Updated: Thunder Bay Pulling Hockey Nets off Outdoor Rinks

Flooding outdoor ice rink in Current River
Flooding outdoor ice rink in Current River - Stock image Pre-Covid-19

No Hockey and No Shinny on City Rinks

Thunder Bay – COVID-19 Update – The City of Thunder Bay will not be pulling the goalie in the fight against COVID-19, but the city is pulling nets off the outdoor skating rinks in the city.

In cooperation with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, the City is releasing new rules and restrictions for outdoor skating at City rinks and ponds that go into effect today.

The additional rules include:

·         No nets allowed (nets will be removed from all rinks).

·         No games allowed including “shinny/scrub”.

·         Sticks and pucks are allowed for individual or family use only.

·         Capacity limits will now be posted at rinks, with a limit of 25 individuals per boarded rink.

“With so many activities cancelled due to Ontario’s current lockdown, we’ve seen a large increase in the use of outdoor rinks,” said Cory Halvorsen, Manager of Parks and Open Spaces. “These enhanced rules are in place so that rinks can operate in compliance with the restrictions, and to keep everyone safe as they enjoy outdoor skating.”

Skating rinks and ponds, including those designated as unsupervised, will be monitored for compliance to these restrictions. A mask or face covering is recommended on outdoor rinks and other park areas as an additional measure during the lockdown extension, especially when physical distancing is a challenge.

Social Media Backlash

This issue has many in the city upset and concerned. It also has at least two members of Council, Kristen Oliver, the Westfort Councillor and Albert Aiello speaking out on social media.

Oliver says this is “Beyond ridiculous”.

Aiello says, “Definitely didn’t come from council! Looking at moving/ supporting a motion forward to keep the nets in place.”

For a complete list of outdoor rinks maintained by the City’s Parks & Open Spaces Section, visit: www.thunderbay.ca/rinks

For more information about a City of Thunder Bay outdoor skating rink or pond, call: 625-2195.


Image is pre-COVID-19… which is why the rink workers don’t have masks on.