Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Our Oval

The Halifax Oval was constructed in 2010 for speed skating events during the 2011 Canada Winter Games, and was opened for the public to enjoy before and after the events, and it was a HIT.  Then came the warm weather and plans for removal, which would return the North Common to it's original state - a ball field.  The suggestion that we keep it instead of tearing it down was, at first, met by some with mixed reviews.  Who would pay for it and it's upkeep - we, the tax payers, or a sponsor?  And if so, the Commons is for everyone, how can we allow a corporate sponsor to step in, will they have signs all over the place, will we have to pay to use the ice?

Well, turns out we don't.  The Oval is sponsored alright - it is officially called the Emera Oval - but it remains free for all, and honestly, you really can't say a bad thing about it, even if you aren't so much into corporate sponsorship.

Last night I was walking home from a coffee date with my friend E and as I approached the Commons I noticed in amazement, hundreds of people out on the Oval.  It must have been -15 at the time, but there they were, in droves.  There were little kids who'd never strapped on a pair of skates before, inching their way around while their moms and dads looked on, seasoned pros whizzing smoothly and surely around the middle, lovers hand-in-hand, friends out enjoying a time together.  It was awesome!  I wonder what those hundreds of people would have been doing on a -15 degree Monday night in January if the Oval wasn't still around.

I was so impressed by the turn out that I wanted to try to capture the exciting feeling in the air so I turned off my flash and let everyone zoom on by.

It looked like such fun that I'm gonna dig out my old skates soon and see what happens.  

Here is a link to the Oval's website, and specifically to a page that has some neat technical information about it.  There is also a live web cam you can check out for mere curiosity, or to see what the crowds are like if you're thinking of heading down yourself!  http://www.halifaxoval.com/about.htm

Have any of you been out skating yet?

Till next time!

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