Despite the calendar indicating that it’s February, the Market Square Rink saw a notably low turnout on Friday, a trend that is uncharacteristic for this time of year. While the ice remained relatively quiet, those who did lace up their skates were eager to enjoy one final glide before the city closed the surface over the next few days due to the mild forecast.
“Well, it was raining this morning, so I felt like it was probably going to be one of the last times… and it’s a beautiful sunny day so it’s a great day to go skating,” Virginia Lewis, a local resident, remarked.
With rain forecasted for the upcoming weekend, the highly anticipated annual historic hockey game at the Market Square Rink has been relocated to the Leon’s Centre for Saturday’s event. This marks only the second time in 54 years that the game won’t be played outdoors.
“It’s generally a safe bet,” Original Hockey Hall of Fame President, Larry Paqueet said. “In fact, 20 years ago we were still playing on the harbour ice out front of city hall with probably 2 feet of ice. So it wasn’t an issue then, it just shows how the weather has changed over the years.”
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Despite the hopeful signs of sunny weather, Kingston residents are reminded that winter’s grip may not have loosened entirely.
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“You know, it is indeed still February, and as many Canadians know or many people in Kingston and eastern Ontario know, winter weather can last well into April,” Global News meteorologist, Ross Hull said.
However, it seems that winter’s chill isn’t quite done yet. Seasonal temperatures are expected to return by Tuesday, with overnight lows forecasted to remain well below freezing for at least another week and a half.
Hull added, “We’re thinking that eventually that arctic air will return. Not to say it’s going to be extremely cold for the end of February into March, but I think we’ll have bouts of colder weather and we will likely make up for some of that snowfall deficit we’ve had as well.”
While the Market Square Rink may close temporarily, there’s optimism that Kingston residents will soon be able to return to the ice. With any luck, the rink will be open again for skating enjoyment by next week.