Dieppe's new skating oval is equipped to stay frozen all winter, even when temperatures go above zero.

Replacing a previous oval, the new one is refrigerated under the surface, with smoother and more consistent flooding that will mean more good skating days for the community.

Denis LeBlanc

The City of Dieppe's Denis LeBlanc says the new oval can accommodate fluctuations in temperature and offers a smooth surface for skaters.

"It should be open all day in any weather," said Denis LeBlanc, the City of Dieppe's community officer. "If it's plus 12 outside we're able to have ice."

A big improvement compared to the last oval, which had to be rebuilt every time it was ruined by warm weather.

The $1.4-million infrastructure project has been in the works for several months. Though there was some debate among city councillors about whether it was the best allocation of funds, community members out on the ice Friday seemed happy.

Noah Robichaud and Allan Larin

Allan Larin, right, skates with his grandson on Dieppe's oval.

"This is great, we saw this and we thought, well, we're going to try it out," said Allan Larin, who was skating with his grandson Noah Robichaud on Friday morning.

Another grandfather, Marc Paimpec had similar sentiments. 

"It's a nice opportunity, the quality of the ice, the idea is great," he said.

Soft launch preceded Jan. 6 opening

The public has been allowed on the oval since mid-December, but the official opening is Friday night. 

Festivities include performances by Jean-Marc Cormier and Melanie Morgan as well as bonfires, treats, words from the mayor, and of course, skating.

LeBlanc said the soft launch was to work out any kinks, but the biggest takeaway is that the oval is a hit.

"I think people have been appreciating it," he said. "People seem to smile when they skate and it's been positive from the community."

And already the oval has been skate-able more days than the previous one was all of last winter.

Scheduling time

The ice surface is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week and the hope is that people will make time to go.

"I think people lead busy lives and our schedule in the arena isn't always accommodating," said LeBlanc. "Since it's been open, people have been coming 9 a.m. to 10 p.m, so it does work for everyone's schedule."

The oval will be open those 13 hours a day, seven days a week, until March 31.