Popular Minto Skating Centre set to be sold, leaving skating club looking for new home
OTTAWA -- A popular arena facility is set to be sold, which means one of the oldest skating clubs in the city will be without a home.
A conditional offer has been made to buy the Minto Skating Centre on Lancaster Road, Mask Management confirms. The offer could see the privately-run facility “sold to an entity that would not continue its use as an arena,” says a spokesperson for Mask Management.
This means Minto Skating Club, which has trained out of the facility since it opened in 1987 will need to find a new place to train.
Members were notified Monday in an email from the club’s president Erich Forler.
“This means that the club will be looking for a new place to skate but the sale won't be completed for a while and existing programs will continue to run as scheduled for the next few months,” Forler wrote.
“The sale of the Minto Skating Centre marks the end of an era for the Minto Skating Club and the end of a long and successful partnership. While we're saddened to be leaving our current home, we're looking forward to finding a new home for our skaters to continue their pursuit of enjoyment and achievement on ice.”
The potential sale comes at a time when many are concerned over a shortage of ice rentals in the city.
“I think of a lot our new complexes with multi-use facilities are often out in the west end, east end, south end, but the centre of our city is lacking in that department,” said Tara MacDougall, who is a coach at Minto. “There are so many existing communities that have been here since the beginning of Ottawa that use those facilities to pursue their ice sports, whether it is our club, ringette, hockey, short track speed skating, we have Special Olympics members that use our facilities.”
Dan Chenier, Ottawa's general manager of Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services told CTV News Ottawa in a statement, “The City is aware of the announcement by the Minto Skating Centre that a conditional sale is in the works and that the facility may close by the end of August. The City has been contacted by some of the Centre’s seasonal ice users, and will work with them to incorporate their ice time requirements into the ice time allocation process for next fall.”
Chenier says the demand for ice has been impacted by COVID-19 provincial regulations.
“Anticipating the return to a more normal level of demand for ice time later this year, and a surge in demand if the Skating Centre rinks close, the City will apply its ice allocation policy to incorporate an increase in demand equitably for the 2021/22 arena season,” Chenier said.
The facility's owners stressed in an email to CTV News Ottawa that it will still function as a arena for the next several months.
“If a sale is to happen, the arena function and all regular programming will continue through the end of August, to assist in any potential transition,” the owners said in a statement.