Game on at Glebe rink after 6-year hiatus

A popular outdoor skating rink in the Glebe is set to return after six years on ice.

Outdoor hockey rink on Mutchmor Public School field will reopen this winter

Sarah Viehbeck of the Glebe Community Association says the neighbourhood has been eager for the return of the outdoor rink near Lyon Street and Third Avenue. (Hallie Cotnam/CBC)

A popular outdoor skating rink in the Glebe is set to return after six years on ice.

Every winter for years, a group of neighbours would convert and tend a corner of the playing field across the street from Mutchmor Public School, but it was shut down six years go after the school said it needed to repair the field.

Ever since, the Glebe has been without a single outdoor ice surface of its own, except for the refrigerated rink at Lansdowne Park, where there are no boards and playing hockey is forbidden. The Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group (GNAG) briefly operated a rink at St. James Tennis Club, but it didn't last due to drainage concerns.

We just can't wait to lace up our skates.- Sarah Viehbeck, Glebe Community Association

"Every year ... the rink issue would inevitably emerge as one that the community was concerned about, and then we would go another winter without an answer or without action," said Sarah Viehbeck, president of the Glebe Community Association. "That changed this year."

After more than five years of discussions with the school board, trustees and city councillors, the rink is finally set to reopen this winter.

"We're just really glad that there was a combination of resources and political will and community advocacy that met to get this done," Viehbeck told Hallie Cotnam of CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.

'A historical, nostalgic feel'

"This rink has been part of the Glebe community for many years. It's really got a historical, nostalgic feel to it. There is not another outdoor boarded rink within the community," Viehbeck said.

She said the rink's position will be a bit different than in years past and it will be smaller, but it will have lights and be managed by both the city and GNAG.

Opening day is largely up to the weather, Viehbeck said.

"This is the real deal. It will be subject to elements and weather, and we just can't wait to lace up our skates."

With files from Hallie Cotnam and CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning


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