During the Christmas break, Dollard-des-Ormeaux resident Lenny Guerchkovitch was hoping to do a little skating with his family. But, as he told The Suburban, “all of the DDO outdoor skating rinks have been closed since Boxing Day. When queried, the city answers that they have to maintain 20 plus rinks for the city. Unfortunately that is of little comfort is not a single one is open.”
Knowing that the world is living with the coronavirus pandemic, Guerchkovitch admitted that his concerns “ may seem trivial but the skating rinks are an important place for other kids to try exercise and fresh air especially with the many restrictions that we have.”
The Suburban reached out to Mayor Alex Bottausci who was able to clear up any potential confusion. While the middle weather has certainly had an impact on skating rink conditions throughout the West Island, “at one point our webpage was not being updated as frequently, due to Christmas vacations and this might have caused people to think rinks were closed when actually they were open.
“We had (and have) skating and hockey rinks available. Both have been available to one degree or another depending on weather,” said the mayor.
“I know the team is trying their best to build the ice up everywhere. They are getting there, and this is all depending on weather conditions. I am told that if we continue to have some cold temperatures, we will be able to open up more of them for longer periods of time,” Bottausci said.
Bottausci took his family “to three hockey rinks during the break with my family to skate. Many people were there skating and playing hockey. So I know they were open.
When the rinks are open when the temperature is below the freezing mark “ lots of people used them. It's nice to see people get out and enjoy themselves.”
In fact, DDO council has a mandate to “open everything and anything possible for the DDO community. We feel it is important for everyone's mental health.”
However, with the province under curfew for a proposed few more weeks, “now with the new directives coming down the pipe, all this will have to be reviewed. We shall see in the coming days what impact this will have.”