Halifax Canada Games Oval Update

The Halifax 2011 Canada Games Host Society is pleased to report that construction of the Canada Games Oval has begun. In preparation to host the 4th Canadian Masters Championships, January 15-16, and the 2011 Games long track events in February 2011, construction of a temporary refrigerated oval on the southeast corner of the Halifax Common will commence this week. Work will continue through the fall with the plan to open the completed facility to the public in December 2010. This $2.1 million investment by Halifax Regional Municipality and the Canada Games will be the first artificially refrigerated long track speed skating oval to be built in Atlantic Canada.

Key dates

August 2010 - Work commences on the North Common in the southeast corner, Cogswell and North Park to ready the area for the installation of the Canada Games speed skating oval. Heavy equipment will be brought in to level the playing fields.
November 2010 - Installation of the speed skating oval ice. Ice markings and painting begins.
December 2010 - Speed skating oval to open to the public. A range of programming opportunities will be available for users.
January 15th & 16th, 2011 - Long track speed skating test event (Canadian Masters Championships)
February 2011 - Speed skating oval used for Canada Games from February 11-27, 2011
March 2011 - The 6 chillers used for the Canada Games Speed Skating Oval will be disseminated through HRM and the Province for use in future outdoor rinks. The locations for the chillers have yet to be determined.

The Canada Games Oval

The long track oval has potential to be the most exciting Games-time venue. The 400 metre Canada Games Oval will have a refrigerated, professionally-maintained ice surface, which will ensure maximum availability of ice time for scheduled events and training. Located on the North Common, near the corner of Cogswell and North Park Streets, the track will measure 400 metre long, the curves will have a radius of about 25 m in the inner lane, and each lane will be 3 - 4 m wide. The ice can be maintained in temperatures up to 10 degrees Celsius. The dates for the 2011 Games were strategically set at what has been historically the coldest time of year in Halifax to ensure the best possible conditions for the Oval.

Test Event

The 4th Canadian Masters Championships will be a free event for spectators, and one that not many Nova Scotians have seen in person before. This marks the first time a long track competition will be held in Nova Scotia. A historic event and a major milestone for the speed skating community of Nova Scotia.

Sport and Community Development

As part of the programming plans for the oval in advance of the Games, speed skating clubs will be given dedicated practice times each week. This will be a great opportunity for the local speed skating community to train and develop their athletes on a full-size oval. The free public programming will include learn to skate programs for school groups and participants of all ages and daily open skates. Open seven days a week with a participant capacity of 2000 people per session, the Canada Games Oval will encourage the public to skate for pleasure, fitness, and skill building.

For more information and updates on the Canada Games Oval, subscribe to the 2011 Games e-newsletter or visit HRM’s Canada Games Oval webpage.