Our OvalThe 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.