Brewer Park Oval
Brewer Park Oval is a 400-metre Olympic sized speed skating track located in downtown Ottawa across from Carleton University. It is a volunteer, community-run outdoor ice surface. It is an all-natural ice surface that is built as soon as the weather permits, usually around Christmas, and then maintained until it melts in March.
Brewer Park Oval is an extremely busy site. In our first week of opening this year, we had over 4,000 skaters use the oval and the two hockey rinks on site. Our central site within the city of Ottawa means that we are accessible by bus and the O-train. We are close to Carleton University and many students of many nationalities visit the site to skate.
Brewer Park Oval extends the public use of the park into the winter season. Brewer Park is a busy place during the summer with community soccer, ultimate frisbee, baseball, and football being played in the park. The oval adds a fourth season to the park and brings many people to the park that would not necessarily visit at any other time. There are very few speed skating ovals in Canada, and this is one of only two in Ontario. This facility allows speed skaters from Ontario to train in Ontario instead of travelling to the U.S. or Quebec City. It is a community meeting place where children learn to skate and play hockey. The local hockey association helps to maintain the outdoor hockey rinks and young hockey players have the opportunity to experience playing outdoors.
The two speed skating clubs in Ottawa have long been involved in the building and maintenance of the oval and rinks. Volunteers from the Ottawa Pacers Speed Skating Club and the Gloucester Concordes Speed Skating Club put in many hours building and maintaining this all natural ice surface. The local minor hockey association helps to maintain the hockey rinks. There are several cold nights spent by many volunteers pouring water on the fields of Brewer Park.
The Brewer Park Oval is the busiest outdoor rink system in the City of Ottawa. It is usually open long before the Rideau Canal is open for skating and usually is open long after it closes. The oval is renowned for is excellent quality ice, and people visit from all over the city to skate on the ice at Brewer.
The Brewer Park Oval is supported by the City of Ottawa. The planning department of the city is integral in making sure that the site is properly maintained and leveled. The site must be surveyed each year before competitions and the city provides surveying, design support, and technical assistance with maintenance of the site.