A new 5,000-square-foot skating surface will be coming to Dryden’s Milestone Rink on Morrison Avenue, thanks to an over $50,000 donation from Mayor Greg Wilson and his family.

The City of Dryden’s Community Services Manager, Steve Belanger, explains that when Ontario’s Trillium Foundation pledged $185,000 for Milestone Rink’s court resurfacing work in February, many residents asked about the possibility of a skating area that was designed strictly for skating, opposed to hockey action.

“We received a number of suggestions and requests for a space for families and individuals to skate without fear of pucks, sticks, incidental contact or simply avoid being restricted to a small space due to the hockey taking over the rink, which can and does happen on the rink on occasion.  The solution to this is a skating oval,” explains Belanger, in an interview with Q104 and DrydenNow.

Belanger says that as the city began looking into the development of a skating oval, Mayor Greg Wilson and his family became involved in the project. As a result, the Wilson family has donated $55,000 to push the project forward.

“The oval will be an oval shape that includes a figure 8 information through the middle so users are not just skating in circles.  Milestone park was the natural choice for the oval due to the existing warming/dressing space and washrooms. Water and hydro services are already in place and of course, the Zamboni goes to the rink already so it can easily service both ice surfaces every time it visits the property.”

Belanger’s report to councillors notes the new skating oval will also include new LED fixtures for the winter months, 10-foot-wide skating pathways with 500 linear feet of skating service, as well as 8 to 10-inch boards to keep skaters safe.

''Aerial photo of the skating oval’s eventual location courtesy of Steve Belanger.