What does it take to build the community rink?
It takes a village. Naw, just kidding. It takes volunteers. That’s you!
Our rink is operated through a grant from the City of Ottawa given to Carleton Heights and Area Residents Association (CHARA). Residents must build and maintain the rink according to a grant agreement. If possible residents should carryout one main activity like a winter fair. The city’s Program Coordinator provides the lights and boards. As time goes on they will evaluate our operation on the quality of Ice, ice maintenance, field house maintenance, supervision, organization and the attendance. CHARA’s rink has been highly rated!
- At the beginning of the season volunteers are required to: Help clear away the leaves and debris in order to prepare for the base ice. We have rakes and a leaf blower (though the kindness of a neighbour). Depending on weather this could start in November after the leaves have fallen.
- Next volunteers are needed to create a BASE. The first step in building an ice surface; consists of two phases, the first being to establish a layer of frozen slush and the second being to apply water to ultimately get a smooth surface.
- At certain points the slush / snow needs to be flatten and smoothed out. Often parents will pull their kids on toboggans and such, up and down the rink area to create the smoothness.
- Throughout the rink season the work involves snow clearing (CHARA owns a snowblower), patching and flooding. Flooding requires one person to hold the nozzle and others to hold and walk the hose over the rink area. Through the kindness of two neighbours our rink is cleaned up after heavy snowfalls using their snowplow trucks.
What is Flooding all about?
Applying water to the surface to both smooth the surface and build up ice thickness.
What effect does a Major Snowstorm have for volunteers?
Any storm that drops a significant accumulation of snow: Snow removal must be initiated immediately and a surface in skating condition must be established as soon as possible, or within 24 hours of the end of the snowfall.
What effect does a Minor Snow storm have for volunteers?
Any storm that drops a minimal amount of snow: Snow should be cleared immediately and a surface in skating condition must be established as soon as possible, or within 12 hours of the end of the snowfall.
What is a Puddle Rink?A single ice surface with a minimum 1,600 square foot total ice surface. To be included with a Rink (as described below), where land and park permits are available. No pucks are allowed on puddle rinks if skaters are using it.
What is Pebbled Ice?
The bumpy ice that results from flooding while it is snowing or flooding without properly scraping the ice surfaces first.
A long-bladed shovel designed for pushing snow. At end of day or evening, skaters and hockey players are asked to help scrape the ice rink before they leave.
For volunteer work descriptions click here. Scroll down in that document.
The rink operates from December 15 to February 28 if weather permits.
- Monday to Friday, 6:30 to 8:30 pm
- Saturday and Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 pm.
- Rink Manual 2016. (intense reading)
For the 2022 – 2023 year, CHARA has not received updates to the COVID protocol yet
The Public Rink Usage PROTOCOL will be as follows:
Following is the Covid heath and safety protocol guidelines and requirements. They are non-negotiable as per City directives.
Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer of Health issued a Letter of Instruction (LOI) to restrict the number of people at an ice surface to a maximum of 25 at one time, due to the escalating COVID-19 situation with the Omicron variant. This capacity limit goes into effect on December 26.
A total of 25 people are allowed on a boarded rink at a time, the numbers are reduced further for the smaller puddle rinks to allow for 2-meter physical distancing at all times. It is highly recommended that skaters wear masks.
Two-metre physical distancing rules apply. Signs will be posted.
Rink Volunteers are not responsible for enforcement, however they can contact 3-1-1 to report concerns or observed infractions if friendly reminders are not effective.
Indoor change rooms, excluding bathrooms, are to be closed to the public but can be used by volunteer operators to carry out their duties.
We will continue to follow to directives provided to us from the Province and Ottawa Public Health.
The COVID-19 situation remains fluid and we must be prepared to modify or pause our operations as necessary.
The Seasonal Recreation team is committed to working with each of you and providing the necessary support during these challenging times.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Who needs to be vaccinated?
All City of Ottawa employees, contractors, volunteers and students must be fully vaccinated as of November 1, 2021.
- What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?
Fully vaccinated means that it has been at least 14 days since receiving the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine or combination of COVID-19 vaccines as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Health. This would also include any additional vaccine doses required in the future in accordance with public health direction.
- Why did the City implement a mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy?
With increasing numbers of new COVID-19 infections, and with the highly transmissible Delta variant now in our community, the need to protect and support the health of both employees and residents must remain our primary concern. Vaccines are proving to prevent infections, to be highly effective against serious COVID-19 infection and decrease transmission of the virus, making them an important support for occupational health and safety.
- What is valid proof of vaccination? Acceptable proof includes official documentation verifying receipt of a full vaccination series such as:
A vaccination receipt issued by the Province of Ontario
A vaccination receipt issued by the Province of Quebec
A vaccination receipt signed by an Indigenous Health Provider
Documentation issued by another province or country
If you do not have your proof of vaccination and need a copy from the Canadian province or territory where you were vaccinated, please visit the website of the province or territory in which you received your vaccine(s).
- Why is frequent testing not being offered as an alternative as it has in other organizations?
Employee health and safety is our top priority. Vaccines are proving to prevent infections, to be highly effective against serious COVID-19 infection and decrease transmission of the virus, making them an important support for occupational health and safety. Routine asymptomatic testing is not an equivalent substitute for a completed series of COVID-19 vaccinations.
- I have a medical condition and am not able to be vaccinated, does this policy apply to me?
Yes, contractors who are unable to comply with this policy for a medical reason will not be permitted to access a City facility. If you have a temporary medical exemption, you will need to become fully vaccinated as soon as it is medically safe for you to do so.