The L.E.A.F. Initiative is a Commonwell program to support capacity, resiliency and growth in the communities we call home.

Kars Community Rink Improvement

1604 Old Wellington Street KarsK0A 2E0

Target Completion Date: July 31, 2022

What is this project about?

Kars is an amazing community located within the city of Ottawa. It is a little “out of the city” away from the hustle and bustle. Over the years, we have seen more people moving out to the area to enjoy the open space and be able to connect more with neighbours in their community. Kars may be Ottawa’s best kept secret – although we are getting on the map and new homes are being built bringing more families to the area. 

Being that it is located in a more rural area, there is not the access to things that you see when you are in the more urban area of Ottawa. We do not have public transportation for people to go to other recreation areas, or larger spots in Ottawa where often there is more funding. As a community, we want to see people be able to stay in our area to enjoy events, gather, learn and support each other, etc. Our RA or rec association plays a big part in Kars and the surrounding small towns within Ottawa. It is a place where we  can gather for fun and play and a place to be enjoyed during local events both inside and out. Since Covid we have not been able to gather, and unfortunately funds we had planned to use to do upgrades ended up going to fund other things, as we were not bringing any income in from rentals, etc.

 We have a lot of youth in our community, young families etc. The rink and the area around it, really plays an integral role in having the people in our community gather. Not just in the winter, but the other seasons too. This project has been inquired about by community members over the last few years and has been in the mind of the members of the executive board for quite some time. The rink is situated on a flood plain and there is water not too far under the surface. Consequently, it takes much longer for the ground to freeze as hard as other areas. During the first floods, the water simply sinks into the ground or runs off. It takes a great deal of time and water to get that first layer of ice. Since all of this is done by community members/volunteers, we want to make this as easy as possible so everyone can enjoy it. If we can firm up the surface, it will eliminate a lot of the problem, allowing for the rink to be opened earlier than what is usual and also possibly to stay open later. 

Our rink is used a great deal, especially for fun community hockey, family skates and the local school who bring classes down to skate; and it is all free. It is often used by people from the surrounding villages, which keeps our rural area strong and connected. Option 2, which is our preference to complete as a project, would also allow for the rink to be used all year round for a variety of events. For example: summer hockey, basketball, skateboarding, community dances. remote control vehicles, outdoor yoga and any event that could be done outside but needs a solid, safe surface away from the parking lot.