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Get ready for a different season on city-run outdoor rinks

'We are installing outdoor benches for people to put their skates on but the buildings are not going to be open'
File photo.

North Bay has confirmed it will be maintaining its 10 outdoor ice rinks this season despite the concerns with COVID-19. 

However, it will not be a typical year on the "ODR." 

While the ice surfaces will be the same, it will be getting ready to hit the ice that will be very different. 

Mark Thomas, Parks Supervisor, says many of the neighbourhood change rooms and washrooms will not be available for public use this season.   

"In the past, we have had some rink caretakers and we have had some buildings open for people to use but with COVID-19 and the cleaning requirements for the washrooms and trying to control people safely in the indoor spaces, we are just going to have the rinks maintained," said Thomas.  

"We are installing outdoor benches for people to put their skates on but the buildings are not going to be open." 

Thomas adds that there will not even be any port-a-johns available at any of the North Bay facilities.

"The other challenge - and we have done this all summer too - is we do not have a good way to clean the port-a-johns to the Health Unit's standards which is that they have to be cleaned multiple times a day, so we are also not going to have port-a-johns at the outdoor rinks," continued Thomas. 

Ideally, Thomas says they are hopeful that some rinks will be open by the Christmas break, but, of course, that will depend on Mother Nature. 

We always try very hard to get a few going for the Christmas holidays but it is usually pretty tough to get them going for that time frame but that is always our goal. 

The positive thing is we are going to have the Lee Park Skating Trail which is weather dependent. We are hoping to expand upon what we had last year and once the skating trail is open, we will be opening the Lee Park washroom which is a heated washroom and it will be maintained by the Lee Park staff. 

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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