With 2017 drawing to a close (finally!) Ottawa is giving its final Canada 150 gift to Canadians. And what better gift for a Canadian in the winter than an ice rink? That’s exactly what Ottawa is giving us, right outside of parliament. Cool, right? Well, that fancy popup rink is going to cost Canadians $5.6 million, be open for 26 days and you’re pretty much not allowed to have fun on it. Like, at all. Happy birthday, Canada?
If you want to hang out on the 150 rink, you’re going to have to be on your best behaviour, forgo hockey and save the Tim’s hot chocolates for after. The rules for the parliament rink include (but are not limited to): no food or drink, no hockey equipment, no figure skating, no speed skating, no phones or electronic devices and no multiplayer games like racing and tag. Oh, and you have to book your passes to get on the ice at all 48 hours beforehand. You also need to arrive 45 minutes prior to your “scheduled skating time” to go through security.
Canadians — who are used to lacing up around any pond in the winter — are naturally a little put off by the laundry list of rules and the hefty price tag. No hockey on a Canada 150 rink? Unbelievable.
Now don’t you feel special, you paid $5.6M for 3 weeks use of hockey rink, where no sticks/pucks are allowed and you must make a reservation to use it? Meanwhile, Rideau Canal transforms into the world’s largest outdoor skating rink & is nearby. Your tax dollars at work! #cdnpoli
— Karen (@KarenPtbo) November 23, 2017
How much? More than I’ll earn in my lifetime? pic.twitter.com/zhLD27jpkn
— Jacquelyn Reynolds (@buoyantbabe) November 23, 2017
— Yoni Freedhoff, MD (@YoniFreedhoff) November 23, 2017
Don’t they like have a big canal that you can skate on???
— Alan Pearce。 (@Pystrier) November 22, 2017
How in gods name does a skating rink cost this much? And why the need in Ottawa? U have a free canal that gets raving reviews. https://t.co/92udUFK72z
— Alex Pierson (@AlexpiersonAMP) November 22, 2017
The Parliament Hill skating rink sounds like the MOST Ottawa place EVER.
— Rose with Thorns (@Rose_withthorns) November 23, 2017
— Stu Jeffries (@stujeffries) November 24, 2017
Yesterday, Heritage Minister Melanie Joly announced that they would extend the length of the rink’s run to the end of February after people complained about it being open less than a month. They had originally planed for it to close at the end of 2017 (the close of Canada’s 150 year) but they have since revised that, instead keeping it open until the end of Winterlude. Joly conveniently ignored complaints about the stiff rules. There also hasn’t been any word yet on how many millions of dollars more an extra two months of rink will cost taxpayers.