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Calgary man brings Canadians back to their roots

Staff writers

January 4, 2013 — One Calgary man has spent 400 hours creating a free outdoor skating rink. He says it's all about bringing Canadians back to their roots.

Outdoor rinks are a favourite Canadian tradition, especially for those eager to get their hockey fix. 

One Calgary man has made his backyard pond his passion. 

"I would say its coming along pretty good...Almost getting to be an ice God here," laughs Norm Price. 

Price said he first got the idea for the rink when his nephew, who plays hockey, came to him and said he wasn't getting enough ice time. After his land flooded, he decided to turn misfortune into a place where the community could come together. 

Located just off 84th Street and McKnight Boulevard in northeastern Calgary, the rink gives you the feeling like you're in the middle of the country when really you're just on the edge of the city.

"I love seeing boyfriends, girlfriends, family members spend time with each other. There's no better way of actually enjoying one on one time than coming outside and getting that persons devoted attention," says Price.

Price has been dealing with fluctuating temperatures, but says he's ready for whatever challenges Mother Nature may bring. 

"Obviously the ice will be a little softer, there will be cracks and stuff that the skaters are carving out that we'll have to maintain on, but it still should be pretty easy to maintain." 

Price uses a man-made zamboni to keep the ice smooth and says more people actually come out to the rink when temperatures are milder and more bearable to be outdoors. 

He says it's all about bringing Canadians back to their roots. 

"I believe that's how the NHL started out. They started out playing pond hockey and pond hockey is a lot of fun not only to participate in, but also for spectating." 

Wondering how to build your own backyard rink? Click here for more tips and common mistakes.