Goderich's Outdoor Rinks
A group of dedicated volunteers has made sure there are two outdoor skating rinks available in the lakeside town when weather allows. And now, the official name of the site has been changed to the John Cove Memorial Outdoor Rinks to commemorate the dedication of one volunteer who passed away this past fall.
Victoria Park, the current home of Goderich’s splash pad, is the place to be in the summer with playground equipment, water fun, green space and tennis courts.
In the winter, however, those tennis courts become the perfect place for a pair of outdoor rinks, one dedicated to free skating and the other for pick-up hockey or ringette, according to local councillor and volunteer Trevor Bazinet.
“We wanted to make sure it was in an area so that all users could access it,” he said.
The two-rink system works well, he said, because skaters and hockey players aren’t always able to comfortably share the same space and Bazinet said the volunteers wanted to be sure that everyone could access the free ice.
Once the rinks first freeze over, Bazinet said that both are busy during the weekend.
“We don’t keep track, number-wise, but it’s busy,” he said. “It’s been well-received in the community. People like it because it’s free, and want to take advantage of that kind of activity. Nothing is better than skating outdoors.”
The rinks are open throughout the day and offer skating and hockey under the lights until 11 p.m.
The group of volunteers flood it, shovel it and maintain it, Bazinet said, and many businesses and service clubs in the town sponsor to help with expenses and ongoing upgrades, such as the two new rink systems, eighty feet long and forty feet wide, from EZ Ice that will be installed this year.
For more information, visit the John Cove Memorial Outdoor Rinks page on Facebook.