Verdun families make most of cold snap with front-yard hockey rink
Neighbourhood children and their parents hit the ice every single day
A few steps from their front door, four young boys decked out in Montreal Canadiens jerseys are taking shots on net as it begins to feel like -35 on the tiny ice rink.
While the bitter cold has kept most Quebecers indoors over the holidays, it gave families in Verdun the chance to make the most out of winter.
Stéphane St-Louis says a group of parents who live on Osborne Street came up with the idea of building a front-yard hockey rink during the summer.
"At some point we said 'Well, this winter we should build an ice rink.' We all said that while drinking beer and chilling. And we wished for lots of snow," said St-Louis. "And then we got all kinds of snow."
It took three months of labour and teamwork to build the small ice rink that sits between two iron staircases.
The finishing touches were added last week. The boards are made of packed snow and the ice is divided in half by a deep red line.
The rink is now filled with neighbourhood kids and their parents every day, said St-Louis.
"There are no words for it," he said.
The deep freeze in recent days has meant the young players have to go inside regularly to warm up. But it doesn't take long before they lace up their skates and are ready to go out again.
"I like it so much and it's very cool," said Jacob Emard, one of the aspiring NHLers. "I like playing with everyone. It's fun."
While the cold snap is expected to ease up this week, the families plan on watering the ice every night to ensure they can keep playing hockey.
They hope to keep the hockey rink up and running until the end of winter.
With files from Antoni Nerestant