Calgarians can lace up their skates and carve across the ice at Olympic Plaza.
The City of Calgary opened its first outdoor rink on Monday and crews have been crossing their fingers for a dip in temperatures to allow them to build more ice surfaces. The artificial rink at Olympic Plaza always opens a few weeks before others around the city, which need at least below 0 temperatures during the day and -7.
“Somewhere in the range of -7 to -12 degrees consistently,” said City Parks Manager Todd Reichardt. “The bane of making ice for us in the city, of course, is the chinook weather. I think Thursday it’s supposed to go up to 12 so that’s going to cause some risks for us and put us back a little bit.
It’s a much slower process for creating rinks on bodies of water like the ones at Prince’s Island Park and Bowness Park, where a levee controls how much water is released
“We slowly let in a little water at a time [..] and you can slowly get a half-inch of ice, and then you let another layer in, and another layer in, and eventually we’re somewhere around seven to eight inches of ice. That’s the minimum standard we look for to allow us to put on equipment, to continually clean the ice and to allow Calgarians to go skating on the actual lagoon or at Bowness,” said Reichardt
Several of the city’s rinks are scheduled to open by mid-December.