Synthetic ice rink expands skating season in downtown Kingston

The synthetic ice rink is located in the amphitheatre of Springer Market Square. Photo via Downtown Kingston BIA.

Those who spend time in downtown Kingston may have noticed a new ice rink in the Springer Market Square amphitheatre. This synthetic ice rink was installed earlier this month thanks to a partnership between the City of Kingston and the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area (BIA).

In a media release, dated Thursday, Apr. 11, 2024, the BIA said that the rink offers a unique opportunity for the community to enjoy a spring skating experience and improve their skills.

“Due to the mild winter, we didn’t get much outdoor skating time,” said Marijo Cuerrier, Executive Director of Downtown Kingston. “So, when considering a fun spring activity, a synthetic rink seemed like an excellent choice.”

Synthetic ice has gained popularity among hockey enthusiasts and professionals, enabling them to practice even when regular ice rinks are not accessible, according to the release. The surface reportedly provides a smooth and safe skating experience that is slightly slower than real ice, therefore it’s also suitable for beginner skaters to learn on.

So, lace up your skates once again — make sure they are sharpened, and visit the amphitheatre for a skate with your friends and family. The synthetic rink will be available until Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2024.

In response to Kingstonist inquiries, Cuerrier explained that the synthetic ice rink installation came at a cost of $30,000, which was covered by a grant through Tourism Kingston. In terms of rules and regulations around the rink’s use, Cuerrier said the BIA wants users to “be respectful of other skaters on the ice,” and advised that “the ice works best with freshly sharpened skates and takes a bit of getting used to.” Additionally, Cuerrier advised that there is an accessible entrance using the ramp on the north side of City Hall, and said that the BIA has posted a QR code at the rink to allow for user feedback.

“We want people to try it and comment on their experience using the QR codes at the rink,” said Cuerrier.

“As we all know, climate change is affecting many winter experiences, one of them being outdoor ice rinks. There are several outdoor rinks in the city that were not able to open this year as a result. Artificial rinks could be a solution in the future, allowing a longer skating season.”

According to the BIA, the spring ice rink is free to use and open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the amphitheatre of Springer Market Square. To learn more about the synthetic ice rink and other Downtown Kingston events, visit downtownkingston.ca.

With files from Tori Stafford.

Leave a Reply

You cannot copy content from this page, please share the link instead!