Canada 150 rink arrives in Gan
The Canada 150 r ink arrived in Gananoque on Tuesday.
The rink — boards, nets, glass, players benches and scoreboard— came in three truckloads from Ottawa, where it was dismantled last winter after serving skaters on Parliament Hill.
A sma l l gathering of schoolchildren, relatives of the late MP Gord Brown, chamber of commerce representatives and town officials welcomed the rink at the Gananoque works yard.
The dismantled rink will remain at the yard in the shadow of the Gananoque water tower until next year when it will be set up near the Lou Jeffries, Gananoque and T.L.T.I. Community Centre.
Adam McCluskey, manager of parks and recreation, said that work will begin this spring to build the concrete base for the rink, including the underground pipes to accommodate the eventual installation of the artificial ice machine.
McCluskey estimated that the rink should be assembled by late June or early July. It would be used for such warm weather sports as pickleball, basketball and floor hockey until November, when it would be flooded for ice.
The town plans a roof and an artificial plant for the rink eventually, but that will depend on fundraising.
Brown’s son, brother and sister- in- law were at the works yard on Tuesday to welcome the rink that will be named after Brown.
Earlier this month, town council voted to name the rink the “Gord Brown Memorial Canada 150 Outdoor Rink.”
Brown, who died in May, was an avid hockey fan and sportsman, former Gananoque town councillor, chamber of commerce president, chairman of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, business owner and volunteer. He represented Leeds and Grenville as member of Parliament for 14 years.
His family and the Thousand Islands Accommodation Partners (TIAP) were part of the effort to bring the Canada 150 rink to Gananoque as a tribute to the late MP.
Jeff Brown, Gord’s brother and chairman of TIAP who was part of the welcoming committee on Tuesday, said his group’s goal is to get the rink up and running at no cost to the town’s taxpayers.
So far, the committee has raised close to $300,000 and it is confident that it can raise another $ 300,000 to $400,000, Brown told council this month.
The Gord Brown memorial hockey game in Gananoque on Nov. 28 (doors open at 6:30 p.m., tickets are $10) is hoped to raise about $100,000, part of which will be split with the United Way.
Workers unload Canada 150 rink.
A forklift driver hauls a Canada 150 net to storage site in Gananoque.
A small gathering welcomed arrival of the Canada 150 rink.