A fresh shower of rain and warmer temperatures are washing away the excitement for many of London’s seasonal outdoor activities this week.
Temperatures rose to 6C on Tuesday afternoon after rain in the morning. Environment Canada is forecasting more showers and a high of 8C for London and the surrounding area on Wednesday.
Outdoor facilities, including the public ice rinks at Victoria Park and Covent Garden Market, have been impacted by spring-like temperatures, which city officials said are making it harder to keep them chilled.
“It was a challenge,” said Matt Nielsen, operator of the ice rink at Victoria Park.
According to Nielsen, the outdoor ice rink at Victoria Park had to be closed because the ice became too soft and wet for skating.
Crews will also have to wait until colder weather hits at night before catching up on maintenance, he added.
Victoria Park Ice Rink is currently closed due to the weather.
If ice conditions change during the day we will update you here. ⛸️#LdnOnt
Despite the conditions, Nielsen said he doesn’t mind waiting for skaters braving the wet conditions to finish before inspecting the ice.
“Even though they shouldn’t be out there, I let them skate out there for a while until the ice softens, and then I have to close it,” he said. “They just enjoy skating so much, so it doesn’t matter what the weather is, they just want to be out here.”
“It didn’t stop us from skating even though it was raining,” said Barb Trovato, who was one of the last visitors to the Victoria Park ice rink before it closed and brought her family with her.
“Try to make the best of it and get off whenever you can.”
Matt Nielsen, arena operator at Victoria Park’s outdoor ice rink, says the ice relies on colder weather to ensure a hard surface. (Clement Goh/CBC News)
The outdoor public ice rinks are chilled and can withstand outside temperatures as low as 5C, according to Jon-Paul McGonigle, the city’s director of recreation and sports.
“It’s hard to give a definitive shutdown to keep the rink frozen as there are many factors that can affect rink cooling, including sunshine and/or rainfall levels,” he said in an email CBC News.
The local ski slope keeps runs open
Chairlifts were operational on Boler Mountain Tuesday afternoon as guests continued to race through rainy conditions. All four lifts were operational while 14 out of 15 runs were open.
Its own artificial snow can handle warmer temperatures of over 17ºC thanks to the hill’s positive temperature snowmaking unit.
Marty Thody, operations manager at Boler Mountain, pulls a handful of snow out of his positive temperature snow machine, which can withstand warm and rainy conditions. (Clement Goh/CBC News)
Despite a relatively normal workday for employees and ski instructors on the ski hills, spring-like weather has slowed business, said Marty Thody, Boler operations manager.
“We just step on the gas and make the best lemonade out of the lemons we have,” Thody said. “It’s definitely a slow day. You know it’s late on the hills but people are still out there and have the place to themselves.”