Rink, is a Scottish word meaning ‘course’, it was used as the name of a place where curling was played. Early in its history, ice hockey was played mostly on rinks constructed for curling. The name was retained after hockey-specific facilities were built.
Variations of both curling and hockey had been played for many generations prior to the naming of the playing area, but the origins of the modern, indoor ice rink can be traced back to Montreal, where the first organized indoor game was played at the Victoria Skating Rink in 1875.
It’s becoming a luxury to experience skating outdoors on a natural frozen rink in the wintertime. As of Feb 23, 2020 the Rideau Canal closed. It was open for only 31 days from Jan. 18thto Feb. 23rd. More than 381,000 visitors enjoyed the canal in 2020. In a statement, the NCC says “the unusually warm weather earlier this week resulted in a significant degradation of the ice. With a major snowfall in the forecast, followed by higher temperatures, our mighty maintenance team can no longer ensure safe ice conditions.” For the first time in the 50-year history of the Rideau Canal Skateway, the full length of the Skateway didn’t open for skaters. Is this a sign of climate change?
Heather logan, creator of The Skate Helper, enjoys one of the final days of skating on the Rideau Canal before it closed early on Feb.23, 2020.
RinkWatch is a citizen science research initiative that asks people who love outdoor skating to help environmental scientists monitor winter weather conditions and study the long-term impacts of climate change. Launched by researchers at Wilfrid Laurier University in January 2013, participants from across North America have submitted information about skating conditions on more than 1,400 outdoor rinks and ponds. In addition to contributing valuable data to environmental science, RinkWatch has become anonline community for people who love making backyard and community rinks.
Global warming is part of our life and major weather events are becoming a regular news item. Many people in the world will never experience outdoor skating on a natural rink. Skating outdoors in a natural setting is not only magical and awe-inspiring but it gives you a sense of freedom, it is also fun, and exhilarating.
The CBC has compiled an excellent list of scenic once-in-a-lifetime skating rink experiences in Canada check it out here.