The two outdoor rinks at Brewer Park officially opened Sunday, January 10, 2021, after volunteers from Ottawa-area speed skating clubs spent that morning flooding the rink surfaces. But a note of caution to shinny enthusiasts: no sticks, no pucks, no nets. “The penalties are fierce,” noted a volunteer from the Ottawa Pacers. “It can be several hundred dollars.”
For now, hockey is banned. Some warnings were already issued at an Old Ottawa South outdoor rink Friday night, according to the volunteers.
Strict limits also apply for skaters: only 25 people maximum on any one ice surface at a time. Effective January 8th, Vera Etches, Ottawa’s medical officer of health, issued a class order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act that limits large crowds from gathering at recreational areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. The order also requires people to wear masks around the rinks, and recommends skaters wear them on the ice.
And starting Saturday, people wishing to skate on any of the city’s four outdoor refrigerated rinks – including Lansdowne Park – were required to book 45-minute skating slots online.
“I don’t know how long the rule or the ice will last,” said the Pacers’ volunteer. “So get your skates and get out here.”
For updates on the Brewer skating oval, check the Ottawa Pacers Facebook page for the latest status.