Author and CBC radio personality, Grant Lawrence, did something unexpected over the past 3 days: he built a backyard ice rink for his son, Josh, at their home in East Vancouver!
After some Youtube research on rink construction and a trip to Home Depot to pick up 2x6's and a heavy duty tarp, he posted the photo below to Instagram. Folks from Prince George to New Brunswick then chimed in offering advice on how to make it work!
Grant is the goaltender for the Flying Vees hockey club and I assumed it was a personal dream of his to build a rink for his kid, but as it turns out it was entirely the little guy's idea. 3-year-old Josh has become obsessed with hockey and a series of children's books called Brady Brady (Brady Brady and the Great Rink is his ultimate inspiration), and he'd been asking his dad if they could build a rink for about a year. With the high pressure system moving in with below freezing temperatures, Grant sprung to action. Explaining why he told me that "Kids make us do weird things that we probably wouldn't attempt in our daily working lives.".
Yesterday he posted this shot below after putting the first of the water in. As it turns out you put one inch in at a time and, due to some weird science, using warm water makes it freeze faster, resulting in a smoother surface. Who knew? (People in the East knew, and they told him these things, helping make the project a success).
This morning he posted this shot below. Success! The first backyard rink in Vancouver in a very long time. In fact neither he nor I can remember ever hearing about another one, and we both actively research local history. People have skated on Lost Lagoon (in fact Grant did as a kid) and Trout Lake, but has anybody else every made a rink in their yard? If you know of someone who has please send me a photo or a memory of it: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's expected that this cold front will make way for rain on Sunday, but they'll be keeping the 20'x12' boards up until spring in case we get another one. Then they'll disassemble the thing and keep it in the shed for the next time we get "real" winter weather. In the meantime Grant will hold the title of Best Dad Ever.