In many parts of Canada ice rink building is an annual tradition taken on by thousands of people. I know that for me growing up in the 70’s I have great memories of skating on our own backyard rink as well as those of my friends. It seems to me that taking on the project of ice rink building is becoming less common as the years go by and I think there are a few key reasons why.
Generally speaking people are too busy for ice rink building now. It’s a sign of the times that people are working more and have less free time. More complicated family dynamics can also play a part as the traditional family unit isn’t as common as it was 30 years ago. Typically the mother gets primary custody in divorce settlements, but dads are the ones usually in charge of ice rink building. Is it worth the time and effort if you only have the kids every second weekend?
Now I admit that I haven’t done the research to back this up but would anyone argue that weather today is less predictable than it used to be? With global warming and other environmental issues it seems to me that it is harder than ever to have the right conditions to keep an outdoor ice rink than in the past. Of course this depends on where you are located, but I know that in southern Ontario that’s my perception. Ice rink building is a commitment of quite a bit of time and the last thing you want is to invest that time and then a week later the temperature goes way above freezing and it’s melted.
It seems to me that ice rink building is a bit of a dying tradition and to me it’s not only a bit sad, but I think it’s making it harder for Canadian hockey to stay on top.