ice rink at Innisfil Beach Park. Town of Innisfil photo.

The Innisfil Beach Park outdoor public ice rink was opened last year, heralded by council as "the beginning of a town-wide review of parks, recreation and culture that will shape the future needs of the community."

However, Mother Nature had other ideas, and the outdoor rink located at Innisfil Beach Park in the Residents’ Only Parking Lot, has not yet been flooded this winter.

"Annual cost depends very much on the weather," explained Innisfil councillor Stan Daurio.  

"If it co-operates, cost in relatively low, but the cost of trying over and over is what makes the cost prohibitive."

He says there "may have been a week or two last winter when it could be enjoyed, but that’s a lot of work for little use."

A workable solution, according to Daurio, would be to have town staff prepare the rink, put in the service, supply the hose and training, and provide liability insurance for volunteers who would be required to sign waivers. 

"Volunteers can afford the time it takes to make ice and keep it cleared," he said.

It's a system that Daurio spearheaded when he was a councillor in Thornhill 10 years ago. He calls it "a triumph of common sense over beaurocracy" and he would support a similar partnership in Innisfil.

Parks and recreation staff trained volunteers to make, maintain and inspect the ice surface. The municipality donated garbage and recycling containers, benches and hoses to make the rink a reality. 

‚ÄčThis year skaters in Innisfil will just have to wait for town staff and a cold snap.

"I was just informed that two (outdoor rinks) are ready now for flooding – just in time for the rain," Daurio said Monday.


Robin MacLennan

About the Author: Robin MacLennan

Robin MacLennan has been a reporter, photographer and editor for the daily media in Barrie, across Simcoe County and Toronto for many years. She is a proud member of the Barrie community.
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