Nova Scotia

HRM asking for public input into Oval summer use

The Halifax Emera Oval was a wintertime hit, but now the city wants to know what should be done with the skating attraction during the summer.
Crews removed the remainder of the ice off Halifax's oval Tuesday. (CBC)

The Halifax Emera Oval was a wintertime hit, but now the city wants to know what should be done with the skating attraction during the summer.

Crews spent Tuesday scraping the ice from the Oval surface because last week's warm temperatures closed it for the season.

After the crew is finished its work, the city will be left with a concrete pad bigger than three full NHL-sized rinks.

Some of the options for fair weather use include biking, in-line skating, or roller-skating.

Many HRM residents told CBC News they'd like to see something that allowed for the Oval to stay open all-year long.

"There seems to be a great deal of desire to incorporate this facility and continue it as a large place, a place for the community to gather 365 days a year," said Peter Bigelow, general manager of Real Property Planning for Halifax Regional Municipality.

Bigelow said it's unlikely any of that will happen this summer because of landscaping, and the construction of permanent buildings for the Zamboni and skate rentals.

"At this point, we don't know how much of the Oval is going to be restricted in terms of closed off from access. Certainly there's going to be a lot of construction going on around the Oval," said John Henry, manager of Community and Recreation Services.

The city aims to have the Oval ready for year-round use by the summer of 2013. In the meantime, the city is looking for ideas from the public.

"We actually left it open, so that we could watch how people use the Oval, we could learn from it, and we could consult over the winter," Bigelow said.

Anyone can weigh in on the city's survey on what to do with the Oval until the end of the month.

For now, the only firm plans the city has for the Oval are to reopen it for skating on December 15.  

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