Mayor Valérie Plante offers glimmer of hope Beaver Lake skating rink won't close for good

There are no plans to open the outdoor natural skating rink on Mount Royal, a gathering place since the 1930s, which the city says is no longer safe due to fluctuating temperatures. But the mayor says the city hasn't given up on the rink that she recalls skating on as a child.

Fluctuating temperatures, depth of water make rink unsafe, city says

Luc Ferrandez, Montreal's executive committee member responsible for large parks, says keeping the historic rink open is too risky. (Brian D. Cruickshank/Getty Images)

There are no plans to open the outdoor natural skating rink on Mount Royal, a gathering place since the 1930s, which the city says is no longer safe due to fluctuating temperatures. 

However, Mayor Valérie Plante said Thursday at a meeting with Premier Philippe Couillard that the city will try to find ways to save the rink that both she and Couillard recalled skating on as children.

Earlier Thursday, Luc Ferrandez, Montreal's executive committee member responsible for large parks, said the natural rink, which has been a gathering place for families since the 1930s, was only open for 37 days last year due to fluctuating temperatures.

Two maintenance trucks fell through the thin ice last year.

Keeping it open, Ferrandez said, is just too risky.

"We don't want to lose a citizen," he told Daybreak, adding that the lake was made deeper during the recent round of renovations

"We need to make sure that there are no accidents there," said Plante later, echoing Ferrandez's concerns. "It's not an easy one, because it's really about security."

"We will be trying to find solutions. But I don't want to raise hopes too high, because it's complex."

Refrigerated rink still open

Skaters will still be able to use the smaller, refrigerated rink closer to the chalet.

Hélène Panaïoti, a spokesperson for Les Amis de la Montagne, said she's still hopeful the city can find a way to keep the lake open. Lowering the water during the winter months is one possibility, she said. 

"It's inconceivable that we will not be able to do that again."

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