Every year, the Cookstown volunteer firefighters would roll up their sleeves, bring out the hoses, and create an outdoor skating rink at the Cookstown Public Library and Community Centre.
Some years, their efforts were successful, and local families could enjoy the pleasures of outdoor skating.
Other years, see-saw temperatures turned the rink into a puddle.
No longer. On Feb. 9, the Town of Innisfil and the Innisfil ideaLAB and Library joined forces to unveil a new Cookstown Ice Rink – a refrigerated outdoor rink that will provide a reliable ice surface, regardless of winter weather conditions.
Saturday’s celebration, which was funded by the OLG, included free food as firefighters manned the barbecue, in addition to children’s activities and a visit from 2018 Olympic gold medal figure skater Gabrielle Daleman.
“The total construction costs are $502,000,” noted Meredith Goodwin, capital project manager with the Town of Innisfil. “That includes the ice rink, but also includes the limestone trail that goes around the site, with five outdoor exercise stations, and the concrete stage that could be used in the summer and the winter.”
The project was “not tax-base funded,” according to Goodwin. Ten per cent of the cost was covered through money provided by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) from its operations at Georgian Downs, and 90 per cent through development charges levied on new development. In 2017-2018, the OLG donated more than $5.5 million to the Town of Innisfil.