Federal government sets guidelines for $5.6M Parliament Hill skating rink

No hockey, speed skating or cell phones allowed during the 40-minute skating sessions.
parliament hill rink

Ottawa residents and people from across the country will soon be able to lace up on Parliament Hill as the $5.6 million rink nears completion.

Officials unveiled details Wednesday about the rink, which is set to open on Dec. 7 for public skating and for a hockey tournament later in the month.

There will be no charge to skate on the rink, but people will need to get passes online. The first passes will be available on Dec. 5, two days before the rink first opens, and passes for subsequent days will continue to open up 48 hours in advance. The rink will close on Jan. 1.

Each skating session is going to be 40 minutes in length.

Rules for each session prohibit pucks, hockey sticks, races and another "multiplayer games," as well as using any electronic devices such as cell phones.

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, defended the high cost of the rink as an important closure to Canada 150 events.

“We believe that is really good news, because this will be here for a month and will support important programming for communities and children who will be coming from across the country.”

Joly added that the $5.6 million cost is all-encompassing and that the rink will be donated afterwards.

“The cost includes all the programming and afterwards of course it will be given to a vulnerable community.”

PCL Construction was tasked with setting up the rink.

The rink has a cooling system that should allow it to work in any expected December temperature. The City of Ottawa’s rink of dreams operates with a similar system, but much later into the year.  

Joly said the government decided not to extend it until later in the year, so it would align with the end of Canada’s 150th year.

“We believe it’s a great way to finish the year and there will be lots of Canadians coming to Ottawa in December.”

The rink will be on Parliament Hill at the same time as the outdoor game between the Ottawa Senators and the Montreal Canadiens play an outdoor game at TD Place.

There are no details yet, but government officials indicated the NHL players might take a lap or two on the rink.

A version of this story originally appeared in Metro News.